NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 19 February 2023: Chilling view of 7 Dusty sisters! | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 19 February 2023: Chilling view of 7 Dusty sisters!

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is a chilling image of the Seven Dusty Sisters - the Pleiades stars clusters in the infrared.

| Updated on: Feb 19 2023, 14:59 IST
Best NASA Astronomy Pictures of the week: Comet ZTF, Hydra Galaxy Cluster, Airglow and more
Seven Dusty sisters
1/5 Green Comet ZTF sweeps past Mars (Feb 13) - It is a picturesque image of Comet ZTF as it swept past Mars on February 10 and 11. Although the comet is no longer visible to teh naked eye, its picture was captured by astronomers as it appeared as a long faint object speeding away from the Sun. Its dust tail and ion tail were captured towards the bottom-right and the top of the image respectively. (NASA/Donato Lioce)
Seven Dusty sisters
2/5 Heart and Soul Nebulae (Feb 14) - NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day on February 14 was a celebration of Valentine's Day in the form of the Heart and the Soul Nebulae which are located about 6000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Both nebulas shine brightly in the red light of energized hydrogen, one of three colors shown in this three-color montage. Light takes about 6,000 years to reach us from these nebulas, which together span roughly 300 light years.  (NASA/Juan Lozano de Haro)
Seven Dusty sisters
3/5 Airglow (Feb 15) - NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for Feb 15 was a stunning picture of Airglow in the skies over Château de Losse in southwest France. It wasn’t just airglow that was visible. Various celestial objects were also seen, including Orion Nebula, California Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, Mars, Sirius, Pleiades Star Cluster and the Milky Way Galaxy.  (NASA/Julien Looten)
Seven Dusty sisters
4/5 Hydra Galaxy Cluster (Feb 16) - Hydra Cluster of galaxies is one of the three large galaxy clusters within 200 million light-years of the Milky Way and it is surrounded by millions of stars. The galaxy cluster is over 100 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. Three large galaxies near the cluster center, two yellow ellipticals (NGC 3311, NGC 3309) and one prominent blue spiral (NGC 3312), are the dominant galaxies, each about 150,000 light-years in diameter. (NASA/Marco Lorenzi/Angus Lau/Tommy Tse)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 CX1 (Feb 17) - A 3.2 feet wide asteroid lit up the skies over Europe on February 12 as it turned into a fireball. The asteroid, named SAR 2667 or Asteroid 2023 CX1, turned into a fireball over the European skies where it was captured by astronomers and skywatchers. It was first discovered by Krisztian Sarneczky with a 2-foot telescope at Konkoly Observatory's Piszkesteto Station, located about 100 kilometers northeast from Budapest.   (NASA/Gijs de Reijke)
Seven Dusty sisters
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NASA shares an astonishing image of Pleiades, which lies about 450 light-years distant from the constellation of the Bull (Image Credit: NASA, WISE, IRSA)

Today's NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day took a chilling snap of the well-known 7 Dusty Sisters. It is also called the Pleiades star cluster, known for its iconic blue stars. However, the image is in infrared light where the surrounding dust outshines the stars. NASA has revealed that the featured image spans around 20 light-years at the distance of the Pleiades, which lies about 450 light-years distant from the constellation of the Bull (Taurus).

While sharing the image, NASA explained that “Here three infrared colours have been mapped into visual colours (R=24, G=12, B=4.6 microns). The base images were taken by NASA's orbiting Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft.” By chance, the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters, is located within a passing dust cloud. As a result, the light and winds emitted by the massive Pleiades stars selectively push away smaller dust particles, causing the dust to arrange itself into filaments, as depicted in the image.

More about Seven Dusty sisters – the Pleiades

The Pleiades represent a type of open star cluster, comprising stars that originated from a massive cloud of gas and dust around the same time. The most luminous stars in the cluster emit a hot blue light and took shape within the past 100 million years.

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How to find the Pleiades in the night sky

To locate the Pleiades, begin by identifying the famous constellation Orion, known as the hunter. Trace a line using the trio of stars forming Orion's belt, and then follow it upwards, beyond the position of his bow, report suggested.

After that, you'll first come across the bright star Aldebaran, followed shortly thereafter by the Pleiades cluster. The cluster appears like a small dipper-shaped pattern of stars positioned just beyond the brilliant star.

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First Published Date: 19 Feb, 14:59 IST