A glance over a starry shoulder

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Some sort of cosmic animal glances over its starry shoulder at a bubble of gas and stars in this image of NGC 4214 from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

What stories or pictures do you see hiding in this image? Leave a note below.

Explore the innards of NGC 4214, a nearby dwarf galaxy. From glowing clouds of gas and dust to the clusters of hot blue stars the clouds create, you can track each step of a star’s evolution. Near the outer edges of the irregular galaxy, yellowish middle aged stars dominate the scene. But scattered throughout the galaxy, strong ultraviolet radiation from young stars causes the nebulae to glow. The stars also stream with fast stellar wind that plows into the surrounding gas blowing bubbles in the nebula. At the center of the galaxy, look for a vast heart-shaped bubble. A cluster of young, hot stars, each more than 10,000 times brighter than our Sun, is causing a cavity to form. These massive stars will live short lives. Within a few million years they will burn through their hydrogen fuel and explode as supernovae. Another huge star-making complex of glowing green gas and dust is seen in the upper part of the image; what I see as a horse-type head glancing over a shoulder.

NGC 4214 is considered a dwarf galaxy because of its tiny size compared to our Milky Way Galaxy. The small galaxy still contains millions of stars. It also lacks an overall structure with no disk nor spiral arms. The galaxy is found about 10 million light-years from Earth in the northern constellation Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs.


S 13-05-2011, 08:19

it’s the giant Space Mantis again!

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