rotating nebulae by J-P metsävainio
image © J-P metsävainio
finnish astrophotographer J-P metsävainio has captured the elegance of nebulous gas clouds with a series of animated GIFs, using volumetric
rotation as a technique to show the immensity of the formation. the 3D experiments are a fusion of science and art where metsävainio
will collect distance and other information before building the 3-D conversion. knowing the distance to the nebula, he can fine tune distances of the stars so
that the right amount of stars are in front and behind the object. the star in the center is the ionizing source – a hot, young, massive star blasting out ultraviolet light,
which makes the nebula glow. the dark ribbons are filaments of dust which absorb optical light.
the artist says of the work:
‘I use a ‘rule of thumb’ method for stars: brighter is closer, but if a real distance is known, I’m using that. many 3D shapes can be figured out just by looking
carefully the structures in nebula, such as dark nebulae must be at front of the emission nebulae in order to show up etc… the general structure of many star
forming regions is very same, there is a group of young stars, as an open cluster inside of the nebula. the stellar wind from the stars is then blowing the gas
away around the cluster and forming a kind of cavitation – or a hole – around it. the pillar-like formations in the nebula must point to a source of stellar wind,
for the same reason.’
knowing the distance nebula, metsävainio can fine tune distances of the stars so that the right amount of stars are in front and behind the object.