NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 4 February 2023: A nebula-3200 light years away | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 4 February 2023: A nebula-3200 light years away

NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day presents a magnificent Nebula which is approximately 3200 light-years away.

| Updated on: Feb 04 2023, 17:21 IST
Top astronomy photos of the week by NASA: Galaxy wars, Nebula, Moon to Sun, check them out
1/7 On January 14, NASA released an image of Perihelion Sun 2023, the image was taken after January 4, at the Earth's closest approach to the Sun. It was taken less than 24 hours after the earth's close approach. (Peter Ward (Barden Ridge Observatory))
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2/7 On January 15, another photograph was released of The Crab Nebula snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. ( NASA, ESA, Hubble, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU))
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3/7 On January 16, NASA released an image of Moon Enhanced. The featured image is a composite of multiple images enhanced to bring up real surface features. The dark areas in the image, called maria, have fewer craters and were once seas of molten lava. Additionally, the image colours, although based on the moon's real composition, are changed, and exaggerated. (Darya Kawa Mirza)
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4/7 On January 17, the image of unexpected clouds toward the Andromeda Galaxy was released. (Yann Sainty & Marcel Drechsler)
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5/7 Image of MACS0647: Gravitational Lensing of the Early Universe Captured by James Webb Space Telescope was released by NASA on January 18. ( NASA, ESA, CSA, Dan Coe (STScI), Rebecca Larson (UT), Yu-Yang Hsiao (JHU); Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI); Text: Michael Rutkowski (Minn. St. U. Mankato))
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6/7 On January 19, the image of The Seagull Nebula was released. The complex of gas and dust clouds with other stars of the Canis Majoris OB1 association spans over 200 light-years. (Carlos Taylor)
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7/7 Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82, this image was released on January 20. On the right, with grand spiral arms and bright yellow core is spiral galaxy M81.  (Andreas Aufschnaiter)
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NGC 2626 is located near a dusty cloud and encircled by reddish hydrogen emissions from the H II region RCW 27 is the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. (Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Selby & Mark Hanson)

Nebula is nothing but the beginning of a star! How? NASA explains that Nebulae are composed of dust and gaseous matter, primarily hydrogen and helium. Despite being dispersed, gravity can cause clumps of dust and gas to converge over time, leading to increased gravitational pull. Once these clumps become substantial, they collapse under their own gravity, heating up the central material and forming the beginnings of a star.

Today's NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is NGC 2626, a beautiful, bright, blue reflection nebula in the southern Milky Way which is centered in this colourful cosmic canvas. NGC 2626 is located near a dusty cloud and encircled by reddish hydrogen emissions from the H II region RCW 27. It is part of a group of dusty molecular clouds called the Vela Molecular Ridge. The nebula is composed of interstellar dust that reflects the blue light from a young, hot, embedded star.

However, several other astronomical explorations reveal that many other young stars and associated nebulae in the star-forming region. NGC 2626 lies approximately 3200 light-years distant, with a telescopic field of view spanning approximately 30 light-years within the Vela Molecular Ridge.

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How do scientists detect Nebulae?

"Astronomers observe distant nebulae through the lens of highly advanced telescopes. For instance, NASA's Spitzer and the newest Hubble Space Telescopes have captured numerous images of nebulae located far in space."

Do you know?

Some Nebulae are also known as "star nurseries" because of the reason that nebulae are regions where new stars begin to form. Nebulae can result from the gas and dust expelled during the explosion of a dying star, such as in a supernova.

The nearest known nebula to Earth is the Helix Nebula which is believed to be the remnant of a star similar to the Sun and is located approximately 700 light-years away. That means even if you manage to travel at the speed of light, it will still take 700 years to reach the Helix nebula!

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First Published Date: 04 Feb, 17:20 IST