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messenger-no26

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Published by: European Southern Observatory on May 06, 2009
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02/01/2013

T H E
M E S S E N G E R
N o.2 6-
Decem ber 1981
In fo r m a tio n o n V in c h u c a s a n d C h a g a s D is e a s e
IIsn e m o u r a ie n t p a s to u s , m a is to u s e ta ie n t fra p p e s .
L e s a n im a u x m a la d e s d ela p e s te .
L a F o n ta in e .
F o llo w in g
as ig n ific a n t in c r e a s ein
th e
num bero f

v in c h u c a s o b s e r v e da t L a S illa d u r in g th e la s t s u m \ue000 m e r, th e D ire c to r-G e n e ra lo fE S O a s k e d P ro f. H u g o S c h e n o n e ,

D ire c to ro fth e
D e p a rtm e n to f M ic ro b io \ue000
lo g y a n d P a r a s ito lo g yo fth e U n iv e r s ity o fC h iletop a y
a
v is it to
L a
S illa
to
in v e s tig a te
th e
s itu a tio n .
T h e
fo llo w in g g iv e sa s u m m a r yo f th e r e s u ltin g re p o rt.
W h a t a re v in c h u c a s ?T h e y a r e in s e c tsw h ic h b e lo n g to th e
"tra to m in o s "
g ro u p .
8 0 th
th e
a d u lt
a n d
th e
y o u n g
o f
th is
s p e c ie s fe e d e x c lu s iv e ly fro m

th e b lo o d th a t th e y g e t b y b itin g d iv e r s e a n im a ls s u c ha sm a m m a ls , b ir d s a n d r e p tile s , in c lu d in g h u m a n b e in g s .

H ow
d o
v in c h u c a s re p ro d u c e a n d d e v e lo p ?T h e
p re g n a n t
fe m a le s p la c e th e ir e g g s , w h ic h a re a p p r o x im a te ly 1 .5m m
in

le n g th ,in p ro te c te d p la c e s . T h e y o u n g th a t c o m e fro m th e e g g s a re c a lle d n y m p h s . D u rin g th e g r o w th p e rio d , th e y c h a n g e th e ir s k in

u n til th e y re a c h
th e s iz e o f a d u lts . T h e
a d u lts ,w hic h
in
g e n e ra l a re w in g e d , a re e g g -s h a p e d , m e a s u re a p p ro x im a te ly
2c m
in
le n g th
a n d
a re o f b la c k o r d a rk b ro w n
c o lo u r . T h e ir
a b d o m e n s h a v e y e llo w is h o r r e d d is h
s p o tsin

a na lte rn a tio n . T h e y o u n g o r n y m p h s a re e ith e r g re y is h o r b ro w n , th e c o lo u r o f e a rth .

Inw h ic h c o u n tr ie sd o v in c h u c a s e x is t?T h e y e x is tin p r a c ti\ue000
c a lly a ll c o u n tr ie s o f th e A m e r ic a n c o n tin e n t, e x c e p t C a n a d a .
A r e th e y th e s a m e k in din a ll th e s e c o u n tr ie s ?N o.N u m e ro u s
s p e c ie s e x is t, a lth o u g h s o m e a re c o m m o n to s e v e r a l c o u n tr ie s
o f th e s a m e r e g io n .InC h ile o n ly tw o ty p e s e x is t: a d o m e s tic
o n e c a lle dT ria to m a in fe s ta n s( liv e sin h o m e s ) a n d o n e liv in gin
th e
w ild , c a lle d
T ria to m a
s p in o la i.T h e y
h a v e
b e e n
fo u n d
in
ru ra l re g io n s b e tw e e n th e la titu d e s 1 8 \u00b0 a n d 3 4 \u00b0 S o u th .
0 0v in c h u c a s c a r r y a n y d is e a s e ?Y e s , th e s o - c a lle d C h a g a s
d is e a s e o r A m e ric a n tr y p a n o s o m o s is .
W h a t is C h a g a s d is e a s e ?Itisa p a r a s itic in fe c tio n p ro d u c e d

b y a p r o to z o a n c a lle dT ry p a n o s o m a c ru z iw hic h c a nb e tra n s \ue000 m itte d b y in fe c te d v in c h u c a s . T h e v in c h u c a d o e s n o t in je c t th e p a ra s ite

w hen
it
b ite s ,
b u t
o n
som e
o c c a s io n s
w hen
th e
v in c h u c a
h a s
s u c k e d
m uch
b lo o d
it
m ay
d e fe e a te
a n d

e lim in a teT .c ru z ito g e th e rw ith th e d e \u00b7fe e a tio n . T h is d e fe c a tio n , w h ic h a p p e a r s lik e a d a r k e o ffe e c o lo u r e d liq u id d ro p , m a y b e c le a r ly v is ib le , a n d e a n c o n ta m in a te e ith e r th e w o u n d m a d e b y th e b ite o r s m a ll e r o s io n s o f th e s k in c a u s e d b y s c r a tc h in g , o rit e a nfa ll d ir e e lly in to th e o e u la r m u e o u s m e m b r a n e , lh u s s ta r tin g th e in fe e tio n .

Inth e m a jo r ity o f e a s e s , th e v in c h u e a b ite d o e s n o t p r o d u c e
a n y in fe c tio n , b e c a u s e n o t a ll v in e h u e a s a re in fe e te d , a n ditis
n e c e s s a r y th a t th e y d e fe e a te a t th e m o m e l;lt o f b itin g .
W hen
in fe c tio n
o e c u rs , a fte ra n
in c u b a tio n
p e rio d
w ith o u t
s y m p to m s w h ie h la s ts a p p r o x im a te ly te n d a y s , s y m p to m s m a y
beeom e
e v id e n t th a t e o rre s p o n d
to
th e
a e u te
p h a s e

o f th e illn e s s w h ic hise h a r a e le r iz e d b y s w e llin g a t th e p la e e o f th e b ite w h e re

th e
p a ra s ite
p e n e tra te d
th e
s k in ,
b y
fe v e r,
a n d

b y g e n e ra l m a la is e ; v e ry e x c e p tio n a lly o n e m a y s u ffe r m y o e a rd itis a n d /o r m e n in g itis . A fte r s o m e w e e k s th e s e s y m p to m s d im in is h a n d

m ay
d is a p p e a r ,
g iv in g
th e
im p r e s s io n
o fa n
a p p a re n t
s u d d e n e u re o f th e in fe e tio n .

S ta rtin ginth e s ix th m o n th a fte r th e in itia l in fe e tio n th e illn e s s e n te r s its c h r o n ic p h a s e w h ic h ia s ts d u r in g th e w h o le life o f th e p e rs o n a n d d u rin g w h ic h s y m p to m s o f m y o e a rd ia l e ffe e ts , o f th e e s o p h a g u s o r th e c o lo n

m a y a p p e a r.
In
th e
m a jo r ity o f e a s e s th e
in fe c tio n
s h o w sn o s y m p to m s
fro m
th e b e g in n in g .
C a n o th e r a n im a ls b e in fe c te db y th e
"T ry p a n o s o m a
c ru \ue000
z is " ?
Y e s ,
s p e e ia lly
th e
te rre s tria l
m a m m a ls ,
w ild
a n d
d o -

O neo fth ev in c h u c a s th a tw e re s e n tto E u ro p e fo r a te s t s o m e y e a rs a g o .P h o to g ra p h e d b yO r.G . S c h a u bo fth e Z o o lo g ic a lln s titu teo fth e F re ib u rg U n iv e rs ity(F R G ).

m e s tic ,w h ic h c a n b e th e s o u r c e o f in fe c tio n o f th e d o m e s tic o r
w ild
v in c h u c a s .
D oesa n ym e d ic a /tre a tm e n te x is t to r th eC hagasd is e a s e ?
Y e s .
A t
p re s e n t
tw o
ty p e s
o f
d ru g s
e x is t,
N ifu rtim o x
a n d
B e n s o n id a z o l, b o th o f p r o v e n e ffic ie n c y .
W h a t is th e s itu a tio na tL aS illa ?Inth is a r e a th e w ild s p e c ie s
T ria to m a s p in o /a ie x is ts w h ic h , b e in g a ttr a c te d b y th e o d o r o f
h u m a n s , m a y b ite th e m , e s p e c ia lly d u r in g s le e p .
T h e ris k o f in fe c tio n fo r p e o p leislo w , b e c a u s e o n ly a v e r y
s m a ll p e rc e n ta g e
o f in fe c te d
v in c h u c a s
(6 .5% )
h a v e

b e e n fo u n d , a n d m o re o v e ritisn e c e s s a ry th a t th e y d e fe c a te a t th e m o m e n t o f b itin g .

W hatp re c a u tio n s canb eta k e n ?U s e o f p ro te c tiv e s c re e n s
a g a in s t in s e c tsinth e w in d o w s o f th e d o r m ito r ie s .
T h e
E S O
A d m in is tr a tio n

isp u ttin g in to p r a c tic ea s e r ie s o f te c h n ic a l m e a s u r e s to c o n tro l th e v in c h u c a p ro b le m .Incase a p e rs o nisb itte n , th e a p p r o p r ia te b lo o d te s t w ill b e a rra n g e d . S o fa r th e s e te s ts h a v e a lw a y s h a d a n e g a tiv e re s u lt.

S ta r F o rm a tio n
in
B o k G lo b u le s
B a R e ip u rth , C o p e n h a g e n U n iv e rs ity O b s e rv a to ry
In tro d u c tio n
A m ong
th e
m any
d a rk
c lo u d s
s e e n
p ro je c te d

a g a in s t th e lu m in o u s b a n d o f th e M ilk y W a y a re a n u m b e r o f s m a lI, is o la te d c o m p a c t c lo u d s , w h ic h o fte n e x h ib it a la r g e d e g r e e o f re g u la r\ue000 ity . T h e s e o b je c ts a re to d a y k n o w n a s B o k g lo b u le s , a fte r th e D u tc h -A m e ric a n a s tro n o m e r B a rt B o k , w h o m o re th a n 3 0 y e a rs a g a

s in g le d
o u t th e
g lo b u le s
a s
a
g ro u p
o f s p e c ia l in te r e s t
a m o n g th e d a r k c lo u d s .
B ok
g lo b u le s
u s u a lly
h a v e
a n g u la r
s iz e s
o f fro m
a
fe w
a r c m in u te s to a b o u t2 0a r c m in u te s , w ith re a l s iz e s o f ty p ic a lly
0 .1 5t o 0 .8p a r s e c s . Itis g e n e r a lly n o t s o e a s y to e s tim a te th e

d is ta n c e , a n d th u s th e d im e n s io n s , o f a g iv e n g lo b u le . M o s t k n o w n g lo b u le s a re c lo s e r th a n5 0 0p c ,s in c e th e y n o r m a lly a re fo u n d

b y th e ir o b s c u r in g
e ffe c ts , a n d
m o re
d is ta n t g lo b u le s
becom e
le s s
c o n s p ic u o u s
b e c a u s e
o f fo re g ro u n d
s ta rs .
A
n e a r b y , c o m p a c t B o k g lo b u le
is
in d e e d
a s p e c ta c u la r s ig h t;
w hen
W illia m
H e r s c h e l fo r th e firs t tim e s a w
a g lo b u le
inh is
te le s c a p e ,
h e
e x c la im e d :
"M e in
G o tt,
d a
is t
e in
L o c h
im
H im m e l."
F o r m a n y y e a rs th e m a in ta o I to s tu d y g lo b u le s w e r e c o u n ts
o f
b a c k g ro u n d
s ta rs
s e e n
th ro u g h
th e
o u te r
p a rts
o f
th e

g lo b u le s . W h e n c a r e fu lly a n d c o r r e c tly e x e c u te d , s ta r c o u n ts c a n p r o v id e m u c h v a lu a b le in fo r m a tio n ; b u t w ith th e a d v e n t o f m o le c u la r

ra d io
a s tro n o m y
it
h a s
n o w
becom e
p o s s ib le
to
o b ta in p re c is e d a ta o n m a s s e s , te m p e ra tu re s a n d c o m p o s itio n
o f th e
g lo b u le s . T y p ic a l g lo b u le
m a s s e s a re
b e tw e e n
1 5M0
a n d6 0M0, a n d te m p e ra tu re s a re a ro u n d
1 0K to 2 0K .T h e
in te r io r o f s u c h a s m a lI, c o ld c lo u disw e il p ro te c te d a g a in s t th e
m o re e n e rg e tic ra d ia tio n fro m
s ta rs , a n d s o v a rio u s a to m s c a n
c o m b in e
t o
m o le c u le s ,
m a in ly
o f
h y d ro g e n ,
w ith
im p o rta n t
a d d itio n s o f c a r b o n o x id e , fo r m a ld e h y d e a n d m a n y m o r e e x o tic
m o le c u le s .
B o k 's c o n je c tu r eins in g lin g o u t th e g lo b u le s a s a g r o u p w a s
th a t, if s ta rs (ra d iu s -
1 0 "
c m , d e n s ity -
1g /c m
3
)fo rm
out of
d e n s e r re g io n s
in
th e
in te r s te lla r m e d iu m
(ra d iu s -
1 0
1 9
cm ,
d e n s ity
-
1 0 -
2 2
g /c m
3
) ,
th e n
in te rm e d ia te
s ta g e s
m ig h t b e
s e e n , re p re s e n tin g
p ro to -p ro to s ta rs .
S U b s e q u e n t o b s e r v a tio n s h a v e c le a r ly s h o w n th a t th e m a in
re g io n s o f s ta r fo r m a tio n a re n o t g lo b u le s , b u t g ia n t m o le c u la r
2
c lo u d s ,
in
w hic h
th o u s a n d s
o f
s ta rs
c a n
fo rm .
A lth o u g h

g lo b u le s th u s a re n o la n g e r n e c e s s a r y to u n d e r s ta n d th e b u lk o f s ta r fo rm a tio nino u r g a la x y , itis n o le s s lik e ly th a t a g lo b u le c a n fo rm o n e o r a fe w s ta rs . T h e p r o b le m w ith th is id e aisju s t th a t n o n e w b o rn s ta rs h a d b e e n fo u n dina s s o c ia tio n w ith ab o n atid e B o k g lo b u le .

T h e G lo b u le s
inth e G u m
N e b u la
T h is s itu a tio n
has changed
w ith
th e

re c e n t d is c o v e ry o f a la r g e c o m p le x o f g lo b u le sinth e G u m N e b u la . T h e G u m N e b u la isa h u g e , fa in tly lu m in o u s H

1Ire g io n s p re a d o v e r m o re th a n 3 0

d e g re e s o f th e s o u th e rn s k y . A t a d is ta n c e o f ro u g h ly4 5 0p c th is c o r r e s p o n d s to a ra d iu s o f a b o u t1 2 5p c ,m a k in g th e G u m N e b u la o n e o f th e la rg e s t s tru c tu re s k n o w nino u r g a la x y . N e a r it s

c e n te r
a re
s e v e ra l
o b je c ts
w h ic h
ta g e th e r
p ro d u c e
th e
u ltr a v io le t r a d ia tio n th a t io n iz e s th e g a sinth e n e b u la . A m o n g
th e s e a re Z e ta
P u p p is ,a n
e x tr e m e ly lu m in o u s 0
s ta r w ith
a
m ass of about1 0 0 0 ,G am m a
V e la r u m ,w h ic h

isa m a s s iv e b in a ry s y s te m c o n s is tin g o f a W o lf- R a y e t a n da n0 c o m p o n e n t, a s

w e il a s
th e
V e la
p u ls a r ,
a
n e u tro n
s ta r le ft o v e r fro m
a
s u p e r n o v a e x p lo s io n
1 0 ,0 0 0 - 2 0 ,0 0 0y e a rs a g a .

P o in tin g to w a r d s th e s e o b je c ts a re a b o u t4 0" w in d s w e p t" o r " c o m e ta r y " g lo b u le s , w ith s h a rp e d g e s to w a rd s th e c e n te r o f th e G u m

N e b u la , a n d

s e v e r a l p a r s e c s lo n g , fa in tly lu m in o u s ta ils s tr e tc h in ginth e o p p o s ite d ir e c tio n . T h is a p p e a r a n c e c a n b e u n d e r s to o d a s th e e ro d in g e ffe c t o f th e u ltr a v io le t ra d ia tio n fro m

th e lu m in o u s c e n tr a l s ta rs , c a u s in g th e g lo b u le s to s lo w ly
e v a p o ra te a n d c a rry in g m a te ria l a w a y fro m
th e d e n s e g lo b u le
h e a d s .In
th is h o s tile
e n v ir o n m e n t m o s t g lo b u le s w illb e
d e \ue000
s tro y e dina fe w m illio n y e a r s . B u t th isis lo n g e n o u g h th a t s ta rs
c a n fo rm
inth e d e n s e r g lo b u le s .
Sernes 135
A s s o c ia te d
w ith
o n e
s p e c ta c u la r g lo b u le , C G
1 ,
is
a s ta r,
n u m b e re d
1 3 5
in
a
c a ta lo g u e
o f n e b u lo u s
s ta rs
b y
B e rn e s
(F ig .1 ).T h e d ia m e te r o f C G
1is 0 .3 p c a n d its to ta l le n g this
3 .2p c ,a n d th e m a s s o f its d e n s e h e a dis p r o b a b ly o f th e o r d e r
.'
.'.
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F ig .1 :T h e e o m e ta r y g lo b u le C G
1in th e G u m N e b u la .T h e le n g tho tth e ta il is o v e r 3p e .V e r y e lo s etoth e d e n s e g lo b u le h e a d e o v e r e d w ith b r ig h t
rim s is th e y o u n g p re -m a in -s e q u e n e e s ta r B e rn e s
1 3 5(S R C -J S e h m id t p la te ).
o f5 0M e !). C o u ld
itb e
th a t S e rn e s
135 was
b o rn
o u to f th e
g lo b u le ?
A
s ta risu s u a lly s a fe ly
re g a rd e d

a sa p re -m a in -s e q u e n c e s ta r w h e nitfu lfils th e fo llo w in g fo u r c o n d itio n s :(1 ) T h e s ta ris a s s o c ia te d w ith n e b u lo s ity a n d d a r k c lo u d s ,(2 ) H ais s e e nin e m is s io nin its s p e c tr u m , (3 ) T h e s ta ris w e a k ly v a r ia b leina n ir r e g u la r m a n n e r,(4 ) T h e flu x d is tr ib u tio n o f th e s ta r s h o w sa n in fra re d e x c e s s . A ll th e s e c rite ria a re fu lfille d b y S e rn e s 1 3 5 . O b s e r v a tio n s w ith v a r io u s te le s c o p e so nL a S illa o v e r th e p a s t tw o y e a rs h a v e s h o w n th a t S e rn e s 1 3 5 h a s a p e c u lia r c o m p o \ue000 s ite e m is s io n /a b s o r p tio n

s p e c tru m , w h ic h
c a n
b e
in te rp re te d
a sa ne a r ly F s ta r s u r r a u n d e d b y d e ns e c ir c u m s te lla r m a te ria l.
F ig u re 2
show s
a
b lu e
ID S
s p e c tru m
fro m
th e
E S O
3 .6 -m
te le s c o p e o f S e rn e s 1 3 5 .Itisn o te w o rth y th a t th e
H \u00df
lin ea t
A4 8 6 1
h a s a c e n tra l e m is s io n
p e a k w h ic h
isd is p la c e d b lu e \ue000
w a rd s ,
in d ic a tin g
o u tflo w
o f
m a lte r
w ith
o v e r
1 0 0 k m /s e c .
O p tic a l a n d
in fra re d p h o to m e try s h o w s th a t o v e r8 0%
o f th e
ra d ia tio n fra m
th e s ta risb e in g a b s o r b e din th is s h e ll,w h ic hre \ue000
e m its
ita s
in fra re d
ra d ia tio n .
Its v is u a l m a g n itu d e
v a r ie s
b y
s e v e ra l
te n th s
o f
a
m a g n itu d e
in
a n
irre g u la r
m annero n
tim e s c a le s o f d a y s , w h ile
its in fra re d

m a g n itu d e s h a v e b e e n c o n s ta n t o v e r n e a rly tw o y e a rs . T h e lu m in o s ity o f S e rn e s 1 3 5 d e riv e d fro m th e o b s e rv a tio n sisa lm o s t5 0~

,

a n d its e ffe c tiv e te m p e ra tu reisa b o u t 6 ,8 0 0K . C o m p a r e dto th e o re tic a l c a lc u la \ue000 tio n s o f th e e v o lu tio n o f p r e - m a in - s e q u e n c e s ta rs th is s u g g e s ts a m a s s o f r o u g h ly 2 .5M e !),a r a d iu s o f a b o u t 5R e !)a n da n a g e o f a b o u t o n e m illio n y e a r s .

T h e m o s t c o m m o n ty p e o f p re -m a in -s e q u e n c e s ta rs a re th e
T T a u ri s ta rs , b u t th e s p e c tru m
a n d th e d e riv e d p ra p e rtie s o f
S e r n e s 1 3 5 d o n o t fit th is g r a u p . R a th e r, itish o lte r a n d m o re
lu m in o u s th a n th e s e s ta r s , a n d s e e m s to b e lo n g toa p a rto f th e
H Rd ia g ra m
inb e tw e e n th e T T a u ri s ta rs a n d th e H e rb ig A e /S e
s ta rs .
T h e s e
s ta rs
a re
m o re
m a s s iv e
y o u n g
p re -m a in -s e -
S E H N
5
1 3 5
> \ue000
I -
( f )
Z
lo J
I \ue000
Z
4
~
0
0
5 0 0 0
W A V E L E N G T II
F ig .2 :B lu e1 1 4\u00c4 lm m s p e e tr u mo f B e r n e s1 3 5 , ta k e n w ith th e lO S o n
th e3 .6 -m te le s c o p eb y W a lte r E ic h e n d o rf. T h eH \u00dflin ea lf.. 4 8 6 1 s h o w s
a b lu e s h ifte d c e n tr a l e m is s io n p e a k , in d ic a tin g o u tflo wo tm a tte r.
3

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