Cosmic Keyhole Near Orion Nebula Is Too Awesome To Miss!

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  • A cosmic Keyhole is a phenomenon that is known as a reflection nebula when part of the debris is left behind by the formation of a newborn star, or a small, multiple-star system.
  • The space agencies describe it as “like a fog curling around a street lamp”.

Hubble Found an Eerie ‘Cosmic Keyhole’ Deep in Space And We’re in Awe, reports Science Alert.

Cosmic Keyhole

Interpreted as a “cosmic keyhole” by experts, this phenomenon is known as a reflection nebula, a part of the debris that was left behind by the formation of a newborn star, or a small, multiple-star system known as V380 Orionis in the constellation Orion.

The mysterious celestial object is named NGC 1999 and is around 1,350 light-years from our planet. It is not far from the Orion Nebula – a star factory of considerable size that is the closest of its kind to Earth.

That gap in the middle of the reflection nebula is a vacant part of space, although astronomers originally believed it might be a Bok globule which is a dense and cold cloud, made up of gas, molecules, and dust, which appears to block out background light.

Enclosing the hole we can see a cloud of dust reflecting the light from the V380 Orionis star, which is visible close to the centre of the cosmic keyhole. But at this point the reason for the gigantic gap in the middle of the cloud is unknown. 

Details

It was first captured by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on Hubble in 1999. The picture was subject to follow-up observations from telescopes including the ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory. 

Hubble has been capturing the stars and galaxies for more than 30 years now.

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Source: Science Alert

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