W51

Spitzer_ssc2020-14a_1024

spitzer_ssc2020-14a August 25th, 2020

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GLIMPSE & MIPSGAL Teams

The nebula known as W51 is one of the most active star-forming regions in the Milky Way galaxy. First identified in 1958 by radio telescopes, it makes a rich cosmic tapestry in this image from NASA's recently retired Spitzer Space Telescope.

Located about 17,000 light-years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Aquila in the night sky, W51 is about 350 light-years - or about 2 quadrillion miles - across. It is almost invisible to telescopes that collect visible light (the kind human eyes detect), because that light is blocked by interstellar dust clouds that lie between W51 and Earth. But longer wavelengths of light, including radio and infrared, can pass unencumbered through the dust. When viewed in infrared by Spitzer, W51 is a spectacular sight: Its total infrared emission is the equivalent of 20 million Suns.

Provider: Spitzer Space Telescope

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/6830-ssc2020-14a-W51

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
W51
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Type > Star Formation

Distance

Universescale1
17,000 light years
Spitzer_ssc2020-14a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 19h 19m 26.0s
DEC = 13° 22’ 39.2”
Orientation
North is 298.0° CW
Field of View
2.0 x 1.3 degrees
Constellation
Aquila

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Near-IR) 3.6 µm
Cyan Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Near-IR) 4.5 µm
Green Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Mid-IR) 8.0 µm
Red Spitzer (MIPS) Infrared (Mid-IR) 24.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Blue
Cyan
Green
Red
Spitzer_ssc2020-14a_1280
×
ID
ssc2020-14a
Subject Category
B.4.1.2  
Subject Name
W51
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/GLIMPSE & MIPSGAL Teams
Release Date
2020-08-25
Lightyears
17,000
Redshift
17,000
Reference Url
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/6830-ssc2020-14a-W51
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Spitzer, Spitzer, Spitzer, Spitzer
Instrument
IRAC, IRAC, IRAC, MIPS
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Mid-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
3600, 4500, 8000, 24000
Start Time
Integration Time
1.2
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
289.85828803, 13.37756141
Reference Dimension
6000.00, 4000.00
Reference Pixel
6729.64243845320, 2791.03788536947
Scale
-0.00033329681, 0.00033329681
Rotation
-297.95
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
World Coordinate System resolved using PinpointWCS 0.9.2 revision 218+ by the Chandra X-ray Center
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
ssc2020-14a.tif
Metadata Date
2020-08-27
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
17,000 light years