December 4, 2021

Hubble Captures an Picture of the Beautiful Prawn Nebula

While you look to the celebs, you would possibly anticipate to see a planet, a star, and even the Worldwide House Station, however this week’s Hubble picture reveals one thing relatively sudden: A Prawn. The picture reveals the gorgeous Prawn Nebula, situated round 6,000 light-years away within the tail portion of the constellation Scorpius.

Regardless of the nebula’s massive dimension, spanning over 250 light-years, it’s not often imaged as it is extremely dim, emitting solely a small quantity of sunshine. The celebrities which will be seen seem like a blue-white colour, however along with this a lot of the stars throughout the nebula emit gentle in different parts of the spectrum which might be invisible to the human eye. Hubble pictures in each the seen gentle wavelength and the infrared, permitting it to see extra particulars of the gorgeous swirls of mud and fuel.

Hubble image of a small section of the Prawn Nebula in both visible and invisible infrared light, capturing dazzling detail of the nebula’s structure.
The Prawn Nebula is an enormous stellar nursery situated within the constellation Scorpius, about 6,000 light-years from Earth. Although the nebula stretches 250 light-years and covers an area 4 occasions the scale of the total moon, it emits gentle primarily in wavelengths the human eye can’t detect, making it extraordinarily faint to earthbound viewers. NASA, ESA, and J. Tan (Chalmers College of Know-how); Processing; Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic College of America)

“The Prawn Nebula, also referred to as IC 4628, is an emission nebula, which suggests its fuel has been energized, or ionized, by the radiation of close by stars,” Hubble scientists clarify. “The radiation from these large stars strips electrons from the nebula’s hydrogen atoms. Because the energized electrons revert from their higher-energy state to a lower-energy state by recombining with hydrogen nuclei, they emit vitality within the type of gentle, inflicting the nebula’s fuel to glow. On this picture, pink signifies the presence of ionized iron (Fe II) emission.”

The nebula is a busy star-forming area, creating each particular person stars and clusters of stars. In between these factors of sunshine are voids or cavities, that are created when sizzling stars give off stellar winds which blow away matter like mud and fuel.

To indicate the nebula in its full context, the Hubble scientists additionally launched this picture of the total nebula, exhibiting the place this specific zoom-in picture suits into the entire:

Star map showing location of the Prawn Nebula.
The Prawn Nebula lies south of the star Antares within the constellation Scorpius, the Scorpion. Hubble’s targeted view captures only a small portion of the huge star-forming area. NASA, ESA, J. Tan (Chalmers College of Know-how), and ESO; Processing; Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic College of America)

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