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Sunday, April 14, 2024

‘Smiling cat’ nebula blazes with new child stars and sizzling, ionised fuel – Astronomy Now


Fifteen thousand gentle years away within the constellation Monoceros, a stellar nursery referred to as Sh2-284 blazes with the fiery glow of younger stars blasting out robust winds and torrents of radiation. The radiation is sufficient to ionise hydrogen fuel in a 150-lightyear-wide nebula, generating billowing vivid orange and crimson clouds that vaguely resemble the face of a smiling cat as noticed from Earth. This impressive symbol was once captured via the VLT Survey Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile. The VST is mapping the southern sky with a 256-million-pixel digital camera optimised for wide-field photographs.

The “smiling cat” nebula, officially Sh2-284. Symbol: ESO/VPHAS+ staff. Acknowledgement: CASU


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