A Crimson Nursery

Noirlab_iotw2230a_1024

noirlab_iotw2230a July 27th, 2022

Credit: CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab)Image processing: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Zamani (NSF’s NOIRLab) & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab) 

RCW 120, also known as Sharpless 2-3, is an emission nebula and star-forming region located in the constellation Scorpius, about 4300 light-years away from Earth. The glowing nebula was captured here by the SMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab.  This HII region shines in the red color of ionized hydrogen gas. Immense heat generated from young, massive stars within energizes the gas, that then releases light in deep red and infrared wavelengths. The dark lanes in the nebula are less energized areas and thus do not appear to glow despite being made of the same material. Within the gas, bright stars are a common sight in emission nebulae, and are responsible for fusing together light elements to form many of the heavier elements in the cosmos, such as silicon and iron. RCW 120, however, houses an unusual embryonic star – one that is expected to become one of the brightest in our galaxy.

Provider: NOIRLab

Image Source: https://noirlab.edu/public/images/iotw2230a/

Curator: NSF's NOIRLab, Tucson, AZ, USA

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
RCW 120
Noirlab_iotw2230a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 17h 12m 28.8s
DEC = -38° 31’ 44.4”
Orientation
North is 179.6° CCW
Field of View
11.3 x 12.9 arcminutes
Constellation
Scorpius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue SMARTS-0.9m (Tek2K) Optical (G) 475.0 nm
Green SMARTS-0.9m (Tek2K) Optical (R) 656.0 nm
Orange SMARTS-0.9m (Tek2K) Optical (I) 802.0 nm
Red SMARTS-0.9m (Tek2K) Optical (H-alpha) 656.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Orange
Red
Noirlab_iotw2230a_1280
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ID
iotw2230a
Subject Category
Subject Name
RCW 120
Credits
CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab)Image processing: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Zamani (NSF’s NOIRLab) & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab) 
Release Date
2022-07-27T12:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://noirlab.edu/public/images/iotw2230a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
SMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope, SMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope, SMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope, SMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope
Instrument
Tek2K, Tek2K, Tek2K, Tek2K
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Orange, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
G, R, I, H-alpha
Central Wavelength
475, 656, 802, 656
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
258.120017317, -38.5289941882
Reference Dimension
1693.0, 1926.0
Reference Pixel
1022.75759125, 1500.35879898
Scale
-0.000111530139677, 0.00011143497031
Rotation
179.64494336676
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NSF's NOIRLab
URL
https://noirlab.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
950 North Cherry Ave.
City
Tucson
State/Province
AZ
Postal Code
85719
Country
USA
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
NSF's NOIRLab
Publisher ID
noirlab
Resource ID
iotw2230a
Metadata Date
2022-07-24T20:01:21.644529
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.