A Nebula by Any Other Name

Wise_wise2010-032_500

WISE_WISE2010-032 September 16th, 2010

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

Nebulae are enormous clouds of dust and gas occupying the space between the stars. Some have pretty names to match their good looks, such as the Rose nebula, while others have much more utilitarian names. Such is the case with LBN 114.55+00.22, seen here in an image from NASAs Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Named after the astronomer who published a catalogue of nebulae in 1965, LBN stands for Lynds Bright Nebula." The numbers 114.55+00.22 refer to nebulas coordinates in the Milky Way Galaxy, serving as a sort of galactic home address.

Astronomers classify LBN 114.55+00.22 as an emission nebula. Unlike a reflection nebula, which reflects light from nearby stars, an emission nebula emits light. High-energy light blasted out from a nearby massive star strips away electrons from the nebulas hydrogen gas, causing the gas to become charged. These nebulae are also called HII regions, with the H standing for hydrogen and the II indicating that the gas is ionized. As the ionized gas begins to cool from a higher-energy state to a lower-energy state, it glows. In the case of LBN 114.55+00.22, dust blocks the view of most of this nebula in visible light. But the dust of the nebula is also warmed by the light of the young stars within, and WISEs infrared detectors see its beautiful infrared colors. Emission nebulae are usually found in the disks of spiral galaxies, and are places where new stars are forming.

In the lower left corner of the image is the bright red star IRAS 23304+6147, which is in the last phase of its life. As the hydrogen in its core burns out, the star will become a planetary nebula, ejecting material that absorbs visible light and glows in the infrared. This stars name comes from the 1983 survey mission Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS).

Another bright object in this image is the supergiant variable star HIP 117078, seen above and to the right of the nebula. In this case, HIP stands for Hipparcos, a European Space Agency satellite that catalogued the positions of over 100,000 stars.

The colors used in this image represent specific wavelengths of infrared light. Blue and cyan represent light emitted at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is predominantly from stars. Green and red represent light from 12 and 22 microns, respectively, which is mostly emitted by dust.

Image Source: /image/WISE/WISE2010-032

Curator: Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Berkeley, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: Pulic Domain

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
LBN 113-55
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula » Type » Star Formation
Wise_wise2010-032_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 23h 40m 20.4s
DEC = 61° 55’ 50.4”
Orientation
North is 224.7° CCW
Field of View
1.6 x 1.6 degrees
Constellation
Cassiopeia

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 3.4 µm
Arrow_left_cyan WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 4.6 µm
Arrow_left_green WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 12.0 µm
Arrow_left_red WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 22.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Wise_wise2010-032_1280
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ID
WISE2010-032
Subject Category
B.4.1.2.  
Subject Name
LBN 113-55
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
/image/WISE/WISE2010-032
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
WISE, WISE, WISE, WISE
Instrument
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Mid-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
3400, 4600, 12000, 22000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
355.084801, 61.930653
Reference Dimension
4095, 4095
Reference Pixel
2048, 2048
Scale
-3.81944439141100e-04, 3.81944439141100e-04
Rotation
224.749752
Coordinate System Projection:
SIN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
URL
http://wise.astro.ucla.edu
Name
Email
outreach@ssl.berkeley.edu
Telephone
Address
7 Gauss Way
City
Berkeley
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
94720
Country
USA
Rights
Pulic Domain
Publisher
Publisher ID
WISE
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/WISE/WISE2010-032
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2011-08-05
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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There is no distance meta data in this image.