NGC 2080

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NGC 2080
Emission nebula
A HST image of a Star-forming region NGC 2080.
Observation data: J2000.0 epoch
Right ascension05h 39m 44.2s
Declination−69° 38′ 44″
Distance160,000 ly
DesignationsESO 057-EN012,
h 2950, GC 1278
See also: Lists of nebulae

NGC 2080 (The Ghost Head Nebula) is a star-forming region and emission nebula to the south of the 30 Doradus (Tarantula) nebula, in the southern constellation Dorado. It belongs to the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way, which is at a distance of 168,000 light years.[1] NGC 2080 was discovered by John Frederick William Herschel in 1834.[2] The Ghost Head Nebula has a diameter of 50 light-years[3] and is named for the two distinct white patches it possesses, called the "eyes of the ghost".[4] The western patch, called A1, has a bubble in the center which was created by the young, massive star it contains. The eastern patch, called A2, has several young stars in a newly formed cluster, but they are still obscured by their originating dust cloud.[1][4] Because neither dust cloud has dissipated due to the stellar radiation, astronomers have deduced that both sets of stars formed within the past 10,000 years.[4] These stars together have begun to create a bubble in the nebula with their outpourings of material, called stellar wind.[5]

The presence of stars also greatly influences the color of the nebula. The western portion of the nebula has a dominant oxygen emission line because of a powerful star on the nebula's outskirts; this colors it green.[4] The rest of the nebula's outskirts have a red hue due to the ionization of hydrogen.[4] Because both hydrogen and oxygen are ionized in the central region, it appears pale yellow; when hydrogen is energized enough to emit a second wavelength of light, it appears blue, as in the area surrounding A1 and A2.[1][4]

NGC 2080 should not be confused with the Ghost Nebula (Sh2-136) or the Little Ghost Nebula (NGC 6369).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Wilkins, Jamie; Dunn, Robert (2006). 300 Astronomical Objects: A Visual Reference to the Universe (1st ed.). Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books. ISBN 978-1-55407-175-3.
  2. ^ Frommert, Hartmut; Kronberg, Christine (19 April 2006). "More LMC objects". SEDS. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  3. ^ Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (31 October 2001). "Halloween and the Ghost Head Nebula". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Hubble Sends Season's Greetings from the Cosmos to Earth". HubbleSite. NASA and ESA. 19 December 2001. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Painting with oxygen and hydrogen". ESA. 18 October 2001. Retrieved 7 May 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 05h 39m 44.2s, -69° 38′ 44″