Astronomers Get Rare Glimpse of Young Star
(Gemini Observatory) The protostar V1647 Orionis resides at the tip of a conical glow called McNeil's Nebula, which was discovered in January 2004 near the peak of an outburst. This image, from the Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, shows the nebula as it appeared on Feb. 14, 2004.
Using combined data from a trio of orbiting X-ray telescopes, including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Japan-led Suzaku satellite, astronomers have obtained a rare glimpse of the powerful phenomena that accompany a still-forming star. A new study based on these observations indicates that intense magnetic fields drive torrents of gas into the stellar surface, where they heat large areas to millions of degrees. X-rays emitted by these hot spots betray the newborn star's rapid rotation.
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