Astronomy Now Home
Home Magazine Resources Store

On Sale Now!

The October 2014 issue of Astronomy Now is on sale! Order direct from our store (free 1st class post & to UK addresses). Astronomy Now is the only astronomy magazine specially designed to be read on tablets and phones. Download the app from Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Top Stories

Earthshine used to test life detection method
...By imagining the Earth as an exoplanet, scientists observing our planet's reflected light on the Moon with ESO's Very Large Telescope have demonstrated a way to detect life on other worlds...

Solid buckyballs discovered in space
...Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have detected a particular type of molecule, given the nickname “buckyball”, in a solid form for the first time...

Steamy water-world gets the Hubble treatment
...Hubble Space Telescope observations of a 7 Earth-mass planet find an unusual water-rich world swathed in a thick, steamy atmosphere...

Clearing the dust in the Carina Nebula
Posted: 08 February 2012

Bookmark and Share

The most detailed portrait of the Carina Nebula star-forming region has been captured by ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), revealing hundreds of thousands of never-before-seen stars.

A view of the Carina Nebula in visible light (bottom, by the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory) and infrared (top, by the HAWK-I camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope). Image: ESO/T. Preibisch.

This beautifully intricate stellar nursery lies 7,500 light years from Earth and boasts some of the brightest and heaviest stars known, including Eta Carinae, seen in the lower left of the new image, and poised to explode in a dramatic supernova event as it nears the end of its short life.

Impressive at visible wavelengths, the VLT, equipped with the infrared sensitive HAWK-I camera, has penetrated the thick swaths of dust that cocoon newly forming stars to reveal the nebula in infrared, bringing out hundreds of thousands of stars that were previously hidden. One such grouping of yellow-coloured stars can be seen towards the left of the mosaic, and is the first time that this group has been seen.

Details from the new VLT image of the Carina Nebula. Star cluster Trumpler 14 lies in the centre panel, with a strange golden crescent-shaped cloud. The cutout at the centre of the bottom row features a dark cloud known as the caterpillar at the bottom and obscured young stars at the top. The newly discovered cluster of yellow stars are revealed in the bottom right panel. Image: ESO/T. Preibisch.

Some dense blobs of gas and dust are even impenetrable by the VLT, marking the dust-rich sites of brand new star formation – stars that will eventually ignite and sweep away the remaining dust under their intense radiation.

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.

3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!


© 2014 Pole Star Publications Ltd.