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It’s Wednesday, so that means its time for another “Where In The Universe” challenge to test your visual knowledge of the cosmos. See if you can name where in the Universe this image is from, and give yourself extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for the image. Make your guess and post a comment, but please no links to the answer. Check back sometime on Thursday to find the answer and see how you did.
UPDATE: The answer has now been posted below.
This one, I admit, was a little tough. But fun! Although I think a lot of people were too perplexed to post an answer.
This image was taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope, and it is of a star located 1,140 light-years away from Earth. The star is a small baby star named HH 46/47, and it appears to be blowing bubbles. The infant star can be seen as a white spot toward the center of the Spitzer image. The two bubbles are shown as hollow elliptical shells of bluish-green material extending from the star. Wisps of green in the image reveal warm molecular hydrogen gas, while the bluish tints are formed by starlight scattered by surrounding dust.
These bubbles formed when powerful jets of gas, traveling at 200 to 300 kilometers per second, or about 120 to 190 miles per second, smashed into the cosmic cloud of gas and dust that surrounds HH 46/47. The red specks at the end of each bubble show the presence of hot sulfur and iron gas where the star’s narrow jets are currently crashing head-on into the cosmic cloud’s gas and dust material.
Find out more about this Spitzer image here.
Check back next week for another Where In The Universe challenge!