Hubble captures view of Mystic Mountain

Esahubble_heic1007a_1024

esahubble_heic1007a April 23rd, 2010

Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

This craggy fantasy mountaintop enshrouded by wispy clouds looks like a bizarre landscape from Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, which is even more dramatic than fiction, captures the chaotic activity atop a pillar of gas and dust, three light-years tall, which is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks. This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. The image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble's launch and deployment into an orbit around the Earth. Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from super-hot newborn stars in the nebula are shaping and compressing the pillar, causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of hot ionised gas can be seen flowing off the ridges of the structure, and wispy veils of gas and dust, illuminated by starlight, float around its towering peaks. The denser parts of the pillar are resisting being eroded by radiation. Nestled inside this dense mountain are fledgling stars. Long streamers of gas can be seen shooting in opposite directions from the pedestal at the top of the image. Another pair of jets is visible at another peak near the centre of the image. These jets, (known as HH 901 and HH 902, respectively, are signposts for new star birth and are launched by swirling gas and dust discs around the young stars, which allow material to slowly accrete onto the stellar surfaces. Hubbles Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar on 1-2 February 2010. The colours in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulphur (red).

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1007a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Carina Nebula HH 901 HH 902
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula
Nebula > Type > Jet
Esahubble_heic1007a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 10h 44m 2.4s
DEC = -59° 30’ 29.5”
Orientation
North is 165.5° CCW
Field of View
1.4 x 1.3 arcminutes
Constellation
Carina

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Red Hubble (WFC3) Optical (Sii) 673.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFC3) Optical (H-alpha + Nii) 657.0 nm
Blue Hubble (WFC3) Optical (Oiii) 502.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Red
Green
Blue
Esahubble_heic1007a_1280
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ID
heic1007a
Subject Category
B.4   B.4.1.5  
Subject Name
Carina Nebula, HH 901, HH 902
Credits
NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)
Release Date
2010-04-23T10:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1007a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Red, Green, Blue
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
Sii, H-alpha + Nii, Oiii
Central Wavelength
673, 657, 502
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
161.0099338, -59.5082083
Reference Dimension
2104.0, 1937.0
Reference Pixel
1053.0, 969.5
Scale
-1.09854e-05, 1.0985355e-05
Rotation
165.49
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org/
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
heic1007a
Metadata Date
2019-10-07T11:40:22.250930
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.