Astronomy Picture of the Day
    


Windblown NGC 3199
<< Yesterday 22.05.2008 Tomorrow >>
Windblown NGC 3199
Credit & Copyright: Ken Crawford (Rancho Del Sol Observatory), Macedon Ranges Observatory
Explanation: NGC 3199 lies about 12,000 light-years away, a glowing cosmic cloud in the southern constellation of Carina. The nebula is about 75 light-years across in this haunting, false-color view. Though the deep image reveals a more or less complete ring shape, it does look very lopsided with a much brighter edge at the lower right. Near the center of the ring is a Wolf-Rayet star, a massive, hot, short-lived star that generates an intense stellar wind. In fact, Wolf-Rayet stars are known to create nebulae with interesting shapes as their powerful winds sweep up surrounding interstellar material. In this case, the bright edge was thought to indicate a bow shock produced as the star plowed through a uniform medium, like a boat through water. But measurements have shown the star is not really moving directly toward the bright edge. So a more likely explanation is that the material surrounding the star is not uniform, but clumped and denser near the bright edge of windblown NGC 3199.


January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
 < May 2008  >
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su



1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031
Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: Wolf-Rayet star - stellar wind
Publications with words: Wolf-Rayet star - stellar wind
See also:
All publications on this topic >>