In the Grip of the Scorpions Claw

Wise_wise2010-033_500

WISE_WISE2010-033 September 21st, 2010

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

Gripped in the claw of the constellation Scorpius, sits the reflection nebula DG 129, a cloud of gas and dust that reflects light from nearby, bright stars. This infrared view of the nebula was captured by NASAs Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Viewed in visible light, this portion of the sky seems somewhat unremarkable. But in infrared light, a lovely reflection nebula is revealed. DG 129 was first catalogued by a pair of German astronomers, named Johann Dorschner and Josef Grtler, in 1963.

Much like gazing at Earth-bound clouds, it is fun to use your imagination when looking at images of nebulae. Some people see this nebula as an arm and hand emerging from the cosmos. If you picture the "thumb" and "forefinger" making a circle, it is as though you are seeing a celestial "okay" sign.

The bright star on the right with the greenish haze is Pi Scorpii. This star marks one of the claws of the scorpion in the constellation Scorpius. It is actually a triple-star system located some 500 light-years away. Perhaps a cross-species celestial handshake is imminent?

The colors used in this image represent different wavelengths of infrared light. The image was constructed from frames taken after WISE ran out of some of the coolant needed to chill its infrared detectors and began to warm up. The WISE detector sensitive to 22-micron light has become too warm to produce good images, but the three shorter wavelength detectors continue to crank out over 7,000 pictures of the sky every day, like the ones that make up this picture .Blue represents infrared radiation at 3.4 microns, while green represents light with a wavelength of 4.6 microns. Red represents 12-micron infrared light.

Image Source: /image/WISE/WISE2010-033

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

Image Use Policy: Pulic Domain

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
DG 129 Pi Scorpii
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula » Appearance » Reflection
Nebula » Type » Interstellar Medium
Wise_wise2010-033_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 15h 56m 9.4s
DEC = -26° 8’ 42.3”
Orientation
North is 168.0° CW
Field of View
1.8 x 1.8 degrees
Constellation
Scorpius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 3.4 µm
Arrow_left_green WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 4.6 µm
Arrow_left_red WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 12.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Wise_wise2010-033_1280
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ID
WISE2010-033
Subject Category
B.4.2.2.   B.4.1.1.  
Subject Name
DG 129, Pi Scorpii
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
/image/WISE/WISE2010-033
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
WISE, WISE, WISE
Instrument
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
3400, 4600, 12000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
239.0390107, -26.1450811
Reference Dimension
4801.0, 4801.0
Reference Pixel
2401.5, 2401.5
Scale
0.000381786, 0.00038178602
Rotation
-168.00
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
WCS retrieved using CXCs PinpointWCS
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/WISE2010-033
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.