Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephaunt’s Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Of course, the cosmic elephant’s trunk is over 20 light-years long. This composite was recorded through narrow band filters that transmit the light from ionized hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms in the region. The resulting image highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within the obscuring cosmic dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees.
Object Names: Elefant Trunk Nebula, IC 139Y
Image Type: Astronomical
Credit: JC Canonne, P. Bernhard, D. Chaplain & L. Bourgorn
We often find star systems that have pretty weird house rules, those that have gigantic planets or those that have more than one sun. As is the case of this latest find - a star system that has three stars.
A team of astronomers from the University of Arizona discovered a watery exoplanet caught between three separate suns that wanders through the cosmos 320 light-years away from our Solar System.
Using ground-based telescopes based in the arid Atacama Desert in Chile, the astronomers were trying to find planets with incredibly vast orbits. Surprisingly, this odd system popped up first.
The study, published in Science, named the planet HD 131399Ab. Found near the Scorpius constellation and the bright star Antares, the planet has an orbit of 550 Earth years. It is directly in orbit around a star twice the size of the Sun.
The planet and the star also share the system with two stars twirling around each other. One of them is around the size of our Sun, and the other is half. They make a complete rotation every 35,000 Earth years.
The planet, four times the size of Jupiter, was scanned using near-infrared spectroscopy. This determined the presence of significant quantities of water and methane.
While being one of the coldest planets directly detected, it is still at a searing 500 plus degrees Celsius (1,000 degrees Fahrenheit), preventing water to stay in liquid form (so obviously no Earth-like life will be found here)
Took a break from paper writing to paint my favorite planet. It’s good for me to take a break, and remember why I’m doing this in the first place. I want to gather the skills to be able to share my knowledge and love of astronomy with people.
in case you didn’t know there’s an asterism between the constellations Cassiopea and Cygnus that’s literally just a tiny little lizard
and it’s actually really easy to see (even with a decent amount of light pollution) so if you’re ever feeling bad, please go look at the small star lizard I promise you’ll feel 875% better trust me I’m a scientist
“You don’t get a Universe with those properties from an explosion, period. The “faster moving stuff” ends up the farthest away, but it also ends up the most diffuse over time; greater distances would appear to have fewer galaxies per unit volume, but they don’t in our Universe. Wherever the explosion occurred would be a clearly identifiable point. Because of how our Universe works, that point would have to be just a few million light years offset from the Milky Way, located just outside of the local group; statistically, with more than 170 billion galaxies in the Universe, the odds are about 100 times worse than winning either the Powerball or the Mega Millions jackpot.”
Asking where in space the Big Bang happened is like asking where the starting point of Earth’s surface is. There’s no one “point” where it began, unless you’re talking about a point in time. The reality is that, as far as space is concerned, the Big Bang occurred everywhere at once, and we have the evidence to prove it. If the Big Bang were an explosion, we would discover ourselves in a Universe that had a preferred location with different densities surrounding it, but instead we see a Universe that has the same density everywhere. We’d see a Universe that looked different in different directions, yet we see one that’s uniform to better than one part in 10,000 in each direction we look. And we see a Universe that exhibits zero spatial curvature: one that’s indistinguishable from flat.
Fifty years ago Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise
began their journey into space - the final frontier. Now, as the newest
Star Trek film hits cinemas, the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope is also
exploring new frontiers, observing distant galaxies in the galaxy
cluster Abell S1063 as part of the Frontier Fields programme.
Space… the final frontier. These are the stories of the Hubble Space
Telescope. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds and to
boldly look where no telescope has looked before. The newest target of
Hubble’s mission is the distant galaxy cluster Abell S1063, potentially
home to billions of strange new worlds.
This view of the cluster, which can be seen in the centre of the image,
shows it as it was four billion years ago. But Abell S1063 allows us to
explore a time even earlier than this, where no telescope has really
looked before. The huge mass of the cluster distorts and magnifies the
light from galaxies that lie behind it due to an effect called
gravitational lensing. This allows Hubble to see galaxies that would
otherwise be too faint to observe and makes it possible to search for,
and study, the very first generation of galaxies in the Universe.
“Fascinating”, as a famous Vulcan might say.
The first results from the data on Abell S1063 promise some remarkable
new discoveries. Already, a galaxy has been found that is observed as it
was just a billion years after the Big Bang.
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy
cluster MACS J0416.1–2403. This is one of six being studied by the
Hubble Frontier Fields programme, which together have produced the
deepest images of gravitational lensing ever made.
NASA, ESA and the HST Frontier Fields team (STScI)
The blue dots in this field of galaxies, known as the COSMOS field, show galaxies that contain supermassive black holes emitting high-energy X-rays. The black holes were detected by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Array, or NuSTAR, which spotted 32 such black holes in this field and has observed hundreds across the whole sky so far.