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Underwater or Interstellar? NASA Takes You on 'Cosmic Reef' Ride in New Reel

The reel was created by NASA and European Space Agency’s G. Bacon, J. DePasquale, L. Hustak, J. Olmstead, A. Pagan, D. Player, and F. Summers from Space Telescope Science Institute. Credits: Instagram/NASA hubble

The reel was created by NASA and European Space Agency’s G. Bacon, J. DePasquale, L. Hustak, J. Olmstead, A. Pagan, D. Player, and F. Summers from Space Telescope Science Institute. Credits: Instagram/NASA hubble

The Cosmic Reef reel features a blazing orange and a calming blue nebula, situated 1,63,000 light-years away from Earth.

In its recent post on Instagram, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) took its viewers on a visually pleasing ride into the stars. The Instagram reel shared on Tuesday featured a blazing orange and a calming blue nebula dubbed as the Cosmic Reef, situated 1,63,000 light-years away from Earth. The reel was created by NASA and European Space Agency’s (ESA), G. Bacon, J. DePasquale, L. Hustak, J. Olmstead, A. Pagan, D. Player, and F. Summers from Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). With Cosmic Reef music by DePasquale playing in the background, the reel moved through the nebula, taking its viewers on a spectacular virtual interstellar ride. The caption accompanying the reel by NASA Hubble Telescope read, “Underwater or interstellar? Nicknamed the “Cosmic Reef” for its undersea world resemblance, this massive star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud is located 163,000 light-years away. This region features a giant red nebula, NGC 2014, and a smaller blue nebula, NGC 2020, housed in a bustling stellar birthplace.” The caption explained that NGC 2014 is a stellar nursery containing a group of bright stars 10 to 20 times bigger than our Sun.

Ultraviolet radiation from these stars heats the surrounding gas while powerful stellar winds push dust across the nebula. The massive red nebula indicates the presence of hydrogen and nitrogen, while the neighbouring blue nebula indicates presence of oxygen.

The caption also added, NGC 2020 was created by an enormous star around 200,000 times brighter than our Sun, and got its blue appearance from gas that was ejected through a series of events that caused it to lose its outer envelope of material. The visualisation shared in the recent reel, simulates a flight through the region, bringing the dramatic landscape and three-dimensional structures of the nebulae to life, explained NASA.

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Netizens were clearly mesmerised by the recent reel taking them on a journey into the stars. One of the users described the cosmic creation as “Painting of God.” Another user commented, “Well that can soothe you in every way I guess.” Some users found the reel, “Absolutely astounding.”

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first published:December 01, 2021, 17:14 IST