Two Views into the Lagoon

The visible-light Hubble image of the Lagoon Nebula shows a dust-and-gas landscape that is being sculpted by ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from a powerful young star. The star near the center of the image is known as Herschel 36. It’s about 200,000 times brighter than our Sun, 32 times more massive, and eight times hotter. Herschel 36 iis a baby star, only 1 million years old.

The star-filled image at right, taken by Hubble in near-infrared light, is a very different view of the nebula. Infrared light can penetrate clouds of gas and dust. The most obvious difference thes infrared and visible photos of this region is the abundance of stars that show up in the infrared field of view. Most of them are more distant, background stars located behind the nebula, but some are young stars within the Lagoon Nebula. The giant star Herschel 36 appears even brighter in infrared.

Image Credit: NASA

Leave a Reply