Posted: October 03, 2008
The Hubble Heritage Project celebrates its 10th anniversary this month with a beautiful landscape image of the ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’ of gas and dust in the giant gaseous cavity of star-forming region NGC 3324.
This Hubble Heritage image shows the cavernous star-forming region of NGC 3324, blasted out by intense stellar radiation. Image: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
The Hubble Heritage Project has released nearly 130 ‘showcase’ images over the last 10 years, in order to present the Universe from an artistic perspective to stimulate a wide audience. This month's captivating landscape shows the edge of glowing nebula NGC 3324, located 7,200 light years away in the Carina Nebula complex.
The belly of the nebula has been carved out by intense ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from several hot, young stars located well outside this image. Set amid a backdrop of soft, glowing blue light are wispy tendrils of gas as well as dark trunks of dust that tower light-years above the glowing wall of gas. The dense gas at the top of the wall resists the blistering ultraviolet radiation and creates a tower that points in the direction of the energy flow.
The image is a composite of data taken with two of Hubble's science instruments. Data taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in 2006 isolated light emitted by hydrogen. More recent data, taken in 2008 with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), isolated light emitted by sulphur and oxygen gas. To create a colour composite, the data from the sulphur filter are represented by red, from the oxygen filter by blue, and from the hydrogen filter by green.
The WFPC2 will be upgraded in the forthcoming Hubble repair mission, now likely to fly in early 2009 following a software glitch with the telescope earlier this week.
Oct 01 Hubble's ANGST reveals diversity of galaxies read more
Oct 01 Hubble trouble read more