Introduction to special issue

About the Cover

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5317, pp. 1391
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5317.1391

The cover is a collage of images that show some aspects of stellar birth and life (lower three panels) to death (upper two panels). Here is a brief synopsis of these images keyed to the cover (below). (1) Supernova 1987A imaged within the Large Magellanic Cloud [Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image courtesy of R. Kirshner, P. Challis, and the Space Telescope Science Institute]. The central bright spot is radioactive debris from the explosion, and the rings are the remnants of the stellar winds from the progenitor star (Chevalier, p. 1374). (2) Planetary nebula NGC 7009 taken with HST [courtesy of B. Ballick] shows the central star, the small pink spot, in a gaseous envelope of dissipating stellar mass (Weinberger and Kerber, p. 1382). (3) The young star Ori 182-413, within the Orion Nebula (middle star in the sword of the constellation Orion), is enshrouded in a circumstellar cloud [HST image courtesy of J. Bally], a typical situation for very young stars (O'Dell and Beckwith, p. 1355). (4) The young star HH 30 [HST image courtesy of R. Mundt] has jets of gas bursting from its disk (O'Dell and Beckwith). (5) The dusty disk around β Pictoris, a main sequence star slightly hotter than our sun, located in the southern constellation Pictor. The disk was imaged by masking out the star on the University of Hawaii 2.2-meter telescope. An asymmetry in the disk may be from gravitational perturbation of an orbiting planet [courtesy of P. Kalas and D. Jewitt]. The background is a synthesized color image of the soft x-ray sky around the constellation Orion (5228 objects including Ori 182-413, in an area of -50° by 75°) derived from Röntgen X-ray Satellite images [courtesy of K. Dennerl, W. Voges, R. Neuhäuser]

Navigate This Article