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30 'failed stars' discovered in the rho Ophiuchi cloud
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- Title 30 'failed stars' discovered in the rho Ophiuchi cloud
- Released 14/11/2001 12:41 pm
- Copyright ESA ISO/ISOCAM/ Alain Abergel(Abergel et al.(1996)A&A 315,L329)
Three of the most massive young stars in this stellar nursery are easy to find in this image: one in the centre of the right-hand-side border; a second one in the middle of a comet-shaped nebula in the lower-right of the image; and finally, one in the middle of the small nebula close to the centre-right. Other point-like sources are also young stars and 'protostars' - stars that are still 'growing' by 'sucking in' gas from the cloud.
In the dust surrounding the newborn stars there are plenty of small carbonaceous grains. The exact nature of these grains is still a matter of debate. The young stars heat these grains and make them radiate infrared light (seen in the image as extended halos).
This image was taken by Alain Abergel (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Paris) with the infrared camera, ISOCAM, on board ISO.
The colour image was constructed from a 7.7 micron infrared exposure (shown as blue), and a 14.5 micron infrared exposure (shown as red). The green colour is a combination of the blue and red exposures.