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A New Image of Nebula Gum 41 Is Captured

With the help of the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at the La Silla Observatory, Chile, astronomers are able to capture a new image of the nebula Gum 41, which is located in the constellation of Centaurus, and 7,300 light-years away from our planet. This nebula is little unknown so far.

Nebula Gum 41

This new image from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the star formation region Gum 41. Image credit: ESO.

Within the Gum 41, hot young stars are releasing very active radiation which makes the surrounding hydrogen to give off the glow characteristic of red hue.

Lagoon Nebula, another well-known illustration of such phenomenon, is a magnificent cloud glowing in almost same bright shades of scarlet.

As early as in 1955, Colin Gum, Australian astronomer had discovered this nebula on images captured by the Mount Stromlo Observatory near Canberra. He had already listed such nebula in his catalogue of 84 emission nebulae.

In fact, Gum 41 is a small sector of a much larger structure called the Lambda Centauri Nebula, which also has its more exotic name as the Running Chicken Nebula.

From the newly-captured image, the clouds in Gum 41 seem to be quite bright and thick. However this is not really true.

If a human space traveler is given the opportunity to go through this nebula, it is probable that he would be unable to notice it even if from the close location, because it was so faint that the human eye could not see it.

Such fact helps to explain the reason why Gum 41 had to be discovered only in the mid-20th century because of the very thinly spread light whose red glow is hard to be seen visually.

Source: Sci-news