Astronomy:Bok globule

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In astronomy, Bok globules are isolated and relatively small dark nebulae, containing dense cosmic dust and gas from which star formation may take place. Bok globules are found within H II regions, and typically have a mass of about 2[1] to 50 solar masses contained within a region about a light year or so across (about 4.5×1047 m3).[2] They contain molecular hydrogen (H2), carbon oxides and helium, and around 1% (by mass) silicate dust. Bok globules most commonly result in the formation of double- or multiple-star systems.[3]

History

Bok globules were first observed by astronomer Bart Bok in the 1940s. In an article published in 1947, he and Edith Reilly hypothesized that these clouds were "similar to insect's cocoons" that were undergoing gravitational collapse to form new stars, from which stars and star clusters were born.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag Further observations have revealed that some Bok globules contain embedded warm sources,[2] some contain Herbig–Haro objects,[4] and some show outflows of molecular gas.[5] Millimeter-wave emission line studies have provided evidence for the infall of material onto an accreting protostar.[6] It is now thought that a typical Bok globule contains about 10 solar masses of material in a region about a light-year or so across, and that Bok globules most commonly result in the formation of double- or multiple-star systems.[7][8][9]

Bok globules are still a subject of intense research. Known to be some of the coldest objects in the natural universe, their structure and density remains somewhat a mystery. Methods applied so far have relied on column density derived from near-infrared extinction and even star counting in a bid to probe these objects further.

Bok globules that are irradiated by ultraviolet light from hot nearby stars exhibit stripping of materials to produce a tail. These types are called "cometary globules" (CG).[10]

Image gallery

See also

References

  1. Michael Szpir (May–June 2001). "Bart Bok's Black Blobs". American Scientist. http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/bart-boks-black-blobs. "Bok globules such as Barnard 68 are only about half a light-year across and weigh in at about two solar masses" 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Clemens, Dan P.; Yun, João Lin; Meyer, Mark H. (March 1991). "BOK globules and small molecular clouds – Deep IRAS photometry and (C-12)O spectroscopy". Astrophysical Journal Supplement 75: 877. doi:10.1086/191552. Bibcode1991ApJS...75..877C. 
  3. Launhardt, R.; Sargent, A. I.; Henning, T.; Zylka, R.; Zinnecker, H. (10–15 April 2000). "Binary and multiple star formation in Bok globules". Potsdam, Germany: Bo Reipurth and Hans Zinnecker. pp. 103. Bibcode2000IAUS..200P.103L. 
  4. Reipurth, Bo; Heathcote, Steve; Vrba, Frederick (March 1992). "Star formation in Bok globules and low-mass clouds. IV – Herbig–Haro objects in B335". Astronomy & Astrophysics 256 (1): 225. Bibcode1992A&A...256..225R. 
  5. Yun, João Lin; Clemens, Dan P. (January 1992). "Discovery of outflows from young stellar objects in BOK globules". Astrophysical Journal Letters 385: L21. doi:10.1086/186268. Bibcode1992ApJ...385L..21Y. 
  6. Zhou, Shudong; Evans, Neal J., II; Koempe, Carsten; Walmsley, C. M. (March 1993). "Evidence for protostellar collapse in B335". Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 404 (1): 232. doi:10.1086/172271. Bibcode1993ApJ...404..232Z. 
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Yun1990
  8. Clemens, D. P.; Yun, J. L.; Heyer, M. H. (1991). "Bok globules and small molecular clouds—Deep IRAS photometry and (C-12)O spectroscopy". Astrophysical Journal Supplement 75: 877–904. doi:10.1086/191552. Bibcode1991ApJS...75..877C. 
  9. Launhardt, R.; Sargent, A. I.; Henning, T.; Zylka, R.; Zinnecker, H. (2000). "Binary and multiple star formation in Bok globules". pp. 103. Bibcode2000IAUS..200P.103L. 
  10. Cometary globules. 1 Formation, evolution and morphology, B. Lefloch and B. Lazareff, 1994.

External links