A great space “snowman” filled with shimmering gas is featured in a news release from the Hubble telescope’s extensive library. The image depicts the Snowman Nebula, a gas and dust cloud in deep space. Because the brightness of the gas is incredibly faint, the Hubble Space Telescope’s acute eyes picked up the item from a distance of 6,000 light-years away and generated the image in a time exposure.
In a statement on the new image, NASA said, “Emission nebulas are diffuse clouds of gas that have grown so charged by the energy of neighbouring big stars that they glow with their own light.” Ionization occurs when the radiation from these massive stars removes electrons from the nebula’s hydrogen atoms. The charged electrons emit energy in the form of light as they revert from their higher-energy state to a lower-energy state, causing the nebula’s gas to glow.
On Nov. 7, the team retrieved the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), then on Nov. 21, the same Wide Field Camera 3 captured this image. Hubble instrument, WFC3, is the most widely utilized. Ground engineers continue to carefully investigate difficulties on the 31-year-old observatory’s other three instruments, which are in a protective “safe mode.” The Hubble team will then focus on the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, a far-ultraviolet light-observing device.