Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hubble Space Telescope Captures Light And Shadow In The Carina Nebula

Date:
February 3, 2000
Source:
Space Telescope Science Institute
Summary:
Previously unseen details of a mysterious, complex structure within the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) are revealed by a new image of the "Keyhole Nebula," obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Previously unseen details of a mysterious, complex structure within the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) are revealed by this image of the "Keyhole Nebula," obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The picture is a montage assembled from four different April 1999 telescope pointings with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which used six different color filters.

The picture is dominated by a large, approximately circular feature, which is part of the Keyhole Nebula, named in the 19th century by Sir John Herschel. This region, about 8000 light-years from Earth, is located adjacent to the famous explosive variable star Eta Carinae, which lies just outside the field of view toward the upper right. The Carina Nebula also contains several other stars that are among the hottest and most massive known, each about 10 times as hot, and 100 times as massive, as our Sun.

The circular Keyhole structure contains both bright filaments of hot, fluorescing gas, and dark silhouetted clouds of cold molecules and dust, all of which are in rapid, chaotic motion. The high resolution of the Hubble images reveals the relative three-dimensional locations of many of these features, as well as showing numerous small dark globules that may be in the process of collapsing to form new stars.

Two striking large, sharp-edged dust clouds are located at the bottom center and upper left edges of the image. The former is immersed within the ring and the latter is just outside the ring. The pronounced pillars and knobs of the upper left cloud appear to point toward a luminous, massive star located just outside the field further toward the upper left, which may be responsible for illuminating and sculpting them by means of its high-energy radiation and stellar wind of high-velocity ejected material. These large dark clouds may eventually evaporate, or if there are sufficiently dense condensations within them, give birth to small star clusters. The Carina Nebula, with an overall diameter of more than 200 light-years, is one of the outstanding features of the Southern-Hemisphere portion of the Milky Way. The diameter of the Keyhole ring structure shown here is about 7 light-years.

These data were collected by the Hubble Heritage Team and Nolan Walborn (Space Telescope Science Inst., Baltimore, Md.), Rodolfo Barba' (La Plata Obs., Argentina), and Adeline Caulet (France).

Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

NOTE TO EDITORS -- For additional information, please contact: Nolan Walborn, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218, (phone) 410-338-4915, (fax) 410-338-5090, (e-mail) walborn@stsci.edu or

Jayanne English, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, (phone) 410-338-4352, (fax) 410-338-5090, (e-mail) jenglish@stsci.edu.

Image files are available on the Internet at: http://heritage.stsci.edu, http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2000/06 or http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/latest.html and http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pictures.html and http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2000/06/pr-photos.html.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Space Telescope Science Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Space Telescope Science Institute. "Hubble Space Telescope Captures Light And Shadow In The Carina Nebula." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000201124129.htm>.
Space Telescope Science Institute. (2000, February 3). Hubble Space Telescope Captures Light And Shadow In The Carina Nebula. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000201124129.htm
Space Telescope Science Institute. "Hubble Space Telescope Captures Light And Shadow In The Carina Nebula." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000201124129.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Week @ NASA, July 25, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 25, 2014

NASA (July 25, 2014) Apollo 11 celebration, Next Giant Leap anticipation, ISS astronauts appear in the House and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Coming and Going

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

NASA (July 25, 2014) One station cargo ship leaves, another arrives, aquatic research and commercial spinoffs. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A Solar Flare Could Have Wrecked Earth's Electronics

How A Solar Flare Could Have Wrecked Earth's Electronics

Newsy (July 25, 2014) Researchers say if Earth had been a week earlier in its orbit around the sun, it would have taken a direct hit from a 2012 coronal mass ejection. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins