Astronomical

Bubble Nebula

The Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7635, is a sphere of active star formation glowing faintly in the constellation Cassiopeia. The hydrogen gas cloud from which the stars form emits red light, the characteristic color of hydrogen, by absorbing energy from them. This image was made with the 0.8-meter Telescope at McDonald Observatory, with the Prime Focus Corrector instrument. Credit: Tom Montemayor/McDonald Observatory.

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Astronomical

Neutron Stars Merge to Form Black Hole

The spectacular merger of two neutron stars that generated gravitational waves announced last fall likely did something else: birthed a black hole. This newly spawned black hole would be the lowest mass black hole ever found.

After two separate stars underwent supernova explosions, two ultra-dense cores (that is, neutron stars) were left behind. These two neutron stars were so close that gravitational wave radiation pulled them together until they merged and collapsed into a black hole. The illustration (top) shows the two neutron stars spinning around each other while merging.

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Astronomical

Evolution of a Protostar

Evolution of the temperature and density structure in the protostellar accretion phase after the protostar formation. The rapid accretion of dense gas cloud (white contour) constricts an expansion of the photoionized region (red) which is possible to shut off the gas accretion. (Credit: Takashi Hosokawa)

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Astronomical

Forming a Massive Star

Projected density distributions of dark matter (background and top panel) and gas (bottom three panels) components when the massive star forms. The stellar cradle is extremely asymmetrical as a wide, wedge-shaped structure (middle panel) due to the initial supersonic gas motions left over from the Big Bang. The circle in the right panel indicates the gravitationally unstable region with mass of 26,000 solar-masses. (Credit: Shingo Hirano)

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