Dark shapes with bright edges winging their way through dusty NGC 6188 are tens of light-years long. The emission nebula is found near the edge of an otherwise dark large molecular cloud in the southern constellation Ara, about 4,000 light-years away. Formed in that region only a few million years ago, the massive young stars of the embedded Ara OB1 association sculpt the fantastic shapes and power the nebular glow with stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation. The recent star formation itself was likely triggered by winds and supernova explosions, from previous generations of massive stars, that swept up and compressed the molecular gas. A false-color Hubble palette was used to create this sharp close-up image and shows emission from sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in red, green, and blue hues. At the estimated distance of NGC 6188, the picture spans about 200 light-years.
My favorite Nebulae. Sorry to the trillions of others I had to leave out…
(Top to bottom, left to right: Carina, Horsehead, Seahorse, Pismis 24, Tarantula, Triffid)
The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula sits in star cluster IC 1396, in the constellation of Cepheus. A cloud of high-temperature gas is warmed up by newly born stars forms the emission nebula. Hydrogen, the most common element in space, glows intensely in red light when heated by hot, young stars. The red tint you see within the trunk of the nebula depicts this.
(Source of text: Astrodidact)
Messier 78, known as a reflection nebula located 1,600 light years away in the constellation of Orion. What makes this nebula a reflection nebula is that the energy released from a nearby star or group of stars is not strong enough to ionize the surrounding gases, which would make this an emission nebula. Instead, the dust we see here, shown as dark and blue, is far enough away from the energy of a star to where it is not ionized, but is in fact scattered, or reflected. For light to be scattered, that means that light waves hit some type of medium that distorts its trajection and forces it in another direction. The result of this scattered light is usually in the color or blue in our visible spectrum.
Known as planetary nebula, the spectacular Helix Nebula is a remnant of a dead star showing the final stages of its life, 700 light years away from planet Earth. Incorrectly believed to be a planet before technology improved, planetary nebulas are not planets, but once were stars that have exhausted all of their fuel, releasing the shells of gas and plasma once surrounding the star for billions of years of its life. This particular image of the Helix Nebula shows in red, the very high amounts of cosmic dust that surround the white dwarf that is left over from this dead star. This white dwarf will produce intense radiation, driving out the nebula into space in all directions. Eventually, this spectacle will no longer exist as all of the remnants will be further dispersed out into the vastness of space.
This nebula, named N90 is located just under 200,000 light years away in the constellation of Tucana. Located within this nebula is the star cluster known as NGC 602.
IRAS 05437+2502. The glowing arc in the center of this picture has not been completely explained yet. Only discovered in 1983 by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite(IRAS), much is still to be known about this nebula. It is located towards the center of our galaxy.
The beautiful Carina Nebula, 300 light years across and nearly 8,000 light years from Earth. This picture was taken using a Hydrogen-Alpha filter exposure.
The Carina Nebula- A Nebula that will be frequent on my page so I will try to find different pictures of it. Just a few quick facts for those unaware of this nebula: It is located close to 8,000 light years away from Earth, has a diameter of 200 light years(1.2 quadrillion miles), it contains around 14,000 stars, and is considered an Emission Nebula that contains ionized gas surrounding the many new and very hot stars within this region of space. The colors shown to Astronomers tell exactly what element makes up the nebula. Most common is hydrogen, which is seen as red. Other elements such as Helium, Oxygen, and Nitrogen are typically prevalent in many nebulae and they are displayed as other colors such as green and blue.
Located in the constellation of Cygnus, the Fiery Owl Nebula lies within the larger Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant from at least 5,000 years ago. The blue and red colors seen here are the result of oxygen and sulfur atoms becoming ionized. This cloud of star “stuff” has been traversing the cosmos for thousands of years and has expanded the nebula to a diameter of roughly 70 light years.
This spectacular nebula, NGC 2467 is an excellent nebula to observe stars at different stages of their life-time as it is a very active star forming region in space. Within this nebula are massive young stars and aging stars, intermixed with dark clouds that are regions in which proto-stars(new stars) are formed. NGC 2467 is approximately 25,000 light years from Earth.
At only 4,000 light years away, IRS 4, otherwise named, Sharpless 106, is a young nebula at only 100,000 years old. This is an emission and a reflection nebula, which otherwise is called a, diffuse nebula. The entire nebula is about 2 light years in diameter in the constellation, Cygnus.
NGC 7026. Yes, there are so many objects in the sky that not every one of them has a cute name like, “Seahorse Nebula”. This beautiful feature of the cosmos is a Planetary Nebula and is the result of a low-mass star ending its life that has lasted for billions of years. The subject of stellar evolution is of particular importance to me and has inspired me to write about its complexity, and how we have all benefited from the behavior of stars, particularly high-mass stars. Our vast knowledge of them, especially given the distances is truly remarkable. We have SO many at our disposal just to observe. Every type of star you can imagine is catalogued by the brilliant Astronomers of our past and today. At a distance of 6,000 light years and located in the constellation of Cygnus, NGC 7026 once was a star that has released its outer shells of elements heavier than hydrogen, created over its multi-billion year lifetime through proton fusion. It does not explode into a supernova because it is a low-mass star and will never attempt to fuse iron in its core. Instead, it releases its outer shells of elements, one by one. The most furious this star got was at its Red Giant phase, which is the beginning of the end for low-mass stars. Lastly, and perhaps even more amazing is that at the center of this nebula lies a solid dense core of carbon, known as a white dwarf. This core is very dense and is the result of billions of years of stored heat and will glow, but very faintly compared to a living star. Even though it is dead, the white dwarf will still emit intense radiation and stellar winds that drive the outer shells out into space. Eventually, the white dwarf will cool down and will turn into a brown dwarf. It is not brown however and in fact, it has been recently discovered that a cooled white dwarf most likely turns into crystallized carbon. What’s special about that? That’s basically your cosmic version of a diamond in space. A diamond that is 10 billion trillion trillion carats. We have evidence of this actually in the 2,500-mile diameter burned out star called, Lucy. A diamond that large is incomprehensible. Stars are truly amazing and continue to teach us new things about them.