The Milky Way Project Talk

Strange line of stars

  • dbealy73 by dbealy73

    Is it just me or does the line of four coloured stars in the middle of the image (and the two running perpendicular to it , above the blue one) look rather strange?


  • RLBeaton by RLBeaton scientist

    Its certainly odd. It could be an asteroid in the Solar System that moved and was observed in multiple features -- it looks like there is another example in the upper part of the image. I would flag it as "other" for someone to take a look at.!


  • ElisabethB by ElisabethB moderator

    Or it could be just a chance alignment of stars ! 😄


  • bobbenjamin by bobbenjamin scientist

    My initial guess is that this is a filamentary cloud with stars forming inside it, but we will need to check radio telescope images of this region to see if there is dense molecular gas in this direction. Other possibility: a small stellar cluster with an unusual number of red supergiants. Definitely deserves a closer look.


  • msp18 by msp18 scientist

    I agree with bobbenjamin. Worth a closer look. Probably not a single, moving object because in that case the colors wouldn't change.


  • reidums by reidums scientist

    It almost certainly is a moving object. The color change is evidence for that, because the different color filter images were taken at different times, so the moving object shows up in different colors as it moves.

    There's no nebula around it for it to be a set of young protostars, and the green point is definitely not an EGO, and protostars wouldn't show up as that color.

    Good catch, I wonder how many asteroids are in the data to discover.


  • JasonYbarra by JasonYbarra scientist

    Very interesting. The objects are not entirely co-linear. I am not convinced it is a (fast) moving object. Definitely worth a look, especially as it looks like that both MIPS and IRAC detect it [which would not be a simultaneous observation].


  • gwolfchase by gwolfchase scientist

    Apparently they are near (or in) a dark cloud, which suggests that they may be embedded protostars. Often, they are spaced in a semi-regular fashion. Here's a SIMBAD reference to the nearby dark cloud:


  • RLBeaton by RLBeaton scientist in response to reidums's comment.

    Yes -- I remembered that certain bands in WISE were highly sensitive to asteroids -- and (I thought) those specific bands were similar to either IRAC1 or IRAC2. It is still feasible that this is a line of protostars, but this look much more like a moving solar system object (that was caught in different positions in different exposures or sub-sets of exposures).


  • jumpjet2k by jumpjet2k

    Could it be two objects moving together? Just a thought...