Imaging telescope or lens: RC Optical Systems RCOS 14.5"
Imaging camera: SBIG STX-16803
Mount: Paramount ME
Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 18x1200"
Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 18x1200"
Astrodon Luminance Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 22x1200"
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 21x1200"
Integration: 26.3 hours
Astrometry.net job: 1921580
RA center: 84.049 degrees
DEC center: -6.652 degrees
Pixel scale: 0.551 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 106.118 degrees
Field radius: 0.431 degrees
Locations: Deep Sky West, Rowe, New Mexico, United States
Just weeks after NASA astronauts repaired the Hubble Space Telescope in December 1999, the Hubble Heritage Project snapped this picture of NGC 1999, a nebula in the constellation Orion. The Heritage astronomers, in collaboration with scientists in Texas and Ireland, used Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) to obtain the color image.
NGC 1999 is an example of a reflection nebula. Like fog around a street lamp, a reflection nebula shines only because the light from an embedded source illuminates its dust; the nebula does not emit any visible light of its own. NGC 1999 lies close to the famous Orion Nebula, about 1,500 light-years from Earth, in a region of our Milky Way galaxy where new stars are being formed actively. The nebula is famous in astronomical history because the first Herbig-Haro object was discovered immediately adjacent to it (it lies just outside the new Hubble image but is visible in the NOAO image). Herbig-Haro objects are now known to be jets of gas ejected from very young stars.
That nebula is marked with a dark sideways T-shape near center in this cosmic vista that spans about 10 light-years. The dark shape was once assumed to be an obscuring dust cloud seen in silhouette against the bright reflection nebula. But recent infrared images indicate the shape is likely a hole blown through the nebula itself by energetic young stars. In fact, this region abounds with energetic young stars producing jets and outflows with luminous shock waves. Cataloged as Herbig-Haro (HH) objects, named for astronomers George Herbig and Guillermo Haro, the shocks look like red gashes in this scene that includes HH1 and HH2 just below NGC 1999. The stellar jets push through the surrounding material at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second.
Source: NASA APOD / Hubble Heritage Team
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