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Stardust is featured in new NASA photos

Stardust is featured in new NASA photos

The stunning images you see in this article are the result of a new NASA initiative that is observing four galaxies (relatively) close to our Milky Way from a new perspective, Using data from some unused space telescopes. Designed to highlight the star dust, which is one of the main and most prevalent components in the universe. according to US space agencyStardust, which mostly forms when stars die, absorbs nearly half of the star’s light, and has a major impact on the formation of galaxies.

From Similar consistency to that of smokeStellar dust clouds are very fickle as expected, and are constantly and greatly affected by the explosion of new stars, stellar winds and gravitational effects on the various celestial bodies that come into contact with them. It is here that most of the heavy chemical elements from which planets like ours are born, and therefore stellar dust is also an essential aspect of study to increase the general understanding of the universe.

The observed galaxies are the following (arrangement coordinated with the gallery above:

  1. Andromeda or M31
  2. Triangle Galaxy or M33
  3. Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)
  4. Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC)

M31 and M33 are real galaxies, while The Magellanic Clouds are classified as dwarf galaxies or irregular. All four are located 3 million light-years from Earth. Red represents hydrogen in gaseous form, which is the most common element in the entire universe, while green indicates the presence of especially cold dust, which is located near the “bubbles” in which dust is completely absent. away from the strong winds caused by the formation of new stars. Finally, blue indicates warmer stellar dust (eg because a new star is forming).

The images you see can be created thanks to the data of the following systems:

  • Herschel Space Observatory. It’s an ESA system that was in operation between 2009 and 2013, and includes key NASA technology for two of the onboard instruments. Thanks to this spacecraft, it was possible to detect thermal infrared emissions from stellar dust.
  • Planck Observatory. Another mission of the European Space Agency.
  • IRAS (Infrared astronomical satellite) from NASA.
  • Glass (COsmic background explorer) from NASA.

Herschel’s devices had a fundamental problem: they were unable to gather information from less dense stardust clouds. According to NASA estimates, for the nearest galaxies, this means that about 30% of light emissions have not been recorded. The other three telescopes fill this gap.

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