2020年12月26日

请参阅说明。单击图片将下载可用的最高分辨率版本。

Fox Fur, Unicorn, and Christmas Tree
Image Credit & Copyright:
Miguel Claro (TWAN, Dark Sky Alqueva)

Explanation: Clouds of glowing hydrogen gas fill this colorful skyscape in the faint but fanciful constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. A star forming region cataloged as NGC 2264, the complex jumble of cosmic gas and dust is about 2,700 light-years distant and mixes reddish emission nebulae excited by energetic light from newborn stars with dark interstellar dust clouds. Where the otherwise obscuring dust clouds lie close to the hot, young stars they also reflect starlight, forming blue reflection nebulae. The telescopic image spans about 1.5 degrees or 3 full moons, covering nearly 80 light-years at the distance of NGC 2264. Its cast of cosmic characters includes the the Fox Fur Nebula, whose dusty, convoluted pelt lies left of center, bright variable star S Monocerotis immersed in the blue-tinted haze near center, and the Cone Nebula pointing in from the right side of the frame. Of course, the stars of NGC 2264 are also known as the Christmas Tree star cluster. The triangular tree shape is seen on its side here. Traced by brighter stars it has its apex at the Cone Nebula. The tree’s broader base is centered near S Monocerotis.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixel in space


狐皮、独角兽与圣诞树
影像提供与版权:
Miguel Claro (TWAN, Dark Sky Alqueva)

说明: 在这片位于昏暗但令人浮想联翩的麒麟座之色彩缤纷星野里,到处都是光亮的。这个距离约2,700光年远、由宇宙云气和尘埃所聚成的恒星形成区,编录号为NGC 2264;它内部交织着被新恒星高能星光所激发的泛红发射星云与及黝黑的星际尘埃云。当这些不透光的尘埃云位在炽热年轻恒星附近时,它们会反射星光,成为泛蓝的反射星云。这幅垂直方向绵延1.5度(或3个满月)的望远镜影像,依NGC 2264的距离来估算,涵盖了约80光年的区域。此区域内的著名天体包括:皮毛摊堆在影像中左方的狐皮星云,中心有沉浸在狐皮星云泛蓝辉光中的明亮变星麒麟座S星(S Mon),而锥状星云则从影像右侧伸入。值得一提的是,NGC 2264内的众星也名为圣诞树星团。在这张影像中,恒星所排列出的三角形顶点在锥状星云,而较宽底部的中心点则在麒麟座S星附近。

明日的图片: pixel in space

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