Tech UPTechnologySpectacular Hubble Image of Two Herbig-Haro Objects

Spectacular Hubble Image of Two Herbig-Haro Objects

Herbig-Haro objects were first observed in the 19th century by the American astronomer Sherburne Wesley Burnham, but were not recognized as a distinct type of emission nebula until the 1940s. They are therefore named after astronomers George Herbig and Guillermo Haro, who were the first to study them in detail.

These objects share the same basic structure: twin jets of hot gas, ejected in opposite directions from a forming star , flowing through interstellar space. They usually last only a few tens of thousands of years, so their duration, in astronomical terms, is very short.

“HH 1 is the luminous cloud above the bright star at the top right of this image, and HH 2 is the cloud at the bottom left,” the Hubble astronomers said. “While both Herbig-Haro objects are visible, the young star system responsible for their creation lurks just out of sight, cloaked in the thick clouds of dust at the center of this image. However, gas outflow from one of these stars can be seen streaming out of the central dark cloud as a bright jet. Meanwhile, the bright star between that jet and the HH 1 cloud was thought to be the source of these jets, but is now known to be an unrelated double star that formed nearby.”

With Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3)

To get the image we’re seeing in this article, astronomers at the Hubble Space Telescope used eleven filters to sample various wavelengths (ultraviolet, visible, and infrared). Each of the colors is assigned to an individual filter based on wavelength .

“Each of these filters is sensitive to only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and allows astronomers to identify interesting processes that emit light at specific wavelengths,” the researchers explained.

“In the case of HH 1 and HH 2, two groups of astronomers requested Hubble observations for two different studies. The second group investigated the outflows to lay the groundwork for future observations with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope that will be able to peer beyond the dust clouds that shroud young stars.”

Reference: NASA / ESA / Hubble / B. Reipurth / B. Nisini.

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