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NICMOS uncovers dust layers to show inner region of dusty nebula (NICMOS image)

NICMOS uncovers dust layers to show inner region of dusty nebula (NICMOS image)

Depicts: Cone Nebula, NGC 2264
Copyright: NASA, ESA, the NICMOS Group (STScI, ESA) and the NICMOS Science Team (Univ. of Arizona)

The revived Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has penetrated dust layers in a star-forming cloud to uncover a dense, craggy edifice of dust and gas.

This NICMOS image shows the Cone Nebula (NGC 2264), so named because, in ground-based images, it has a conical shape. NICMOS enables the Hubble telescope to see near-infrared wavelengths of light, so that it can penetrate the dust that obscures the nebula's inner regions. However, the Cone is so dense even the near-infrared 'eyes' of NICMOS cannot penetrate all the way through it.

The human eye cannot see infrared light so colours have been assigned to correspond to near-infrared wavelengths. The blue light represents shorter near-infrared wavelengths and the red light corresponds to longer wavelengths.

The NICMOS colour composite image was made by combining photographs taken through J-band, H-band, and Paschen-alpha filters. The NICMOS images were taken on 11 May 2002.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
15-Jul-2024 05:43 UT

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