Washington, DC - September 9, 2009 -- These two images of a huge pillar of star birth demonstrate how observations taken in visible and in infrared light by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope reveal dramatically different and complementary views of an object.  The pictures demonstrate one example of the broad wavelength range of the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) aboard the Hubble telescope, extending from ultraviolet to visible to infrared light.  Composed of gas and dust, the pillar resides in a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The pair of images shows that astronomers are given a much more complete view of the pillar and its contents when distinct details not seen at visible wavelengths are uncovered in near-infrared light. The top image, taken in visible light, shows the top of the 3-light-year-long pillar, bathed in the glow of light from hot, massive stars off the top of the image. Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from these stars are sculpting the pillar and causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of gas and dust can be seen flowing off the top of the structure.  Nestled inside this dense structure are fledgling stars. They cannot be seen in this image because they are hidden by a wall of gas and dust. Although the stars themselves are invisible, one of them is providing evidence of its existence. Thin puffs of material can be seen traveling to the left and to the right of a dark notch in the center of the pillar. The matter is part of a jet produced by a young star. Farther away, on the left, the jet is visible as a grouping of small, wispy clouds. A few small clouds are visible at a similar distance on the right side of the jet. Astronomers estimate that the jet is moving at speeds of up to 850,000 miles an hour. The jet's total length is more than 15 light-years.  In the image at bo
Share
Hubble
Washington, DC - September 9, 2009 -- These two images of a huge pillar of star birth demonstrate how observations taken in visible and in infrared light by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope reveal dramatically different and complementary views of an object. The pictures demonstrate one example of the broad wavelength range of the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) aboard the Hubble telescope, extending from ultraviolet to visible to infrared light. Composed of gas and dust, the pillar resides in a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The pair of images shows that astronomers are given a much more complete view of the pillar and its contents when distinct details not seen at visible wavelengths are uncovered in near-infrared light. The top image, taken in visible light, shows the top of the 3-light-year-long pillar, bathed in the glow of light from hot, massive stars off the top of the image. Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from these stars are sculpting the pillar and causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of gas and dust can be seen flowing off the top of the structure. Nestled inside this dense structure are fledgling stars. They cannot be seen in this image because they are hidden by a wall of gas and dust. Although the stars themselves are invisible, one of them is providing evidence of its existence. Thin puffs of material can be seen traveling to the left and to the right of a dark notch in the center of the pillar. The matter is part of a jet produced by a young star. Farther away, on the left, the jet is visible as a grouping of small, wispy clouds. A few small clouds are visible at a similar distance on the right side of the jet. Astronomers estimate that the jet is moving at speeds of up to 850,000 miles an hour. The jet's total length is more than 15 light-years. In the image at bo

Filename: 090909Hubble02.jpg
Source: Consolidated News Photos
Date: 9 Sep 2009
Location: Washington District of Columbia United States of America
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team via CNP
Copyright:
Model Release: No
Property Release: No
Restrictions:
Direct Link:
Keywords:
2009
American
ESA
European Space Agency
HST
Hubble Space Telescope
NASA
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
US
U.S.
United States
USA
astronomy
exploration
flight
galaxy
government
international
news
science
space
space flight
star
technology