Another Cat Picture on the Web

The Cat's Paw RemasteredNot the whole cat, just his paw. This is the Cat’s Paw Nebula (aka NGC 6334). It’s 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

BTW, not all catspaws are in space.

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

The Cat’s Paw

Cat'sPawThis is the Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334), a vast region of star formation. This composite image was created from data taken with the Wide Field Imager instrument at the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, combining images taken through blue, green and red filters, as well as a special filter designed to let through the light of glowing hydrogen. The Cat’s Paw is about 5500 light-years away in the constellation of Scorpius. The cloud is about 50 light-years across.

NGC 6334 is one of the most active nurseries of massive stars in our galaxy. Hidden in the nebula are young brilliant blue stars; young for a star means only a few million years old. The Cat’s Paw Nebula probably contains several tens of thousands of stars. The nebula appears red because its blue and green light is scattered and absorbed more efficiently by material between the nebula and Earth. Its red light mostly comes from hydrogen gas glowing under intense radiation from the hot young stars.

Image Credit: ESO