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“The Smiling Cat Nebula, captured in a new ESO image”.  daily menu

“The Smiling Cat Nebula, captured in a new ESO image”. daily menu

The orange and red cloud, part of the Sh2-284 nebula, colloquially known as the Smiling Cat Nebula, was obtained with data from the VLT Survey Telescope, located at the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

This nebula Is a vast region of dust and gas and the brightest part of it, Visible in the captured image, it is about 150 light-years (more than 1,400 trillion kilometers) across. It is located about 15,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Monoceros.

Located in the center of the brightest part of the nebula, just below the “Cat’s Nose,” is a group of young stars, known as Dolidze 25, which produces large amounts of radiation and strong winds. the The radiation is strong enough to ionize the hydrogen gas in the cloud. thus producing their bright orange and red colours. In clouds like this are the “bricks” for building new stars.

Winds from the central star cluster dump gas and dust into the nebula, emptying out its center. When winds meet denser pockets of material, they provide greater resistance, which means the areas around them erode first.

This creates several visible plumes, along the edges of Sh2-284, pointing towards the nebula’s center, like the one on the right side of the image. Although these pillars may appear small in the image, they are in fact several light years long and contain huge amounts of gas and dust from which new stars are formed.