“Mystic Mountain” in the Carina Nebula – Astronomy Picture of the Week

This close up on the Carina nebula looks like the fantasy “Mystic Mountain” from Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. The image was taken on Feb. 1-2, 2010 by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into an orbit around the Earth.

Mystic Mountain in the Carina Nebula by Hubble

This beautiful pillar of gas and dust is three-light-years tall. The Carina nebula is a stellar nursery, so the infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen in this image streaming from towering peaks.

The Carina Nebula is also known as NGC 3372 and is located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina.

The colors in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), as well as sulfur (red).

See also: Astronomy Picture of the Week – Carina Nebula

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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