New models give insight into the heart of the Rosette NebulaFebruary 13, 2018
A hole at the heart of a stunning rose-like interstellar cloud has puzzled astronomers for decades. But new research, led by the University of Leeds, offers an explanation for the discrepancy between the size and age of the Rosetta Nebula's central cavity and that of its central stars.
The Rosette Nebula is located in the Milky Way Galaxy roughly 5,000 light-years from Earth and is known for its rose-like shape and distinctive hole at its centre. The nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases with several massive stars found in a cluster at its heart.
Stellar winds and ionising radiation from these massive stars affect the shape of the giant molecular cloud. But the size and age of the cavity observed in the centre of Rosette Nebula is too small when compared to the age of its central stars.
Through computer simulations, astronomers at Leeds and at Keele University have found the formation of the Nebula is likely to be in a thin sheet-like molecular cloud rather than in a spherical or thick disc-like shape, as some photographs may suggest. A thin disc-like structure of the cloud focusing the stellar winds away from the cloud's centre would account for the comparatively small size of the central cavity.
Study lead author, Dr Christopher Wareing, from the School of Physics and Astronomy said: "The massive stars that make up the Rosette Nebula's central cluster are a few millions of years old and halfway through their lifecycle. For the length of time their stellar winds would have been flowing, you would expect a central cavity up to ten times bigger.
"We simulated the stellar wind feedback and formation of the nebula in various molecular cloud models including a clumpy sphere, a thick filamentary disc and a thin disc, all created from the same low density initial atomic cloud.
"It was the thin disc that reproduced the physical appearance - cavity size, shape and magnetic field alignment -- of the Nebula, at an age compatible with the central stars and their wind strengths.
"To have a model that so accurately reproduces the physical appearance in line with the observational data, without setting out to do this, is rather extraordinary.
"We were also fortunate to be able to apply data to our models from the ongoing Gaia survey, as a number of the bright stars in the Rosette Nebula are part of the survey.
Applying this data to our models gave us new understanding of the roles individual stars play in the Rosette Nebula. Next we'll look at the many other similar objects in our Galaxy and see if we can figure out their shape as well."
The simulations, published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, were run using the Advanced Research Computing centre at Leeds. The nine simulations required roughly half a million CPU hours -- the equivalent to 57 years on a standard desktop computer.
Martin Callaghan, a member of the Advanced Research Computing team, said: "The fact that the Rosette Nebula simulations would have taken more than five decades to complete on a standard desktop computer is one of the key reasons we provide powerful supercomputing research tools. These tools enabled the simulations of the Rosette Nebula to be done in a matter of a few weeks."
Download images and captions from: https://goo.gl/5iv798
Rosette Nebula image is based on data obtained as part of the INT Photometric H-Alpha Survey of the Northern Galactic Plane, prepared by Nick Wright, Keele University, on behalf of the IPHAS Collaboration. http://www.astro.keele.ac.uk/~njw/imaging.html
The research paper, A new mechanical stellar wind feedback model for the Rosette Nebula is published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 13 February 2018 (DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty148)
For additional information and to request interviews please contact Anna Harrison, Press Officer at the University of Leeds, on +44 (0)113 34 34196 or firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Leeds
1The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK, with more than 33,000 students from more than 150 different countries, and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities.
We are a top ten university for research and impact power in the UK, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, and are in the top 100 for academic reputation in the QS World University Rankings 2018. Additionally, the University was awarded a Gold rating by the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017, recognising its 'consistently outstanding' teaching and learning provision. Twenty-six of our academics have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships - more than any other institution in England, Northern Ireland and Wales - reflecting the excellence of our teaching. http://www.leeds.ac.uk
Follow University of Leeds or tag us in to coverage Twitter | Facebook |LinkedIn| Instagram
* Keele was recently awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework
* Keele is ranked No.1 in England for Course Satisfaction (Guardian University Guide 2018)
* 97% of the University's research was deemed to be world-leading, or of international importance, in the latest Research Excellence Framework
University of Leeds
Related Nebula Articles:
Astronomers have released an image of a 50-light-year-long filament of star-forming gas, 1200 light-years away, in the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula.
An ancient, red giant star has produced the coldest known object in the cosmos.
Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula, by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Multiwavelength image with VLA, Spitzer, Hubble, XMM-Newton, and Chandra observatories shows the 'whole picture' of the famous Crab Nebula supernova remnant, and provides astronomers with new insights into the object's complex physics.
In the search for rogue planets and failed stars astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have created a new mosaic image of the Orion Nebula.
Astronomers have found an enormous, glowing blob of gas in the distant universe, with no obvious source of power for the light it is emitting.
A collaborative study involving Brookhaven, MIT, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro suggests the gas cloud from which our solar system formed lasted about 4 million years.
MIT scientists have a new estimate for the lifetime of the solar nebula, the gaseous precursor of the solar system: Measurements from ancient meteorites suggest the solar nebula disappeared within 4 million years.
The Calabash Nebula, pictured here -- which has the technical name OH 231.8+04.2 -- is a spectacular example of the death of a low-mass star like the sun.
The eerie glow of a dead star, which exploded long ago as a supernova, reveals itself in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Crab Nebula.
Related Nebula Reading:
Nebula (ESS Space Marines Book 4)
by Fairfield Publishing
Stranded in a nebula. Life support is failing. The ship is overrun by enemies. Just another day as an Earth Space Service Marine.
A new book from #1 Best Selling author James David Victor
Major Andrea “Andy” Dolan and the ESS Space Marines 33rd Unit are on their way to a secret rendezvous. When the Star Chaser is attacked by Arkana, Andy must take control of a desperate situation and save the ship, and her crew, from certain destruction. Can the ESS Marines hold off the enemy, repair the ship, and get to safety before it’s too late?
Nebula is... View Details
Nebula Awards Showcase 2017
by Julie E. Czerneda (Editor)
The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). This year's editor, selected by SFWA's anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is Canadian science fiction and fantasy writer and editor Julie Czerneda. This year's Nebula Award winners are Naomi Novik, Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Pinsker, and Alyssa Wong, with Fran Wilde winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book. Also included... View Details
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
by Mercedes Lackey (Editor)
The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). The editor, selected by SFWA’s anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is American science fiction and fantasy writer Mercedes Lackey. This year’s Nebula winners are Ursula Vernon, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nancy Kress, and Jeff VanderMeer, with Alaya Dawn Johnson winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book. View Details
Nebula Awards Showcase 2018
by Jane Yolen (Editor)
The latest volume of the prestigious anthology series, published annually across six decades!
The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). The editor, selected by SFWA's anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is Jane Yolen, an author of children's books, fantasy, and science fiction. This year's Nebula Award winners are Charlie Jane Anders, Seanan McGuire, William Ledbetter, Amal... View Details
Nebula Awards Showcase 2001: The Year's Best SF and Fantasy Chosen by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
by Robert Silverberg (Editor)
Edited by the widely acclaimed SF author Robert Silverberg, the Nebula Awards series is "the pulse of modern science fiction" (The New York Times Book Review)
The Nebula Awards are the Academy Awards of science fiction, the finest works each year in the genre as voted by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
The Nebula Awards anthology series has now reached its thirty-fifth year. This edition contains the complete award-winning texts by Ted Chiang, Mary A. Turzillo, Leslie What, and Octavia E. Butler (an excerpt from her novel The Parable of... View Details
Nebula Awards Showcase 2007
by Mike Resnick (Editor)
An anthology of Nebula Award-winning fiction selected by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America includes works by this year's winners--Joe Haldeman, Kelly Link, Carol Emshwiller, Grand Master Harlan Ellison, and other notables--accompanied by commentary on the current status of science fiction in the twenty-first century and its significance as a form of literature. Original. 12,000 first printing. View Details
Nebula Awards Showcase 2004
by Vonda N. McIntyre (Editor)
An anthology of Nebula Award-winning fiction selected by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America includes works by this year's winners--Neil Gaiman, Richard Chwedyk, Carol Emshwiller, Ted Chiang, and others--accompanied by commentary on the current status of science fiction in the twenty-first century and its significance as a form of literature. Original. 15,000 first printing. View Details
Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret
by Trudi Trueit (Author)
Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers.
Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and... View Details
The Realm of the Nebulae (The Silliman Memorial Lectures Series)
by Edwin Hubble (Author), Sean M. Carroll (Foreword), Robert Kirshner (Foreword)
In less than a century, the accepted picture of the universe transformed from a stagnant place, composed entirely of our own Milky Way galaxy, to a realm inhabited by billions of individual galaxies, hurtling away from one another. We must thank, in part, Edwin P. Hubble, one of the greatest observational astronomers of the 20th century. In 1936, Hubble described his principal observations and conclusions in The Realm of the Nebulae, which quickly became a classic work. Two new introductory pieces, by Robert P. Kirshner and Sean M. Carroll, explain advances since Hubble’s time... View Details
Stars, Planets, Nebulae, and Black Holes | Children's Science & Nature
by Baby Professor (Author)
Let’s explore the world beyond our own without jumping into spaceships. This educational book for children contains vibrant images and important messages that aim to encourage the knowledge on stars, planets, nebulae and black holes. If your child suddenly blurts out fun facts about space, then he/she is reading this book right! Grab a copy today. View Details