Вадим Дудченко
Администратор портала

NASA has released a beautiful image snapped by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope of the reflection nebula IC 2631.

This Hubble image shows part of IC 2631, a reflection nebula some 500 light-years away in the constellation of Chamaeleon. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / K. Stapelfeldt, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Gladys Kober, NASA & Catholic University of America.

“Reflection nebulae are clouds of gas and dust that reflect the light from nearby stars,” the Hubble astronomers said.

“The starlight scatters through the gas and dust like a flashlight beam shining on mist in the dark and illuminates it.”

“Because of the way light scatters when it hits the fine dust of the interstellar medium, these nebulae are often bluish in color.”

IC 2631 is located some 500 light-years away in the small southern constellation of Chamaeleon.

Also known as BRAN 341C, Ced 112 and GN 11.08.3, the object was discovered in 1900 by the American astronomer DeLisle Stewart.

IC 2631 is the brightest nebula in the Chamaeleon Complex, a large region of gas and dust clouds that harbors numerous newborn and still-forming stars.

The object is illuminated by a star called HD 97300, one of the youngest — as well as most massive and brightest — stars in its neighborhood.

Hubble observed a small part of IC2631 in a survey looking at the disks of newly-formed stars. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / K. Stapelfeldt, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory / ESO / Gladys Kober, NASA & Catholic University of America.

“The new Hubble image captures a portion of the reflection nebula IC 2631 that contains a protostar, the hot, dense core of a forming star that is accumulating gas and dust,” the astronomers said.

“Eventually the protostar may gravitationally gather enough matter to begin nuclear fusion and emit its own energy and starlight.”

“Hubble observed this nebula while looking for disks of gas and dust around young stars,” they added.

“Such disks are left over from the formation of the star and may eventually form planets.”

 



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