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Astronomers uncover the mystery of the Rosette Nebula’s core

13 Feb 2018, 15:23 UTC
Astronomers uncover the mystery of the Rosette Nebula’s core
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The Rosette Nebula is 5,000 light years away in the unsung constellation of Monoceros. Image Credit: N. Wright/Keele University
The Rosette Nebula presents an interesting conundrum. The fact that the sizes and ages of its core stars and central cavity don’t comply has baffled astronomers for a long time. When stars are born, their stellar winds and intense radiation tend to expel surrounding gas and dust into the cosmos, in the case of the Rosette Nebula however; the size of the cavity is too small when compared to the age of the central stars. New research, conducted by the University of Leeds and Keele University, have now offered an explanation for the discrepancy, stating it’s due to the unusual shape of its initial molecular cloud.
The Rosette Nebula is located 5,000 light years away in the Milky Way. Its layers of gas and dust are being pushed away from its centre, leaving a distinctive hole at the centre, causing the nebula to resemble a rose. The clouds of dust, hydrogen, helium and many other gases permeating the universe are the building blocks for stars. From these simple molecules, the most massive stars can be born, and that’s exactly how the ...

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