A disc in the Ant Nebula

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer, astronomers have uncovered a disc in the heart of the Ant Nebula. The disc seems, however, too 'skinny' to explain how the nebula got its intriguing ant-like shape. The image on the right shows a previously taken image of the Ant Nebula, in the mid-infrared, with the VLT Imager and Spectrometer for the mid-InfraRed (VISIR). The image on the left shows a model of the dusty disc the astronomers uncovered with the MID-infrared Interferometric instrument (MIDI), which combined the light from two 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescopes. The lower part of the image representing the southern lobe is brighter, for this lobe is closer to our line-of-sight. The major axis of the flat, nearly edge-on disc is perpendicular to the axis of the bipolar lobes of the nebula. The disc extends from about 9 times the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun (9 Astronomical Units or 9 AU) to more than 500 AU.

Crédito:

ESO

Sobre la imagen

Identificador:eso0742a
Tipo:Observación
Fecha de publicación:27 de Septiembre de 2007
Noticias relacionadas:eso0742
Tamaño:2141 x 1196 px

Sobre el objeto

Nombre:Ant Nebula
Tipo:Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary
Distancia:8000 años luz
Categoría:Nebulae

Formatos de imagen

Tamaño original
681,3 KB
JPEG grande
179,2 KB

Fondo de pantalla

1024x768
101,2 KB
1280x1024
136,1 KB
1600x1200
177,8 KB
1920x1200
184,1 KB
2048x1536
248,2 KB

Colores y filtros

BandaLongitud de ondaTelescopio
Infrarrojo
Mid-IR
12 μmVery Large Telescope
VISIR

Notas: VISIR data relates to the right image. The left image is a model of the inner disk which was observed using MIDI.