NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 22 April 2023: Hubble Telescope snaps amazing Stellar Nursery

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day for 22nd April takes a quick look at Stellar Nursery.

| Updated on: Apr 22 2023, 12:46 IST
Top NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Auroras, Dark Seahorse Nebula and more
1/5 Red ring of ELVES (April 17) - It is a snapshot of ELVES lighting up the sky over Italy, a distinct type of transient luminous event. ELVES refers to the Emission of Light and Very Low-Frequency perturbations due to Electromagnetic Pulse Sources. The red ELVES captured in the image had a radius of approximately 350 kilometers and occurred at an altitude of about 100 kilometers above the surface, according to NASA. (NASA/Valter Binotto)
solar eclipse
2/5 Map of Total Solar Eclipse path (April 18) - It is the map of the total solar eclipse path which will take place on April 8 next year. Viewers in locations outside the paths will not experience a total solar eclipse or annular eclipse, but they may still see a partial eclipse. Lines running parallel to each path indicate how much of the Sun will become covered by the Moon during the partial eclipse. (NASA/SVS)
3/5 Auroras in Finland (April 19) - This captured image shows auroras lighting up the sky in Saariselka, in northern Finnish Lapland. It was a result of a powerful CME hitting Earth and the auroras could be seen not only in the North but as far as New Mexico, according to NASA. The bright auroras were seen in yellow, green, red and purple auroral colours, mesmerizing skywatchers and tourists. (NASA/Juan Carlos Casado (Starry Earth, TWAN))
Dark Seahorse nebula
4/5 Dark Seahorse Nebula (April 20) - Barnard 150, also known as the Dark Seahorse Nebula, is one of the most peculiarly shaped nebulae, located about 1200 light-years away towards the constellation of Cepheus. It is a dark molecular cloud and is so dense that the dust within blocks visible wavelengths of light. Telescopes that see visible light only detect ghostly dark patches in the sky, called Dark Nebulae. (NASA/Jeff Herman)
Hybrid Solar Eclipse
5/5 Hybrid Solar Eclipse (April 21) - It is a snapshot of the Hybrid Solar Eclipse which occurred yesterday, April 20. It crossed over remote parts of Australia, Indonesia and East Timor and was live-streamed by websites such as Perth Observatory, and the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory and more. According to NASA, this hybrid solar eclipse lasted just 62 seconds. (NASA/Gwenael Blanck)
NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 22 April
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NGC 1333 - Stellar Nursery in the Perseus constellation is a mere 1000 light-years distant. (NASA, ESA, STScI)

NASA is sharing a jaw-dropping view of the Stellar Nursery which is seen as a reflection nebula. A reflection nebula forms when a nearby dust cloud scatters or reflects the light from a star. This scattered light is polarized to a small extent and exhibits a spectrum resembling that of the illuminating star but with a bluer hue. NASA says that just "like fog around a street lamp, a reflection nebula shines only because the light from an embedded source illuminates its dust; the nebula does not emit any visible light of its own."

NASA's Explanation for Astronomy Picture of the Day

While sharing the image, NASA has explained about the nebula, "In visible light, NGC 1333 is seen as a reflection nebula, dominated by bluish hues characteristic of starlight reflected by interstellar dust." It is a mere 1000 light-years distant from the heroic constellation Perseus, it lies at the edge of a large, star-forming molecular cloud.

This image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope showcases a region spanning just over 1 light-year at the approximate distance of NGC 1333. It reveals intricate details of the dusty area, as well as distinctive reddish emissions from Herbig-Haro objects, jets, and shocked luminous gas emitted by newly formed stars. NGC 1333 is a host to hundreds of stars that are less than a million years old, many of which remain concealed from optical telescopes due to the pervasive stardust.

This turbulent environment bears resemblance to the one in which our own Sun formed over 4.5 billion years ago. The Hubble's breathtaking image of this star-forming region was released to mark the 33rd anniversary of the space telescope's launch.

History of the Hubble Telescope

NASA Hubble Space Telescope, a technological marvel of its time, was launched and deployed by the space shuttle Discovery in 1990. It has made more than 1.5 million observations over the course of its lifetime! More surprisingly, NASA has revealed that Hubble Telescope was designed to last roughly 15 years when it was launched in 1990. The Hubble Space Telescope has undergone five successful astronaut servicing missions, and as a result, the telescope's technology has been modified and improved, "and the telescope remains scientifically productive to this day."

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First Published Date: 22 Apr, 12:46 IST