ESO: Colourful Celestial Landscape (RCW 38)

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bystander
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ESO: Colourful Celestial Landscape (RCW 38)

Post by bystander » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:21 pm

Colourful Celestial Landscape
ESO Photo Release | VLT | HAWK-I | GRAAL | 2018 Jul 11
New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope show the star cluster RCW 38 in all its glory. This image was taken during testing of the HAWK-I camera with the GRAAL adaptive optics system. It shows RCW 38 and its surrounding clouds of brightly glowing gas in exquisite detail, with dark tendrils of dust threading through the bright core of this young gathering of stars.

This image shows the star cluster RCW 38, as captured by the HAWK-I infrared imager mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. By gazing into infrared wavelengths, HAWK-I can examine dust-shrouded star clusters like RCW 38, providing an unparalleled view of the stars forming within. This cluster contains hundreds of young, hot, massive stars, and lies some 5500 light-years away in the constellation of Vela (The Sails).

The central area of RCW 38 is visible here as a bright, blue-tinted region, an area inhabited by numerous very young stars and protostars that are still in the process of forming. The intense radiation pouring out from these newly born stars causes the surrounding gas to glow brightly. This is in stark contrast to the streams of cooler cosmic dust winding through the region, which glow gently in dark shades of red and orange. The contrast creates this spectacular scene — a piece of celestial artwork.

Previous images of this region taken in optical wavelengths are strikingly different — optical images appear emptier of stars due to dust and gas blocking our view of the cluster. Observations in the infrared, however, allow us to peer through the dust that obscures the view in the optical and delve into the heart of this star cluster. ...

The Messenger 172 containing the paper HAWK-I GRAAL Science Verification.

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ESOcast 171 Light: Colourful Celestial Landscape (4K UHD)
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neufer
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Re: ESO: Colourful Celestial Landscape (RCW 38)

Post by neufer » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:02 pm

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020717.html wrote: Astronomy Picture of the Day : 2002 July 17
Star-Forming Region RCW38 from 2MASS

Explanation: The star cluster in RCW38 was hiding. Looking at the star forming region RCW38 will not normally reveal most of the stars in this cluster. The reason is that the open cluster is so young that it is still shrouded in thick dust that absorbs visible light. This dust typically accompanies the gas that condenses to form young stars. When viewed in infrared light, however, many stars in RCW38 are revealed, because dust is less effective at absorbing infrared light. The above representative-color image mosaic of RCW38 taken by the 2MASS sky survey in infrared light shows not only many bright blue stars from the star cluster but clouds of brightly emitting gas and dramatic lanes of dark dust. RCW38 spans about 10 light-years and is located about 5500 light years away towards the constellation of Vela.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050108.html
Art Neuendorffer