December 2014
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Visit the NASA/JPL website to view more Astronomy Pictures of the Day


north america spitzer 3000 670x677 Astronomy Picture of the Day

The North America Nebula in Infrared
Credit: NASAJPL-CaltechL. Rebull (SSC, Caltech);  DSS, D. De Martin

Explanation: The North America Nebula can do what most North Americans cannot — form stars. Precisely where in the nebula these stars are forming has been mostly obscured by some of the nebula’s thick dust that is opaque to visible light. However, a new view of theNorth America Nebula in infrared light by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope has peered through much of the dust and uncovered thousands of newly formed stars.  The new infrared image neatly captures young stars in many stages of formation, from being imbedded in dense knots of gas and dust, to being surrounded by disks and emitted jets, to being clear of their birth cocoons. The North America Nebula (NGC 7000) spans about 50 light years and lies about 1,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). Still, of all the stars known in the North America Nebula, which massive stars emit the energetic light that gives the ionized red glow is still debated.

north america spitzer 670 Astronomy Picture of the Day

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