NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 8 February 2023: Wind-shaped Nebula RCW 58

    NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is a mesmerizing snapshot of the Stellar-wind shaped Nebula located in the constellation of Carina.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Feb 08 2023, 13:28 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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    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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    Stellar Wind-shaped Nebula
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    Stellar Wind-shaped Nebula RCW 58 is an oval shaped nebula 13000 light-years away. (NASA/Mike Selby/Mark Hanson)

    A nebula is a giant cloud of dust and gas in space, according to NASA. These celestial objects exist in the space between stars, known as the Interstellar space. Some nebulae originate from the gas and dust thrown out by the explosion of a dying star while other nebulae are star-forming regions. Although most of the Nebulae are located millions of light-years away, NASA is able to capture them with the help of its Spitzer Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope and the new James Webb Space Telescope.

    NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a mesmerizing snapshot of the Stellar Wind-Shaped Nebula RCW 58. It is located nearly 13000 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. The Nebula has a wolf star located in the center, a star which is 100 times as massive as our Sun, a million times more luminous, and with 30 times the surface temperature. When these stars expand, they eject high-speed stellar winds through their outer layer. These winds sculpt the material surrounding the Nebula, creating its peculiar shape, such as the oval shape of the Nebula in this case.

    The Image was captured by astronomers Mike Selby and Mark Hanson.

    NASA's description of the picture

    Imagine traveling to a star about 100 times as massive as our Sun, a million times more luminous, and with 30 times the surface temperature. Such stars exist, and some are known as Wolf Rayet (WR) stars, named after French astronomers Charles Wolf and Georges Rayet. The central star in this image is WR 40 which is located toward the constellation of Carina. Stars like WR 40 live fast and die young in comparison with the Sun. They quickly exhaust their core hydrogen supply, move on to fusing heavier core elements, and expand while ejecting their outer layers via high stellar winds.

    In this case, the central star WR 40 ejects the atmosphere at a speed of nearly 100 kilometers per second, and these outer layers have become the expanding oval-shaped nebula RCW 58.

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    First Published Date: 08 Feb, 13:27 IST
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