Embedded Outflow in HH 46/47

Spitzer_ssc2003-06f1_1024

spitzer_ssc2003-06f1 December 18th, 2003

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/A. Noriega-Crespo (SSC/Caltech), H. Kline (JPL)

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope transforms a dark cloud into a silky translucent veil, revealing the molecular outflow from an otherwise hidden newborn star. Using near-infrared light, Spitzer pierces through the dark cloud to detect the embedded outflow in an object called HH 46/47. Herbig-Haro (HH) objects are bright, nebulous regions of gas and dust that are usually buried within dark clouds. They are formed when supersonic gas ejected from a forming protostar, or embryonic star, interacts with the surrounding interstellar medium. These young stars are often detected only in the infrared.

The Spitzer image was obtained with the infrared array camera. Emission at 3.6 microns is shown as blue, emission from 4.5 and 5.8 microns has been combined as green, and 8.0 micron emission is depicted as red.

HH 46/47 is a striking example of a low mass protostar ejecting a jet and creating a bipolar, or two-sided, outflow. Located at a distance of 1140 light-years and found in the constellation Vela, the protostar is hidden from view in visible-light because it lies inside a dark cloud (known as a 'Bok globule'). With Spitzer, the star and its dazzling jets of molecular gas appear with clarity.

The 8-micron channel of the infrared array camera is sensitive to emission from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These organic molecules, comprised of carbon and hydrogen, are excited by the surrounding radiation field and become luminescent, accounting for the reddish cloud. Note that the boundary layer of the 8-micron emission corresponds to the lower right edge of the dark cloud in the visible-light picture.

Outflows are fascinating objects, since they characterize one of the most energetic phases of the formation of low-mass stars (like our Sun). The jets arising from these protostars can reach sizes of trillions of miles and velocities of hundreds of thousands miles per hour. Outflows are clear evidence of the presence of a process that creates supersonic beams of gas. This mechanism is tightly bound to the presence of circumstellar discs which surround the young stars. Such discs are likely to contain the materials from which planetary systems form. Our Sun probably underwent a similar process some 4.5 billion years ago. Hence the interest in understanding how quickly and efficiently this mass accretion and loss process takes place in protostars.

Provider: Spitzer Space Telescope

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1088-ssc2003-06f1-Embedded-Outflow-in-HH-46-47

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
HH 46/47 Herbig-Haro 46/47
Subject - Milky Way
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Protostar
Star > Circumstellar Material > Outflow
Nebula > Type > Jet
Nebula > Appearance > Dark > Bok Globule

Distance

Universescale1
1,140 light years
Spitzer_ssc2003-06f1_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 9h 55m 6.6s
DEC = 69° 13’ 38.2”
Orientation
North is 91.2° CW
Field of View
23.5 x 17.8 arcminutes
Constellation
Ursa Major

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Spitzer (IRS) Infrared (Near-IR) 3.6 µm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Orange
Red
Spitzer_ssc2003-06f1_1280
×
ID
ssc2003-06f1
Subject Category
B.3.1.1.   B.3.7.3.   B.4.1.5.   B.4.2.3.2.  
Subject Name
HH 46/47, Herbig-Haro 46/47
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/A. Noriega-Crespo (SSC/Caltech), H. Kline (JPL)
Release Date
2003-12-18
Lightyears
1,140
Redshift
Reference Url
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1088-ssc2003-06f1-Embedded-Outflow-in-HH-46-47
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance taken from Fast Facts.
Facility
Spitzer
Instrument
IRS
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Orange, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Mid-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
3600, 4500, 5800, 8000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
148.777375377, 69.2272650663
Reference Dimension
1158, 878
Reference Pixel
1057.75976562, 569.44039917
Scale
-0.00033776694989, 0.00033776694989
Rotation
-91.2262657374
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Spitzer Space Telescope
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
ssc2003-06f1.tif
Metadata Date
2020-02-25
Metadata Version
1.1
×

 

Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

×
Universescalefull
1,140 light years