A Chandra Update.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory doesn’t get the same love as, say, Hubble.  But astronomer’s using the x-ray and infrared telescopes have made an important advance in the understanding of how clusters of stars come into being.

It turns out that the idea that stars form into clusters when a giant cloud of gas and dust condenses, like NGC 2024 and the Orion Nebula, and  material is pulled in from the surroundings dust until it becomes dense enough to trigger star formation making the interior stars the oldest.  However, the data from Chandra shows that stars on the outskirts of the clusters actually are the oldest.

Astronomers have studied two star clusters (NGC 2024 and Orion) to gain insight on how clusters of stars like our Sun form.  They found the stars on the outskirts of these clusters are older than those in the center, which is different from what the simplest idea of star formation predicts.

Previous studies of the Orion Nebula Cluster revealed hints of this reversed age spread, but these earlier efforts were based on limited or biased star samples. This latest research provides the first evidence of such age differences in the Flame Nebula.

I guess its back to the drawing board for scientists.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +


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