Clouds of the Carina Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: John Ebersole
Explanation: What forms lurk in the mists of the Carina Nebula? The dark ominous figures are actually molecular clouds, knots of molecular gas and dust so thick they have become opaque. In comparison, however, these clouds are typically much less dense than Earth’s atmosphere. Featured here is a detailed image of the core of the Carina Nebula, a part where both dark and colorful clouds of gas and dust are particularly prominent. The image was captured in mid-2016 from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Although the nebula is predominantly composed of hydrogen gas — here colored green, the image was assigned colors so that light emitted by trace amounts of sulfur and oxygen appear red and blue, respectively. The entire Carina Nebula, cataloged as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light years and lies about 7,500 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. Eta Carinae, the most energetic star in the nebula, was one of the brightest stars in the sky in the 1830s, but then faded dramatically.
Tomorrow’s picture: all humans but one
影像提供与版权: John Ebersole
说明: 有什么潜藏在船底座星云的云气之内？这些看来有些凶恶的黝黑体，其实是分子云，具体来说，它们是云气和尘埃聚集得特别厚的不透光分子云纠结。只不过，这些分子云和地球大气比起来，通常还是远较稀薄。这张细致的影像，呈现船底座星云的核心区，在此区域里，黝黑和彩色的气体与尘埃云都特别醒目。在这幅2016年中摄于澳洲塞汀泉天文台的影像里，星云的主成分氢气以绿色呈现，而微量硫和氧所发出的光，则分别渲染成红色与蓝色。编录号为NGC 3372的船底座星云，位在船底座之内，大小约为300光年，离我们则约有7,500光年远。此星云内最活跃的海山二，在1830年代曾是天空最明亮的恒星之一，但后来大幅变暗。
明日的图片: all humans but one