APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

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APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby APOD Robot » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:21 am

Image NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting Dust

Explanation: In this beautiful celestial still life composed with a cosmic brush, dusty nebula NGC 2170 shines at the upper left. Reflecting the light of nearby hot stars, NGC 2170 is joined by other bluish reflection nebulae, a compact red emission region, and streamers of obscuring dust against a backdrop of stars. Like the common household items still life painters often choose for their subjects, the clouds of gas, dust, and hot stars pictured here are also commonly found in this setting - a massive, star-forming molecular cloud in the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros). The giant molecular cloud, Mon R2, is impressively close, estimated to be only 2,400 light-years or so away. At that distance, this canvas would be about 15 light-years across.

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Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby Ann » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:09 am

APOD Robot wrote:
The giant molecular cloud, Mon R2, is impressively close, estimated to be only 2,400 light-years or so away. At that distance, this canvas would be about 15 light-years across.


And I was going to say that NGC 2170 looks so small! Apparently not.

Today's APOD was produced by Adam Block, one of my greatest heroes in astrophotography. Even though I love his galaxy pictures best, I certainly like his NGC 2170 image, too. Who wouldn't? The colors, the structure, the brownish-orange clump of hidden star formation, the blue reflection nebulas, the magenta-purple backdrop of emission and reflection nebulosity, and the magnificent, menacingly long black tendrils of dust bursting forth from a hidden birthplace and reaching for any hapless visitors like the unspeakable hands of a horrible space monster. Why hasn't there been a sci-fi movie called, "It Came From NGC 2170"?

Annotated image of Orion. Photo: Rogelio Bernal Andreo.
Can't resist showing this picture of Orion and tiny little NGC 2170 right next to it, at the bottom of the picture! But NGC 2170 is farther away than Barnard's Loop, so NGC 2170 is bigger than it looks.

In any case, the apparent relation between Orion and NGC 2170 is fascinating!

Ann
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Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby Ann » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:17 am

NGC 1333 in visual light. Photo: Jon Christensen.
NGC 1333 in infrared light (and a different orientation).
Photo: Spitzer Space Telescope/
R. A. Gutermuth (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) et al. JPL-Caltech, NASA


















I should add that NGC 2170 is somewhat similar to NGC 1333 in Perseus. But I believe that NGC 1333 really is kind of small, because it is no larger in the sky than NGC 2170, and NGC 2170 is more than twice as distant. On the other hand, this puny little runt of a star formation region is currently giving birth to large numbers of low-mass stars, including 30 to 40 brown dwarfs. :yes:

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Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby mark@cyberworks » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:39 am

Just love to see NGC 2170 in 3D.
With all the effort involved to presenting these amazing pictures from Hubble and Chandra etc., as well as all the processing on the ground; would have assumed just one more small step in production for 3D would be one giant leap for APOD.
NGC 2170 screams out for it! And do many other APOD's

mog

Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby mog » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:56 pm

This Still life looks like a beautiful flying insect. A bee with a long black gown and glowing blue wings...

heehaw

Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby heehaw » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:02 am

Never seen dust like that before! What's going on?

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Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby Ann » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:41 am

heehaw wrote:Never seen dust like that before! What's going on?


Good question. We do have a violent outflow of dust (and gas, though the gas is invisible).

The dusty tendrils clearly emanate from the very dusty region at center left. This is obviously a place where stars are being born. We can see the reddened orange light of baby stars peeking through openings in the dusty cocoon.

Star formation is associated with outflows and with bipolar jets from young stars. I can't say that the black dust in today's APOD looks much like the product of collimated jets, but clearly some sort of violent process is going inside that "American football of dust".

Note that the dust seems to emanate from the part of the "football" that seems to be pointed away from us. The part that is pointing our way is dominated by orange cracks and openings, but the part where the dust is mostly coming from is denser. It is not impossible that that the star formation that is going on in that denser part is more violent, or at least, that it is particularly dominated by stars producing outflows by different mechanisms.

Also note that the the dust is flowing right across the streaky blue reflection nebula at right. The dust there isn't black, because it is reflecting the blue light of the star in there back our way, much like the reflection nebulas of the Pleiades. Remember that dust is lit up, often in blue, when it reflects light our way. The dust looks black when it completely blocks light behind it from reaching us. When it blocks some light, but not all, the light that reaches us will typically be yellow, orange or red.

If the blue star in the streaky reflection nebula also produces some outflows, it could possibly be pushing the black streaks of dust away from itself. It does look as if the dusty tendrils are being blown away from that star. It could possibly be that the dusty outflows are somehow produced inside that elongated cocoon of dust, and then they might be "blown to one side" by the possible antics of the blue star in the streaky reflection nebula.

EDIT: I take that back. The blue star probably isn't doing much to the black tendrils one way or another.

In any case, what I've written here is just guesswork, at least when it comes to explaining those black tendrils of dust.

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby DavidLeodis » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:51 pm

It's both a superb and a fascinating image. :clap: to Adam Block.

The "is joined" link in the explanation https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0608/ngc2170_seip_f56lbl.jpg brings up an annotated image that shows the blue nebula on the right of the APOD is vdB69 and the blue nebula whose top is seen in the bottom of the APOD image is vdB68. I wonder though what the red nebula below NGC 2170 is known as?

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Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby Ann » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:02 pm

DavidLeodis wrote:It's both a superb and a fascinating image. :clap: to Adam Block.

The "is joined" link in the explanation https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0608/ngc2170_seip_f56lbl.jpg brings up an annotated image that shows the blue nebula on the right of the APOD is vdB69 and the blue nebula whose top is seen in the bottom of the APOD image is vdB68. I wonder though what the red nebula below NGC 2170 is known as?


Infrared picture of NGC 2170.
ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA; Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit
I can't find a name for it, although it may have a designation suggesting its infrared nature.

At left is an infrared image of NGC 2170. It was the APOD on October 15, 2010.

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Re: APOD: NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting... (2017 Mar 04)

Postby DavidLeodis » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:25 pm

Ann wrote:
DavidLeodis wrote:It's both a superb and a fascinating image. :clap: to Adam Block.

The "is joined" link in the explanation https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0608/ngc2170_seip_f56lbl.jpg brings up an annotated image that shows the blue nebula on the right of the APOD is vdB69 and the blue nebula whose top is seen in the bottom of the APOD image is vdB68. I wonder though what the red nebula below NGC 2170 is known as?


Infrared picture of NGC 2170.
ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA; Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit
I can't find a name for it, although it may have a designation suggesting its infrared nature.

At left is an infrared image of NGC 2170. It was the APOD on October 15, 2010.

Ann


Thanks Ann for your help :).

There are interesting links about NGC 2170 in the explanation to the APOD of October 15 2010.


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