Montage Mosaics The Pillars Of Creation!

The Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula (M16) remain one of the iconic images of the Hubble Space Telescope. Three pillars rise from a molecular cloud into an enormous HII region, powered by the massive young cluster NGC 6611. Such pillars are common in regions of massive star formation, where they form as a result of ionization and stellar winds.

In a paper that will shortly be published in MNRAS,  entitled “The Pillars of Creation revisited with MUSE: gas kinematics and high-mass stellar feedback traced by optical spectroscopy,” McLeod et al (2015)  analyze of new data acquired with the Multi Unit Spectroscopy Explorer (MUSE) instrument on the VLT.  They used Montage to create integrated line maps of the single pointings obtained at the telescope. The figure below shows an example of these maps:2015-04-30_15-35-49

The authors confirmed  the pillar tips are being ionized and photo-evaporated by the massive members of NGC 6611.  They found a new  bipolar outflow at the tip of the middle pillar and proposed that an embedded protostar is driving it. With the physical parameters and ionic abundances derived from the spectroscopic study, they estimated a mass loss rate due to photo-evaporation of 70 M⊙/Myr, which implies that these structures can expect to have a lifetime of 3 Myr.

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This entry was posted in astronomy, astronomy images, Astronomy software, Image mosaic, Image processing, Images, Integral Field Spectrographs, software, star formation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Montage Mosaics The Pillars Of Creation!

  1. Pingback: Montage Mosaics The Pillars of Creation! | Astronomy Computing Today

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