Sunday, September 12, 2021

Protostar HH-34 in Orion

  Tricolor composite of the young object Herbig-Haro 34 (HH-34), now in the protostar stage of evolution.  It is based on CCD frames taken with the FORS2 instrument in image mode, on November 2nd and 6th, 1999.

  This object has a remarkable and very complicated appearance that includes two opposing jets that crash into the surrounding interstellar matter.  This structure is produced by a machine-gun-like explosion of "bullets" of dense gas ejected from the star at high speeds (approaching 250 km/s).  This seems to indicate that the star experiences episodic "explosions" when large chunks of material fall from a surrounding disk.

  HH-34 is located at a distance of approx.  1500 light years, near the famous Orion Nebula, one of the most productive star birth regions.  Also note the enigmatic "waterfall" in the upper left corner, a feature that has not yet been explained.

  The composition of three images was obtained using three different filters: B (wavelength 429 nm; full-half-maximum width (FWHM) 88 nm; exposure time 10 min; here rendered as blue), H-alpha ( hydrogen-centered emission line at a wavelength of 656 nm; FWHM 6 nm; 30 min; green) and S II (centered on the ionized sulfur emission lines at a wavelength of 673 nm; FWHM 6 nm; 30 min; red) ) during a viewing period of 0.8 seconds of arc.  The field shown measures 6.8 x 6.8 arcmin and the images were recorded in frames of 2048 x 2048 pixels, each measuring 0.2 arcsec.  North is up;  East is left.

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Source and credit: ESO

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