2019 September 25

The Pelican Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars
Image Credit & Copyright:
Yannick Akar

Explanation: The Pelican Nebula is slowly being transformed. IC 5070, the official designation, is divided from the larger North America Nebula by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust. The Pelican, however, receives much study because it is a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The featured picture was produced in three specific colors — light emitted by sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen — that can help us to better understand these interactions. The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming the cold gas to hot gas, with the advancing boundary between the two, known as an ionization front, visible in bright orange on the right. Particularly dense tentacles of cold gas remain. Millions of years from now this nebula might no longer be known as the Pelican, as the balance and placement of stars and gas will surely leave something that appears completely different.

Yannick Akar

说明:鹈鹕星云正在慢慢地转变。该星云被正式命名为IC 5070,一个满是黑暗尘埃的分子云将它与较庞大的北美星云相隔。然而,因为鹈鹕星云是恒星形成和演化气体云的特别活跃的混合体,所以它成为了研究的热点。这幅特征影像是由三种特定的颜色构建而成,它们分别来自硫、氢和氧发出的辉光,这有助于我们更好地理解那些交互作用。年轻高能恒星发出的星光正缓慢地将冰冷云气转变为炽热气体,这两种气体之间的推进边界被称为电离前沿,在影像右侧的亮橙色区域内可见。而一些特别致密的触须状冰冷云气仍然存在。数百万年之后,因为恒星和云气的均衡和分布变化肯定会留下一些看起来完全不同的物质,所以该星云可能不再被称为鹈鹕星云。

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