Elements of the Universe Shown in New Image

Article written: 24 Feb , 2010
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

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It’s not Earth, Wind and Fire*, but light, wind and fire in this dramatic new image of the Small Magellanic Cloud (NGC 346) that will make you want to Keep Your Head to the Sky**. The light, wind and heat given off by massive, Mighty Mighty ** Shinging Star(s)** have dispersed the glowing gas within and around this star cluster, forming a surrounding wispy nebular structure that looks like a cobweb. As yet more stars form from lose matter in the area, they will ignite, scattering leftover dust and gas, carving out great ripples and altering the face of this lustrous object. But, That’s the Way of the World** in this open cluster of stars, that we just Can’t Hide Love** for.

You’ll really get a Happy Feelin’** by looking at the zoomable image of the Small Magellanic Cloud, or see below for a video zooming into the region.

The nebula containing this clutch of bright stars can really Sparkle **. It is known as an emission nebula, meaning that gas within it has been heated up by stars until the gas emits its own light, just like the neon gas used in electric store signs.

This image was taken with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) instrument at the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Images like this help astronomers Turn It Into Something Good** by helping to chronicle star birth and evolution, while offering glimpses of how stellar development influences the appearance of the cosmic environment over time.

If you want more information about this image, you can Let Your Feelings Show** by visiting the ESO website.

*The band Earth, Wind and Fire is sometimes known as Elements of the Universe
** indicates song titles recorded by Earth, Wind and Fire

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3 Responses

  1. Jon Hanford says

    You can’t help note 47 Tucanae blazing in the bottom of the SMC image at the ESO page.

  2. Jon Hanford says

    The Spitzer site has a nice multiwavelength IR-XR-Visual color composite of NGC 346 @ http://ipac.jpl.nasa.gov/media_images/ssc2008-17a_Med.jpg

    The 129MB ESO image is a veritable treasure trove of open clusters, globular clusters, associations, Wolf-Rayet and planetary nebulae, as well as reflection, emission and absorption nebulae for those who wish to explore this starry expanse. Truly an extraordinary vista.

  3. Andy F says

    With the LMC, the SMC and the heart of the Milky Way it’s enough to make us northerners feel jealous. Stunning image and video… and that’s no Fantasy** (sorry)

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