仙女座星系过去与未来的恒星

2022年5月23日


这幅特色图片显示了仙女座星系M31,在红外光下以橙色显示,在可见光下以白色和蓝色显示。请参阅说明以获取更多详细信息。

The Once and Future Stars of Andromeda
Image Credit:
NASA, NSF, NOAJ, Hubble, Subaru, Mayall, DSS, Spitzer; Processing & Copyright: Robert Gendler & Russell Croman

Explanation: This picture of Andromeda shows not only where stars are now, but where stars will soon be. Of course, the big, beautiful Andromeda Galaxy, M31, is a spiral galaxy — and a mere 2.5 million light-years away. Both space-based and ground-based observatories have been here combined to produce this intriguing composite image of Andromeda, at wavelengths both inside and outside normally visible light. The visible light shows where M31’s stars are now — as highlighted in white and blue hues and imaged by the Hubble, Subaru, and Mayall telescopes. The infrared light shows where M31’s future stars will soon form — as highlighted in orange hues and imaged by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The infrared light tracks enormous lanes of dust, warmed by stars, sweeping along Andromeda’s spiral arms. This dust is a tracer of the galaxy’s vast interstellar gas — the raw material for future star formation. These new stars will likely form over the next hundred million years, surely well before Andromeda merges with our Milky Way Galaxy in about 5 billion years.

Tomorrow’s picture: visiting moon


仙女座星系过去与未来的恒星
影像提供:
NASA, NSF, NOAJ, Hubble, Subaru, Mayall, DSS, Spitzer; 影像处理与版权: Robert Gendler & Russell Croman

说明: 这幅仙女座星系的影像,不仅显示目前恒星所在的位置,也呈现了未来恒星即将现身的区位。如大家所熟知的,庞大美丽的仙女座星系(M31),是个离我们只有2百50万光年远的螺旋星系。这幅很有趣的仙女座星系组合影像,整合了太空与地基望远镜的观测数据,以同时呈现此星系在可见光及非可见光波段的景观。影像里白色与蓝色、来自哈勃、昴宿、及Mayall望远镜的可见光数据,突显M31目前恒星所在的位置。而来自NASA史匹哲太空望远镜的橙色红外光数据,则显示M31未来的恒星即将形成的区域。红外光数据所显示的,是仙女座星系广袤的螺旋臂上,受到恒星加热的庞然尘埃带。这些尘埃是此星系大量星际气体的示踪剂,更是未来恒星形成的原材料。很可确定的,这些新恒星很可能会形成于接下来的一亿年内,远在约50亿年后仙女座与我们的银河系合并之前。

明日的图片: visiting moon

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