Dark Nebula Delights in Skywatcher’s Photo
Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona
Resembling a dancer twirling her skirt in the wind, this image of the Lynd’s Dark Nebula (LDN 1622) glows with deep blue and maroon colors.
The picture was taken by skywatcher and photographer Adam Block from the University of Arizona’s Mt. Lemmon Sky Center. [Full Story]
Clouds Roll By
Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum
Wednesday, February 29, 2012:
Dark nebula SH2 136 usually seems spooky when viewed in subdued colors, but here appears vibrant in a photo taken by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. The star-formation region has spent its material creating new stars, which blow away clouds of residual material through the stellar winds of fast moving particles. Interesting silhouettes and reflection nebulae arise! Groovy, man!
— Tom Chao
Photograph by J.P. Metsavainio, My Shot
A long-exposure picture taken from Finland shows the wispy filaments of Simeis 147, a large supernova remnant in the constellation Taurus, the Bull.
The expanding cloud of gas and dust lies about 3,000 light years away and spans roughly 150 light-years. Astronomers think light from the stellar explosion that created Simeis 147 first reached Earth about a hundred thousand years ago.
Nebula in Motion
Rolling in the Deep-Space Nebula
M1, NGC1952, Crab Nebula
About this image
This is a color composite formed from two images of the well-known Crab Nebula, taken on the night of October 27th 1995 with the NOAO/STIS/Tektronix 2048x2048 CCD detector on the 3.5-meter WIYN telescope. At the focal plane of the WIYN, this detector has a sampling scale of 0.2 arc seconds per pixel. This picture shows the full imaging power of the WIYN telescope: the “seeing”, or image size, is about 0.6 arc seconds, or about twice the resolution of typical ground-based images. Some shell-like features in the center of the nebula, and the subtle filamentary structure evident throughout the region, are impossible to see in fuzzier (that is, more typical) pictures. Image processing can reveal even more detail.
About this object
The Crab Nebula was originally given this name due to its resemblance to a crab’s claw in an early sketch made in 1855 by Lord Rosse’s staff astronomer R.J. Mitchell. It is the remnant of a supernova explosion in the year 1054 A.D., which was recorded in five separate accounts in the Far East, although, oddly, no western observation has survived. The nebula was probably first noticed in 1731 by John Bevis, and it was significant enough to be the first entry in Charles Messier’s list of nebulae (compiled to avoid mistaking them for comets). The nebula continues to expand and change the details of its appearance, and this is partly due to the violence of the original explosion. However, the star which exploded left behind a rotating neutron star, which continues to beam energy out into the nebula, as well asflashing with a period of only 33 milliseconds. The details of this energy input are important for our understanding both of neutron stars and of the physical conditions in the nebula, and are revealed in the patterns of filaments, their brightness and colors, and the way they change with time.
Minimum credit line: Jay Gallagher (U. Wisconsin)/WIYN/NOAO/NSF
NGC 6369: The Little Ghost Nebula
Explanation: This pretty planetary nebula, cataloged as NGC 6369, was discovered by 18th century astronomer William Herschel as he used a telescope to explore the medicinal constellation Ophiucus. Round and planet-shaped, the nebula is also relatively faint and has acquired the popular moniker of Little Ghost Nebula. Planetary nebulae in general are not at all related to planets, but instead are created at the end of a sun-like star’s life as its outer layers expand into space while the star’s core shrinks to become a white dwarf. The transformed white dwarf star, seen near the center, radiates strongly at ultraviolet wavelengths and powers the expanding nebula’s glow. Surprisingly complex details and structures of NGC 6369 are revealed in this tantalizing image composed from Hubble Space Telescope data. The nebula’s main ring structure is about a light-year across and the glow from ionized oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen atoms are colored blue, green, and red respectively. Over 2,000 light-years away, the Little Ghost Nebula offers a glimpse of the fate of our Sun, which could produce its own planetary nebula only about 5 billion years from now.
The Eagle Nebula, M16
This wide-field image of the Eagle Nebula was taken at the National Science Foundation’s 0.9-meter telescope on Kitt Peak with the NOAO Mosaic CCD camera. Located in the constellation of Serpens, the Serpent, the Eagle Nebula is a very luminous open cluster of stars surrounded by dust and gas. The three pillars at the center of the image, made famous in an image by the Hubble Space Telescope, are being sculpted by the intense radiation from the hot stars in the cluster. This image was created by combining emission-line images in Hydrogen-alpha (green), Oxygen [O III] (blue) and Sulfur [S II] (red).
Minimum credit line: T.A.Rector (NRAO/AUI/NSF and NOAO/AURA/NSF) and B.A.Wolpa (NOAO/AURA/NSF)
The center of the Eta Carinae Nebula
also known as the Keyhole Nebula. as seen by the Cerro Tololo 4-meter Blanco telescope in 1976.
The central portion of the Eta Carinae Nebula, NGC 3372, also known as the Keyhole Nebula, in the constellation of Carina. This gaseous bright nebula surrounds the peculiar variable star Eta Carinae, with overlying clouds of dark material. The nebula is 9000 light-years from Earth. Cerro Tololo 4-meter Blanco telescope, 1976: north is at the top.
Minimum credit line: NOAO/AURA/NSF
The Lagoon Nebula, Messier object 8 (M8) or NGC6523
The Lagoon Nebula, Messier object 8 (M8) or NGC 6523, in the constellation of Sagittarius, as seen by the Kitt Peak 4-meter Mayall telescope in 1973. North is at the top. The lagoon nebula glows with the red light of hydrogen (H alpha) excited by the radiation of very hot stars buried within its center. Deep within the cloud, dark filaments of obscuring matter emit strong infrared radiation. Several peculiar variable stars in the nebula occasionally flare up, increasing in brightness to some 25 times their normal luminosity. The nebula is about 6500 light-years away and about 60 light-years across.
Minimum credit line: NOAO/AURA/NSF
The Omega Nebula, M17
The Omega Nebula, M17 or NGC6618, in the constellation Sagittarius. M17 is a bright emission nebula excited by young stars, but with lanes of opaque dust; it is also referred to as the Swan Nebula and the Horseshoe Nebula. This image is unusual in that it was created from five frames imaged with filters covering a narrow range of wavelengths centered on the emission lines of SII (6731 angstroms), HeI (6678), H-alpha (6563), OIII (5007), and H-beta (4861). The red, green and blue contributions to the final picture come from, respectively, the ratios H-alpha/SII, SII/HeI, and OIII/H-beta. Note especially the color gradients (that is, physical condition changes) across filaments and the criss-cross effect of projection.
This image was created from ten observations made at the Burrell Schmidt telescope (owned by the Warner and Swasey Observatory of the Case Western Reserve University and situated on Kitt Peak in southwest Arizona), in May 1995 during observing experience for the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program operated at the Kitt Peak National Observatory and supported by the National Science Foundation. Image size 28.8 arc minutes.
We also have optical pictures from the KPNO 0.9-meter, the KPNO Schmidt, and the KPNO Mayall 4-meter telescopes, and an interesting infrared image from the 2.1-meter telescope.
Minimum credit line: Hillary Mathis, N.A.Sharp, REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF
Rosette emission-line image
This stunning emission-line image of the Rosette nebula (NGC2237) has been re-processed in support of NOAO Press Release 04-03. The Rosette nebula is found in the constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn). This images was taken at the National Science Foundation’s 0.9-m telescope on Kitt Peak with the Mosaic camera, and is presented here in false color (hydrogen alpha, OIII oxygen, and SII sulfur respectively red, green and blue, using five ten-minute exposures each). The Rosette is a prominent star formation region, glowing due to ultraviolet light from the young, hot, blue stars whose winds also cleared the central hole. It is enormously large on the sky, covering more than six times the area of the full moon. An approximately true color version at lower resolution from the Schmidt telescope is also available.
Minimum credit line: T. A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF