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YOUNG or OLD?

Nature sometimes produces similar looking objects from different processes. These are examples of objects with similar appearances, but at very different stages of stellar evolution than Gomez's Hamburger. The stars at the center of these nebulas in these images are cooler than the Sun and are in regions where new stars are being born. Thus these are almost certainly examples of a young star surrounded by a disk of material from which planets may form. They are at the beginning of their lifetime. These are in contrast to Gomez's Hamburger - a nebula forming at the last stages of the central object's lifetime.

*These young stellar objects appeared on February 9, 1999 on STScI's Press Release Site*

This Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) image shows Herbig-Haro 30 (HH 30), the prototype of a young star surrounded by a thin, dark disk and emitting powerful gaseous jets. The disk extends 40 billion miles from left to right in the image, dividing the nebula in two. The central star is hidden from direct view, but its light reflects off the upper and lower surfaces of the disk to produce the pair of reddish nebulae. The gas jets are shown in green.
Credit: Chris Burrows (STScI), the WFPC2 Science Team and NASA


Haro 6-5B - This image of the young star Haro 6-5B shows two bright regions separated by a dark lane. As seen in the WFPC2 image of the same object, the bright regions represent starlight reflecting from the upper and lower surfaces of the disk, which is thicker at its edges than its center. However, the infrared view reveals the young star just above the dust lane.
Credit: D. Padgett (IPAC/Caltech), W. Brandner (IPAC), K. Stapelfeldt (JPL) and NASA


HK Tauri is the first example of a young binary star system with an edge-on disk around one member of the pair. The thin, dark disk is illuminated by the light of its hidden central star. The absence of jets indicates that the star is not actively accreting material from this disk. The disk diameter is 20 billion miles. The brighter primary star appears at top of the image.
Credit: Karl Stapelfeldt (JPL) and colleagues, and NASA

Several researchers have written a scientific paper describing IRAS 18059-3211 (optically known as 'Gomez's Hambugrer'). This fairly technical article further explains why Gomez's Hamburger is different than young stellar objects.


This is an example of what GOMEZ'S HAMBURGER (IRAS 18059-3211) may become in a thousand years or so.
Additional Information on this Image

The end of a Sun-like star's life was once thought to be simple: the star gracefully casts off a shell of glowing gas and then settles into a long retirement as a burned-out white dwarf.
In this picture of M2-9, twin lobes of material emanate from a central, dying star. Astronomers have dubbed this object the "Twin Jet Nebula" because of the shape of the lobes. If the nebula is sliced across the star, each side appears much like a pair of exhausts from jet engines.


An article by Barbara Wilson of George Observatory observing Gomez's Hamburger
Title: The Search for Gomez's Hamburger A Stop at a Hamburger Stand on the way to the Restaurant at the end of the Universe. (r.i.p. Douglas Adams)
Author's Note:
"10 years ago this month I wrote an observing article about this object (Deep Sky Journal #2 Autumn 1992) and thought it would be fun to revisit this challenging little object. Dana Lambert and I imaged Gomez' Hamburger using the 36" at the George and the Star 1 CCD camera. After I started to write this in early June 2002, I learned that the Hubble Space Telescope has imaged Gomez' Hamburger for the Hubble Heritage Project."