Imaging of NGC 2035 from the ESO Very Large Telescope

ESO-Views-the-Dragons-Head-Nebula
The Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the closest galaxies to our own. Astronomers have now used the power of the ESO’s Very Large Telescope to explore NGC 2035, one of its lesser known regions, in great detail. This new image shows clouds of gas and dust where hot new stars are being born and are sculpting their surroundings into odd shapes. But the image also shows the effects of stellar death — filaments created by a supernova explosion (left). Credit: ESO

Located only about 160,000 light-years from us in the constellation of Dorado (The Swordfish), the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of our closest galactic neighbors. It is actively forming new stars in regions that are so bright that some can even be seen from Earth with the naked eye, such as the Tarantula Nebula. This new image, taken by ESO’s Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, explores an area called NGC 2035 (right), sometimes nicknamed the Dragon’s Head Nebula.

NGC 2035 is an HII region, or emission nebula, consisting of clouds of gas that glow due to the energetic radiation given off by young stars. This radiation strips electrons from atoms within the gas, which eventually recombine with other atoms and release light. Mixed in with the gas are dark clumps of dust that absorb rather than emit light, creating weaving lanes and dark shapes across the nebula.

Why is astronomy important?
There is more particle physics news today from CERN, as the Higgs is discovered to decay into two tau fermions:

The Higgs boson lives only for a short time and disintegrates into other particles. The various possibilities of the final states are called decay modes. So far, ATLAS physicists had found evidence that the Higgs boson decays into different types of gauge bosons, the kind of elementary particles that carry forces. The other family of fundamental particles, the fermions, make up matter. The tau (represented by the Greek letter τ) is a fermion and behaves like a very massive electron.

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One Response to “Imaging of NGC 2035 from the ESO Very Large Telescope”

  1. イルビゾンテ アウトレット

    I love what you guys are always up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the great works guys Ive added you guys to my blogroll.

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