Detail View: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection: Young Suns of NGC 7129

Title: 
Young Suns of NGC 7129
Explanation: 
Young suns still lie within dusty NGC 7129 [ http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/image_galleries/ legacy/spitzer_n7129/index.html ], some 3,000 light-years away toward the royal constellation Cepheus [ http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/CEPHEUSO.HTM ]. While these stars are at a relatively tender age, only about a million years old, it is likely that our own Sun formed in a similar stellar nursery some five "billion" years ago. Most noticeable in the striking image [ http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/NGC7129NM.html ] are the lovely bluish dust clouds that reflect [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap011228.html ] the youthful starlight, but the smaller, deep red crescent shapes are also markers of energetic, young stellar objects. Known as Herbig-Haro [ http://www-astro.phast.umass.edu/catalogs/HHcat/ HHintro.html ] objects, their shape and color is characteristic of glowing hydrogen gas shocked by jets [ http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/ releases/1995/24/image/a ] streaming away from newborn stars. Ultimately the natal gas and dust in the region will be dispersed, the stars drifting apart [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_cluster#Eventual_fate ] as the loose cluster orbits the center of the Galaxy. NGC 7129 is [ http://www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/n7129.html ] about 10 light-years across.
Credit and Copyright: 
Robert Gendler [ http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/ ]
facet_where: 
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
facet_what: 
Cepheus
original url: 
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap050811.html
UID: 
SPD-APOD-ap050811