A perfect storm of turbulent gases

Esahubble_heic0305a_500

esahubble_heic0305a April 24th, 2003

Credit: European Space Agency, NASA, and J. Hester (Arizona State University)

Like the fury of a raging sea, this anniversary image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur gas in the extremely massive and luminous molecular nebula Messier 17. This Hubble photograph captures a small region within Messier 17 (M17), a hotbed of star formation. M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5500 light-years away in the Sagittarius constellation. The release of this image commemorates the thirteenth anniversary of Hubble's launch on 24 April 1990. The wave-like patterns of gas have been sculpted and illuminated by a torrent of ultraviolet radiation from young, massive stars (which lie outside the picture to the upper left). The glow of these patterns highlights the 3D structure of the gases. The ultraviolet radiation is carving and heating the surfaces of cold hydrogen gas clouds. The warmed surfaces glow orange and red in this image. The intense heat and pressure cause some material to stream away from the surface, creating the glowing veil of even hotter green-coloured gas that masks background structures. The pressure on the tips of the waves may trigger new star formation within them. The image, roughly 3 light-years across, was taken on 29-30 May 1999, with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The colours in the image represent various gases. Red represents sulphur; green, hydrogen; and blue, oxygen.

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0305a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Messier 17
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Hubble Space Telescope (WFPC2) -
Arrow_left_green Hubble Space Telescope (WFPC2) -
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (WFPC2) -
Esahubble_heic0305a_1280
×
ID
heic0305a
Subject Category
B.4  
Subject Name
Messier 17
Credits
European Space Agency, NASA, and J. Hester (Arizona State University)
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0305a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
2163.0, 1756.0
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org/
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
heic0305a
Metadata Date
2003-12-09T17:10:46+01:00
Metadata Version
1.1
×

Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

×

There is no distance meta data in this image.