May 20, 2024

Hubble Witnesses Bright Shock Wave of Colliding Gases in Running Man Nebula

Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Bally (University of Colorado at Boulder); Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America).
Mounded, luminescent clouds of gas and dust radiance in this Hubble picture of a Herbig-Haro object referred to as HH 45. Herbig-Haro things are a hardly ever seen type of nebula that happens when hot gas ejected by a newborn star clashes with the gas and dust around it at numerous miles per second, producing intense shock waves. In this image, blue indicates ionized oxygen (O II) and purple programs ionized magnesium (Mg II). Since they can be used to recognize shocks and ionization fronts, scientists were especially interested in these aspects.
Hubble imaged a small section of the Running Man Nebula, which lies close to the renowned Orion Nebula and is a preferred target for amateur astronomers to observe and photo. Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Bally (University of Colorado at Boulder), and DSS; Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America).
This item lies in the nebula NGC 1977, which itself belongs to a complex of three nebulae called The Running Man. NGC 1977– like its buddies NGC 1975 and NGC 1973– is a reflection nebula, which implies that it doesnt discharge light by itself, but shows light from nearby stars, like a streetlight illuminating fog.
Hubble observed this region to try to find outstanding jets and planet-forming disks around young stars, and examine how their environment impacts the evolution of such disks.

By NASAs Goddard Space Flight
November 26, 2021