Science & Technology

Hubble Space Telescope Finds Flame Nebula’s Searing Stars May Halt Planet Formation

Credit score: NASA, ESA, and Ok. Stapelfeldt (Jet Propulsion Laboratory); Processing; Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic College of America)

The Flame Nebula or NGC 2024 is a big star-forming area within the constellation Orion that lies about 1,400 light-years from Earth. Hubble studied this nebula to search for protoplanetary disks, or “proplyds” – disks of gasoline and dirt round stars that will at some point kind new photo voltaic methods. Hubble discovered 4 confirmed proplyds and 4 potential proplyds within the nebula, however the proplyds are being worn away by the extreme radiation of close by stars and should by no means have the prospect to kind planets in consequence. Hubble additionally situated three “globulettes” within the nebula – small, darkish mud clouds that may be seen in opposition to the background of brilliant nebulae. These mud clouds are thought to kind brown dwarfs – heat objects too huge to be planets however with out sufficient mass to develop into stars – and different free-floating, planetary-mass objects in our galaxy.

The Flame Nebula is a part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Advanced, which incorporates such well-known nebulae because the Horsehead Nebula and Orion Nebula.

Hubble imaged a small portion of the Flame Nebula, which is a part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Advanced together with the Horsehead Nebula. Credit score: NASA, ESA, Ok. Stapelfeldt (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), ESO, DSS2, and D. De Martin; Processing; Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic College of America)

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