Photo Release.

NGC 2392: A Beautiful End to a Star’s Life.

NGC 2392 is a planetary nebula, a phase that results when a star like the sun becomes a red giant and sheds its outer layers. X-rays from Chandra (pink) shows superheated gas around the dense, hot core of the star. Our Sun will become a planetary nebula about 5 billion years from now. Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/IAA-CSIC/N.Ruiz et al, Optical: NASA/STScI

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Photo Release.

Revisiting an icon.

The Pillars of Creation — visible and infrared comparison. This image compares two new views of the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation captured by Hubble. On the left the pillars are seen in visible light, capturing the multi-coloured glow of gas clouds, wispy tendrils of dark cosmic dust, and the rust-coloured elephants’ trunks of the nebula’s famous pillars. The right image is taken in infrared light, which penetrates much of the obscuring dust and gas and unveils a more unfamiliar view of the pillars. Credit: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team.

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Newborn Stars Blow Bubbles in the Cat’s Paw Nebula.

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Cat's Paw Nebula, so named for the large, round features that create the impression of a feline footprint. The nebula is a star-forming region in the Milky Way galaxy, located in the constellation Scorpius. Estimates of its distance from Earth range from about 4,200 to about 5,500 light-years.

Photo Release.

Dying star creates fantasy-like sculpture of gas and dust.

Halo of the Cat's Eye.
Not a Falcon 9 rocket launch after sunset, the Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae in the sky. Its haunting symmetries are seen in the very central region of this composited picture, processed to reveal an enormous but extremely faint halo of gaseous material, over three light-years across. Made with data from ground- and space-based telescopes it shows the extended emission which surrounds the brighter, familiar planetary nebula. Planetary nebulae have long been appreciated as a final phase in the life of a sun-like star. But only more recently have some planetaries been found to have halos like this one, likely formed of material shrugged off during earlier active episodes in the star's evolution. While the planetary nebula phase is thought to last for around 10,000 years, astronomers estimate the outer filamentary portions of this halo to be 50,000 to 90,000 years old.
Image Credit & Copyright: Data: Michael Joner (West Mountain Observatory, BYU), Romano Corradi (IAC), Hubble Legacy Archive - Processing: Robert Gendler.

Photo Release.

The most detailed image of the Crab Nebula.

This Hubble image gives the most detailed view of the entire Crab Nebula ever. The Crab is among the most interesting and well studied objects in astronomy.

This image is the largest image ever taken with Hubble's WFPC2 camera. It was assembled from 24 individual exposures taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and is the highest resolution image of the entire Crab Nebula ever made.

Credit: NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University). Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble).