NASA today released this new image from a star-birthing region of the universe.
This new Hubble photo is but a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. Reminiscent of Hubble's classic image of the Eagle Nebula dubbed the 'Pillars of Creation' this image is even more striking in appearance. Captured here are the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and the dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.
Suddenly, it doesn't seem that significant whom the Vikings choose in the NFL draft. (Click for a larger image)
Very cool! I always make my rounds at NASA's picture of the day.
But is this the actual coloring of the new star or artistically enhanced?
Good question. I've got a request into the Hubble folks for an answer.
The image is almost certainly a false-color image. It's not artistically enhanced, but light emitted at wavelengths that we can't perceive (ultraviolet and infrared, for example) is portrayed in a wavelength that we can perceive.
Many astronomical images are portrayed in false-color in order to allow us to see everything that's going on in a single image.
Thanks Joe! I thought it had something to do with either the type of energy being emitted or the type of gas within the star.
Specatcular sight even if false-color.
I stand corrected. This image is entirely in the visible light.
Bad Astronomer Phil Plait posted about this yesterday morning, and he included a comparison of the image between the visible light and in the infrared. It's pretty spectacular that this is a true-color image.
Plait's post: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/04/27/hubble-celebrates-20-years-in-space-with-a-jaw-dropper/