'Pacman Nebula' lives the high life

Sep 29, 2011
Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/S.Wolk; IR: NASA/JPL/CfA/S.Wolk

(PhysOrg.com) -- High-mass stars are important because they are responsible for much of the energy pumped into our galaxy over its lifetime.

Unfortunately, these stars are poorly understood because they are often found relatively far away and can be obscured by gas and dust. The star cluster NGC 281 is an exception to this rule.

It is located about 9,200 light years from Earth and, remarkably, almost 1,000 above the plane of the Galaxy, giving astronomers a nearly unfettered view of the within it.

NGC 281 is known informally as the "Pacman Nebula" because of its appearance in . In optical images the "mouth" of the Pacman character appears dark because of obscuration by dust and gas, but in the infrared Spitzer image the dust in this region glows brightly.

Explore further: Mysterious molecules in space

Related Stories

An elegant galaxy in an unusual light (w/ Video)

Sep 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new image taken with the powerful HAWK-I camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the beautiful barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 in infrared light. NGC 1365 ...

Spitzer sees spider web of stars

Jul 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Those aren't insects trapped in a spider's web -- they're stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, lying between us and another spiral galaxy called IC 342. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured ...

Galaxy NGC 4214: A star formation laboratory

May 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Hubble’s newest camera has taken an image of galaxy NGC 4214. This galaxy glows brightly with young stars and gas clouds, and is an ideal laboratory to research star formation and evolution.

WISE Captures the Unicorn's Rose

Aug 26, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Unicorns and roses are usually the stuff of fairy tales, but a new cosmic image taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WISE) shows the Rosette nebula located within the constellation ...

Recommended for you

Evidence of a local hot bubble carved by a supernova

3 hours ago

I spent this past weekend backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, where although the snow-swept peaks and the dangerously close wildlife were staggering, the night sky stood in triumph. Without a fire, ...

Astronomers measure weight of galaxies, expansion of universe

11 hours ago

Astronomers at the University of British Columbia have collaborated with international researchers to calculate the precise mass of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, dispelling the notion that the two galaxies have similar ...

Mysterious molecules in space

22 hours ago

Over the vast, empty reaches of interstellar space, countless small molecules tumble quietly though the cold vacuum. Forged in the fusion furnaces of ancient stars and ejected into space when those stars ...

Comet Jacques makes a 'questionable' appearance

Jul 28, 2014

What an awesome photo! Italian amateur astronomer Rolando Ligustri nailed it earlier today using a remote telescope in New Mexico and wide-field 4-inch (106 mm) refractor. Currently the brightest comet in ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
1 / 5 (5) Sep 29, 2011
High-mass stars are important because they are responsible for much of the energy pumped into our galaxy over its lifetime


Thanks for the story!

High mass, low volume stars are the source for much of the energy pumped into the galaxy because, . . . .

Neutron repulsion, not fusion, is the primary energy source when the universe is expanding [1,2].

1. "Neutron Repulsion", The APEIRON Journal, in press (2011)

http://arxiv.org/...2.1499v1

2. Is the Universe Expanding?", The Journal of Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011)

http://journalofc...102.html

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
http://myprofile....anuelo09