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The Eagle Nebula is a region of star formation, ranging at about 90 trillion kilometers long. To put to scale, that’s the equivalent of approximately 2,250,000,000 Earth’s. One of the large regions inside of the nebula is a star forming region referred to as “The Pillars of Creation” (seen above), which evidence suggests may have already been destroyed by a supernova that exploded some eight to nine thousand years ago. However, the light from this massive event will not reach Earth for another millennium. 

Image Credit: NASA, ESO, ESA

The Andromeda Galaxy is the spiral galaxy closest to us, and all the currently available data suggest we’re on a collision course, plunging ever deeper into each others’ gravitational embrace. Someday we will be a twisted wreck of strewn stars and colliding gas clouds. Just wait six or seven billion years.

With better measurements of our relative motions, astronomers may discover a sideways component in addition to the motion that brings us together. If so, the Milky Way and Andromeda will instead swing past each other in an elongated orbital dance.

—  Neil deGrasse Tyson

Modern analysis demonstrates that on timescales of hundreds of millions of years…planetary orbits are chaotic.

That leaves Mercury vulnerable to falling into the Sun, and Pluto vulnerable to getting flung out of the solar system altogether. Worse yet, the solar system might have been born with dozens more planets, most of them now long lost to interstellar space.

—  Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Sun is better than art

This incredible image was produced using data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) taken on January 17, 2003. This is the sun photographed as it was building towards a major eruption.

SDO carries imaging instruments that photograph different wavelengths of light released from the sun. If you remember your physics, there is a relationship between the wavelength of light, the frequency of the light, and the energy of the light, so SDO images basically reflect the temperature of the sun.

The colors in this shot are 3 different wavelengths of light. Temperature across the sun’s surface and in its corona varies as gases are moved around by convection and by the sun’s powerful magnetic field. Images like this are both gorgeous and help scientists understand the forces churning beneath the surface of the body at the heart of the solar system.

-JBB

Image credit: NASA Goddard/SDO

"Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.

— Carl Sagan

The Cat’s Paw Nebula in Infrared

Infrared view of the Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334) taken by ESO’s VISTA. NGC 6334 is a vast region of star formation about 5500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius. The whole gas cloud is about 50 light-years across. NGC 6334 is one of the most active nurseries of young massive stars in our galaxy, some nearly ten times the mass of our Sun and most born in the last few million years.

Credit: ESO/VISTA

There are two great mysteries that overshadow all other mysteries in science. One is the origin of the universe. That’s my day job. However, there is also the other great mystery of inner space. And that is what sits on your shoulders, which believe it or not, is the most complex object in the known universe. But the brain only uses 20 watts of power. It would require a nuclear power plant to energise a computer the size of a city block to mimic your brain, and your brain does it with just 20 watts. So if someone calls you a dim bulb, that’s a compliment.
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"The first thing I saw from space was Chicago, my hometown. I was working on the middeck where there aren’t many windows, and as we passed over Chicago the commander called me up to the flight deck.

It was such a significant moment because since I was a little girl I had always assumed I would go into space. When I grew up, in the 1960’s, the only American astronauts were men. Looking out the window of that space shuttle, I thought if that little girl growing up in Chicago could see her older self now, she would have a huge grin on her face.”

- Mae Jemison, "What Was Space Like?"

Jemison and Nichelle Nichols on the set of Star Trek

Also, "Pus is one of the neatest things ever."

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MODEL UNIVERSE RECREATES EVOLUTION OF THE COSMOS

Astronomers have created the first realistic virtual universe using a computer simulation called “Illustris.” Illustris can recreate 13 billion years of cosmic evolution in a cube 350 million light-years on a side with unprecedented resolution.

The computer simulation began a mere 12 million years after the Big Bang. When it reached the present day, astronomers counted more than 41,000 galaxies in the cube of simulated space. 

The model requires a huge amount of computing power: running it on even a state-of-the-art desktop computer would take almost 2,000 years. Even run across more than 8,000 processors, the simulation still took several months.

VIDEO SIMULATION


CREDIT:
http://www.illustris-project.org/
http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2014-10
http://www.nature.com/news/model-universe-recreates-evolution-of-the-cosmos-1.15178

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