Headlines > News > Picture of the Day - Ghostly Reflections in the Pleiades

Picture of the Day - Ghostly Reflections in the Pleiades

Published by Matt on Sun May 9, 2010 5:59 pm via: Hubble ESA
Share
More share options
Tools
Tags

This image shows a dark interstellar cloud ravaged by the passage of Merope, one of the brightest stars in the Pleiades star cluster. Just as a torch beam bounces off the wall of a cave, the star is reflecting light from the surface of pitch-black clouds of cold gas laced with dust.

Ghostly Reflections in the Pleiades. Credit: NASA/ESA  and The Hubble Heritage Team

Ghostly Reflections in the Pleiades. Credit: NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team

As the nebula approaches Merope, the strong starlight shining on the dust decelerates the dust particles. The nebula is drifting through the cluster at a relative speed of roughly 11 kilometres per second.

The Hubble Space Telescope has caught the eerie, wispy tendrils of a dark interstellar cloud being destroyed by the passage of one of the brightest stars in the Pleiades star cluster. Like a flashlight beam shining off the wall of a cave, the star is reflecting light off the surface of pitch black clouds of cold gas laced with dust. These are called reflection nebulae.

1 Comments
Creepy!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use