Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The 'Flame Burns Bright in New WISE Image Horsehead nebula

The Flame Nebula sits on the eastern hip of Orion the Hunter, a constellation visible in the MOST Easily northern hemisphere winter evenings DURING.

A new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows the Flame candle-like lighting up a cavern nebula of dust. The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion complex, a turbulent star-forming area located near the constellation's star-studded belt.

The image is Being released today along With A new batch of data from the mission. Last March, WISE released its all-sky infrared catalog and atlas images and data Containing more than a half on objects billion, Including everything from asteroids to stars and galaxies. Now, the mission is Offering up additional data from STI second scan of the sky.

"If you're an astronomer, Then you'll be in hog heaven Probably when it comes to infrared data," said Edward (Ned) Wright of UCLA, the main investigator of the WISE mission. "Data from the second scan are useful sky for studying stars That Vary or move over time, and for Improving and checking data from the first scan."

The new WISE view of the Flame nebula, In Which colors are Assigned To Different channels of infrared light, looks like what Appears to be a flaming candle sending billows of smoke off. In Fact, the wispy tendrils in the image are part of the larger Orion star-forming complex, a huge dust cloud churning out new stars. In the Flame nebula, massive stars are carving a cavity In This dust. Intense ultraviolet light from a massive star core 20 times heavier than our sun, and buried in the dust blanketing, is Causing the cloud to glow in infrared light. This star would be Almost as our eyes as bright to the three stars in Orion's belt, But The star dust Makes the 4 billion times fainter Appear than it really is.

Other features include the In This view NGC 2023 nebula, seen as a bright circle in the lower half of the image, and the famous Horsehead nebula, Which is hard to see But the right of located to one of the lower, vertical ridges. The bright red at lower right arc is a bow shock, where 'material in front of the speeding multiple-star system Sigma Orion’s is piling up.

The data released today cover About one-third of the mission's second full scan of the sky. They Were taken from August to September 2010 as the telescope Began to deplete coolant STI, STD operating With Three of four infrared detectors. The coolant Kept the telescope chilled to Prevent STIs heat, or infrared radiation, from interfering With The observations. As the telescope Warmed DURING this Period, one of the four channels on WISE WAS overwhelmed by the infrared radiation. An introduction and quick guide to Accessing the WISE 3-band archive for astronomers is online at: .

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Manages, and operated, WISE for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The spacecraft WAS put Into hibernation mode in 2011 after it scanned the Entire sky twice, STI Completing main specific objectives. Edward Wright is the principal investigator and is at UCLA. The mission WAS Competitively selected under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument WAS built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The spacecraft built by Ball Aerospace WAS & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo. Science Operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Manages Caltech JPL for NASA.

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