SETI HUBBLE SNAPSHOT CAPTURES LIFE CYCLE OF STARS (STScI-PRC99-20)


Larry Klaes (lklaes@bbn.com)
Wed, 02 Jun 1999 15:11:01 -0400


>Date: Tue, 01 Jun 1999 09:37:33 -0400 >From: HST News Release <hst-news@stsci.edu> >X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.07 [en] (WinNT; I) >To: pio@stsci.edu >Subject: HUBBLE SNAPSHOT CAPTURES LIFE CYCLE OF STARS (STScI-PRC99-20) >Sender: owner-pio@stsci.edu > >EMBARGOED UNTIL: 12:30 pm CDT (1:30 pm EDT) June 1, 1999 > >PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC99-20 > > >HUBBLE SNAPSHOT CAPTURES LIFE CYCLE OF STARS > >In this stunning picture of the giant galactic nebula NGC 3603, the >crisp resolution of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures various >stages of the life cycle of stars in one single view. > >To the upper right of center is the evolved blue supergiant called >Sher 25. The star has a unique circumstellar ring of glowing gas that >is a galactic twin to the famous ring around the supernova 1987A. The >grayish-bluish color of the ring and the bipolar outflows (blobs to the >upper right and lower left of the star) indicates the presence of >processed (chemically enriched) material. > >Near the center of the view is a so-called starburst cluster dominated >by young, hot Wolf-Rayet stars and early O-type stars. A torrent of >ionizing radiation and fast stellar winds from these massive stars has >blown a large cavity around the cluster. > >The most spectacular evidence for the interaction of ionizing radiation >with cold molecular-hydrogen cloud material are the giant gaseous >pillars to the right and lower left of the cluster. These pillars are >sculptured by the same physical processes as the famous pillars Hubble >photographed in the M16 Eagle Nebula. > >Dark clouds at the upper right are so-called Bok globules, which are >probably in an earlier stage of star formation. > >To the lower left of the cluster are two compact, tadpole-shaped >emission nebulae. Similar structures were found by Hubble in Orion, >and have been interpreted as gas and dust evaporation from possibly >protoplanetary disks (proplyds). The "proplyds" in NGC 3603 are >5 to 10 times larger in size and correspondingly also more massive. > >This single view nicely illustrates the entire stellar life cycle of >stars, starting with the Bok globules and giant gaseous pillars, >followed by circumstellar disks, and progressing to evolved massive >stars in the young starburst cluster. The blue supergiant with its ring >and bipolar outflow marks the end of the life cycle. > >The color difference between the supergiant's bipolar outflow and the >diffuse interstellar medium in the giant nebula dramatically visualizes >the enrichment in heavy elements due to synthesis of heavier elements >within stars. > >This true-color picture was taken on March 5, 1999 with the Wide Field >Planetary Camera 2. > >This picture is being presented at the 194th Meeting of the American >Astronomical Society in Chicago. > >Credit: Wolfgang Brandner (JPL/IPAC), Eva K. Grebel (Univ. Washington), >You-Hua Chu (Univ. Illinois Urbana-Champaign), and NASA > >NOTE TO EDITORS: Image files and photo caption are available on the >Internet at: >http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/1999/20 or via links in: >http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/latest.html >http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pictures.html > >Higher resolution digital versions (300 dpi JPEG and TIFF) of the >release image are available at: >http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/1999/20/extra-photos.html > >STScI press releases and other information are available automatically >by sending an Internet electronic mail message to >>pio-request@stsci.edu. In the body of the message (not the subject >line) users should type "subscribe" (don't use quotes). The system will >respond with a confirmation of the subscription, and users will receive >new press releases (via e-mail) as they are issued. To unsubscribe, >send mail to >send mail to pio-request@stsci.edu. Leave the subject line blank, and >type "unsubscribe" (don't use quotes) in the body of the message. > >



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