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HH 222 (Waterfall Nebula)


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HH 222
Waterfall Nebula (滝星雲)
Emission Nebula (散光星雲)
Nb EN

別名 (Other names)
Herbig-Haro 34, HH-34

距離 (Distance)
1,500光年 (1,500 light-years)

星座 (Constellation)
オリオン座 (Ori) (Orion)

Waterfall Nebula (HH-222) is an emission nebula located 1,500 light years from the Earth in the constellation Orion.

HH 222 (Waterfall Nebula) : Picture

HH-222: The Waterfall Nebula
HH-222: The Waterfall Nebula
(C) Z. Levay (STScI/AURA/NASA), T.A. Rector (U. Alaska Anchorage) & H. Schweiker (NOAO/AURA/NSF), KPNO, NOAO
What created the Waterfall Nebula? No one knows. The structure seen in the region of NGC 1999 in the Great Orion Molecular Cloud complex is one of the more mysterious structures yet found on the sky. Designated HH-222, the elongated gaseous stream stretches about ten light years and emits an unusual array of colors. One hypothesis is that the gas filament results from the wind from a young star impacting a nearby molecular cloud. That would not explain, however, why the Waterfall and fainter streams all appear to converge on a bright but unusual non thermal radio source located toward the upper left of the curving structure. Another hypothesis is that the unusual radio source originates from a binary system containing a hot white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole, and that the Waterfall is just a jet from this energetic system. Such systems, though, are typically strong X-rays emitters, and no X-rays have been detected. For now, this case remains unsolved. Perhaps well-chosen future observations and clever deductive reasoning will unlock the true origin of this enigmatic wisp in the future.

South of Orion
South of Orion
(C) Johannes Schedler (Panther Observatory)
This tantalizing array of nebulae and stars can be found about 2 degrees south of the famous star-forming Orion Nebula. The region abounds with energetic young stars producing jets and outflows that push through the surrounding material at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second. The interaction creates luminous shock waves known as Herbig-Haro (HH) objects. For example, the graceful, flowing arc just right of center is cataloged as HH 222, also called the Waterfall Nebula. Seen below the Waterfall, HH 401 has a distinctive cone shape. The bright bluish nebula below and left of center is NGC 1999, a dusty cloud reflecting light from an embedded variable star. The entire cosmic vista spans over 30 light-years, near the edge of the Orion molecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years distant.

Protostar HH-34 in Orion
Protostar HH-34 in Orion
(C) ESO
Three-colour composite of the young object Herbig-Haro 34 (HH-34), now in the protostar stage of evolution. It is based on CCD frames obtained with the FORS2 instrument in imaging mode, on November 2 and 6, 1999.

This object has a remarkable, very complicated appearance that includes two opposite jets that ram into the surrounding interstellar matter. This structure is produced by a machine-gun-like blast of "bullets" of dense gas ejected from the star at high velocities (approaching 250 km/sec). This seems to indicate that the star experiences episodic "outbursts" when large chunks of material fall onto it from a surrounding disc.

HH-34 is located at a distance of approx. 1,500 light-years, near the famous Orion Nebula, one of the most productive star birth regions. Note also the enigmatic "waterfall" to the upper left, a feature that is still unexplained.

The composite of three images was taken through three different filters : B (wavelength 429 nm; Full-Width-Half-Maximum (FWHM) 88 nm; exposure time 10 min; here rendered as blue), H-alpha (centered on the hydrogen emission line at wavelength 656 nm; FWHM 6 nm; 30 min; green) and S II (centrered at the emission lines of inonized sulphur at wavelength 673 nm; FWHM 6 nm; 30 min; red) during a period of 0.8 arcsec seeing. The field shown measures 6.8 x 6.8 arcmin and the images were recorded in frames of 2048 x 2048 pixels, each measuring 0.2 arcsec. North is up; East is left.

HH-222 HH-34
HH-222
(C) NASA
Protostar HH-34 in Orion
(C) ESO
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