Shocks in the ISM

A shock is simply an abrupt change in the properties of a medium. In the ISM, shocks can originate from supernovae and other violent events, or from the interactions of stellar winds with the surrounding material. This second kind of shock is called a bow shock. In the Orion Nebula, many stars have prominent bow shocks, like the star pictured below. Another example of a bow shock can be seen by the star zeta ophiuchi.

Bow shock in the Orion Nebula.
Bow shock in the Orion Nebula.

For more details about shocks in the ISM, check out the module by Philip Mocz, which can be found here.

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