View of the Goult Belt

This image shows the distribution of bright, massive young stars (all OB stars in the Bright Star Catalog) in the solar vicinity, plotted in galactic coordinates. Rather than having a flat distribution in the galactic plane, the stars trace the Gould Belt, an expanding, ring- or disk-like star forming structure of some 40-70 million year age and some 800-1000 pc (2600-3300 light years) diameter.

In the course of follow-up studies of ROSAT X-ray sources near Gould Belt star forming regions, we have been able to discover the x-ray active, young, low-mass counterparts to the massive Gould Belt stars shown above. Click on the image to see an animation fading from the distribution of massive, bright stars into that of the x-ray active (mostly low-mass) stars, derived from cross-correlating the ROSAT All-Sky Catalog with the TYCHO catalog.

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Hale-Bopp A
Hale-Bopp B