NICMOS uncovers dust layers to show inner region of dusty nebula (NICMOS image)

The revived Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has penetrated dust layers in a star-forming cloud to uncover a dense, craggy edifice of dust and gas.

This NICMOS image shows the Cone Nebula (NGC 2264), so named because, in ground-based images, it has a conical shape. NICMOS enables the Hubble telescope to see near-infrared wavelengths of light, so that it can penetrate the dust that obscures the nebula's inner regions. However, the Cone is so dense even the near-infrared 'eyes' of NICMOS cannot penetrate all the way through it.

The human eye cannot see infrared light so colours have been assigned to correspond to near-infrared wavelengths. The blue light represents shorter near-infrared wavelengths and the red light corresponds to longer wavelengths.

The NICMOS colour composite image was made by combining photographs taken through J-band, H-band, and Paschen-alpha filters. The NICMOS images were taken on 11 May 2002.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, the NICMOS Group (STScI, ESA) and the NICMOS Science Team (Univ. of Arizona)

About the Image

NASA press release
Id:heic0207c
Type:Observation
Release date:5 June 2002, 15:00
Related releases:heic0207
Size:1116 x 1236 px

About the Object

Name:Cone Nebula, NGC 2264
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Appearance : Emission : H II Region
Distance:3000 light years
Constellation:Monoceros

Image Formats

Fullsize Original
1010.0 KB
Large JPEG
357.4 KB
Screensize JPEG
235.8 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
224.6 KB
1280x1024
330.4 KB
1600x1200
422.9 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):6 41 12.32
Position (Dec):9° 26' 20.99"
Field of view:0.75 x 0.83 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 30.5° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Infrared
Pa-alpha
1.87 μm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
J
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
NICMOS
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
NICMOS

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