A new image from Hubble reveals a cosmic ‘keyhole’

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of an unusual “keyhole” cosmic structure covered in interstellar smoke, RT reported.

The telescope detected the so-called “reflection nebula” NGC 1999, about 1,350 light years away in the constellation Orion.

Reflective nebulae can only be seen when illuminated from the inside, according to the European Space Agency’s blog on the recent image. In this case, the newly born star provides this light.

The light source for NGC 1999 is the young star known as V380 Orionis, which acts as a lamp in a smoke-filled room, illuminating clouds of gas and dust swirling around it – these are the material left over from the star’s formation.

It is believed that this star is between 1 and 3 million years old, and in the center of the image is a black area that looks like a “keyhole” in a dark room.

According to the European Space Agency, when the Hubble telescope first took this image in 1999, it was not clear whether the apparent “keyhole” was an actual hole through the nebula’s material, or a mass of particularly cold gas and dust.

Subsequent observations by the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, a space telescope with more powerful optics than Hubble, which was launched in 2009 and continued to operate until 2013, confirmed that the “keyhole” is in fact a hole that provides a view of space on the other side. from the nebula.

According to the European Space Agency, scientists have not yet understood the origin of the “keyhole” void in the nebula.

The European Space Agency’s Hubble Telescope account on the social networking site “Twitter” shared the image of the “keyhole”.

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