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Hubble snaps sharp image of cosmic cauldron NGC 2467

A colourful star-forming region is featured in this stunning new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 2467.

Looking like a roiling cauldron of some exotic cosmic brew, huge clouds of gas and dust are sprinkled with bright blue hot young stars.

Strangely shaped dust clouds, resembling spilled liquids, are silhouetted against a colourful background of glowing gas in this newly released Hubble image.

The star-forming region NGC 2467 is a vast cloud of gas – mostly hydrogen – that serves as an incubator for new stars. Some of these youthful stars have emerged from the dense clouds where they were born and now shine brightly, hot and blue in this picture, but many others remain hidden.

The full beauty of this object and hints of the astrophysical processes at work within it are revealed in this super-sharp image from Hubble. Hot young stars that recently formed from the cloud are emitting fierce ultraviolet radiation that is causing the whole scene to glow while also sculpting the environment and gradually eroding the gas clouds. Studies have shown that most of the radiation comes from the single hot and brilliant massive star just above the centre of the image. Its fierce radiation has cleared the surrounding region and some of the next generation of stars are forming in the denser regions around the edge.

One of the most familiar star-forming regions is the Orion Nebula, which can be seen with the naked eye. NGC 2467 is a similar but more distant example. Such stellar nurseries can be seen out to considerable distances in the Universe, and their study is important in determining the distance and chemical composition of other galaxies. Some galaxies contain huge star-forming regions, which may contain tens of thousands of stars. Another dramatic example is the 30 Doradus region in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

NGC 2467 was discovered in the nineteenth century and lies in the southern constellation of Puppis, which represents the poop deck of Jason's fabled ship Argo from Greek mythology. NGC 2467 is thought to lie about 13,000 light-years from Earth.

Hubble European Space Agency Information Center

Recent news

top story: March newsletter of the ASSA Deep-Sky Section, featuring 47 Tuc on the cover. — "Nightfall" (2015 April) is the current newsletter of the Deep-Sky Observing Section of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa.

A globular cluster in the realm of the galaxies — A rare gem - a bright globular cluster in the realm of the galaxies.

The Dark Emu rises, in pursuit of the Magellanic Clouds — The beautiful complex of dark nebulosity along the southern Milky Way appears like an ancient monster, its serpentine neck reaching out as if to gobble up the Magellanic Clouds.

Massive star forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud — Dale Liebenberg images NGC 346, a gigantic star forming region in the SMC.

Flocculent Galaxy in Southern Leo — Dale Liebenberg images the spiral galaxy NGC 3521 in southern Leo.

Ancient open cluster in Lyra — Anthony Ayiomamitis images the old open cluster NGC 6791.

Golden Coin Galaxy — Dale Liebenberg images the Golden Coin, NGC 4945 in Centaurus.

NGC 2467 in Puppis — Dale Liebenberg images NGC 2467 in Puppis.

Last but not least - Messier 103 — Anthony Ayiomamitis images Messier 103 in Cassiopeia.

The Arkenstone of Thrain — Dale Liebenberg images Messier 22, the "Arkenstone of Thrain" according to Burnham.

ConCards available — A handy set of beginner's star charts, "Constellation Cards" are now available for free download.

Deep sky celebrations — Three deep sky observers of yore have birthdays this week: William Herschel (1738), the Fourth Earl of Rosse, and Stephane Javelle.

Necklace Nebula featured on APOD — The recently-discovered planetary nebula nicknamed the Necklace Nebula, recently featured on APOD.

Methuselah Nebula featured on APOD — The old bipolar planetary nebula MWP1, a.k.a. Methuselah Nebula, is today's APOD.

New deepsky book from CUP — Deep sky author Wolfgang Steinicke's latest book, "Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters: From Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue", has just been published by Cambridge University Press.

NGC 1365 in infrared (ESO VLT) — The bright barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 in Fornax has been imaged in the infrared with the ESO VLT telescope.

New HST image of eta Carinae Nebula — New observations, combined with images made in 2005, show beautiful detail in part of the extensive eta Carinae Nebula.

First planetary in open cluster found — A team of astronomers from Australia, the UK, the USA and France have discovered the first planetary nebula known to be associated with a galactic open cluster.

NGC 300 in Sculptor imaged at ESO — The bright spiral galaxy NGC 300 has been imaged with the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Superwind galaxy NGC 4666 — A remarkable galaxy with very vigorous star formation has been newly imaged on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

News archives

All earlier news items can be browsed in the archives.

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