Cosmic Keyhole

Esahubble_potw2243a_1024

esahubble_potw2243a October 24th, 2022

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, ESO, K. Noll

This peculiar portrait from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope showcases NGC 1999, a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. NGC 1999 is around 1350 light-years from Earth and lies near to the Orion Nebula, the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. NGC 1999 itself is a relic of recent star formation — it is composed of detritus left over from the formation of a newborn star. Just like fog curling around a street lamp, reflection nebulae like NGC 1999 only shine because of the light from an embedded source. In the case of NGC 1999, this source is the aforementioned newborn star V380 Orionis which is visible at the centre of this image. The most notable aspect of NGC 1999’s appearance, however, is the conspicuous hole in its centre, which resembles an inky-black keyhole of cosmic proportions. This image was created from archival Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 observations that date from shortly after Servicing Mission 3A in 1999. At the time, astronomers believed that the dark patch in NGC 1999 was something called a Bok globule — a dense, cold cloud of gas, molecules, and cosmic dust that blots out background light. However, follow-up observations using a collection of telescopes including ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory revealed that the dark patch is actually an empty region of space. The origin of this unexplained rift in the heart of NGC 1999 remains unknown. Links Video of Cosmic Keyhole

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2243a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Baltimore, MD, United States

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
NGC 1999
Esahubble_potw2243a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 36m 24.8s
DEC = -6° 42’ 52.7”
Orientation
North is 24.8° CW
Field of View
2.8 x 3.0 arcminutes
Constellation
Orion

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue VST (OmegaCAM) Optical (u) 350.0 nm
Green VST (OmegaCAM) Optical (g) 480.0 nm
Red VST (OmegaCAM) Optical (H-alpha) 659.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (r) 675.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (v) 555.0 nm
Blue Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (b) 450.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Red
Red
Green
Blue
Esahubble_potw2243a_1280
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ID
potw2243a
Subject Category
Subject Name
NGC 1999
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, ESO, K. Noll
Release Date
2022-10-24T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2243a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
VLT Survey Telescope, VLT Survey Telescope, VLT Survey Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
OmegaCAM, OmegaCAM, OmegaCAM, WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red, Red, Green, Blue
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
u, g, H-alpha, r, v, b
Central Wavelength
350, 480, 659, 675, 555, 450
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
84.10312738916211, -6.714626064564699
Reference Dimension
1665.0, 1780.0
Reference Pixel
832.5, 890.0
Scale
-2.7805106816248367e-05, 2.7805106816248367e-05
Rotation
-24.759999999999938
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
https://esahubble.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
ESA Office, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
United States
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw2243a
Metadata Date
2022-10-21T16:27:21+02:00
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.