Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stargazing: The North America Nebula

Wow this is crazy! In our galaxy there is an emission nebula (a cluster of young forming stars) that looks remarkably like North America. Look at the resemblance of the Gulf of Mexico!

Anyway, even though astronomers have known about this nebula for a while, it showed up in news recently because a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of the North America nebula shows more than 2,000 new, candidate young stars in the region, where only about 200 were known before.

Everyone is excited about the discovery and how the infrared image is so different from that of the visible image...but I am still freaking out about how the nebula looks in visible light.

Source: NASA

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