Sabtu, 19 Februari 2011

FOTO: Bintang Baru Lahir di Galaksi Tetangga

Bintang Baru Lahir di Galaksi NGC 2841 (

Teleskop ruang angkasa Hubble kembali menangkap gambar fantastis. Kali ini, gambar yang ditangkap tidak berada di galaksi tata surya melainkan galaksi tetangga kita, NGC 2841. Galaksi ini merupakan salah satu galaksi terdekat yang sengaja dipilih untuk meneliti pembentukan bintang.

Foto menakjubkan yang baru dirilis oleh badan ruang angkasa NASA itu memperlihatkan sebuah galaksi besar dengan taburan bintang-bintang kecil berwarna biru layaknya batu permata. Fantastis.

Gambar ini diambil dengan instrumen baru teleskop Hubble, yakni Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Dengan kemampuan yang dimilikinya, NASA berhasil menangkap gambar secara detail bahkan sampai memperoleh komposisi warna biru solid pada permukaan bintang.

Sekadar diketahui, galaksi berbentuk spiral, yang lebih dikenal dengan sebutan NGC 2841 ini terletak di konstelasi Ursa Major, sekitar 46 juta tahun cahaya dari Bumi.

Sebelumnya, jika ingin melihat gambar dengan resolusi lebih besar, Anda bisa mengunjungi link berikut ini.

Jika diamati, cahaya bintang paling terang terpusat di tengah galaksi. Sementara cahaya spiral adalah debu yang menjadi siluet limpahan bintang paruh baya.

Objek samar-samar berwarna merah jambu pada gambar merupakan emisi nebula. Hal ini menandakan bintang tersebut benar-benar baru saja lahir.

Peneliti mengatakan, foto NGC 2841 di atas adalah bagian dari studi baru bagi ilmuwan untuk memahami dan mempelajari pembentukan bintang di alam semesta. Para ilmuwan akan mengamati lingkungan yang berbeda di sekitar galaksi tersebut untuk menjawab beberapa pertanyaan kunci.

"Para astronom tidak mengerti, misalnya, bagaimana sifat pembibitan bintang sehingga variatif sesuai dengan komposisi dan kepadatan gas yang ada. Mereka juga bahkan tidak tahu apa yang memicu pembentukan bintang pertama kali," kata peneliti, yang dikutip VIVAnews dari, Sabtu 18 Februari 2011.

Saat ini, WCF3 digunakan para astronom untuk mempelajari wilayah pembentukan bintang. Target observasi adalah gugusan (cluster) bintang dan galaksi serta tingkat kelahiran bintang di galaksi aktif. Misalnya, seperti Messier 82 hingga galaksi kurang aktif seperti NGC 2841. 

• VIVAnews

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