The Stellar Nursery of Perseus

Today’s OOTW features Alice’s OOTD written on the 2nd of September 2010.

SDSS Version of 4191

SDSS Version of 1491

This is NGC 1491, a HII region lurking in the Perseus constellation just above the star Lambda Persei.

HII regions are what they say on the tin; they are made of of hydrogen gas, a considerable amount of which has been ionized by radiation coming from the shorter wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.

HII regions are ionized after a nebula has finished forming a new batch of stars; the regions that shroud the stars get blown away by the winds given off by the stars, creating the bubbles and filaments in the nebula. As these stars emit huge amounts of ultraviolet  light they ionize – meaning the ultraviolet light shoves off the electrons from the atoms that make up the hydrogen gas – everything surrounding them, heating up the clouds of nebulous material and lighting it up, creating great eye candy for us!

Alice gives us different views of NGC 1491 in her OOTD, such as this lovely one:

Credit: Peter Jackson and Rena Smith/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Credit: Peter Jackson and Rena Smith/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

I couldn’t resist having a go at playing around with the SDSS fits files on DS9 so I put this image together using I, R and G fits files:

NGC 1491

NGC 1491

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any files that give the full view of the nebula!

And to quote Alice:

Why a nebula? Because nebulae might well soon be on the menu. They’re part of Project IX, whose exact definition is still . . . well . . . nebulous! Well, let’s collapse those clouds and make it less so. Can you suggest a name? They’re looking forward to hearing from you!


About The Zooniverse

Online citizen science projects. The Zooniverse is doing real science online,.

3 responses to “The Stellar Nursery of Perseus”

  1. lizardly says :

    Excellent, Stellar!

  2. Peter says :

    Lovely Stellar 😀
    And a great original OOTD 😉

  3. elizabeth says :

    Wonderful Stellar!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: