If space traveling the universe had a scenic route, this would be it. It’s a 3D fly-through of the nebula Gum 29 with the stunning star cluster Westerlund 2 in the middle and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The image was taken by the Hubble and shown off for its 25th anniversary. It’s the stuff of dreams.
This visualization provides a three-dimensional perspective on Hubble’s 25th anniversary image of the nebula Gum 29 with the star cluster Westerlund 2 at its core. The flight traverses the foreground stars and approaches the lower left rim of the nebula Gum 29. Passing through the wispy darker clouds on the near side, the journey reveals bright gas illuminated by the intense radiation of the newly formed stars of cluster Westerlund 2. Within the nebula, several pillars of dark, dense gas are being shaped by the energetic light and strong stellar winds from the brilliant cluster of thousands of stars. Note that the visualization is intended to be a scientifically reasonable interpretation and that distances within the model are significantly compressed.
Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (Viz3D Team, STScI), and J. Anderson (STScI)
Acknowledgment: The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), the Westerlund 2 Science Team, and ESO
Music: “Francis Bacon, Georges Bataille, Gilles Deleuze, Marcel Duchamp, William Burroughs” (by Breathing Space) - Creative Commons License