A Lucky Catch

This image was taken with the Wide Field Channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. It was part of a “snapshot” survey, observations that are fitted into Hubble’s schedule when possible, without any guarantee that the observation will take place. It was fortunate that the observation was made at all. This picture shows a little-known nebula IRAS 05437+2502 billowing among the bright stars and dark dust clouds that surround it.

The nebula is in the constellation of Taurus, close to the central plane of the Milky Way. Unlike many of Hubble’s targets, this object has not been studied in detail, and its exact nature is unclear. The faint cloud was originally discovered in 1983 by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), the first space telescope to survey the whole sky in infrared light. IRAS found a large number of new objects invisible from the ground.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

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