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This epic space cloud nicely sums up our farewell to 2020



Sometimes the universe is just the perfect way to express our emotions.

The space cloud, which is 7,500 light-years away, provides us with the most suitable farewell method we can think of, that is, the entire trash can fire in 2020.

This small piece of material is part of a larger cloud called the Carina Nebula, and under normal circumstances would not give itself a nickname. But its unique shape has led scientists to call it a “fighting finger.”

This is what it looks like-the old obscene gesture: “do terrible things to yourself” and then “go away, but use a lot of rude words.”

Finger full(NASA, ESA, N. Smith / UC Berkeley and The Hubble Heritage Team / STScI / AURA)

In fact, “fighting against the finger” is the so-called “bok ball”. These are small, dark, dense knots of dust and gas, and are usually the birthplaces of stars. As the denser areas of the clouds further condense, they can collapse under their own gravity and begin to spin into stars.

A rebellious finger containing six solar mass matter may form stars in it. Because it is so dense, it is difficult to see inside. The glow it appears to have comes from an external source-the light of bright stars nearby.

Finger position(NASA, ESA, N. Smith / UC Berkeley and The Hubble Heritage Team / STScI / AURA)

Because young stars are usually bright and hot, they explode their surroundings through radiation. The outside of the guard finger ball may be ignited by Wolf-Rayet’s star WR 25 and ionized. WR 25 is a short-lived large star with a short lifespan. Tr16-244, young super giant; or a combination of both.

But when they illuminate, these stars will also be destroyed: slowly and surely, they are evaporating against the finger. Estimated based on the current mass loss rate, the expected life span of the dust cloud is only 200,000 to 1 million years.

As far as the universe is concerned, it is not very long, nor is it very long. However, it is long enough to make a poetic statement: screaming in the void, facing a provocative gesture of inevitability. This is the really appropriate way to close in 2020.

Thanks, space. And bring 2021.


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