Spitzer Space Telescope image of M76.
M76, the Little Dumbbell Nebula, as photographed in the Infrared light, with the Spitzer Space Telescope.
M76, at a distance of about 2,500 light-years, has a bipolar or butterfly shape due to a "waist," or disk, of thick material, running from lower left to upper right. Fast winds blow material away from the star, above and below this dusty disk. The ghoulish green and red clouds are from glowing hydrogen molecules, with the green area being hotter than the red.
Colors in this image are coding the following IR wavelengths: Blue: 3.6, Green: 4.5, and Red: 8.0 micrometers (the first two with Spitzer's IRAC, the 8-mu with Spitzer's MIPS telescope).
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Hora (Harvard-Smithonian CfA)
Last Modification: October 28, 2013