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  • richardmitnick 8:33 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    From Manu Garcia: “The Eagle Nebula, an eagle of cosmic proportions.” 

    Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    July 16, 2009.

    ESO today released a new and stunning image of the sky around the Eagle Nebula , a stellar maternity ward where whole clusters are forged inside monstrous columns of gas and dust.

    It is located at 7,000 away in the constellation Serpens (the Snake), light years from the Eagle Nebula is a dazzling stellar nursery, a region of gas and dust where young stars are continually forming; She including just born NGC 6611 , a cluster of massive, hot stars. The intense light and strong winds emitted by these massive stars, carved pillars of light years in length, whose silhouettes stand out in the picture on the bright background of the nebula. The nebula itself has a shape vaguely reminiscent of an eagle, where the central pillars would claws.

    The star cluster was discovered in 1745-46 by the Swiss astronomer Jean Philippe Loys de Cheseaux. It was rediscovered independently twenty years later by the French comet hunter Charles Messier, who included it with the name of M16 in his famous catalog, noting that the stars were surrounded by a faint diffuse glow. The Eagle Nebula achieved fame in 1995 when its central pillars were photographed in the famous image obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope ESA / NASA .

    Pillars of Creation. NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    In 2001, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) captured another striking image of the nebula (eso0142) in the near infrared, thus penetrating dust and clearly showing stars being formed in the pillars.

    ESO/VLT at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    The newly released image, obtained with the Wide Field Camera installed on the MPG / ESO telescope 2.2 meters at the La Silla Observatory in Chile , covers an area of sky the size of the full moon, this being a field 15 times larger than the previous image VLT and 200 times larger than the famous image Hubble in visible light.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    The whole region around the pillars can be seen in exquisite detail.

    The “Pillars of Creation” are in the center of the image, accompanied, top right, the young star cluster NGC 6611 . The “Capitel” – another pillar captured by Hubble – is at the center left of the image.

    Shaped structures fingers emerge from the massive wall of the cloud of gas and dust, as stalagmites emerging soil of a cave. Inside the pillars, the gas is dense enough to collapse under its own weight, forming young stars. These columns of gas and dust, light years long, are sculpted, illuminated and destroyed both by the intense ultraviolet radiation from massive stars in NGC 6611 , the adjacent young cluster. Within a few million years – a mere blink of the universal eye wide disappear forever.

    ESO .

    More images from ESO

    Digitized sky survey image of the Eagle Nebula

    More … here

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 8:20 am on November 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “Pillars of Destruction” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    Region R44 in the Carina Nebula

    Colourful Carina Nebula blasted by brilliant nearby stars

    2 November 2016
    Anna Faye McLeod
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6321
    Email: amcleod@eso.org

    Mathias Jäger
    Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 176 62397500
    Email: mjaeger@partner.eso.org

    Spectacular new observations of vast pillar-like structures within the Carina Nebula have been made using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The different pillars analysed by an international team seem to be pillars of destruction — in contrast to the name of the iconic Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, which are of similar nature.


    The spires and pillars in the new images of the Carina Nebula are vast clouds of dust and gas within a hub of star formation about 7500 light-years away. The pillars in the nebula were observed by a team led by Anna McLeod, a PhD student at ESO, using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

    Nebula in the constellation Carina, contains the central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603. NASA/ESA Hubble
    Nebula in the constellation Carina, contains the central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603. NASA/ESA Hubble

    The great power of MUSE is that it creates thousands of images of the nebula at the same time, each at a different wavelength of light. This allows astronomers to map out the chemical and physical properties of the material at different points in the nebula.

    Images of similar structures, the famous Pillars of Creation [1] in the Eagle Nebula and formations in NGC 3603, were combined with the ones displayed here. In total ten pillars have been observed, and in so doing a clear link was observed between the radiation emitted by nearby massive stars and the features of the pillars themselves.

    Eagle nebula
    Pillars of Creation

    In an ironic twist, one of the first consequences of the formation of a massive star is that it starts to destroy the cloud from which it was born. The idea that massive stars will have a considerable effect on their surroundings is not new: such stars are known to blast out vast quantities of powerful, ionising radiation — emission with enough energy to strip atoms of their orbiting electrons. However, it is very difficult to obtain observational evidence of the interplay between such stars and their surroundings.

    The team analysed the effect of this energetic radiation on the pillars: a process known as photoevaporation, when gas is ionised and then disperses away. By observing the results of photoevaporation — which included the loss of mass from the pillars — they were able to deduce the culprits. There was a clear correlation between the amount of ionising radiation being emitted by nearby stars, and the dissipation of the pillars.

    This might seem like a cosmic calamity, with massive stars turning on their own creators. However the complexities of the feedback mechanisms between the stars and the pillars are poorly understood. These pillars might look dense, but the clouds of dust and gas which make up nebulae are actually very diffuse. It is possible that the radiation and stellar winds from massive stars actually help create denser spots within the pillars, which can then form stars.

    These breathtaking celestial structures have more to tell us, and MUSE is an ideal instrument to probe them with.

    [1] The Pillars of Creation are an iconic image, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, making them the most famous of these structures. Also known as elephant trunks, they can be several light-years in length.

    More information

    This research was presented in a paper entitled Connecting the dots: a correlation between ionising radiation and cloud mass-loss rate traced by optical integral field spectroscopy, by A. F. McLeod et al., published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    The team is composed of A. F. McLeod (ESO, Garching, Germany), M. Gritschneder (Universitäts-Sternwarte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany), J. E. Dale (Universitäts-Sternwarte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany), A. Ginsburg (ESO, Garching, Germany), P. D.Klaassen (UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, UK), J. C. Mottram (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany), T. Preibisch (Universitäts-Sternwarte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany), S. Ramsay (ESO, Garching, Germany), M. Reiter (University of Michigan Department of Astronomy, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA) and L. Testi (ESO, Garching, Germany).

    See the full article here .

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    ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO LaSilla


    ESO Vista Telescope


    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope

    ALMA Array


    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope

  • richardmitnick 7:08 am on October 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Eagle Nebula, , ,   

    From SPACE.com: “Get Lost in This Jaw-Dropping View of the Eagle Nebula” 

    space-dot-com logo


    October 26, 2015
    Calla Cofield

    The Pillars of Creation can be seen in this highly detailed view of the Eagle Nebula. Credit: Terry Hancock http://www.downunderobservatory.com, Gordon Wright, Colin Cooper, Kim Quick.

    It’s easy to get lost in this jaw-dropping snapshot of the Eagle Nebula, which offers a high-resolution view of an incredible space landscape.

    The Eagle Nebula is a massive collection of gas and dust, which serves as fertile soil for the birth of new stars. The blue, lagoonlike region at the center of the image contains the iconic, fingerlike structures known as the Pillars of Creation. The blue, green and red indicate the presence of different gasses.

    The image was created by a collaboration of four astrophotographers, and is composed of 177 individual frames, with a total integration time of 32 hours. The group members are Terry Hancock of Michigan (whose sky images have been featured on Space.com many times before), Gordon Wright from Scotland, Colin Cooper, Spain; and Kim Quick, Florida. The full-size image is almost too much to take in all at once, so viewers are encouraged to zoom in [?] and get lost in the details of this incredible snapshot.

    The Eagle Nebula is about 7,000 light-years from Earth, and is approximately 70 light-years tall and 55 light-years wide. (One light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles, or 10 trillion kilometers). The blue in the image shows the presence of ionized oxygen (meaning oxygen atoms that have lost electrons), green shows the presence of hydrogen, and red, ionized sulfur.

    The Pillars of Creation were first captured in a stunning image by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 and again, in higher resolution, in 2014. The Pillars were likely an active bed of star formation at one time, but scientists have recently observed very low levels of X-ray light coming from the region, suggesting that star formation has slowed.


    The Eagle Nebula and the Star Queen nebula can be seen in this annotated view. Credit: Terry Hancock http://www.downunderobservatory.com, Gordon Wright, Colin Cooper, Kim Quick.

    From space.com, “Hubble Telescope Captures Spectacular New Views of ‘Pillars of Creation'”, Nola Taylor Redd, January 06, 2015

    The Hubble Space Telescope has taken a fresh look at the iconic Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula 6,500 light-years from Earth, revealing the most detailed view yet of a feature Hubble originally discovered 20 years ago. The new image was taken to commemorate Hubble’s 25th anniversary in 2015.
    Credit: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team

    An infrared view of the Eagle Nebula reveals many of the stars at the heart of its pillars. Credit: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team

    NASA Hubble Telescope
    NASA/ESA Hubble

    See the full article here .

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