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Session 10 - Interstellar Medium and Star Formation.
Display session, Monday, June 08
Our HST NICMOS data provide striking images of protostars to give a new window onto the gravitational collapse phase of the star formation process.
The high spatial resolution achieved, 20 AU, reveals the full complexity of dynamical collapse: binary protostars, nebulosity showing infalling streamers, dust absorption lanes, and disks oriented at odd angles with respect to the large scale outflow.
One source contains a candidate giant planet, a low-luminosity source which appears to have been recently ejected from a binary protostar. Another protostar displays both a wide-angle outflow and a jet, thus providing a unifying link between protostars and Herbig-Haro jet sources.
These results are part of a near-infrared imaging survey of protostars in the Taurus and rho Ophiuchus molecular clouds using the NICMOS camera on the Hubble Space Telescope. The NICMOS images are being analyzed using a 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code to test theories of cloud collapse, constrain protostellar wind models, and delineate the early formation of protostellar disks.
Program listing for Monday