Feeds

The Curly Wurly nebula at the centre of the Milky Way

Twisted logic

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Double helix nebulaAstronomers have found a double helix-shaped nebula using the infra-red Spitzer Space Telescope. The discovery, reported today in Nature, is unlike most star-forming regions, which are more like amorphous clouds.

The double-helix nebula is around 80 light years in length, and is located near at the centre of the galaxy 25,000 light years away from Earth. Lead author of the report, UCLA professor Mark Morriss, described the phenonemon: "We see two intertwining strands wrapped around each other as in a DNA molecule."

The double helix nebula is just 300 light years from the enormous black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. The strong gravitational forces in the region are responsible for twisting the gas clouds into shape.

Morriss explains: "We know the galactic centre has a strong magnetic field that is highly ordered and that the magnetic field lines are oriented perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy. If you take these magnetic field lines and twist them at their base, that sends what is called a torsional wave up the magnetic field lines."

Morriss says the forces twisted the gas clouds around one another into the distinctive double helix: "Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm," he bragged. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.