Prime Focus
A new Hubble photo of the Lagoon Nebula reveals the nebula’s delicate structures. This image, says the caption, “was created from exposures taken with the Wide Field Channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys on Hubble. Light from glowing hydrogen (through the F658N filter) is coloured red. Light from ionised nitrogen (through the F660N filter) is coloured green and light through a yellow filter (F550M) is coloured blue. The exposure times through each filter are 1560 s, 1600 s and 400 s respectively.” Image credit: NASA/ESA.

A new Hubble photo of the Lagoon Nebula reveals the nebula’s delicate structures. This image, says the caption, “was created from exposures taken with the Wide Field Channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys on Hubble. Light from glowing hydrogen (through the F658N filter) is coloured red. Light from ionised nitrogen (through the F660N filter) is coloured green and light through a yellow filter (F550M) is coloured blue. The exposure times through each filter are 1560 s, 1600 s and 400 s respectively.” Image credit: NASA/ESA.

This Hubble Heritage image of the Carina Nebula combines images taken five years apart. In 2005 the Advanced Camera for Surveys imaged this region in the hydrogen-alpha emission line (656.3 nm); in 2010 it did it again for the oxygen-III band (500.7 nm). Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Project (STScI/AURA).

This Hubble Heritage image of the Carina Nebula combines images taken five years apart. In 2005 the Advanced Camera for Surveys imaged this region in the hydrogen-alpha emission line (656.3 nm); in 2010 it did it again for the oxygen-III band (500.7 nm). Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Project (STScI/AURA).

Released yesterday, this Hubble image of the star-forming region NGC 2467 was produced from data collected by the Advanced Camera for Surveys in 2004. The red, green and blue channels represent images taken through hydrogen-alpha, nitrogen-II, and visual filters, respectively. NGC 2467 lies about 13,000 light years away in the constellation Puppis. Credit: NASA, ESA and Orsola De Marco (Macquarie University).

Released yesterday, this Hubble image of the star-forming region NGC 2467 was produced from data collected by the Advanced Camera for Surveys in 2004. The red, green and blue channels represent images taken through hydrogen-alpha, nitrogen-II, and visual filters, respectively. NGC 2467 lies about 13,000 light years away in the constellation Puppis. Credit: NASA, ESA and Orsola De Marco (Macquarie University).

This Hubble image of NGC 3603, an open cluster surrounded by a nebula 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, was taken in August and December last year with the new Wide Field Camera 3. This is a narrowband image that covers a number of emission lines in both the infrared and visible parts of the spectrum: red (164 nm, iron-II) and yellow (128 nm) are infrared; green is the sulfur-II emission line (673 nm); blue is the hydrogen-alpha emission line (656 nm); and white is visible light. Credit: NASA, ESA, R. O’Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

This Hubble image of NGC 3603, an open cluster surrounded by a nebula 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, was taken in August and December last year with the new Wide Field Camera 3. This is a narrowband image that covers a number of emission lines in both the infrared and visible parts of the spectrum: red (164 nm, iron-II) and yellow (128 nm) are infrared; green is the sulfur-II emission line (673 nm); blue is the hydrogen-alpha emission line (656 nm); and white is visible light. Credit: NASA, ESA, R. O’Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

Here’s NGC 1313, a starburst galaxy in the southern constellation Reticulum some 15 million light years away, as imaged by the Gemini Observatory's Gemini South eight-metre telescope in Chile. This is a narrowband image, in which each colour represents a different emission line: red is hydrogen-alpha (656.3 nanometres), green is oxygen-III (500.7 nm), and blue is helium-II (468.6 nm). Unlike many other narrowband images, this is also a true-colour image (in that hydrogen-alpha is red, helium is blue, and so on). It’s also unusual to see an emission-line narrowband image of a galaxy; in this case, it’s done to highlight star-formation regions. Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Travis Rector (University of Alaska, Anchorage). Via Astronomy Now.

Here’s NGC 1313, a starburst galaxy in the southern constellation Reticulum some 15 million light years away, as imaged by the Gemini Observatory's Gemini South eight-metre telescope in Chile. This is a narrowband image, in which each colour represents a different emission line: red is hydrogen-alpha (656.3 nanometres), green is oxygen-III (500.7 nm), and blue is helium-II (468.6 nm). Unlike many other narrowband images, this is also a true-colour image (in that hydrogen-alpha is red, helium is blue, and so on). It’s also unusual to see an emission-line narrowband image of a galaxy; in this case, it’s done to highlight star-formation regions. Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Travis Rector (University of Alaska, Anchorage). Via Astronomy Now.

The Hubble captured this billowing cloud of cold interstellar gas and dust rising from a tempestuous stellar nursery located in the Carina Nebula, 7,500 light-years away. This pillar of dust and gas serves as an incubator for new stars and is teeming with new star-forming activity. The colours follow the so-called Hubble palette: red represents sulfur, green hydrogen and nitrogen, and blue oxygen. Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI).

The Hubble captured this billowing cloud of cold interstellar gas and dust rising from a tempestuous stellar nursery located in the Carina Nebula, 7,500 light-years away. This pillar of dust and gas serves as an incubator for new stars and is teeming with new star-forming activity. The colours follow the so-called Hubble palette: red represents sulfur, green hydrogen and nitrogen, and blue oxygen. Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI).

My blog post explaining why false colour is used in astrophotography, and how it works.