National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

ALMA Images a Cosmic Ghost


ALMA Images a Cosmic Ghost

The temperature of the Boomerang Nebula is about -272° Celsius. This makes it one of the coldest objects known in the Universe. When we investigated this object using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), we found that it had an interesting shape. The true shape resembles a creepy ghost. The red is the ALMA observations result; the blue background is a visible light image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Because the shape was distorted in early observations by ground-based optical telescopes, this nebula was named the Boomerang Nebula. After that it looked like a bow tie in observations by the Hubble Space Telescope, but observations by ALMA discovered yet another new aspect of this object.

Text by: Naoko Sakuma (NAOJ Chile Observatory)
Translation by: Ramsey Lundock (NAOJ)

Image Data

DateNovember 28, 2011
ObjectBoomerang Nebula
TelescopeALMA, Hubble Space Telescope
CreditBill Saxton; NRAO/AUI/NSF; NASA/Hubble; Raghvendra Sahai


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