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💫The field around HD 87643

This image, showing a very rich field of stars towards the Carina arm of the Milky Way, is centred on the star HD 87643, a member of the class of B[e] stars. The amazing image is set ablaze by a flurry of stars of all colours and brightnesses, some of which are seen against a backdrop of clouds of dust and gas. The red emission nebula is RCW47 and was catalogued in 1960. HD 87643 has been extensively studied with a full range of ESO telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). Surrounded by a complex, extended nebula that is the result of previous violent ejections, the star is shown to have a companion. Interactions in this double system, surrounded by a dusty disc, may be the engine fuelling the star's remarkable nebula. The image, taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla, is based on data obtained through different filters: B, V and R. The field of view is 33 x 32 arc-minutes.

ESO/F. Millour

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