Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Astronomy: Spicy shrimp in Scorpio - Times Online

by giant telescope in Chile of researchers have made the best ever photo of shrimp mist. The formation of baby stars illuminated, located in the constellation Scorpio.

class=”articlemeta-date”> 18 September 2013

The shrimp mist, a cloud formation in the constellation Scorpio, is illuminated by countless young stars. This particularly sharp image took on the “Very Large Survey Telescope”, which operates the European Southern Observatory in Chile. | © Martin Pugh / ESO

bit like the base station of astronauts who have pitched on Mars for the first time their camp, seems at the observatory amid the red-brown barren desert landscape. Such as foreign bodies stuck the silvery-white lustrous telescopes in the dry earth. From here, the largest mechanical space observer of the world staring into the sky. Very Large Telescope is the system that runs the European Southern Observatory here in the Chilean Atacama desert. In truth, this includes a whole armada of really powerful telescopes.

using one of the highly sensitive telescopes, astronomers have now done so far, probably the sharpest view of shrimp mist. Supposedly, it was the shape of this cloud in the Milky Way, which won the English name Prawn Nebula the celestial object.


With a diameter of about 250 light-years, cataloged under the number IC 4628, the nebula shrimp is 6,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius and consists among others of gas clouds. In this mist – after the Australian astronomer Colin Gum Gum as 56 known – Hot arise shining stars. The shrimp fog is so such thing as a star nursery.

In the visible range of light, newborn stars appear bluish white. However, they also emit intense radiation from other parts of the light spectrum – especially in the ultraviolet. This light is it that makes the baby star to shine. Also not perceptible to the human eye rays telescopes in the Chilean desert, which extends over Peru, and put together to capture images. To the equipment, observe the All include four main telescopes, whose mirrors each having a diameter of more than eight meters.

View of the Süsternwarte the European Observatory (ESO) on Mount Paranal in the Chilean Atacama Desert

view of the Observatory of European Süsternwarte (ESO) on Paranal in the Chilean Atacama Desert | © dpa

Theoretically, you can even see the mist shrimp with a simple telescope – but because its luminosity is rather low, was the formation, at least four times as much space in the sky occupies the full moon, long overlooked. The light pollution in cities, where street lights, lights from houses and advertising signs disturb the darkness, it additionally difficult to identify such objects in the night sky.

The image now published was recorded with the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) and, combined with images of the sky region, the Australian astrophotographer Martin Pugh has made. Thus arose very intensely colored images of the nebulous star nursery.

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