INTERSTELLAR GAS CLOUDS COLLIDE: Canadian Galactic Plane Survey Maps A Bright ``Spur'' in Our Milky Way Galaxy

CGPS PR_14012000.map2


Lynds Bright Nebula 679
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INTERSTELLAR GAS CLOUDS COLLIDE: Canadian Galactic Plane Survey Maps A Bright ``Spur'' in Our Milky Way Galaxy

This giant "spur" is interstellar gas and dust emerging from disk of our Milky Way Galaxy. Seen against a backdrop of distant quasars, Lynds Bright Nebula 679 is over 200 light years in extent and apparently driven out of the disk of the galaxy by giant interstellar shock waves. Lying in the constellation Perseus, the spur is over 2 degrees in angular extent, about four moon diameters. At the surface of the spur lies an interface between the cool and hot matter forming the diffuse interstellar medium. On the left side, facing the plane of the galaxy the material in the spur consists of cold hydrogen gas and warm dust. On the side facing away from the plane of galaxy the spur is being evaporated by ultraviolet radiation. The hot gas being driven off the spur can be seen as a faint green halo arising from hot, fluorescing hydrogen gas.

This map is a detail from (CGPS pr_14012000.map1) Map 1 and displays the stuff between stars in the Perseus Spiral Arm (6500 light-years distant) of our Milky Way Galaxy by assigning different colours to radiation not detected by the human eye. Invisible to optical telescopes, hydrogen gas can only be revealed by observations of faint radio waves emitted at a wavelength of 21 centimetres. Besides radio data showing this gas, from the National Research Council of Canada's Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (and assigned colour combinations of blue, orange, yellow, and green), this composite image includes Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) data (coloured pale pink), and data (grey-blue) from the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WRST) in the Netherlands.

MAP CREDIT:

Jayanne English (U. Manitoba) using data acquired by the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey (NRC/NSERC) and produced with the support of Russ Taylor (U. of Calgary).

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Jayanne English