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Hubble Captures Spectacular "Landscape" in the Carina Nebula

photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr

Hubble Captures Spectacular "Landscape" in the Carina Nebula — Fotopedia
NASA image release April 22, 2010

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this billowing cloud of cold interstellar gas and dust rising from a tempestuous stellar nursery located in the Carina Nebula, 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. This pillar of dust and gas serves as an incubator for new stars and is teeming with new star-forming activity.
Hot, young stars erode and sculpt the clouds into this fantasy landscape by sending out thick stellar winds and scorching ultraviolet radiation. The low-density regions of the nebula are shredded while the denser parts resist erosion and remain as thick pillars. In the dark, cold interiors of these columns new stars continue to form.
In the process of star formation, a disk around the proto-star slowly accretes onto the star's surface. Part of the material is ejected along jets perpendicular to the accretion disk. The jets have speeds of several hundreds of miles per second. As these jets plow into the surround nebula, they create small, glowing patches of nebulosity, called Herbig-Haro (HH) objects.

Long streamers of gas can be seen shooting in opposite directions off the pedestal on the upper right-hand side of the image. Another pair of jets is visible in a peak near the top-center of the image. These jets (known as HH 901 and HH 902, respectively) are common signatures of the births of new stars.
This image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble's launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth. Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar on Feb. 1-2, 2010. The colors in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulfur (red).
Object Names: HH 901, HH 902
Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

To read learn more about this image go to: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/hubble20th-img....

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.
Wikipedia Article
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Carina Nebula

The Carina Nebula (also known as the Great Nebula in Carina, the Eta Carinae Nebula, NGC 3372, as well as the Grand Nebula) is a large bright nebula that has within its boundaries several related open clusters of stars. Some papers generally refer to this as the Carina Nebula, mostly because of differentiating the many paper published on this object, but the historical precedence as determined by southern observers like James Dunlop and John Herschel, who have both termed it the Eta Argus Nebula or Eta Carinae Nebula. John Herschel also describes "The star η Argus, with the Great nebula about it." with many of his subsequent published papers supporting this.

Eta Carinae and HD 93129A, two of the most massive and luminous stars in our Milky Way galaxy, are among them. The nebula lies at an estimated distance between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth. It appears in the constellation of Carina, and is located in the Carina–Sagittarius Arm. The nebula contains multiple O-type stars.

The nebula is one of the largest diffuse nebulae in our skies. Although it is some four times as large and even brighter than the famous Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is much less well known, due to its location in the southern sky. It was discovered by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751–52 from the Cape of Good Hope.


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Astrophotography

Astrophotography is a specialized type of photography that entails recording images of astronomical objects and large areas of the night sky. The first photograph of an astronomical object (the Moon) was taken in 1840, but it was not until the late 19th century that advances in technology allowed for detailed stellar photography. Besides being able to record the details of extended objects such as the Moon, Sun, and planets, astrophotography has the ability to image objects invisible to the human eye such as dim stars, nebulae, and galaxies. This is done by long time exposure since both film and digital cameras can accumulate and sum light photons over these long periods of time. In professional astronomical research, photography revolutionized the field, with long time exposures recording hundreds of thousands of new stars and nebulae that were invisible to the human eye, leading to specialized and ever larger optical telescopes that were essentially big "cameras" designed to collect light to be recorded on film. Direct astrophotography had an early role in sky surveys and star classification but over time it has given way to more sophisticated equipment and techniques designed for specific fields of scientific research, with film (and later astronomical CCD cameras) becoming just one of many forms of sensor.

Astrophotography is a large sub-discipline in amateur astronomy where it is usually used to record aesthetically pleasing images, rather than for scientific research, with a whole range of equipment and techniques dedicated to the activity.


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Astronomical object

Astronomical objects or celestial objects are naturally occurring physical entities, associations or structures that current science has demonstrated to exist in the observable universe. The term astronomical object is sometimes used interchangeably with astronomical body. Typically, an astronomical (celestial) body refers to a single, cohesive structure that is bound together by gravity (and sometimes by electromagnetism). Examples include the asteroids, moons, planets and the stars. Astronomical objects are gravitationally bound structures that are associated with a position in space, but may consist of multiple independent astronomical bodies or objects. These objects range from single planets to star clusters, nebulae or entire galaxies. A comet may be described as a body, in reference to the frozen nucleus of ice and dust, or as an object, when describing the nucleus with its diffuse coma and tail.

The universe can be viewed as having a hierarchical structure. At the largest scales, the fundamental component of assembly is the galaxy, which are assembled out of dwarf galaxies. The galaxies are organized into groups and clusters, often within larger superclusters, that are strung along great filaments between nearly empty voids, forming a web that spans the observable universe. Galaxies and dwarf galaxies have a variety of morphologies, with the shapes determined by their formation and evolutionary histories, including interaction with other galaxies. Depending on the category, a galaxy may have one or more distinct features, such as spiral arms, a halo and a nucleus. At the core, most galaxies have a supermassive black hole, which may result in an active galactic nucleus. Galaxies can also have satellites in the form of dwarf galaxies and globular clusters.


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Nebula

A nebula (from Latin: "cloud"; pl. nebulae or nebulæ, with ligature, or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases. Originally, nebula was a name for any diffuse astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The Andromeda Galaxy, for instance, was referred to as the Andromeda Nebula (and spiral galaxies in general as "spiral nebulae") before the true nature of galaxies was confirmed in the early 20th century by Vesto Slipher, Edwin Hubble and others. Nebulae are often star-forming regions, such as in the Eagle Nebula. This nebula is depicted in one of NASA's most famous images, the "Pillars of Creation". In these regions the formations of gas, dust, and other materials "clump" together to form larger masses, which attract further matter, and eventually will become massive enough to form stars. The remaining materials are then believed to form planets, and other planetary system objects.