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NASA shares Trippy images of gas bubbles formed in the cat's bullet ball

Between 4,200 and 5,500 light years away from the earth in the constellation Scorpius lies a nebula of known form…

Between 4,200 and 5,500 light years away from the earth in the constellation Scorpius lies a nebula of known form for those who are anglers. Called the Cat’s Paw for immediate-revealed causes, the foot was photographed using MIPS (Multiband Imaging Photometer) and IRAC (Infrared Array Camera) instruments from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The amazing pictures show green clouds around red bubbles, as NASA says may be the heated, pressurized and expanded gas left after dust and gas inside the nebula collapse to form stars.

Spitzer and its instruments are infrared, meaning you work in a different light area than we can see with our naked eyes. So if you were to find yourself in a spacecraft passing the 80 to 90 lightyears-steep nebula, you would not see the whirling masterpiece depicted in NASA’s pictures. “The green areas show places where radiation from hot stars collides with large molecules called” polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons “, which causes them to fluoresciate,” the team reported at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a post. They added that in some cases the red pockets of expanded gas may blow, turning the round bubbles into U-shapes. A second image shows a bubble that has already broken. There are no green clouds that swirl the pink gas, because that image was only taken with the IRAC camera, which does not receive florizing dust.


Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

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Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

In addition to being great wallpapers and screensavers, the Cat’s Paw Nebula Images cool because they were taken relatively close to where we are right now. It’s always good to get to know your neighbors, and if you take harmless photos of them, you’ll help you learn more about the galaxy and how it works, that’s something we’ll always support.

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Faela