NGC 1187


NGC 1187NGC 1187 about 60 million light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus (The River). It’s been the home of two supernovae during the last thirty years, the latest one in 2007.

BTW, NGC stands for the New General Catalog of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars.

Image Credit: ESO

Happy 25th Birthday, Hubble


This animation provides a 3D perspective on Hubble‘s 25th anniversary image of the nebula Gum 29 and the star cluster Westerlund 2 at its core. It begins fly past foreground stars and approaches the rim of the nebula. After passing through the wispy darker clouds on the near side, the simulation shows the bright gas illuminated by the intense radiation of the new stars forming in the Westerlund 2 cluster. The pillars of dark, dense gas are being sculpted by light and strong stellar winds from thousands of stars. This visualization is intended to be a scientifically reasonable interpretation, but distances within the model have been significantly compressed.

Video Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (Viz3D Team, STScI), and J. Anderson (STScI)
Acknowledgment: The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), the Westerlund 2 Science Team, and ESO

Getting Closer to Ceres


More North PoleThis animated sequence of images from the Dawn spacecraft shows terrain on the sunlit side of the northern hemisphere of Ceres. Dawn took these pictures on 14 and 15 April while it was about 22,000 km above the dwarf planet. The spacecraft should be settled into a 13,500 km orbit on 23 April. The puzzling feature called “Spot 5″ (actually two bright spots) by the Dawn science team comes into view on the right in the last few frames. Image Credit: NASA

NGC 3603


NGC 3603NGC 3603 is an open cluster of stars situated in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way around 20,000 light-years away from the Solar System. It’s the densest concentration of very massive stars known in the galaxy, and their strong ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds have cleared the gas and dust, giving an unobscured view of the cluster.

Image Credit: ESO