NGC 2014 and NGC 2020 is an emission nebula located 160,000 light years
from the Earth in the constellation Dorado.
NGC 2014 and NGC 2020 (Emission Nebula) : Picture
NGC 2014 and NGC 2020
The pink-tinged cloud on the right, NGC 2014, is a glowing cloud of mostly
hydrogen gas. It contains a cluster of hot young stars. The energetic radiation
from these new stars strips electrons from the atoms within the surrounding
hydrogen gas, ionising it and producing a characteristic red glow.
In addition to this strong radiation, massive young stars also produce
powerful stellar winds that eventually cause the gas around them to disperse
and stream away. To the left of the main cluster, a single brilliant and
very hot star seems to have started this process, creating a cavity that
appears encircled by a bubble-like structure called NGC 2020. The distinctive
blueish colour of this rather mysterious object is again created by radiation
from the hot star — this time by ionising oxygen instead of hydrogen.
The strikingly different colours of NGC 2014 and NGC 2020 are the result of both the different chemical makeup of the surrounding gas and the temperatures of the stars that are causing the clouds to glow. The distances between the stars and the respective gas clouds also play a role.
Zooming in on glowing gas clouds NGC 2014 and NGC 2020
This zoom video starts with a wide view of the Milky Way and ends with
a close-up look at a pair of mysterious glowing gas clouds in the nearby
Large Magellanic Cloud — NGC 2014, and NGC 2020, both in the southern constellation
of Dorado. The final view of these clouds was captured by ESO's Very Large
Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.
Pan across new VLT image of NGC 2014 and NGC 2020
This pan video gives a close-up look at the two glowing gas clouds NGC
2014 and NGC 2020 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, in the southern constellation
of Dorado. NGC 2014 is irregularly shaped and red, while its neighbour,
NGC 2020, is round and blue. These odd and very different gas clouds were
both sculpted by powerful stellar winds from extremely hot newborn stars
that also radiate into the gas, causing it to glow brightly.