NGC 6559

Staying in the southern hemisphere, here is another new image this time taken by the Gemini South telescope. It isn't a Chinese dragon but the cool, dark dust cloud NGC 6559. The cloud doesn't emit its own optical light so we can only see it in this image because it is absorbing light from a more distant cloud of ionised hydrogen (the red stuff) and so looks black. This wispy string of dust lies about 5000 light-years away from the Earth, in the direction of Sagittarius, and is around 7 light-years long. There is also a pretty nice blue reflection nebula nearby.


NGC 6559

Cool dust illuminated by hydrogen light. NGC 6559 is about 7 light years across and 5000 light years distant. CREDIT: Gemini Observatory

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 29th Aug 2005 (01:20 UTC) | Permalink
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