Hubble snaps star-forming Prawn nebula in detail
image: NASA/Hubble

Hubble snaps star-forming Prawn nebula in detail

Hubble Space Telescope’s this week’s image shows something unexpected – a Prawn. The image shows the beautiful Prawn Nebula that is around 6,000 light-years away from our planet in the tail of the constellation Scorpius.

Despite the nebula’s large size, spanning over 250 light-years, it is rarely imaged as its luminosity is low, emitting only a small amount of light. The stars which can be seen appear to be a blue-white color, but additionally to this most of the stars within the nebula emit light in other portions of the spectrum that can’t be seen through human eyes.

Hubble captures detailed image of the nebula

Hubble images in both the infrared and visible light make room for more details of the striking swirls of dust and gas. “The Prawn Nebula, also known as IC 4628, is an emission nebula, which means its gas has been energized, or ionized, by the radiation of nearby stars,” explained Hubble scientists.

“The radiation from these massive stars strips electrons from the nebula’s hydrogen atoms. As the energized electrons revert from their higher-energy state to a lower-energy state by recombining with hydrogen nuclei, they emit energy in the form of light, causing the nebula’s gas to glow. In this image, red indicates the presence of ionized iron (Fe II) emission.”

The nebula forms clusters of stars

The nebula is a busy star-forming region that creates individual as well clusters of stars. In between these points of light are voids created when hot stars spit stellar winds, blowing away matter such as gas and dust.

Previously, the Hubble team shared an image of the mysterious nebula N44. It has an unusual feature –a black hole at the center, which is hundreds of light-years across, forming a gap known as a “superbubble.”

N44 is an emission nebula, which means it is a cloud of dust and gas that has been ionized by radiation from stars that are located nearby. However, emission nebulae don’t typically feature big holes in their centers, and scientists are still trying to determine why N4 has this odd feature.

Disclaimer: The above article has been aggregated by a computer program and summarised by an Steamdaily specialist. You can read the original article at nasa
Close Menu