Visible and Invisible


Cat's PawThis comparison of infrared and visible views of the Cat’s Paw Nebula uses images taken by two of the telescopes belonging to the European Southern Observatory. The visible light image (right) was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile. The new infrared image (left) was taken with the VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. In the infrared, the dust that hides many stars is almost transparent, allowing many more stars to be seen.

Image Credit: ESO / J. Emerson / VISTA
Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

The Cat’s Paw Nebula


cat's pawThe Cat’s Paw Nebula (aka NGC 6334) lies in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). It is relatively near to Earth, at a distance of about 5500 light-years on line with the center of the galaxy. It is about 50 light-years across and is one of the most active star formation regions in the Milky Way, containing young, massive blue stars which are only a few million years old. It is made up of tens of thousands of stars, some of them visible and some hidden in clouds of gas and dust.

Image Credit: ESO / R. Gendler & R.M. Hannahoe

Another Cat Picture on the Interwebz


The Cat's Paw RemasteredActually, not the whole cat, just his paw. This image of the Cat’s Paw Nebula (aka NGC 6334) was assembled using the same technique as color images of Pluto recently sent back from New Horizons. New Horizon used higher resolution black-and-white data from its LORRI camera and color data from the lower resolution RALPH instrument. This picture uses high resolution data from the European Southern Observatory’s MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope and color data from images taken by amateur astronomers. Click the image to embiggen it.

The nebula is found in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). Although it appears to be close to the center of the Milky Way in the sky, it is relatively near to Earth, about 5500 light-years away. It’s about 50 light-years across. The Cat’s Paw is one of the most active star formation regions in the galaxy, containing massive, brilliant blue stars which have formed within the last few million years. It probably contains on the order of ten thousand stars. but many are hidden from view by the dust clouds fueling the rapid star formation.

Image Credit: ESO / R. Gendler & R.M. Hannahoe

Visible and Invisible


Cat's PawThis comparison of infrared and visible views of the Cat’s Paw Nebula uses images taken by two of the telescopes belonging to the European Southern Observatory. The visible light image (right) was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile. The new infrared image (left) was taken with the VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. In the infrared, the dust that hides many stars is almost transparent, allowing many more stars to be seen.

Image Credit: ESO / J. Emerson / VISTA
Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

The Cat’s Paw


cat's pawThe Cat’s Paw Nebula (aka NGC 6334) lies in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). It is relatively near to Earth, at a distance of about 5500 light-years on line with the center of the galaxy. It is about 50 light-years across and is one of the most active star formation regions in the Milky Way, containing young, massive blue stars which are only a few million years old. It is made up of tens of thousands of stars, some of them visible and some hidden in clouds of gas and dust.

Image Credit: ESO / R. Gendler & R.M. Hannahoe