Hubble captures a stunning image of the nearby star-forming region

Astronomers use NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope IRAS 16562-3959 captured this clear image of a beautiful star-forming region in the Scorpius galaxy.

This Hubble image shows IRAS 16562-3959, a star-forming region about 5,900 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / R. Fedriani / J. Tan.

IRAS 16562-39592MASX, also known as J16594225-4003451, is 5,900 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius.

„At the center of the image, IRAS 16562-3959 is thought to host a massive star — about 30 times the mass of our Sun — that is still in the process of forming,” Hubble team members said in a statement.

„At near-infrared wavelengths that Hubble is sensitive to, the central region appears dark because there is so much obscuring dust in the way.”

„However, the near-infrared light leaks out mainly on two sides – upper left and lower right – where a powerful jet from the massive protostar has removed dust.”

„Multi-wavelength images, including this incredible Hubble view, will help us better understand how the biggest, brightest stars in our Milky Way Galaxy are born.”

The new image of IRAS 16562-3959 was created from separate exposures taken in the near-infrared region of the spectrum. Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC 3).

Four filters were used to sample different wavelengths. Coloration results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.

„Filters are thin pieces of very special material that allow only certain wavelengths of light through,” the astronomers explained.

„They can be slid in front of the part of the telescope that is sensitive to light, allowing us to control which wavelengths the telescope collects with each observation.”

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„This is useful not only for specific scientific research, but also for creating images like this.”

„Regardless of which filter is used, raw telescope observations are always monochromatic,” they added.

„However, specially trained artists and image professionals can select colors that match the wavelength range covered by individual filters.”

„Or, where a direct match is not possible – the data used in this image are in the infrared regime, to which the human eye is not sensitive – the artist can consciously choose a color that reflects what is happening.”

„For example, they can assign blue colors to shorter wavelengths and red colors to longer wavelengths, as in the visible light range.”

„Then, data from multiple filters can be combined to create a multi-color image that is both beautiful and scientifically meaningful.”

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