Astronomy Picture of the Day

X-Ray Stars in the Orion Nebula

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#73881 by @ 20.05.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
X-Ray Stars in the Orion Nebula


When our
middle-aged Sun
was just a few
million years old it was
thousands of times brighter

In fact, it was likely similar to some of the stars found
in this false-color x-ray composite of the Orion Nebula region
from the Chandra Observatory.

The image is
bright stars of the nebula's
Trapezium star cluster, and while
analyzing the
Chandra data
astronomers have now found examples of young,
sun-like stars producing intense
x-ray flares.

It sounds dangerous, but the situation may actually
favor the formation of
planetary systems like our own.

Energetic flares can produce turbulence in the
planet-forming disks
surrounding the stars -
preventing rocky earth-like planets from spiraling uncomfortably
close to and even
falling into
their active, young parent stars.

About 1,500 light-years away, the
Orion Nebula is the closest
large stellar nursery.

At that distance, this Chandra image spans about 10 light-years.

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