Tuesday, August 09, 2022

The Cat's Paw Remastered | European Southern Observatory

The Cat's Paw Remastered | European Southern Observatory

The Cat’s Paw Nebula is revisited in a combination of exposures from the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope and expert amateur astronomers Robert Gendler and Ryan M. Hannahoe. The distinctive shape of the nebula is revealed in reddish puffy clouds of glowing gas against a dark sky dotted with stars.

The image was made by combining existing observations from the 2.2-meter MPG/ESO telescope of the La Silla Observatory in Chile with 60 hours of exposures on a 0.4-meter telescope taken by Gendler and Hannahoe.

The resolution of the existing 2.2-meter MPG/ESO telescope observations was combined (by using their “luminance” or brightness) with the color information from Gendler and Hannahoe’s observations to produce a beautiful combination of data from amateur and professional telescopes. For example, the additional color information brings out the faint blue nebulosity in the central region, which is not seen in the original European Southern Observatory (ESO) image, while the ESO data contribute their finer detail. The result is an image that is much more than the sum of its parts.

The well-named Cat’s Paw Nebula (also known as NGC 6334) lies in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). Although it appears close to the center of the Milky Way on the sky, it is relatively near to Earth, at a distance of about 5,500 light-years. It is about 50 light-years across and is one of the most active star formation regions in our galaxy, containing massive, young brilliant blue stars, which have formed in the last few million years. It is host to possibly tens of thousands of stars in total, some of them visible and others still hidden in the clouds of gas and dust.

Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO)/R. Gendler & R.M. Hannahoe

Release Date: July 9, 2012

#NASA #ESO #Astronomy #Space #Stars #Nebula #CatsPawNebula #NGC6334 #Scorpius #Constellation #MilkyWay #Galaxy #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #Chile #Europe #STEM #Education

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