A surprising superbubble

Eso_potw1236a_500

eso_potw1236a September 3rd, 2012

Credit: Optical: ESO, X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Mich./S.Oey, IR: NASA/JPL 

This colourful new view shows the star-forming region LHA 120-N44 [1] in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. This picture combines the view in visible light from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESOs La Silla Observatory in Chile with images in infrared light and X-rays from orbiting satellite observatories. At the centre of this very rich region of gas, dust and young stars lies the star cluster NGC 1929. Its massive stars produce intense radiation, expel matter at high speeds as stellar winds, and race through their short but brilliant lives to explode as supernovae. The winds and supernova shock waves have carved out a huge cavity, called a superbubble, in the surrounding gas. Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (shown here in blue) reveal hot regions created by these winds and shocks, while infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (shown in red) outline where the dust and cooler gas are found. The visible-light view from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope (in yellow) completes the picture and shows the hot young stars themselves as well as the glowing clouds of gas and dust that surround them. Combining these different views of this dramatic region has allowed astronomers to solve a mystery: why are N44, and similar superbubbles, giving off such strong X-rays? The answer seems to be that there are two extra sources of bright X-ray emission: supernova shock waves striking the walls of the cavities, and hot material evaporating from the cavity walls. This X-ray emission from the edge of the superbubble shows up clearly in the picture. Links NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope Notes [1] The designation of this object indicates that it was included in the Catalogue of H-alpha emission stars and nebulae in the Magellanic Clouds, compiled and published in 1956 by American astronomerastronaut Karl Henize (19261993). The letter N indicates that it is a nebula. The object is often called simply N44.

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1236a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
LHA 120-N 44 NGC 1929
Subject - Local Universe
Nebula » Type » Star Formation
Eso_potw1236a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 21m 38.0s
DEC = -67° 54’ 42.7”
Orientation
North is 0.1° CW
Field of View
25.3 x 20.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Dorado

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Chandra X-ray Observatory (None) X-ray -
Arrow_left_yellow MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope (WFI) Optical -
Arrow_left_red Spitzer Space Telescope (None) Infrared -
Eso_potw1236a_1280
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ID
potw1236a
Subject Category
C.4.1.2  
Subject Name
LHA 120-N 44, NGC 1929
Credits
Optical: ESO, X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Mich./S.Oey, IR: NASA/JPL 
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1236a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Chandra X-ray Observatory, MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope
Instrument
None, WFI, None
Color Assignment
Blue, Yellow, Red
Band
X-ray, Optical, Infrared
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
80.408242, -67.911874
Reference Dimension
3600.0, 2874.0
Reference Pixel
2452.07730405, 1922.23016239
Scale
-0.00011705334, 0.00011705334
Rotation
-0.11513721844
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
http://www.eso.org/
Name
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Email
cxcpub@cfa.harvard.edu
Telephone
617.496.7941
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
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
potw1236a
Metadata Date
2012-08-28T13:50:49+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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There is no distance meta data in this image.