March 28, 2015

Infrared VISTA view of a stellar nursery in Monoceros

Star Formation Region Monoceros R2 - Infrared VISTA view of a stellar nursery in Monoceros

This dramatic infrared image shows the nearby star formation region Monoceros R2, located some 2700 light-years away in the constellation of Monoceros (the Unicorn). The picture was created from exposures in the near infrared bands Y, J and Ks taken by the VISTA survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. Monoceros R2 is an association of massive hot young stars illuminating a beautiful collection of reflection nebulae, embedded in a large molecular cloud.

Image Credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA
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March 27, 2015

A rose made of galaxies - ARP 273

Arp 273 Galaxy

This image of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273 was released to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The distorted shape of the larger of the two galaxies shows signs of tidal interactions with the smaller of the two. It is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
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March 26, 2015

Thor’s Helmet Nebula - NGC 2359

Nebulae - Thor’s Helmet Nebula - NGC 2359 - ESO

This VLT image of the Thor’s Helmet Nebula was taken on the occasion of ESO’s 50th Anniversary, 5 October 2012, with the help of Brigitte Bailleul — winner of the Tweet Your Way to the VLT! competition. The observations were broadcast live over the internet from the Paranal Observatory in Chile. This object, also known as NGC 2359, lies in the constellation of Canis Major (The Great Dog). The helmet-shaped nebula is around 15 000 light-years away from Earth and is over 30 light-years across. The helmet is a cosmic bubble, blown as the wind from the bright, massive star near the bubble's centre sweeps through the surrounding molecular cloud.

Image Credit: ESO/B. Bailleul
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March 25, 2015

Star cluster NGC 6193 and nebula NGC 6188

Star cluster NGC 6193 and nebula NGC 6188

This image, taken by OmegaCAM on the VLT Survey Telescope at Paranal Observatory, shows a section of the Ara OB1 stellar association. In the centre of the image is the young open cluster NGC 6193, and to the right is the emission nebula NGC 6188, illuminated by the ionising radiation emitted by the brightest nearby stars. 

Image Credit: ESO
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