NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 10 January 2023: Mesmerizing Cone Nebula captured | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 10 January 2023: Mesmerizing Cone Nebula captured

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day provides a mesmerizing view of the star-forming region known as Cone Nebula.

| Updated on: Jan 10 2023, 16:56 IST
AMAZING image of Earendel star captured by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope
NASA Cone Nebula
1/5 (NASA)
NASA Cone Nebula
2/5 The image was tweeted on August 2 by a group of astronomers who post images from the James Webb Space Telescope through the Cosmic Spring JWST Twitter account. The image was captioned, “We're excited to share the first JWST image of Earendel, the most distant star known in our universe, lensed and magnified by a massive galaxy cluster. It was observed Saturday by JWST program 2282”. (AP)
NASA Cone Nebula
3/5 The Earendel star was discovered earlier this year by the old Hubble Space Telescope. Although it managed to capture the star, the image was not as clear as the one taken by James Webb Telescope. (NASA)
NASA Cone Nebula
4/5 In comparison, its successor, James Webb Space Telescope captured the image which showed the faint red glow of the Earendel star and the starry trail on which it lies. The star is seen as a tiny red speck at the lower right side of the image. (NASA)
NASA Cone Nebula
5/5 To capture these distant objects in detail, astronomers use Gravitational lensing. Celestial objects such as stars and galaxies bend light emitting from the objects behind them due to its gravitational fields. When this light from farther stars passes through these massive celestial objects, it acts like it is passing through the lens of a telescope and becomes magnified. This enables astronomers to capture them in extreme detail. (NASA)
NASA Cone Nebula
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The captured Cone Nebula is a star-forming region located nearly 2500 light-years away from Earth. (NASA/ Matt Dieterich)

The region of a galaxy where stars are forming at an especially high rate is known as a Star Nursery or a Nebula. These star-forming regions are usually found in the spiral arms of galaxies, where there is a high density of molecular clouds. Gravity within a molecular cloud causes the gas and dust to collapse, forming dense cores. As the cores grow denser and hotter, they begin to fuse hydrogen atoms into helium, which releases energy in the form of light and heat. Once a core reaches a certain temperature and density, a new star is born.

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a bewitching picture of a star-forming region known as a Cone Nebula. This Nebula has been given the designation of NGC 2264 and it is located 2500 light-years away toward the constellation of the Unicorn. The makeup of a Nebula consists of gases, mainly hydrogen and helium. After formation, many stars form groups from the same Nebula, which is known as a Star Cluster.

The image was captured by Matt Dieterich, an astrophotographer and a former Astronomy Ranger.

NASA's explanation

Stars are forming in the gigantic dust pillar called the Cone Nebula. Cones, pillars, and majestic flowing shapes abound in stellar nurseries where clouds of gas and dust are sculpted by energetic winds from newborn stars. The Cone Nebula, a well-known example, lies within the bright galactic star-forming region NGC 2264. The featured image of the Cone was captured recently combining 24-hours of exposure with a half-meter telescope at the El Sauce Observatory in Chile.

Located about 2,500 light-years away toward the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros), the Cone Nebula's conical pillar extends about 7 light-years. The massive star NGC 2264 IRS, is the likely source of the wind sculpting the Cone Nebula and lies off the top of the image. The Cone Nebula's reddish veil is produced by glowing hydrogen gas.

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First Published Date: 10 Jan, 16:55 IST