Presentation on theme: "The Trifid Nebula, aka M20, is easy to find with a small telescope and a well-known stop in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. But where visible."— Presentation transcript:
The Trifid Nebula, aka M20, is easy to find with a small telescope and a well-known stop in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. But where visible light pictures show the nebula divided into three parts by dark, obscuring dust lanes, this penetrating infrared image reveals filaments of luminous gas and newborn stars. This spectacular false-color view is courtesy of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers have used the Spitzer infrared image data to count newborn and embryonic stars that otherwise lie hidden in the natal dust and glowing clouds of this intriguing stellar nursery. Image credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, J. Rho (SSC/Caltech)
Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, these fantastic, undulating shapes lie within the stellar nursery known as M17, the Omega Nebula, some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. The lumpy features in the dense cold gas and dust are illuminated by stars off the upper left of the image and may themselves represent sites of future star formation. Colors in the fog of surrounding hotter material indicate M17's chemical make up. The predominately green glow corresponds to abundant hydrogen, with trace sulfur and oxygen atoms contributing red and blue hues. The picture spans about 3 light-years. Image credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester (ASU)
How massive can a star be? Estimates made from distance, brightness and standard solar models have accorded one star in the open cluster Pismis 24 over 200 times the mass of our sun. This star is the brightest object located just to the right of the gas front in the above image. Close inspection of images taken recently with the Hubble Space Telescope, however, have shown that Pismis 24-1 derives its brilliant luminosity not from a single star but from three at least. Component stars would still remain near 100 solar masses, making them among the more massive stars currently on record. Toward the image left, stars are still forming in the associated emission nebula NGC 6357, including several that appear to be breaking out and illuminating a spectacular cocoon. Image credit: NASA, ESA and J. M. Apellániz (IAA, Spain)
Planetary nebula NGC 2440 has an intriguing bow-tie shape in this stunning view from space. The nebula is composed of material cast off by a dying sun-like star as it enters its white dwarf phase of evolution. Details of remarkably complex structures are revealed within NGC 2440, including dense ridges of material swept back from the nebula's central star. The star itself is one of the hottest known, with a surface temperature of about 200,000 kelvins. About 4,000 light-years from planet Earth toward the nautical constellation Puppis, the nebula spans more than a light-year and is energized by ultraviolet light from the central star. The false-color image was recorded using the Hubble's Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), demonstrating still impressive imaging capabilities following the failure of the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Image credit: NASA, ESA, K. Noll (STScI)
NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes teamed up to expose the chaos that baby stars are creating 1,500 light years away in a cosmic cloud called the Orion nebula. This striking composite indicates that four monstrously massive stars, collectively called the "Trapezium," at the center of the cloud may be the main culprits in the Orion constellation, a familiar sight in the fall and winter night sky in the northern hemisphere. Their community can be identified as the yellow smudge near the center of the image. Swirls of green in Hubble's ultraviolet and visible-light view reveal hydrogen and sulfur gas that have been heated and ionized by intense ultraviolet radiation from the Trapezium's stars. Meanwhile, Spitzer's infrared view exposes carbon-rich molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the cloud. These organic molecules have been illuminated by the Trapezium's stars, and are shown in the composite as wisps of red and orange. On Earth, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are found on burnt toast and in automobile exhaust. Stellar winds from clusters of newborn stars scattered throughout the cloud etched all of the well-defined ridges and cavities in Orion. The large cavity near the right of the image was most likely carved by winds from the Trapezium's stars. Located 1,500 light-years away from Earth, the Orion nebula is the brightest spot in the sword of the Orion, or the "Hunter" constellation. The cosmic cloud is also our closest massive star-formation factory, and astronomers believe it contains more than 1,000 young stars.
he Bug Nebula, NGC 6302, is one of the brightest and most extreme planetary nebulae known. A blanket of icy hailstones at its center shrouds the fiery, dying star. This image, taken by the NASA Hubble Wide Field Plantery Camera 2, shows impressive walls of compressed gas, laced with trailing strands and bubbling outflows. Image credit: NASA, ESA and A. Zijlstra (UMIST, Manchester, UK)
This majestic view, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, tells an untold story of life and death in the Eagle Nebula, an industrious star-making factory located 7,000 light-years away in the Serpens Constellation. The image shows the region's entire network of turbulent clouds and newborn stars in infrared light. The color green denotes cooler towers and fields of dust, including the three famous space pillars, dubbed the "Pillars of Creation," which were photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 (right of center; see 01b.html for exact location). But it is the color red that speaks of the drama taking place in this region. Red represents hotter dust thought to have been warmed by the explosion of a massive star about 8,000 to 9,000 years ago. Since light from the Eagle Nebula takes 7,000 years to reach us, this supernova explosion would have appeared as an oddly bright star in our skies about 1,000 to 2,000 years ago. According to astronomers' estimations, the explosion's blast wave would have spread outward and toppled the three pillars about 6,000 years ago (which means we wouldn't witness the destruction for another 1,000 years or so). The blast wave would have crumbled the mighty towers, exposing newborn stars that were buried inside, and triggering the birth of new ones.http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/spitzer/multimedia/ssc b.html
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. It shows the areas seen in greater detail with Hubble's Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) in 1995 and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in 2005.