Info

030029

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this image of a star-forming cloud of dust and gas located in the constellation of Monoceros. The nebula, commonly referred to as Sh2-284, is relatively isolated at the very end of an outer spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy. In the night sky, it's located in the opposite direction from the centre of the Milky Way. Perhaps the most interesting features in Sh2-284 are what astronomer call 'elephant trunks.' Elephant trunks are monstrous pillars of dense gas and dust. The most famous examples of are the 'Pillars of Creation,' found in an iconic image of the Eagle nebula from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. In this WISE image, the trunks are seen as small columns of gas stretching towards the centre of the void in Sh2-284, like little green fingers with yellow fingernails. The most notable one can be seen on the right side of the void at about the 3 o'clock position. It appears as a closed hand with a finger pointing towards the centre of the void. That elephant trunk is about 7 light-years long. Deep inside Sh2-284 resides an open star cluster, called Dolidze 25, which is emitting vast amounts of radiation in all directions, along with stellar winds. The colours used in this image represent specific wavelengths of infrared light. Blue and cyan (blue-green) represent light emitted at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is predominantly from stars. Green and red represent light from 12 and 22 microns, respectively, which is mostly emitted by dust.

Add to Cart
Filename
030029.jpg
Copyright
Irish Photo Archive
Image Size
4998x3499 / 2.5MB
Contained in galleries
Recently uploaded historical photos 4
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this image of a star-forming cloud of dust and gas located in the constellation of Monoceros. The nebula, commonly referred to as Sh2-284, is relatively isolated at the very end of an outer spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy. In the night sky, it's located in the opposite direction from the centre of the Milky Way. Perhaps the most interesting features in Sh2-284 are what astronomer call 'elephant trunks.' Elephant trunks are monstrous pillars of dense gas and dust. The most famous examples of are the 'Pillars of Creation,' found in an iconic image of the Eagle nebula from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. In this WISE image, the trunks are seen as small columns of gas stretching towards the centre of the void in Sh2-284, like little green fingers with yellow fingernails. The most notable one can be seen on the right side of the void at about the 3 o'clock position. It appears as a closed hand with a finger pointing towards the centre of the void. That elephant trunk is about 7 light-years long. Deep inside Sh2-284 resides an open star cluster, called Dolidze 25, which is emitting vast amounts of radiation in all directions, along with stellar winds. The colours used in this image represent specific wavelengths of infrared light. Blue and cyan (blue-green) represent light emitted at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is predominantly from stars. Green and red represent light from 12 and 22 microns, respectively, which is mostly emitted by dust.