COMICS gallery

Here are some pretty pictures taken by COMICS and some brief explanations of what they are. If you can tell us what they mean, we'd love to hear from you!!

Massive young stellar objects

COMICS 24.5-μm images of massive young stellar objects (YSOs). How massive stars (stars weighing more than 8 times the mass of our Sun) form is still shrouded in mystery (as well as in a lot of gas and dust!). These new diffraction-limited images of massive YSOs, in addition to being some of the first high resolution images of these objects taken at the longest infrared wavelength observable from ground, revealed how warm dust grains are distributed around these complex objects, and, as highlighted in this week in A&A column, "represent a step forward in solving this (high-mass star formation) problem". These images are also chosen as the front cover of A&A volume 494, No.1 (January IV 2009). See de Wit et al. (A&A, 2009, 494, 157) for details.

Galactic centre

A false three-colour (blue = 8.8 μm, green = 11.7 μm, red = 12.4 μm) image of the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. The image size is about 40" x 30". North is up and east is to the left (more or less...).
A slit-viewer image of the Galactic centre. The long-slit can be seen running across horizontally near the centre of the image. Filled cyan circles indicate the positions at which the spectra shown below are extracted from.
A low-resolution (R ~ 250) N-band spectrum of IRS 1 (left circle).
Same as above but at the right circle.

Some of these images were presented at the Galactic center workshop 2002 by Dr. Yoko Okada.

Post-AGB star IRAS 22272+5432

Post-AGB star IRAS 22272+5432 imaged at 8.8, 10.5, and 12.4 μm.
Long-slit placed diagonally across the star and N-band spectra at various positions.
It was also imaged at 18.5, 20.8, and 24.5 μm.

These images were presented at the Workshop on mass-losing pulsating stars and their circumstellar matter by Dr. Takashi Miyata, in a paper entitled Sub-Arcsecond Mid-Infrared Observations of C-rich Proto-Planetary Nebulae.

M 82

A medium-resolution (R ~ 2500) N-band 2-D spectrum of the starburst galaxy M 82. This image was presented at a Subaru Telescope users meeting in March 2001 by Dr. Hirokazu Kataza. The bright wiggly line near the righthand edge of the image is the 12.8-μm [NeII] emission line and its shape represents the rotation curve of the galaxy (see also Achtermann & Lacy, 1995, ApJ, 439, 163).

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