Astronomy Picture of the Day

Hot Stars in the Rosette Nebula

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Hot Stars in the Rosette Nebula


Winds and radiation from massive hot stars in
the Rosette Nebula
have cleared the natal
gas and dust from the center of the
nearby star-forming region.

They also pose a danger to
planet forming disks around
young, cooler stars in the neighborhood.

This Spitzer Space Telescope
infrared image
of dust clouds
near the Rosette's central region,
shows the cleared-out cavity.

The view spans about 45 light-years at the
the nebula's estimated distance of 5,200 light-years.

Putting your cursor over the false color picture will highlight the
dangerous hot stars,
classified as O stars
with surface temperatures of 25,000
kelvins or higher.

Astronomers calculate
that cool stars wandering
within about 1.6 light-years of the Rosette's O stars are in danger
of having their planet forming
disks destroyed.

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