Hubble Discovery of Runaway Star Yields Clues to Breakup of Multiple-Star System

Stsci_2017-11_1024

stsci_2017-11 March 17th, 2017

Credit: NASA, ESA, K. Luhman (Penn State University), and M. Robberto (STScI)

Star Is Missing Link to a System that Flew Apart Over 500 Years Ago

In the 1400s, two power struggles were taking place quadrillions of miles apart. In England, two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet were battling each other for control of the country's throne. And, in a nebula far, far away, a cluster of stars was waging a real-life star wars, with the stellar members battling each other for supremacy in the Orion Nebula. The gravitational tussle ended with the system breaking apart and at least three stars being ejected in different directions.

Astronomers spotted two of the speedy, wayward stars over the past few decades. They traced both stars back 540 years to the same location and suggested they were part of a now-defunct multiple-star system. But the duo's combined energy, which is propelling them outward, didn't add up. The researchers reasoned there must be at least one other culprit that robbed energy from the stellar toss-up. Now NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers find the final piece of the puzzle by nabbing a third runaway star, which was a member of the same system as the two previously known stars. The stars reside in a small region of young stars called the Kleinmann-Low Nebula, near the center of the vast Orion Nebula complex, located 1,300 light-years from Earth.

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | STScI

Image Source: http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2017-11

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/

Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Orion Nebula
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Type > Star Formation

Distance

Universescale1
1,300 light years
Stsci_2017-11_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 35m 22.1s
DEC = -5° 23’ 27.0”
Orientation
North is 0.1° CW
Field of View
7.8 x 5.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Orion

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (ACS/WFC) Optical (B) 435.0 nm
Cyan Hubble (ACS/WFC) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Yellow Hubble (ACS/WFC) Optical (i) 775.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFC3/IR) Infrared 1.4 µm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Cyan
Yellow
Red
Stsci_2017-11_1280
×
ID
2017-11
Subject Category
B.4.1.2  
Subject Name
Orion Nebula
Credits
NASA, ESA, K. Luhman (Penn State University), and M. Robberto (STScI)
Release Date
2017-03-17
Lightyears
1,300
Redshift
1,300
Reference Url
http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2017-11
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
ACS/WFC, ACS/WFC, ACS/WFC, WFC3/IR
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Yellow, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Infrared
Bandpass
B, V, i, -
Central Wavelength
435, 555, 775, 1390
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
2000.0
Reference Value
83.84224799351, -5.39083886040
Reference Dimension
3000.00, 2000.00
Reference Pixel
783.59508613113, 1061.89875459192
Scale
-0.00004346318, 0.00004346318
Rotation
-0.05841577823
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
World Coordinate System resolved using PinpointWCS 0.9.2 revision 218+ by the Chandra X-ray Center
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://hubblesite.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://hubblesite.org/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STSCI-H-p1711a-f-3000x2000.tif
Metadata Date
2018-04-11T15:47:05-04:00
Metadata Version
1.0
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
1,300 light years