Astronomers have peered inside a fiery «sword» of the Orion nebula

© R. Friesen, Dunlap Institute; J. Pineda, MPIP; GBO/AUI/NSFОблака of ammonia (red) and other gases (blue) in the Orion nebulaAstronomers have peered inside a fiery «sword» of the Orion nebula© R. Friesen, Dunlap Institute; J. Pineda, MPIP; GBO/AUI/NSF

. Astronomers have new pictures of the Central part of the Orion nebula, the largest star nurseries in the Galaxy, and found them inside a giant cloud of ammonia is about 50 light-years, similar in shape to the curved sword, says the article, published in the Astrophysical journal.

«We still do not fully understand how clouds of gas «collapse» and forms new stars of our Galaxy. The ammonia in this nebula and other stellar nurseries helps us to monitor the movement of these dense clouds star «building materials» and measure their temperature. This is extremely important to determine whether their strings are stable or they are compressed and turn into a star,» says Rachel Friesen (Rachel Friesen) from the University of Toronto (Canada).

Nebula, or cloud of Orion represents some of the largest «star nurseries» in the Galaxy. It is located about 1500 light years from Earth and is several hundred light years. It contains tens or hundreds of young stars, some of which have a rather unusual appearance and properties, to attract the attention of scientists.

Friesen and her colleagues in the GAS project, in which scientists monitor the movement of molecules of ammonia and other gases in the Orion nebula, studied one of the most active regions of these «star nurseries» – the Gould belt. It is a chain of several young stars and gas accumulations, in which, according to astronomers, today formed the germ of light.

Using the GBT radio telescope and infrared telescope WISE, the scientists were able to obtain three-dimensional maps of the distribution of ammonia and other neutral gases in this zone to understand the speed with which it moves, and took his temperature. Thanks to these measurements, the team Friesen was able to find dozens of previously unknown germ stars and clumps of gas in the near future will become a new giant of light.

Until scientists were able to obtain images of only a small part of the Gould belt and other regions of the Orion nebula. In the near future they plan to continue observations and to collect images that collectively will cover a larger region of «star nurseries» in dimensions of 1200 x 1200 light years.