A very large telescope shows a striking image of the Cone Nebula

A new striking view of the Cone Nebula has been revealed by the Very Large Telescope (VLT). This nebula is part of a distant star-forming region called NGC 2264, which is about 2,500 light-years away from us.

The Cone Nebula. This image was published in honor of the 60th anniversary of ESO. Authorship: ESO

The nebula got its name because of its resemblance to a pillar. A huge cone-shaped pillar of dust and gas seven light-years long. The shape of the nebula is an excellent example of how giant molecular clouds develop, in which active star formation occurs. The nebula was discovered at the end of the XVIII century by astronomer William Herschel. In the sky, the Cone is located in the constellation Monoceros (The Unicorn).

ESO’s 60th anniversary

VLT is operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. This new image was published in honor of the 60th anniversary of ESO. ESO telescopes have made thousands of observations over the past 60 years. But the vast majority of the observatory’s work is devoted to scientific observations that allowed us to make the first image of an exoplanet, study the black hole at the center of our Galaxy and find evidence that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating.

A wide view of the sky area around the Cone nebula. Authorship of the image: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2

The first VLT observations were made in 1998. The object consists of four separate telescopes, each of which has a main mirror with a diameter of 8.2 m. Mirrors are usually used separately, but they can be used together to achieve very high angular resolution. Four optical telescopes — Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun — are separate words for astronomical objects in the Mapuche language.

Among the famous discoveries of VLT are the first direct spectrum of the extrasolar planet HR 8799c and the first direct measurement of the mass of the extrasolar planet HD 209458b.

Earlier we reported on how a NASA astrophotographer “caught” a space bat in deep space.

According to ESO

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