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Massive Young Stars Trigger Stellar Birth October 15, 2008

Posted by jtintle in Deep Space, Space Fotos.
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RCW 108

X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/S.Wolk et al; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech


RCW 108 is a region where stars are actively forming within the Milky Way galaxy about 4,000 light years from Earth. This is a complicated region that contains young star clusters, including one that is deeply embedded in a cloud of molecular hydrogen. By using data from different telescopes, astronomers determined that star birth in this region is being triggered by the effect of nearby, massive young stars.

This image is a composite of X-ray data from Chandra (blue) and infrared emission detected by Spitzer (red and orange). More than 400 X-ray sources were identified in Chandra’s observations of RCW 108. About 90% of these X-ray sources are thought to be part of the cluster and not stars that lie in the field-of-view either behind or in front of it. Many of the stars in RCW 108 are experiencing the violent flaring seen in other young star-forming regions such as the Orion Nebula. Gas and dust blocks much of the X-rays from the juvenile stars located in the center of the image, explaining the relative dearth of Chandra sources in this part of the image.

The Spitzer data show the location of the embedded star cluster, which appears as the bright knot of red and orange just to the left of the center of the image. Some stars from a larger cluster, known as NGC 6193, are also visible on the left side of the image. Astronomers think that the dense clouds within RCW 108 are in the process of being destroyed by intense radiation emanating from hot and massive stars in NGC 6193.

Taken together, the Chandra and Spitzer data indicate that there are more massive star candidates than expected in several areas of this image. This suggests that pockets within RCW 108 underwent localized episodes of star formation. Scientists predict that this type of star formation is triggered by the effects of radiation from bright, massive stars such as those in NGC 6193. This radiation may cause the interior of gas clouds in RCW 108 to be compressed, leading to gravitational collapse and the formation of new stars.

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1. Sapan Rinpoche - Ven. Lama Ngawang Kunga Thupten Gyaltsen - October 15, 2008

Hello … this RCW 108 work is completely new to me, but then, I am NOT a Professional Astrophysicist! The description, above, and the detail regarding the Chandra & Spitzer collaborations is, to me, just extraordinary. THANKS SO VERY MUCH!

A little itsy-bit of background: I literally grew up at Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago. In June of 1945, at the age of seven, I moved into my Grandfather & Grandmother’s house, right across the street from S. Chandrasekhar and his wife, Lalita. My grandfather, Storrs Barrows Barrett, that I was named after, was on the original faculty and staff of Yerkes, and he built a house right on the edge of the Yerkes campus. He died on Thanksgiving Day in 1937, and I was born on Valentine’s Day in 1938, with people in some circles regarding me as the “emanation” and/or “reincarnation” of Professor Barrett. Today, I am a 70-yo Vajrayana Buddhist Monk, Lama and Rinpoche, Ngawang Kunga Thupten Gyaltsen, and you can Google my Composer Name: Storrs Barrett Booch-Williams, if you like. Chandra became, throughout my association with him, from 1945 until his death, my Mentor, and, truly, like a Father to me, as, from 1945 to 1952, I had no Dad! Chandra introduced me to Calculus when I was 13 or 14 and, when I turned out to WANT WANT WANT to pursue Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, he told me (I was 16 at the time): “Well, I think that you ought to put off philosophy until you are 50, and then, if you are still enamored of philosophy — you would be welcome to the gobbledegook!” His exact words. I worked at Yerkes during my teens in the Photo Service Dept. at Yerkes and, delightfully, had the experience of seeing some of the Reverse B&W 8×10 plates that Margaret Burbidge would bring back from Palomar, come up in the developer. It was a great childhood, indeed. In 1959 I was hired by Gerard Peter Kuiper as a Research Assistant and worked on the Photographic Lunar Atlas that he produced around 1960. Then I continued as a Research Assistant under Joseph W. Chamberlain, on the Aurora Project, before returning to the University of Wisconsin to complete a degree, actually, in the Philosophy of Science with a Music Minor. So I left Yerkes in 1961 and Chandra and his wife moved from Williams Bay, Wisconsin and Yerkes, to the UC Campus in Chicago, where Lalita Chardrasekhar still lives, now at the age of 98, and today is very nearly her birthday, I believe. Anyway … SIR … I devulge all of this STUFF to you, because I am so happy that people like you are doing the work that you are doing today. If I had been a BETTER MATHEMATICIAN, I would have become a Theoretical Astrophysicist. W.W. Morgon was my Uncle, married to my mother Emily Barrett’s oldest sister, Helen. Although I am largely out of contact with both, Don Osterbrock, Morgan’s student, and Helmut Abt, in Tucson, remain friends. In 2002, I think, I spent 9-hours at Abt’s home, discussing all of the things and my book, still in preparation … for the Coffee Table … “Cosmogenesis: Life Elsewhere in the Universe & the Cosmology of Consciousness.” Hmmm … I am wondering of any of this, or the book would be of any interest to you! And if you will, sometime, perhaps, reply to this long gratuitous NOTE! Thanks for reading. Kindest regards,

Sapan Rinpoche (b. 1938)

2. Tara Balduf (Ani Kunga Palmo of Sakya Monastery) - February 28, 2009

Quite the biography Kunga. Nothing about your vows or current status of Lama but I just assume you are still active in the Sangha and pray this is the case. Long time no see and I am writing at the request of HH Jigdal Sakya to ask you to just say my vows are returned to me as I have been trying to find you for years and now have a slight clue. May you be happy and benefit all of space with your continuing light.

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