Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Unusual Globule in IC 1396
Posted on 04/14/2014 1:55:31 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Is there a monster in IC 1396? Known to some as the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, parts of gas and dust clouds of this star formation region may appear to take on foreboding forms, some nearly human. The only real monster here, however, is a bright young star too far from Earth to hurt us. Energetic light from this star is eating away the dust of the dark cometary globule near the top of the above image. Jets and winds of particles emitted from this star are also pushing away ambient gas and dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a much larger region on the sky than shown here, with an apparent width of more than 10 full moons.
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[Credit & Copyright: T. Rector (U. Alaska Anchorage) & H. Schweiker (WIYN, NOAO, AURA, NSF)]
I really enjoyed the bigger version, just to pan around in it to check out the details. There is a lot of detail. :’)
There’s anything BUT the devil in those details! I had a folder with a ton of Hubble images on my first computer. I spent a lot of time zooming and panning around in them. The wonderment factor was “through the roof” and it still is.
Never seen that one before, nice!
I’d make a wild guess that the APoD for Wednesday will have the lunar eclipse.
Just to answer the question, the blobs are probably protostars. Not quite condensed enough to start fusing hydrogen, but, a lot of gravity to pull things in.
Interstellar winds would blow away the gas that isn’t trapped well enough by that gravity.
The Milky Way around Sagittarius is full of these blobs, but, only a few are close enough to other stars so that you can see them. Most times they just appear as holes in the sky that you can’t see through.
I do wish that the APOD folks would put in the blurb where these items can be found. Now I have to do a search for it. :)
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