Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephaunt’s Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Of course, the cosmic elephant’s trunk is over 20 light-years long. This composite was recorded through narrow band filters that transmit the light from ionized hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms in the region. The resulting image highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within the obscuring cosmic dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees.

Object Names: Elefant Trunk Nebula, IC 139Y

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: JC Canonne, P. Bernhard, D. Chaplain & L. Bourgorn

Time And Space

Hubble Gazes at Long-dead Star
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NASA - Hubble Space Telescope patch.

July 29, 2016

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This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures the remnants of a long-dead star. These rippling wisps of ionized gas, named DEM L316A, are located some 160,000 light-years away within one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbors — the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

The explosion that formed DEM L316A was an example of an especially energetic and bright variety of supernova, known as a Type Ia. Such supernova events are thought to occur when a white dwarf star steals more material than it can handle from a nearby companion, and becomes unbalanced. The result is a spectacular release of energy in the form of a bright, violent explosion, which ejects the star’s outer layers into the surrounding space at immense speeds. As this expelled gas travels through the interstellar material, it heats up and ionizes it, producing the faint glow that Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 has captured here.

The LMC orbits the Milky Way as a satellite galaxy and is the fourth largest in our group of galaxies, the Local Group. DEM L316A is not the only supernova remnant in the LMC; Hubble came across another one in 2010 with SNR 0509, and in 2013 it snapped SNR 0519.

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Image credits: ESA (European Space Agency)/Hubble & NASA, Y. Chu/Text credits: ESA/NASA/Rob Garner.

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Andromeda in Infrared

This image of the Andromeda galaxy in infrared is the sharpest image ever taken of the dust in another spiral galaxy when it was taken. This image reveals the delicate tracings of spiral arms that reach into the very center of the galaxy. The fiery plumes of red contain millions of stars trapped within the dust that creates them.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Spitzer

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The building blocks of life might be hanging out on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. Cornell University scientists believe they have proven that life only requires the existence of one chemical: hydrogen cyanide, which can be found all over the universe and is the most common hydrogen-containing compound on Titan’s surface. Source


Hubble finds ring of Dark Matter

Dark matter is the most common substance in the universe, scientists even estimate that it takes up approximately 25% of the entire universe. However, we can’t see it and we don’t even know what it is!

“Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope got a first-hand view of how dark matter behaves during a titanic collision between two galaxy clusters. The wreck created a ripple of dark matter, which is somewhat similar to a ripple formed in a pond when a rock hits the water. “

This ring gives @nasa scientists and researchers strong evidence that dark matter exists. To read more visit: NASA

Credit: NASA / Hubble

An Emission Nebula - NGC 6357

Far away in the constellation Scorpius, inside the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357, lies the star cluster Pismis 24. Part of the nebula is ionised by the youngest stars in Pismis 24 - which are characterized by their blue light. The intense ultraviolet radiation from the blazing stars heats the gas surrounding the cluster and creates a bubble in NGC 6357. The presence of these surrounding gas clouds makes probing into the region even harder for Astronomers.

Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble

The large stellar association cataloged as NGC 206 is nestled within the dusty arms of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. Also known as M31, the spiral galaxy is a mere 2.5 million light-years away. NGC 206 is seen in this gorgeous close-up of the southwestern extent of Andromeda’s disk, a remarkable composite of data from space and ground-based observatories. The bright, blue stars of NGC 206 indicate its youth. In fact, its youngest massive stars are less than 10 million years old. Much larger than the open or galactic clusters of young stars in the disk of our Milky Way galaxy, NGC 206 spans about 4,000 light-years. That’s comparable in size to the giant stellar nurseries NGC 604 in nearby spiral M33 and the Tarantula Nebula, in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Star forming sites within Andromeda are revealed by the telltale reddish emission from clouds of ionized hydrogen gas.

Object Names: M31, NGC 206

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope, Local Group Galaxy Survey (Phil Massey PI), Mayall 4-Meter, Robert Gendler

Time And Spce

The Egg Nebula - CRL 2688

Around 3000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus is a planetary nebula known as the Egg Nebula. The nebula is the result of a dramatic phase in the life of a Sun-like star. Objects such as these occur as a dying star’s hot remains briefly illuminate the material it has expelled, lighting up the gas and dust surrounding it. The concentric rings seen in the less dense cloud surrounding the star are due to the star ejecting material at regular intervals. The ejection process typically orrurs every hundred years during a phase of the star’s evolution just prior to this preplanetary nebula phase. These dusty shells are not usually visible in these nebulas, but when they are it provides astronomers with a rare opportunity to study their formation and evolution.

Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble