Space Saturday XXIV

This version of Space Saturday brings the beauty of nebula N44C.

Credit: Donald Garnett (U. Arizona) et al., Hubble Heritage Team, NASA (Source) - Full Size

This is a region of glowing hydrogen gas in the Small Magellanic Cloud in the southern hemisphere.

N44C is peculiar because the star mainly responsible for illuminating the nebula is unusually hot. The most massive stars, ranging from 10-50 times more massive than the Sun, have maximum temperatures of 54,000 to 90,000 degrees Fahrenheit (30,000 to 50,000 degrees Kelvin). The star illuminating N44C appears to be significantly hotter, with a temperature of about 135,000 degrees Fahrenheit (75,000 degrees Kelvin)!

“The star that appears to power the nebula, although young and bright, does not seem hot enough to create some of the colors observed.” So what is going on there? I guess you will have to find out! Regardless of what is going on, it is beautiful!

Visit my Space Saturday Archive for more interesting astronomy images!

Categories: Science
  1. October 21st, 2006 at 19:24 | #1


    That is a beautiful picture, thanks :)

  1. October 21st, 2006 at 23:03 | #1

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