Dragonfish nebula

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Dragonfish nebula
Emission nebula
Infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Toronto
Observation data
Distance 30,000 ly
Constellation Crux
See also: Lists of nebulae

The Dragonfish Nebula, as it is known for its appearance on infrared images, is a massive emission nebula and star-forming region 30,000 light years from the Sun in the direction of the constellation Crux, the Southern Cross.[1]


Due to its distance and location, it is totally invisible in visible light because the interstellar dust absorbs and reddens its light, hiding it. So in order to study it, wavelengths that are not affected, like infrared, are required.

Research done with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope has shown this object has a size of 450 light years, having a large cavity with a diameter of 100 light years that was created by the strong stellar winds of the young and massive stars inside it.[1]

As of 2011, approximately 400 stars of spectral types O and B have been identified within the nebula.[2] Subsequent studies have confirmed not only at least 15 O-type stars but also 3 Luminous Blue Variable/Wolf-Rayet star candidates. They also have calculated the total mass of the stars associated with the Dragonfish nebula as 105 solar masses, a mass only comparable with that of the super star cluster Westerlund 1, the most massive stellar association and the brightest nebula known in our galaxy.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Dragonfish Coming at You in Infrared". NASA. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Rahman, M.; Matzner, C.; Moon, Dae-Sik (2011). "A CANDIDATE FOR THE MOST LUMINOUS OB ASSOCIATION IN THE GALAXY". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 728 (2). Bibcode:2011ApJ...728L..37R. arXiv:1101.3323Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/728/2/L37. article ID:L37. 
  3. ^ Rahman, M.; Matzner, C. D.; Moon, Dae-Sik (2011). "Spectroscopic Confirmation of the Dragonfish Association: The Galaxy's Most Luminous OB Association". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 743 (2). Bibcode:2011ApJ...743L..28R. arXiv:1111.3362Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/743/2/L28. article ID:L28.