A new simulation explains the hole at the center of the Rosette Nebula that gives the cloud of interstellar gas and dust its distinctive rose-like shape.
The Rosette Nebula sits in the Milky Way about 5,000 light-years from Earth. Massive stars at its core have blasted a hole in the cloud of material with radiation and flows of charged gas particles, called stellar wind.
But the size of the hole didn’t match up with the age of the central stars; simulations suggested that an even larger hole should have bloomed in the material.
“The massive stars that make up the Rosette Nebula’s central cluster are a few millions of years old and halfway through their lifecycle,” Christopher Wareing, a researcher at the University of Leeds in England and the lead author of the new work, said in a statement. “For the length of time their stellar winds would have been flowing, you would expect a central cavity up to ten times bigger.”
To investigate the discrepancy, Wareing’s group simulated the stars’ actions at the heart of molecular clouds with different shapes, including “a clumpy sphere, a thick filamentary disc and a thin disc, all created from the same low-density initial atomic cloud,” Wareing said.
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