A Massive Celestial Prawn Drifting Through the Cosmic Deep is captured by Hubble.
The Prawn Nebula is a large star nursery situated around 6,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius. Despite the fact that the nebula spans 250 light years and covers an area four times the size of the full moon, it produces light in wavelengths that the human eye cannot detect, making it exceedingly weak to observers on Earth. Hubble’s vision, on the other hand, captures spectacular detail of the nebula’s structure, including bright patches of blazing gas, in both visible and invisible infrared light.
The Prawn Nebula, also known as IC 4628, is an emission nebula, which indicates that its gas has been ionized by surrounding stars’ radiation. The nebula’s hydrogen atoms lose electrons as a result of the radiation from these enormous stars. The charged electrons emit energy in the form of light as they revert from their higher-energy state to a lower-energy state by recombining with hydrogen nuclei, causing the nebula’s gas to glow. The presence of ionized iron (Fe II) emission is shown by the color red in this image.
This photograph was taken during a survey of huge and intermediate-sized “protostars,” or newly formed stars. Astronomers utilized Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3’s infrared sensitivity to seek for hydrogen ionized by ultraviolet radiation ionized by protostars, star jets, and other characteristics.