Monday, May 10, 2010

Herschel space telescope pierces giant star bubble

A colossal star many times the mass of our own Sun is seen growing in a bubble of excited gas just pictured by the Herschel space observatory. The image of the bubble, known as RCW 120, has been released a few days ahead of the European telescope's first birthday in orbit. Herschel's infrared detectors are tuned to see the cold materials that give birth to stars. Pictures like RCW 120 will help explain how really giant ones are made. The monster in this picture is seen as the small white blob on the bottom edge of the bubble. The "baby" star is perhaps a few tens of thousands of years old and has yet to ignite the nuclear furnace that will form at its core. But it is some eight to 10 times the mass of our Sun and is surrounded by about 200 times as much gas and dust continues to fall in on the star, the object has the potential to become one of the Milky Way Galaxy's true giants, and it will go on to have a profound influence on its environment.

This is truly an amazing achievement and discovery for the Herschel as well as the solar system itself. this star could possibly take the place as one of the biggest stars in our entire solar system. And to think it only has gone through about a Quarter if not less of its life and is already many times the mass of our sun who is almost half way through its life. This is truly an amazing discovery.

Works Cited
"BBC News - Herschel Space Telescope Pierces Giant Star Bubble." BBC NEWS | News Front Page. Web. 11 May 2010. .

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