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WFC3 visible image of pillar in the Carina Nebula

WFC3 visible image of pillar in the Carina Nebula


Date: 09 September 2009
Satellite: Hubble Space Telescope
Depicts: Pillar of gas and dust in Carina Nebula
Copyright: NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Composed of gas and dust, the pictured pillar resides in a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina.

Taken in visible light, the image shows the tip of the three-light-year-long pillar, bathed in the glow of light from hot, massive stars off the top of the image. Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from these stars are sculpting the pillar and causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of gas and dust can be seen flowing off the top of the structure.

Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 observed the Carina Nebula on 24-30 July 2009. WFC3 was installed aboard Hubble in May 2009 during Servicing Mission 4. The composite image was made from filters that isolate emission from iron, magnesium, oxygen, hydrogen and sulphur.

These Hubble observations of the Carina Nebula are part of the Hubble Servicing Mission 4 Early Release Observations.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
1-Jul-2022 22:37 UT

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