Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have imaged HH 111, one of the most well-known Herbig-Haro objects.

Hubble locates well-known Herbig-Haro object

HH 111 is located approximately 1,360 light-years (417 parsecs) in the constellation of Orion.

The object is deeply embedded in a cometary molecular cloud called L1617.

At the center of HH 111, there are two sources, VLA 1 and VLA 2, with a projected separation of 1,200 AU and the former driving the prominent jet.

“Herbig-Haro objects are formed under very specific circumstances,” Hubble astronomers said.

“Newly-formed stars are often very active, and in some cases they expel very narrow jets of rapidly moving ionized gas — gas that is so hot that its molecules and atoms have lost their electrons, making the gas highly charged.”

“The streams of ionized gas then collide with the clouds of gas and dust surrounding newly-formed stars at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second.”

“It is these energetic collisions that create Herbig-Haro objects such as HH111.”

The new image of HH 111 was made from separate exposures taken in the infrared region of the spectrum with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

Four filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.

“WFC3 takes images at optical and infrared wavelengths, which means that it observes objects at a wavelength range similar to the range that human eyes are sensitive to optical and a range of wavelengths that are slightly too long to be detected by human eyes,” the astronomers said.

“Herbig-Haro objects actually release a lot of light at optical wavelengths, but they are difficult to observe because their surrounding dust and gas absorb much of the visible light.”

“Therefore, the WFC3’s ability to observe at infrared wavelengths — where observations are not as affected by gas and dust — is crucial to observing Herbo-Haro objects successfully.”

Originally Published By SciNews

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