California:The sheer observing power of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is usually undermined.
Recently, NASA and ESA owned HST captured two festive-looking emission nebulae. Intense radiation from the brilliant central stars caused hydrogen in the nebulae to glow pink.
The glowing pink nebula, an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases, named ‘NGC 248’, is located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, which is a dwarf-sized galaxy, just about 200 thousand light-years away and yet is still visible in great detail.
The Nebula was observed as part of a Hubble survey, the Small Magellanic cloud Investigation of Dust and Gas Evolution (SMIDGE). In this survey astronomers are using Hubble to probe the Small Magellanic Cloud to understand how its dust — an important component of many galaxies and related to star formation — is different from the dust in the Milky Way.
Our Milky Way Galaxy is part of a collection of galaxies known as the ‘Local Group’. Many smaller satellite galaxies orbit the Milky Way, one of the Local Group’s most massive members. The Magellanic Clouds are good examples of smaller satellite galaxies, visible to the naked eye from the southern hemisphere.
Discovered in 1834, by the astronomer Sir John Herschel, NGC 248 is about 60 light-years long and 20 light-years wide. It is among a number of glowing hydrogen nebulae in the Small Magellanic Cloud, lying in the southern constellation of Tucana (The Toucan), about 200 000 light-years away.(ANI)