The Cool Clouds of the Carina Nebula
"Observations made with the APEX telescope in submillimetre-wavelength light at a wavelength of 870 µm reveal the cold dusty clouds from which stars form in the Carina Nebula. This site of violent star formation, which plays host to some of the highest-mass stars in our galaxy, is an ideal arena in which to study the interactions between these young stars and their parent molecular clouds.
The APEX observations, made with its LABOCA camera, are shown here in orange tones, combined with a visible light image from the Curtis Schmidt telescope at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory. The result is a dramatic, wide-field picture that provides a spectacular view of Carina’s star formation sites. The nebula contains stars equivalent to over 25 000 Suns, and the total mass of gas and dust clouds is that of about 140 000 Suns.”
Credit: ESO/APEX/T. Preibisch et al. (Submillimetre); N. Smith, University of Minnesota/NOAO/AURA/NSF (Optical)
Star Formation in the Monkey Head Nebula
This Hubble mosaic unveils a collection of carved knots of gas and dust in a small portion of the Monkey Head Nebula (also known as NGC 2174 and Sharpless Sh2-252). The Monkey Head Nebula is a roiling region of starbirth located 6,400 light-years away. The nebula is a star-forming region that hosts dusky dust clouds silhouetted against glowing gas.
Massive, newly formed stars near the center of the nebula (and toward the top in this image) are blasting away at dust within the nebula. Ultraviolet light from these bright stars helps carve the dust into giant pillars. The nebula is mostly composed of hydrogen gas, which becomes ionized by the ultraviolet radiation.