An infrared image of the Serpent Cluster in a false light shows young stars looking out from the depths of dense dust envelopes. Scientists used x-ray (ACISI-I) images of the area to show young stars without disks. They may have lost them on contact in the cluster because the discs usually disappear at an older age.
Stars are often born in crowded areas. By combining the resources of multiwave missions, such as the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer IR Telescope, the scientists managed to sort out an ambiguous situation and obtain a more complete census of objects in the cluster. The essence of the study is the development of disks around the stars. They form together with a new star, evolve over several million years and dissipate, forming possible planets.
The discs are heated by parental stars and first fixed by infrared radiation from warm dust. More developed young stars without disks are not endowed with this characteristic IR-signature, so they can be identified as more developed objects in the cluster. Scientists also found that young stars release elevated levels of X-rays compared to main-sequence stars due to their growing internal circulation. But in conditions of crowded congestion, where there are obstacles and in addition to age, X-rays can find young stars without disks. The stars in the Serpent Cluster are 900 light-years distant and live in the same constellation. These are very young objects and are masked by dense dust cocoons. The researchers used information from Chandra and Spitzer to analyze 66 young stars in IR and X-rays. Thus, it was possible to identify 5 stars that seemed old and did not have disks, as they lacked the IR-signature. However, an X-ray review showed that they are still quite young. It turns out that the disappearance of disks in a particular case is not based on aging, but on contacts in a crowded cluster.