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Original Message Picture of the Day: Emission Nebula NGC 2467

NGC 2467 (sometimes referred as the “Skull and Crossbones”) is an emission nebula with an age of a few million years at most, located some 13,000 – 17,000 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation of Puppis (the Stern). It is moving away from us at 55.75 per second.

It is an extremely active stellar nursery, where new stars are born continuously from large clouds of dust and gas. This star forming (HII) region, looking like a cosmic ghost, contains the open star clusters Haffner 18 (center) and Haffner 19 (inside the smaller pink region — the lower eye of the ghost), as well as vast areas of ionized gas.

The image displays a striking array of features that illustrate multiple phases of star birth. Huge clouds of gas and dust are sprinkled with bright blue, hot young stars. The bright star at the center of the largest pink region on the bottom of the image is HD 64315, a massive young star that is helping shaping the structure of the whole nebular region. Toward the center, deep dark lanes of dust hide parts of the nebula that surely are forming new stars.

Haffner 18 contains about 50 stars, among which several short lived, massive ones. The massive star still surrounded by a small, dense shell of hydrogen, is called FM3060a. The shell is about 2.5 light-years wide and expands at a speed of 20 km/s. It must have been created some 40,000 years ago.

Picture at Link: [link to annesastronomynews.com]

Computer Models Explain How Galaxies Formed and Evolved

When most people think of astronomers, they envision scientists who spend time peering at stars and galaxies through telescopes on high mountain tops. Rutgers astronomer Rachel Somerville depends on those who make such observations, both from telescopes on the ground and orbiting earth in space. But her primary tool for understanding how galaxies formed billions of years ago - and how they continue to evolve in our contemporary universe - are large computers.

Instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope peer to the farthest reaches of space, opening windows in time that reveal how galaxies looked as they took shape in a young universe. Computer modeling then helps astronomers make sense of what they're seeing and build a better understanding of how today's galaxies first formed.

LINK: [link to www.spacedaily.com]

'Hungry Twin' Stars Gobble Their First Meals

Just-forming stars, like growing babies, are always hungry and must "feed" on huge amounts of gas and dust from dense envelopes surrounding them at birth. Now a team of astronomers including Robert Gutermuth, a University of Massachusetts Amherst expert in imaging data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, reports observing an unusual "baby" star that periodically emits infrared light bursts, suggesting it may be twins, that is, a binary star. The discovery is reported this month in Nature.
The extremely young object, dubbed LRLL 54361, is about 100,000 years old and is located about 950 light years away toward the Perseus constellation. Years of monitoring its infrared with the Spitzer instrument reveal that it becomes 10 times brighter every 25.34 days, Gutermuth and colleagues say. This periodicity suggests that a companion to the central forming star is likely inhibiting the infall of gas and dust until its closest orbital approach, when matter eventually comes crashing down onto the protostellar "twins."

LINK: [link to www.sciencedaily.com]

Sun News 01/31/2013

:Issued: 2013 Jan 31 1230 UTC
# Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

Solar Activity

.24 hr Summary...
Solar activity was low. Region 1663 (S09W18) produced an impulsive C1
x-ray event at 31/0434 UTC. This was the only notable x-ray emission
during the period. Region 1663 displayed modest growth and development
over the period. The latest reports from ground based optical sites
identify it as a C-type group with a beta magnetic classification. The
only other bipole on the visible disk, Region 1665 (N11E56), remained
stable and inactive during the period. A backside CME (from Earths
perspective) was observed by NASA SOHO LASCO C2 and NASA STEREO Ahead
EUVI 195 imagery at approximately 30/1336 UTC. It appears to have
originated from old Region 1660, which rotated off the visible disk a
few days ago, and will not become geoeffective. A second CME was
observed already in progress on LASCO C2/C3 imagery starting prior to
31/0750 UTC. Neither the start time nor the source location were
determined due to a LASCO tracking gap which occurred from 30/2145 to
31/0750 UTC. STEREO A COR2 data suggests that the event began after
31/0709 UTC. Based on analysis of STEREO and LASCO, this event was
determined to be front-sided with an asymmetric partial halo signature.
It is moving on a southeasterly trajectory at a relatively modest
velocity. No x-ray enhancements or associated radio were observed;
suggesting a slow event likely from a filament eruption. As more data
becomes available, additional analysis will be conducted to determine if
the event has geoeffective potential for later this week. No new regions
were numbered during the period.

Solar activity is expected to be very low with a chance for a C-class
flare from regions 1663 or 1665.

Energetic Particle

.24 hr Summary...
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached
moderate levels. The greater than 10 MeV proton flux at geosynchronous
orbit was at background levels.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux is expected to be at normal to
moderate levels. The greater than 10 MeV proton flux is expected to
remain at background levels.

Solar Wind

.24 hr Summary...
Solar wind parameters, as measured by the ACE spacecraft, indicated
nominal conditions with speeds steadily near 300 km/s, Bz varying
between about -2 to +3 nT, and Bt ranging from 1 to 4 nT. The sector
orientation began the period predominantly negative (towards), but
displayed a definitive transition towards a positive (away) orientation
between 31/0300 and 31/0500 UTC.

Nominal conditions are expected to continue for the next three days (31
Jan - 02 Feb).


.24 hr Summary...
The geomagnetic field was quiet.

The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet for the next three days
(31 Jan - 02 Feb).

LINK: [link to www.solarham.net]

Flux level data

LINK: [link to www.solarham.net]

ACE Real Time Solar Wind + Bz Data

LINK: [link to www.solarham.net]


3MIN News January 31, 2013: Planets affect the Sun
Pictures (click to insert)
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