Supergiant Star Near Giraffe's Hind Foot

Wise_wise2011-007_500

WISE_WISE2011-007 February 18th, 2011

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this colorful image of the nebula BFS 29 surrounding the star CE-Camelopardalis, found hovering in the band of the night sky comprising the Milky Way.

Most of the gas and dust in this image cannot be seen directly in visible light, but WISEs detectors revealed exquisite new details, and even some hidden stars.

The nebulous interstellar gas and dust in this image is known as BFS 29. BFS stands for Blitz, Fich, and Stark -- the three astronomers who identified and catalogued 65 new star-forming regions in 1982 (the 29 simply means that its the 29th object in their catalog). In visible light, BFS 29 can be seen, but only very slightly. This is because the dust scatters and reflects some of the light from nearby stars, hence its classification as a reflection nebula. The gas in BFS 29 also contains large amounts of ionized hydrogen -- referred to by astronomers as H II." Hence, the nebula is also classified as an HII region. Reflection nebulae and HII regions are often associated with star formation.

Most of the illumination and energy in BFS 29 is likely provided by the star CE-Camelopardalis. The CE in its name comes from a complex naming system for variable stars. Camelopardalis is the name of the constellation in which it is found, and means giraffe in Latin (from a camel wearing a leopards coat). Of the three brightest stars in this image, it is the bright pink-colored star nearest to the center of the image. The other two bright stars cannot be seen in visible light; they are hidden behind the clouds of gas and dust. In infrared light, however, they shine through brilliantly. CE-Camelopardalis is a variable supergiant star, which means it will eventually end its life in a supernova, likely leaving behind a black hole. It is near the giraffes hind foot, making a sort of ankle bracelet, as compared to the emerald necklace featured in the Nov. 9, 2010 image.

All four of WISEs infrared detectors were used to make this image. The colors used represent specific wavelengths of infrared radiation. Blue and blue-green (cyan) represent 3.4- and 4.6-micron light, respectively. These wavelengths are mainly emitted by stars within the Milky Way. Green represents 12-micron light, which is emitted by the warm gas of the nebulae. Red represents the longest wavelength, 22-micron light emitted by cooler dust within the nebulae.

Image Source: /image/WISE/WISE2011-007

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

Image Use Policy: Pulic Domain

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
CE Camelopardalis CE Cam BFS 29
Subject - Milky Way
Star » Spectral Type » A
Star » Type » Variable » Pulsating
Nebula » Type » Interstellar Medium
Nebula » Appearance » Reflection

Distance

Universescale1
2,000 light years
Wise_wise2011-007_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 3h 27m 21.6s
DEC = 59° 3’ 48.0”
Orientation
North is 90.0° CW
Field of View
1.6 x 1.2 degrees
Constellation
Camelopardalis

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_wise2011-007_1280
×
ID
WISE2011-007
Subject Category
B.3.3.3.   B.3.2.1.1.   B.4.1.1.   B.4.2.2.  
Subject Name
CE Camelopardalis, CE Cam, BFS 29
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Lightyears
2,000
Redshift
-
Reference Url
/image/WISE/WISE2011-007
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Approximate distance to CE Cam
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
51.840074, 59.063333
Reference Dimension
4095, 3234
Reference Pixel
2048, 1187
Scale
-3.81944439141100e-04, 3.81944439141100e-04
Rotation
-90
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/WISE2011-007
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2011-08-05
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

×
Universescalefull
2,000 light years