Friday, 3 June 2016

B86: 'Inkspot' a stellar nursery?

B86 is, it seems, involved with cluster N6520: faint threads of dark nebulae seemed to ‘tie’ the cluster to the larger ‘inkspot’; or can the two objects be unrelated? The cluster’s distance is given as ~5000ly (1650 pc) but I found no such data for B86.

Star clusters do form in dark clouds and, once cluster members grow bright enough, their stellar winds blow the remaining dust away: perhaps the 54My old cluster is doing just that – and maybe, in time, another cluster will form inside B86? The fainter tendrils that now envelop the cluster and seem attached to B86 may well be in the process of being dispersed by the O-stars winds. And how do we account for the ‘sharp’ boundary on the west edge of B86 where it aligns with the chain of bright stars there? Are their stellar winds the cause of the sharp boundary? I noted two places where the nebula seemed to extend into the star chain:  Maybe this is happening here as chain-members grow brighter: is the whole of B86 liable to be blown apart and scattered into space in the (stellar) near future?