Chinese Dragon NGC 6559

Gemini South image of dragon-like dark nebula NGC 6559 NGC 6559 is a relatively small, nearby dust cloud in our Milky Way galaxy that measures about seven light-years across. NGC 6559 is part of a larger star-forming region in the southern constellation Sagittarius. The dark structure that resembles a Chinese dragon is caused by cool dust that absorbs background radiation from hydrogen gas that glows in red light due to ionization from nearby stars. The intricate details and wispy structure in the dark cloud is determined by turbulence flow dynamics influenced by variables such as nearby star radiation and motions of other nearby gas and dust. These kinds of clouds illustrate how past generations of stars are dispersing heavier elements into our galaxy, material that will seed future generations of stars and possibly planetary systems.

Credit:

International Gemini Observatory

About the Image

Id:gemini0509b
Type:Observation
Release date:Aug. 26, 2005, 8 p.m.
Related releases:gemini0509
Size:2275 x 1700 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6559
Constellation:Sagittarius
Category:Nebulae

Image Formats

Large JPEG
780.7 KB
Screensize JPEG
240.1 KB

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Coordinates

Position (RA):18 9 36.90
Position (Dec):-24° 1' 14.45"

Colors & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
g
475 nmGemini South
GMOS-S
Optical
r
630 nmGemini South
GMOS-S
Optical
i
780 nmGemini South
GMOS-S
Optical
H-alpha
656 nmGemini South
GMOS-S