April 25, 2016

Hubble’s wide view of “Mystic Mountain” in the Infrared

Mystic Mountain

This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared image of a pillar of gas and dust, three light-years tall, that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby stars in the tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina.

The image reveals a myriad of stars behind the gaseous veil of the nebula’s wall of hydrogen, laced with dust. The foreground pillar becomes semi-transparent because infrared light from background stars penetrates through much of the dust. A few stars inside the pillar also become visible. The false colours are assigned to three different infrared wavelength ranges.

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar in February/March 2010.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio
Explanation from: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1007f/

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