Matt. 24. Cinephile. Nerd. Random Thoughts and Obsessions.

Posts tagged Nebula.


 APOD2013 May 31 |The Eagle and The Swan
Image Credit & Copyright: Dieter Willasch (Astro-Cabinet)

Explanation: The Eagle Nebula and the Swan Nebula span this broad starscape, a telescopic view of the Sagittarius spiral arm toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The Eagle, also known as M16, is left, above center, and the Swan, or M17 at the lower right. The deep, wide-field image shows the cosmic clouds as brighter regions of active star-formation. They lie along the spiral arm suffused with reddish emission charactistic of atomic hydrogen gas, and dusty dark nebulae. In fact, the center of both nebulae are locations of well-known close-up images of star formation from the Hubble Space Telescope. M17, also called the Omega Nebula, is about 5500 light-years away, while M16 is some 6500 light-years distant. In the frame that covers 3 degrees across the sky, the extended wings of the Eagle Nebula are spread over 120 light-years.


Object: NGC6210

FITS data obtained from Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA).

Processing by: Delio Tolivia Cadrecha

NGC6210 is planetary nebula located in the constellation of Hercules.

(via scinerds)


Reflection and Emission Nebulas
— Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex

Credit: Gerald Rhemann // Astrostudio

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HD 44179 - Red Rectangle Nebula

24 October 2006 - FITS data obtained from Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA). RGB integrated with a pseudo green. — Steven Marx

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New Photo Reveals ‘Ghostly’ Green Nebula in Deep Space

An amazing new photo from a telescope in Chile has captured the most detailed view yet of a green glowing blob 3,300 light-years away from Earth.

Image: This photo shows the glowing green planetary nebula IC 1295 surrounding a dim and dying star. It is located about 3300 light-years away from Earth. Credit: ESO

The new image, released today (April 10) by the European Southern Observatory, shows the planetary nebula IC 1295 like it has never been seen before. This picture, which ESO scientists dubbed “ghostly,” marks the first time the nebula has been imaged such unprecedented detail.

“It has the unusual feature of being surrounded by multiple shells that make it resemble a microorganism seen under a microscope, with many layers corresponding to the membranes of a cell,” officials from the European Southern Observatory wrote in a statement.

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Within A Red and Blue Rose (The Rosette Nebula False Color Hybrid)Terry Hancock


The Lagoon Nebula - Infrared and Optical Comparison

This infrared image of the Lagoon nebula contrasts heavily with traditional images taken in visible light. Such images primarily display the striking magenta colour from glowing Hydrogen gas, as well as large dark obscuring clouds of dust.

The infrared part of the spectrum penetrates these clouds better and reveals complex details and thousands of young stars that are otherwise completely invisible. These stars shine primarily in the infrared and appear as golden red in this image. Only a minority of these are visible in traditional optical images. — Rolf Wahl Olsen


The Current Types of Nebulae

Originally, the word “nebula” referred to almost any extended astronomical object (other than planets and comets). The etymological root of “nebula” means “cloud”. As is usual in astronomy, the old terminology survives in modern usage in sometimes confusing ways. We sometimes use the word “nebula” to refer to galaxies, various types of star clusters and various kinds of interstellar dust/gas clouds. More strictly speaking, the word “nebula” should be reserved for gas and dust clouds and not for groups of stars.

By order in which they appear from top to bottom, left to right, here are the main types and some provided examples for visual reference:

Planetary Nebulae: Sh2-188

Planetary nebulae are shells of gas thrown out by some stars near the end of their lives. Our Sun will probably evolve a planetary nebula in about 5 billion years. They have nothing at all to do with planets; the terminology was invented because they often look a little like planets in small telescopes. A typical planetary nebula is less than one light-year across.

Dark Nebulae: LDN 1622

Dark nebulae are clouds of dust which are simply blocking the light from whatever is behind. They are physically very similar to reflection nebulae; they look different only because of the geometry of the light source, the cloud and the Earth. Dark nebulae are also often seen in conjunction with reflection and emission nebulae. A typical diffuse nebula is a few hundred light-years across.

Emission Nebulae: NGC 896

Emission nebulae are clouds of high temperature gas. The atoms in the cloud are energized by ultraviolet light from a nearby star and emit radiation as they fall back into lower energy states (in much the same way as a neon light). These nebulae are usually red because the predominant emission line of hydrogen happens to be red (other colors are produced by other atoms, but hydrogen is by far the most abundant). Emission nebulae are usually the sites of recent and ongoing star formation.

Reflection Nebulae: NGC 1333

Reflection nebulae are clouds of dust which are simply reflecting the light of a nearby star or stars. Reflection nebulae are also usually sites of star formation. They are usually blue because the scattering is more efficient for blue light. Reflection nebulae and emission nebulae are often seen together and are sometimes both referred to as diffuse nebulae.


The Cosmic Hearth

The Orion nebula is featured in this sweeping image from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The constellation of Orion is prominent in the evening sky throughout the world from about December through April of each year. The nebula (also catalogued as Messier 42) is located in the sword of Orion, hanging from his famous belt of three stars. The star cluster embedded in the nebula is visible to the unaided human eye as a single star, with some fuzziness apparent to the most keen-eyed observers. Because of its prominence, cultures all around the world have given special significance to Orion. The Maya of Mesoamerica envision the lower portion of Orion, his belt and feet (the stars Saiph and Rigel), as being the hearthstones of creation, similar to the triangular three-stone hearth that is at the center of all traditional Maya homes. The Orion nebula, lying at the center of the triangle, is interpreted by the Maya as the cosmic fire of creation surrounded by smoke.

This metaphor of a cosmic fire of creation is apt. The Orion nebula is an enormous cloud of dust and gas where vast numbers of new stars are being forged. It is one of the closest sites of star formation to Earth and therefore provides astronomers with the best view of stellar birth in action. Many other telescopes have been used to study the nebula in detail, finding wonders such as planet-forming disks forming around newly forming stars. WISE was an all-sky survey giving it the ability to see these sites of star formation in a larger context. This view spans more than six times the width of the full moon, covering a region nearly 100 light-years across. In it, we see the Orion nebula surrounded by large amounts of interstellar dust, colored green.

Astronomers now realize that the Orion nebula is part of the larger Orion molecular cloud complex, which also includes the Flame nebula. This complex in our Milky Way galaxy is actively making new stars. It is filled with dust warmed by the light of the new stars within, making the dust glow in infrared light.

Color in this image represents specific infrared wavelengths. Blue represents light emitted at 3.4-micron wavelengths and cyan (blue-green) represents 4.6 microns, both of which come mainly from hot stars. Relatively cooler objects, such as the dust of the nebulae, appear green and red. Green represents 12-micron light and red represents 22-micron light.

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Hubble Presents: A New View of the Tarantula Nebula

To celebrate its 22nd anniversary in orbit, the Hubble Space Telescope released a dramatic new image of the star-forming region 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula because its glowing filaments resemble spider legs. A new image from all three of NASA’s Great Observatories—Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer—has also been created to mark the event.


Butterfly Nebula from Upgraded Hubble

Distance: 4,000 light years away

The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects, and NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the central star of this particular planetary nebula is exceptionally hot though — shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This dramatically detailed close-up of the dying star’s nebula was recorded by the upgraded Hubble Space Telescope.

Credit: APOD NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

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Rosette in Hydrogen, Oxygen, & Sulfur Filters

by T. A. Rector, B. Wolpa, M. Hanna (AURA/NOAO/NSF)

A large emission nebula located 3000 light-years away. The great abundance of hydrogen gas gives NGC 2237 its red color in most photographs. The wind from the open cluster of stars known as NGC 2244 has cleared a hole in the nebula’s center.

The above photograph, however, was taken in the light emitted by three elements of the gas ionized by the energetic central stars.Here green light originating from oxygen and blue light originating from sulfur supplements the red from hydrogen.

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