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NGC 6164: A Bipolar Emission Nebula June 6, 2006

Posted by jtintle in AURA, Deep Space, Gemini Observatory, Nebula, NSF, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Telescopes.
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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Credit & Copyright:

Gemini Obs., AURA, NSF


How did a star form this beautiful nebula? In the middle of emission nebula NGC 6164-5 is an unusually massive star nearing the end of its life. The star, visible in the center of the above image and catalogued as HD 148937, is so hot that the ultraviolet light it emits heats up gas that surrounds it. That gas was likely thrown off from the star, possibly by its fast rotation, like a rotating lawn sprinkler. Expelled material might have been further channeled by the magnetic field of the star, creating the symmetric shape of the bipolar nebula. Several cometary knots of gas are also visible on the lower left. NGC 6164-5 spans about four light years and is located about 4,000 light years away toward the southern constellation Norma.


Cometary Globule CG4 May 31, 2006

Posted by jtintle in AURA, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), Deep Space, NOAO, NSF, People, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Telescopes.
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T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, T. Abbott and NOAO/AURA/NSF


The flower-like image of this star-forming region in Earth’s southern skies was imaged using a 64-megapixel Mosaic imaging camera on the National Science Foundation’s Victor M. Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

Cometary globules are isolated, relatively small clouds of gas and dust within the Milky Way. This example, called CG4, is about 1,300 light years from Earth. Its head is some 1.5 light-years in diameter, and its tail is about 8 light-years long. The dusty cloud contains enough material to make several Sun-sized stars. CG4 is located in the constellation of Puppis.

The head of the nebula is opaque, but glows because it is illuminated by light from nearby hot stars. Their energy is gradually destroying the dusty head of the globule, sweeping away the tiny particles which scatter the starlight. This particular globule shows a faint red glow from electrically charged hydrogen, and it seems about to devour an edge-on spiral galaxy (ESO 257-19) in the upper left. In reality, this galaxy is more than a hundred million light-years further away, far beyond CG4.

The image from the 4-meter telescope was taken in four filters, three of which are for blue, green and near-infrared light. The fourth is designed to isolate a specific color of red, known as hydrogen-alpha, which is produced by warm hydrogen gas.

NGC 1275 May 31, 2006

Posted by jtintle in AURA, Deep Space, NGC 1275, NOAO, NSF, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, WIYN.
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NGC 1275


C. Conselice/Caltech and WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF


This image shows a deep Hydrogen-alpha image of the brightest X-ray source in the sky, NGC 1275, taken by the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, AZ, in 1999.

The filaments emanating from this galaxy are produced through largely unknown mechanisms, but they likely are the result of an interaction between the black hole in the center of the galaxy and the intracluster medium surrounding it. (The glowing background objects in this image are galaxies in that same galaxy cluster.)

At a distance of about 230 million light-years, this is the nearest example to Earth of such vast structures, which are seen surrounding the most massive galaxies throughout the Universe.

NGC281 May 28, 2006

Posted by jtintle in AURA, Deep Space, NOAO, NSF, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, WIYN.
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T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage and WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF


This image is a wide-field view of the star-forming region NGC 281 taken with the WIYN 0.9-meter at Kitt Peak National Observatory

Unexpected Disks Around Interacting Stars May 28, 2006

Posted by jtintle in AURA, Deep Space, Illustration, NOAO, NSF, Space Fotos.
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Unexpected Disks


P. Marenfeld and NOAO/AURA/NSF


Artist concept of an unusual class of interacting binary stars emitting excess amounts of infrared radiation, suggesting that these odd objects are surrounded by large disks of cool dust. The image was created in support of an announcement made at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Washington, DC

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