Thursday, May 26, 2022

‘Running Man’ in space?

A Herbig-Haro object is known as HH 45.

Hubble snapped an image of a mounded, luminous clouds of gas and dust glow of Herbig-Haro object called HH 45. The object is located in the nebula NGC 1977, a reflection nebula. It does not emit light by itself but reflects light from nearby stars, like an illuminating streetlight fog.

The NGC 1977 is a part of a complex of three nebulae called the Running Man. Its other two companions are NGC 1975 and NGC 1973.

Hubble observed this ‘Running Man’ while observing stellar jets and planet-forming disks around young stars. It also examines the effect of the surrounding environment on the evolution of planet-forming disks.

Objects such as HH 45 are a rare type of observed nebula. The nebula occurs when hot gas ejected by a newborn star collides with the gas and dust around it at hundreds of miles per second. The surrounding gas and dust create bright shock waves.

Hubble imaged a small section of the Running Man Nebula, which lies close to the famed Orion Nebula and is a favorite target for amateur astronomers to observe and photograph.
Hubble imaged a small section of the Running Man Nebula, which lies close to the famed Orion Nebula and is a favorite target for amateur astronomers to observe and photograph. Credits: NASA, ESA, J. Bally (the University of Colorado at Boulder), and DSS; Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

In the image captured by Hubble Space Telescope, blue indicates ionized oxygen (O II), and purple shows ionized magnesium (Mg II). Such elements fascinate scientists because they help them identify shocks and ionization fronts.

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