UNITED STATES: The image taken from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows NGC 1999, a reflection nebula that is located close to the famed Orion Nebula. It is the area of massive star formation that is the nearest to Earth and is located at a distance of around 1350 light-years.
About 200 years ago, Sir William Herschel and his sister Caroline discovered NGC in 1999. The debris from the birth of a new star that makes up the nebula is a remnant of recent star formation.
The most striking feature of NGC 1999’s appearance, as seen in this photograph, is the prominent hole in its center, which resembles a cosmic keyhole of inky black size.
Reflection nebulae like NGC 1999 only appear due to light from an embedded source, claims the European Space Agency (ESA). This source is the recently born star V380 Orionis, which is visible at the center of NGC 1999.
This image was made using Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 data from the past, taken not long after Hubble’s Servicing Mission 3A in 1999 when astronomers thought the dark patch in NGC 1999 was a type of object known as a Bok globule.
A chilly cloud of gas, molecules and cosmic dust makes up the globule, and since it is so dense, it completely conceals the light coming from behind it.
The dark patch is essentially an empty area of space, according to follow-up studies made with a variety of telescopes, including the Herschel Space Observatory operated by the European Space Agency. This mysterious gap in the center of NGC 1999 is still unidentified.
The ultimate mountaintop and the first significant optical telescope to be installed in space is Hubble. Hubble has a clear perspective of the universe above the distortion caused by the atmosphere, far above rain clouds, and far below light pollution.
Hubble has been used by scientists to study the solar system’s planets as well as the universe’s most distant stars and galaxies.