The following details
for each photo have been written by astronomers and scientists who may not hold to a
Christian world view.
Therefore, the scientific description of the images may contain statements or ideas that are inconsistent with what Christians hold to be true regarding these images from a creationist perspective.
Photo #16 The birthplace of massive stars, 30 Doradus Nebula (WFPC2 and NICMOS PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC99-33a A GRAND VIEW OF THE BIRTH OF "HEFTY" STARS - 30 DORADUS NEBULA MONTAGE This picture, taken in visible light with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), represents a sweeping view of the 30 Doradus Nebula. But Hubble's infrared camera - the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) - has probed deeper into smaller regions of this nebula to unveil the stormy birth of massive stars. The montages of images in the upper left and upper right represent this deeper view. Each square in the montages is 15.5 light-years (19 arcseconds) across. The brilliant cluster R136, containing dozens of very massive stars, is at the center of this image. The infrared and visible-light views reveal several dust pillars that point toward R136, some with bright stars at their tips. One of them, at left in the visible-light image, resembles a fist with an extended index finger pointing directly at R136. The energetic radiation and high-speed material emitted by the massive stars in R136 are responsible for shaping the pillars and causing the heads of some of them to collapse, forming new stars. The infrared montage at upper left is enlarged in an accompanying image. Credits for NICMOS montages: NASA/Nolan Walborn (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.) and Rodolfo Barba' (La Plata Observatory, La Plata, Argentina) Credits for WFPC2 image: NASA/John Trauger (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.) and James Westphal (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.)
Closer view of the stars in the 30 Doradus Nebula (WFPC2 and NICMOS).
PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC99-33b
A GRAND VIEW OF THE BIRTH OF "HEFTY" STARS - 30 DORADUS NEBULA DETAILS
These are two views of a highly active region of star birth located northeast of the central cluster, R136, in 30 Doradus. The orientation
and scale are identical for both views. The top panel is a composite of images in two colors taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's
visible-light camera, the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). The bottom panel is a composite of pictures taken through three infrared
filters with Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS). In both cases the colors of the displays were chosen to
correlate with the nebula's and stars' true colors.
Seven very young objects are identified with numbered arrows in the infrared image. Number 1 is a newborn, compact cluster dominated by a
triple system of "hefty" stars. It has formed within the head of a massive dust pillar pointing toward R136. The energetic outflows from
R136 have shaped the pillar and triggered the collapse of clouds within its summit to form the new stars. The radiation and outflows from these
new stars have in turn blown off the top of the pillar, so they can be seen in the visible-light as well as the infrared image.
Numbers 2 and 3 also pinpoint newborn stars or stellar systems inside an adjacent, bright-rimmed pillar, likewise oriented toward R136. These
objects are still immersed within their natal dust and can be seen only as very faint, red points in the visible-light image. They are, however,
among the brightest objects in the infrared image, since dust does not block infrared light as much as visible light. Thus, numbers 2 and 3 and
number 1 correspond respectively to two successive stages in the birth of massive stars. Number 4 is a very red star that has just formed
within one of several very compact dust clouds nearby.
Number 5 is another very young triple-star system with a surrounding cluster of fainter stars. They also can be seen in the visible-light
picture. Most remarkable are the glowing patches numbered 6 and 7, which astronomers have interpreted as "impact points" produced by twin jets of
material slamming into surrounding dust clouds. These "impact points" are perfectly aligned on opposite sides of number 5 (the triple-star
system), and each is separated from the star system by about 5 light-years. The jets probably originate from a circumstellar disk
around one of the young stars in number 5. They may be rotating counterclockwise, thus producing moving, luminous patches on the
surrounding dust, like a searchlight creating spots on clouds. These infrared patches produced by jets from a massive, young star are a new
Credits for NICMOS image: NASA/Nolan Walborn (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.) and Rodolfo Barba' (La Plata Observatory, La
Credits for WFPC2 image: NASA/John Trauger (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.) and James Westphal (California Institute of
Technology, Pasadena, Calif.)
Stellar formation in the Trifid Nebula (M20).
PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC99-42
THE TRIFID NEBULA: STELLAR SIBLING RIVALRY
This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Trifid Nebula reveals a stellar nursery being torn apart by radiation from a nearby, massive
star. The picture also provides a peek at embryonic stars forming within an ill-fated cloud of dust and gas, which is destined to be
eaten away by the glare from the massive neighbor. This stellar activity is a beautiful example of how the life cycles of stars like our
Sun is intimately connected with their more powerful siblings.
The Hubble image shows a small part of a dense cloud of dust and gas, a stellar nursery full of embryonic stars. This cloud is about
8 light-years away from the nebula's central star, which is beyond the top of this picture. Located about 9,000 light-years from Earth, the
Trifid resides in the constellation Sagittarius.
A stellar jet [the thin, wispy object pointing to the upper left] protrudes from the head of a dense cloud and extends three-quarters of
a light-year into the nebula. The jet's source is a very young stellar object that lies buried within the cloud. Jets such as this are the
exhaust gases of star formation. Radiation from the massive star at the center of the nebula is making the gas in the jet glow, just as it
causes the rest of the nebula to glow.
The jet in the Trifid is a "ticker tape," telling the history of one particular young stellar object that is continuing to grow as its
gravity draws in gas from its surroundings. But this particular ticker tape will not run for much longer. Within the next 10,000 years the
glare from the central, massive star will continue to erode the nebula, overrunning the forming star, and bringing its growth to an
abrupt and possibly premature end.
Another nearby star may have already faced this fate. The Hubble picture shows a "stalk" [the finger-like object] pointing from the
head of the dense cloud directly toward the star that powers the Trifid. This stalk is a prominent example of the evaporating gaseous
globules, or "EGGs," that were seen previously in the Eagle Nebula, another star-forming region photographed by Hubble. The stalk has
survived because at its tip there is a knot of gas that is dense enough to resist being eaten away by the powerful radiation.
Reflected starlight at the tip of the EGG may be due to light from the Trifid's central star, or from a young stellar object buried within
the EGG. Similarly, a tiny spike of emission pointing outward from the EGG looks like a small stellar jet. Hubble astronomers are tentatively
interpreting this jet as the last gasp from a star that was cut off from its supply lines 100,000 years ago.
The images were taken Sept. 8, 1997 through filters that isolate emission from hydrogen atoms, ionized sulfur atoms, and doubly ionized
oxygen atoms. The images were combined in a single color composite picture. While the resulting picture is not true color, it is
suggestive of what a human eye might see.
Credits: NASA and Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)
NOTE TO EDITORS:
For additional information, please contact:
Jeff J. Hester, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Arizona State University, Box 871504, Tempe, AZ 85287-1504, (phone) 480-965-0741,
Photo #19 The Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) in Cassiopeia. PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC00-04 AN EXPANDING BUBBLE IN SPACE Astronomers, using the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on board NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in October and November 1997 and April 1999, imaged the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) with unprecedented clarity. For the first time, they are able to understand the geometry and dynamics of this very complicated system. Earlier pictures taken of the nebula with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 1 left many issues unanswered, as the data could not be fully calibrated for scientific use. In addition, those data never imaged the enigmatic inner structure presented here. The remarkably spherical "Bubble" marks the boundary between an intense wind of particles from the star and the more quiescent interior of the nebula. The central star of the nebula is 40 times more massive than the Sun and is responsible for a stellar wind moving at 2,000 kilometers per second (4 million miles per hour or 7 million kilometers per hour) which propels particles off the surface of the star. The bubble surface actually marks the leading edge of this wind's gust front, which is slowing as it plows into the denser surrounding material. The surface of the bubble is not uniform because as the shell expands outward it encounters regions of the cold gas, which are of different density and therefore arrest the expansion by differing amounts, resulting in the rippled appearance. It is this gradient of background material that the wind is encountering that places the central star off center in the bubble. There is more material to the northeast of the nebula than to the southwest, so that the wind progresses less in that direction, offsetting the central star from the geometric center of the bubble. At a distance of 7,100 light-years from Earth, the Bubble Nebula is located in the constellation Cassiopeia and has a diameter of 6 light-years. To the right of the central star is a ridge of much denser gas. The lower left portion of this ridge is closest to the star and so is brightest. It is experiencing the most intense ultraviolet radiation as well as the strong wind and is therefore being photoevaporated the fastest. The ridge forms a V-shape in the image, with two segments that are aligned at the brightest edge. The upper of these two segments is viewed quite obliquely as it trails off into the back of the nebula. The lower segment comes both toward the observer and off to the side. This lower ridge appears to lie within the sphere described by the bubble but is not actually "inside" the shocked region of gas. Instead it is being pushed up against the bubble like a hand being pushed against the outside of a party balloon. While the edge of the hand appears to be inside the balloon, it is not. As the bubble moves up but not through the ridge, bright blue arcs form where the supersonic wind strikes the ridge to form an apparent series of nested shock fronts. The region between the star and ridge reveals several loops and arcs which have never been seen before. The high resolution capabilities of Hubble make it possible to examine these features in detail in a way that is not possible from the ground. The origin of this bubble-within-a-bubble" is unknown at this time. It may be due to a collision of two distinct winds. The stellar wind may be colliding with material streaming off the ridge as it is photoevaporated by the star's radiation. Located at the top of the picture are dense clumps or fingers of molecular gas which have not yet encountered the expanding shell. These structures are similar in form to the columns in the Eagle Nebula, except that they are not being eroded as energetically as they are in that nebula. As in the Eagle, the clumps are seen to emit light because they are being illuminated by the strong ultraviolet radiation from the central star, which travels much faster than the shell and has reached the outer knots long before the expanding rim will. Credits: NASA, Donald Walter (South Carolina State University), Paul Scowen and Brian Moore (Arizona State University) Research Team: Donald Walter (South Carolina State University), Paul Scowen, Jeff Hester, Brian Moore (Arizona State University), Reggie Dufour, Patrick Hartigan and Brent Buckalew (Rice University). Funding: Space Telescope Science Institute, NASA MUSPIN and NASA URC. NOTE TO EDITORS - For additional information, please contact: Donald Walter, Dept. of Physical Sciences South Carolina State Univ., P.O. Box 7296 300 College St., Orangeburg, SC 29117, (phone) 803-533-3773, (fax) 803-536-8500, (e-mail) email@example.com.
The Carina Nebula (NGC 3372).
PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC00-06
LIGHT AND SHADOW IN THE CARINA NEBULA
Previously unseen details of a mysterious, complex structure within the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) are revealed by this image of the
"Keyhole Nebula," obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The picture is a montage assembled from four different April 1999 telescope
pointings with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which used six different color filters.
The picture is dominated by a large, approximately circular feature, which is part of the Keyhole Nebula, named in the 19th century by
Sir John Herschel. This region, about 8000 light-years from Earth, is located adjacent to the famous explosive variable star Eta Carinae,
which lies just outside the field of view toward the upper right. The Carina Nebula also contains several other stars that are among the
hottest and most massive known, each about 10 times as hot, and 100 times as massive, as our Sun.
The circular Keyhole structure contains both bright filaments of hot, fluorescing gas, and dark silhouetted clouds of cold molecules and
dust, all of which are in rapid, chaotic motion. The high resolution of the Hubble images reveals the relative three-dimensional locations
of many of these features, as well as showing numerous small dark globules that may be in the process of collapsing to form new stars.
Two striking large, sharp-edged dust clouds are located near the bottom center and upper left edges of the image. The former is
immersed within the ring and the latter is just outside the ring. The pronounced pillars and knobs of the upper left cloud appear
to point toward a luminous, massive star located just outside the field further toward the upper left, which may be responsible for
illuminating and sculpting them by means of its high-energy radiation and stellar wind of high-velocity ejected material. These
large dark clouds may eventually evaporate, or if there are sufficiently dense condensations within them, give birth to small
The Carina Nebula, with an overall diameter of more than 200 light-years, is one of the outstanding features of the
Southern-Hemisphere portion of the Milky Way. The diameter of the Keyhole ring structure shown here is about 7 light-years.
These data were collected by the Hubble Heritage Team and Nolan R. Walborn (STScI), Rodolfo H. Barba' (La Plata Observatory,
Argentina), and Adeline Caulet (France).
Image Credit: NASA, The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)
NOTE TO EDITORS -- For additional information, please contact:
Nolan Walborn, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md. 21218, (phone) 410-338-4915, (fax) 410-338-5090, (e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jayanne English, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, Md. 21218, (phone) 410-338-4352, (fax) 410-338-5090,
The "Eskimo" Nebula (NGC 2392).
PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC00-07
HUBBLE RESUMES GAZING AT THE HEAVENS BY TAKING A LOOK AT THE "ESKIMO" NEBULA
In its first glimpse of the heavens following the successful December 1999 servicing mission, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
has captured a majestic view of a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a dying, Sun-like star. This stellar relic, first spied
by William Herschel in 1787, is nicknamed the "Eskimo" Nebula (NGC 2392) because, when viewed through ground-based telescopes,
it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka. In this Hubble telescope image, the "fur parka" is really a disk of material
embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects, with their tails streaming away from the central, dying star. The Eskimo's "face"
also contains some fascinating details. Although this bright central region resembles a ball of twine, it is, in reality, a
bubble of material being blown into space by the central star's intense "wind" of high-speed material.
The planetary nebula began forming about 10,000 years ago, when the dying star began flinging material into space. The nebula is
composed of two elliptically shaped lobes of matter streaming above and below the dying star. In this photo, one bubble lies in front
of the other, obscuring part of the second lobe.
Scientists believe that a ring of dense material around the star's equator, ejected during its red giant phase, created the nebula's
shape. This dense waist of material is plodding along at 72,000 miles per hour (115,000 kilometers per hour), preventing high-velocity
stellar winds from pushing matter along the equator. Instead, the 900,000-mile-per-hour (1.5-million-kilometer-per-hour) winds are
sweeping the material above and below the star, creating the elongated bubbles. The bubbles are not smooth like balloons but have
filaments of denser matter. Each bubble is about 1 light-year long and about half a light-year wide. Scientists are still puzzled about
the origin of the comet-shaped features in the "parka." One possible explanation is that these objects formed from a collision of slow-
and fast-moving gases.
The Eskimo Nebula is about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Gemini. The picture was taken Jan. 10 and 11, 2000,
with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The nebula's glowing gases produce the colors in this image: nitrogen (red), hydrogen
(green), oxygen (blue), and helium (violet).
Credits: NASA, ESA, Andrew Fruchter and the ERO team (STScI)
The Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888).
PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC00-23
HUBBLE WATCHES STAR TEAR APART ITS NEIGHBORHOOD
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a view of a stellar demolition zone in our Milky Way Galaxy: a massive star, nearing the end of its
life, tearing apart the shell of surrounding material it blew off 250,000 years ago with its strong stellar wind. The shell of material,
dubbed the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888), surrounds the "hefty," aging star WR 136, an extremely rare and short-lived class of super-hot star called
a Wolf-Rayet. Hubble's multicolored picture reveals with unprecedented clarity that the shell of matter is a network of filaments and dense
knots, all enshrouded in a thin "skin" of gas [seen in blue]. The whole structure looks like oatmeal trapped inside a balloon. The skin is
glowing because it is being blasted by ultraviolet light from WR 136.
Hubble's view covers a small region at the northeast tip of the structure, which is roughly three light-years across. A picture taken by
a ground-based telescope [lower right] shows almost the entire nebula. The whole structure is about 16 light-years wide and 25 light-years
long. The bright dot near the center of NGC 6888 is WR 136. The white outline in the upper left-hand corner represents Hubble's view.
Hubble's sharp vision is allowing scientists to probe the intricate details of this complex system, which is crucial to understanding the
life cycle of stars and their impact on the evolution of our galaxy. The results of this study appear in the June issue of the Astronomical
WR 136 created this web of luminous material during the late stages of its life. As a bloated, red super-giant, WR 136 gently puffed away some
of its bulk, which settled around it. When the star passed from a super-giant to a Wolf-Rayet, it developed a fierce stellar wind - a
stream of charged particles released from its surface - and began expelling mass at a furious rate. The star began ejecting material at a
speed of 3.8 million mph (6.1 million kilometers per hour), losing matter equal to that of our Sun's every 10,000 years. Then the stellar
wind collided with the material around the star and swept it up into a thin shell. That shell broke apart into the network of bright clumps
seen in the image. The present-day strong wind of the Wolf-Rayet star has only now caught up with the outer edge of the shell, and is
stripping away matter as it flows past [the tongue-shaped material in the upper right of the Hubble image].
The stellar wind continues moving outside the shell, slamming into more material and creating a shock wave. This powerful force produces an
extremely hot, glowing skin [seen in blue], which envelops the bright nebula. A shock wave is analogous to the sonic boom produced by a jet
plane that exceeds the speed of sound; in a cosmic setting, this boom is seen rather than heard. The outer material is too thin to see in the
image until the shock wave hits it. The cosmic collision and subsequent shock wave implies that a large amount of matter resides outside the
visible shell. The discovery of this material may explain the discrepancy between the mass of the entire shell (four solar masses) and
the amount of matter the star lost when it was a red super-giant (15 solar masses).
The nebula's short-term fate is less spectacular. As the stellar wind muscles past the clumps of material, the pressure around them drops. A
decrease in pressure means that the clumps expand, leading to a steady decline in brightness and fading perhaps to invisibility. Later, the
shell may be compressed and begin glowing again, this time as the powerful blast wave of the Wolf-Rayet star completely destroys itself in
a powerful supernova explosion.
The nebula resides in the constellation Cygnus, 4,700 light-years from Earth. If the nebula were visible to the naked eye, it would appear in
the sky as an ellipse one-quarter the size of the full moon. The observations were taken in June 1995 with the Wide Field and Planetary
Camera 2. Scientists selected the colors in this composite image to correspond with the ionization (the process of stripping electrons from
atoms) state of the gases, with blue representing the highest and red the lowest observed ionization.
Credits: NASA, Brian D. Moore, Jeff Hester, Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), Reginald Dufour (Rice University)
Hubble-X (NGC 6822).
PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC01-01
"X" MARKS THE SPOT: HUBBLE SEES THE GLOW OF STAR FORMATION IN A NEIGHBOR GALAXY
The saying "X" marks the spot holds true in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image where Hubble-X marks the location of a dramatic burst of star
formation, very much like the Orion Nebula in our Milky Way galaxy, but on a vastly greater scale.
Hubble-X is a glowing gas cloud, one of the most active star-forming regions within galaxy NGC 6822. The name Hubble-X
does not refer to the shape of the gas cloud, but rather is derived from a catalog of objects in this particular galaxy. The "X" is
actually a Roman numeral designation. The galaxy lies in the constellation Sagittarius at a distance of only 1,630,000
light-years and is one of the Milky Way's closest neighbors. The intense star formation in Hubble-X occurred only about 4 million
years ago, a small fraction of the approximate 10 billion year age of the universe.
Giant gas clouds in NGC 6822 have held a special attraction for astronomers since their discovery by the visual observer E. E. Barnard in 1881. Edwin P.
Hubble, after whom the HST is named, used the then-new 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory in 1925 to make the first detailed photographic
investigation of NGC 6822. The Hubble image reveals details too fine to be resolved from telescopes on the ground.
Stars form in groups from enormous clouds of gas and dust called giant molecular clouds. Once star formation begins in a molecular cloud, its rate
accelerates until the process is stopped when one or more very massive hot stars are formed. At that point the clouds change from near darkness into the
brightly glowing objects such as seen in Hubble-X. It is the intense ultraviolet radiation from the massive stars that causes the residual gas to
glow. Radiation and gas outflows, called stellar winds, then cause the gas to disperse, bringing further star formation to an abrupt end.
The Hubble-X image was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2)
in September 1997, by astronomers C. Robert O'Dell of Vanderbilt University, Paul W. Hodge of the University of Washington, and R. C. Kennicutt, Jr. of
Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona.
The image shows a nearly circular bright cloud at the core of Hubble-X. The cloud's diameter is about 110 light-years, and contains many thousands of newly
formed stars in a central cluster. The brightest of these young stars are easily visible in the Hubble image, where they appear as numerous bright white dots.
Hubble-X is many times brighter and larger than the Orion Nebula, the brightest nearby star formation region in our own Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the tiny
cloud just below Hubble-X, barely resolved even by HST, has about the same size and brightness as the Orion Nebula.
Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Acknowledgment: C. R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University)
EDITOR'S NOTE: For additional information, please contact C. R. O'Dell, Vanderbilt University, Physics and Astronomy Dept.,
Box 1807 Station B, Nashville, TN 37235, (phone) 615-343-1779, (fax) 615-343-7263, (e-mail) email@example.com or
Paul W. Hodge, University of Washington, Dept. of Astronomy, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195-1580, (phone) 206-543-6307,
(fax) 206-685-0403, (e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org or R. C. Kennicutt, Jr., University of Arizona, Steward Observatory,
Tucson, AZ 85721, (phone) 520-621-4032, (fax) 520-621-1532, (e-mail) email@example.com or
Keith Noll, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218, (phone) 410-338-1828, (fax) 410-338-4579, (e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org.
NGC 6960: The Witch's Broom Nebula
Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light must suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was an exploding star and we can now record the colorful expanding cloud as the Veil Nebula. Pictured above is the west end of the Veil Nebula. , known technically as NGC 6960 but less formally as the Witch's Broom Nebula. The rampaging gas gains its colors by impacting and exciting existing nearby gas. The supernova remnant lies about 1400 light-years away towards the constellation of Cygnus. This Witch's Broom actually spans over three times the angular size of the full moon. The bright star 52 Cygnus is visible with the unaided eye from a dark location but unrelated to the ancient supernova.
M51: Cosmic Whirlpool
Explanation: Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dipper's bowl, until you get to the handle's last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you'll likely find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (left), NGC 5195. The pair are about 37 million light-years distant and officially lie within the boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici . While M51 is visible as a faint, fuzzy patch in binoculars, this sharp color picture, was made with a 14 inch telescope and combines digital camera exposures totaling 3 hours and 42 minutes.
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