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Hubble Legacy Archive

Image of the Month for January 2011

NICMOS: The Pistol Star

Interactive Display for 7364_01 NIC2: F205W & F1877W & F110W

Highlighted HLA Features:

The bright object near the bottom is known as the "Pistol Star". It is one of the most luminous infrared stars in the Galaxy, but is completely hidden behind interstellar gas in the visible part of the spectrum (see Hubble site below).

This display can be reproduced in the HLA by using the following steps or by clicking on the image above. In both cases you wil need to zoom out and drag the Pistol Star into view to match the image.
  1. Type into your browser. Click on the "Enter Site here" button.
  2. Type "Pistol Star" in search box and then click on the "Search" button.
  3. In the box under the "Detector" column type "*NIC*" and under the "Level" column type "4" and then hit the "return/enter" key.
  4. Click on the "Images" tab.
  5. Locate the image "7364_01" (fourth image) and then click on the "Interactive Display". (The position of the Pistol Star is RA: 17h 46m 15.240s and DEC: -28° 50' 03.58'')
  6. Go back to the "Image" tab page and locate the More... link to bottom right of "Download Source Lists".
  7. Click on Information for HST observing program 7364
  8. At the HST Proposal Search site you will be able to view the "Proposal Abstract".
  9. Click on the "about this proposal" and you will be taken to a page showing information about the observing proposal. Click on "formatted listing" to see details.
  10. Go back to the Proposal Search site and scroll down to the "ADS links" and you will notice 17 papers related to this proposal ID.
  11. If you scroll down further you will find the exposure level MAST datasets.
  12. Go back to the "More" link. Then click on "Show all 559 associated files". All 559 associated data files are provided. (Go to the FAQ: What are all the files listed using the "More..." feature in the image mode? for further explanations of the various files.)
Additional Information:
An article on the Pistol Star can be found on the Hubble site: "Hubble Identifies What May Be the Most Luminous Star Known"

Previous HLA Images of the Month