Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Eskimo Nebula from Hubble

Credit: Andrew Fruchter (STScI) et al., WFPC2, HST, NASA

Explanation: In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula. From the ground, NGC 2392 resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the Eskimo Nebula. From space, the nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. The Eskimo Nebula is clearly a planetary nebula, and the gas seen above composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments visible above are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments.


JDHURF said...

I simply cannot understand how the beauty, grandiosity and sheer majesty of the material universe is not enough for people. Awesome stuff!

Stardust said...

I hear ya, jd. This is PEACEFUL BEAUTY. It would be wonderful to live on a planet where people actually appreciated the wonders of nature and the universe instead of arguing and fighting over some ancient mythologies.

Adam Scanlan said...

Agreed, most people seem to be completely ignorant of the vastness and majesty of the universe; tiny ants with their tiny problems.

I love the astronomy pictures you post Stardust. This one has to be one of the best yet.

Do you know if this is a visible spectrum pic?

Stardust said...

adam - The picture was taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The nebula's glowing gases produce the colors in this image: nitrogen (red), hydrogen (green), oxygen (blue), and helium (violet).