2019 November 8
NGC 3572 and the Southern Tadpoles
Image Credit & Copyright: Josep Drudis
Explanation: This cosmic skyscape features glowing gas and dark dust clouds along side the young stars of NGC 3572. A beautiful emission nebula and star cluster in far southern skies, the region is often overlooked by astroimagers in favor of its brighter neighbor, the nearby Carina Nebula. Stars from NGC 3572 are toward the upper left in the telescopic frame that would measure about 100 light-years across at the cluster’s estimated distant of 9,000 light-years. The visible interstellar gas and dust is part of the star cluster’s natal molecular cloud. Dense streamers of material within the nebula, eroded by stellar winds and radiation, clearly trail away from the energetic young stars. They are likely sites of ongoing star formation with shapes reminiscent of the cosmic Tadpoles of IC 410 better known to northern skygazers. In the coming tens to hundreds of millions of years, gas and stars in the cluster will be dispersed though, by gravitational tides and by violent supernova explosions that end the short lives of the massive cluster stars.
说明：这幅宇宙天空影像呈现了在NGC 3572的年轻恒星旁边的炽热气体和黑暗尘埃云。它们是位于遥远南天中的美丽发射星云和星团，这片区域经常被天文成像仪所忽视，因为它附近的船底座星云比它还要明亮。以星团的估计距离9,000光年来计算，这幅望远镜影像的跨度约100光年，NGC 3572的恒星则位于影像的左上方。这些可见的星际气体和尘埃是星团内新生分子云的一部分。星云内的致密物质流受到了恒星风和辐射的侵蚀，明显地远离了活跃的年轻恒星。而这些区域很可能正在发生恒星形成活动，其形状让人联想到北方观测者较为熟悉宇宙蝌蚪IC 410。在未来数千万到数亿年里，星团内的气体和恒星将被引力潮和剧烈的超新星爆炸所驱散，而超新星爆炸将结束大质量星团内恒星的短暂生命。