Formation of Twisted Elephant Trunks in the Rosette Nebula
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New observations show that dark elephant trunks in the Rosette nebula are often built up by thin filaments. In several of the trunks the filaments seem to form a twisted pattern. This pattern is hard to reconcile with current theory. We propose a new model for the formation of twisted elephant trunks in which electromagnetic forces play an important role. The model considers the behaviour of a twisted magnetic filament in a molecular cloud, where a cluster of hot stars has been recently born. As a result of stellar winds, and radiation pressure, electromagnetic forces, and inertia forces part of the filament can develop into a double helix pointing towards the stars. The double helix represents the twisted elephant trunk. A simple analogy experiment visualizes and supports the trunk model.
KeywordsDouble Helix Electromagnetic Force Analogy Model Molecular Cloud Stellar Wind
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