The Hubble Telescope has beamed back images from deep space that shows a mysterious unknown opening in the cosmos.
By India Today Web Desk: The eyes and ears of humans in deep space for over three decades, the Hubble telescope has once again amazed astronomers the world over as it beamed back images of a cosmic keyhole from deep space. The flying observatory has beamed back a portrait of NGC 1999, a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion.
The nebula is about 1,350 light years away from Earth and is in the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. Nasa said that NGC 1999 itself is a relic of recent star formation and is composed of debris left over from the formation of a newborn star. The image shows NGC 1999 shine by the light from an embedded source just like fog curling around a streetlamp.
“In the case of NGC 1999, this source is the aforementioned newborn star V380 Orionis, which is visible at the center of this image,” Nasa said in a release with the image. The image is dominated by a conspicuous hole in its center, which resembles an inky black keyhole of cosmic proportions.
The image was processed from archival Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 observations that date from shortly after Servicing Mission 3A in 1999. Nasa said that at the time astronomers believed that the dark patch in NGC 1999 was something called a Bok globule – a dense, cold cloud of gas, molecules, and cosmic dust that blots out background light.
Later observations, however, revealed that the dark patch is actually an empty region of space and the origin of this unexplained rift in the heart of NGC 1999 remains unknown. Astronomers observed the cosmic feature using a collection of telescopes, including ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory.
Hubble had continuously amazed the world even after the James Webb Telescope began operations. The space-based observatory in October snapped a pair of interacting galaxies in deep space as light from distant stars and galaxies make for an out worldly background.
The Hubble, recently, teamed up with the James Webb Telescope to study interstellar dust and picked up a third galaxy in a galactic pair that went missing earlier. Astronomers combined data from the Hubble and the JWST observations to shed new light on the universe.