As signature subhead reverse@2x
Resources
Zoomable Gallery
The Monkey Head Nebula
Zoomable Image

Mouse over the image and scroll to zoom in and out, or use the blue buttons that appear in the lower right corner of the image.

In celebration of the 24th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (on April 24, 1990), astronomers have taken an infrared-light portrait of a turbulent region of starbirth, located 6,400 light-years away.

The Hubble mosaic unveils a collection of carved knots of gas and dust in a small portion of the Monkey Head Nebula (also known as NGC 2174). The nebula is a star-forming region that hosts dusty clouds silhouetted against glowing gas.

Massive, newly formed stars near the center of the nebula (and toward the right in this image) are blasting away at dust within the nebula. Ultraviolet light from these bright stars helps carve the dust into giant pillars. The nebula is mostly composed of hydrogen gas, which becomes ionized by the ultraviolet radiation.

As the interstellar dust particles are warmed from the radiation from the stars in the center of the nebula, they heat up and begin to glow at infrared wavelengths.

The image demonstrates Hubble's powerful infrared vision and offers a tantalizing hint of what scientists can expect from the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

 

CREDIT:

NASAESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team  (STScI/AURA)

IMAGE DOWNLOADS
(56.8 KB)
(197 KB)
(1.69 MB)
(2.87 MB)
Videos

Zoom into NGC 2174

VIDEO DOWNLOADS

1280X720
(13.5 MB)
640X360
(6.71 MB)
320X180
(2.57 MB)
1280X720
(13.9 MB)
640X360
(6.94 MB)
320X180
(4.11 MB)

NGC 2174: Visible 2D Zoom and Infrared 3D Reveal

VIDEO DOWNLOADS

1280X720
(28.6 MB)
640X360
(14.3 MB)
320X180
(5.5 MB)
1280X720
(28.9 MB)
640X360
(14.3 MB)
320X180
(5.5 MB)