rotating nebulae by J-P metsävainioimage © 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.’

 

 

rotating nebulae GIFs by J P metsavainioknowing 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.