December 2016: Picture of the Month

filaments_black_hole

This recently released image of the elliptical galaxy NGC 4696 from the Hubble Space Telescope shows long filaments of dust and gas appearing to connect to a central region. The region is thought to contain a supermassive black hole, which is pumping out energy. The heating of the surrounding region is pushing out cooler dust and gas and shutting down star formation. Balanced by the magnetic field, these filaments appear to spiral in and circle the black hole.

For more information, check out APOD!

Continue Reading December 2016: Picture of the Month

November 2016: Picture of the Month

triplet_system

Imaged at the millimeter wavelengths with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile, a triple star system is forming within the dusty disk some 750 light years away in the Perseus molecular cloud. The system consists of two protostars separated by a distance of 61 astronomical units and a third protostar at a distance of 183 astronomical units from the central protostar. The star system also has a spiral structure, indicating instability and fragmentation which can lead to multiple protostellar objects within the disk. This star-forming scenario is likely common, as almost half of all sun-like stars have at least one companion star.

For more information, check out APOD!

Continue Reading November 2016: Picture of the Month