In the brightest region of this glowing nebula called RCW 34, gas is
heated dramatically by young stars and expands through the surrounding
cooler gas. Once the heated hydrogen reaches the borders of the gas
cloud, it bursts outwards into the vacuum like the contents of an
uncorked champagne bottle — this process is referred to as champagne
flow. But the young star-forming region RCW 34 has more to offer than a
few bubbles; there seem to have been multiple episodes of star formation
within the same cloud.
Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have captured for the first time snapshots of fledging white dwarf stars beginning their slow-paced, 40-million-year migration from the crowded center of an ancient star cluster to the less populated suburbs.
White dwarfs are the burned-out relics of stars that rapidly lose mass, cool down and shut off their nuclear furnaces. As these glowing carcasses age and shed weight, their orbits begin to expand outward from the star cluster’s packed downtown. This migration is caused by a gravitational tussle among stars inside the cluster. Globular star clusters sort out stars according to their mass, governed by a gravitational billiard ball game where lower mass stars rob momentum from more massive stars. The result is that heavier stars slow down and sink to the cluster’s core, while lighter stars pick up speed and move across the cluster to the edge. This process is known as “mass segregation.” Until these Hubble observations, astronomers had never definitively seen the dynamical conveyor belt in action.
Astronomers used Hubble to watch the white-dwarf exodus in the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae, a dense swarm of hundreds of thousands of stars in our Milky Way galaxy. The cluster resides 16,700 light-years away in the southern constellation Tucana.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
As we’ve seen with Ceres, every new image of Pluto taken from now on will be the best image we’ve ever seen of Pluto… and this is true for the above.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was only 75,000,000 km away (46.6 million miles) when this image was taken. Clear in the picture is that the Plutonian surface is complex and variable. It’s going to be exciting to find out what’s going on here…
In early July it’s going to make a much closer flyby of the dwarf planet where all these surface features will be brought out in sharp detail. Almost everything we know about Pluto will come from this flyby.
The brightly glowing plumes seen in this image are reminiscent of an underwater scene, with turquoise-tinted currents and nebulous strands reaching out into the surroundings.
However, this is no ocean. This image actually shows part of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small nearby galaxy that orbits our galaxy, the Milky Way, and appears as a blurred blob in our skies. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has peeked many times into this galaxy, releasing stunning images of the whirling clouds of gas and sparkling stars (opo9944a, heic1301, potw1408a).
This image shows part of the Tarantula Nebula’s outskirts. This famously beautiful nebula, located within the LMC, is a frequent target for Hubble (heic1206, heic1402).
In most images of the LMC the colour is completely different to that seen here. This is because, in this new image, a different set of filters was used. The customary R filter, which selects the red light, was replaced by a filter letting through the near-infrared light. In traditional images, the hydrogen gas appears pink because it shines most brightly in the red. Here however, other less prominent emission lines dominate in the blue and green filters.
This data is part of the Archival Pure Parallel Project (APPP), a project that gathered together and processed over 1000 images taken using Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, obtained in parallel with other Hubble instruments. Much of the data in the project could be used to study a wide range of astronomical topics, including gravitational lensing and cosmic shear, exploring distant star-forming galaxies, supplementing observations in other wavelength ranges with optical data, and examining star populations from stellar heavyweights all the way down to solar-mass stars.
A version of this image was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Josh Barrington.
Absolutely amazing painting by Adolph Schaller ‘Anywhere, Anywhen, Anyone’ (circa 1978-79). I wish I had a better copy of it - this is a poor quality scan of it from a tiny magazine photo. It was originally available as a print through Future Life magazine’s mail order 'art club’ in 1979. #space #cosmic #retroart #vintagebooks #astronomy #scifiart #stars #fantasy #trippy #sciencefictionart #sciencefiction #Scifi #alienworlds #galaxy #cosmos
Do you know a site that tells you all of your signs in English BC I've tried finding one and I don't understand what the symbol thingies mean
Astrological symbols? Think of them like the symbols on a periodic table, they aren’t exactly a “language”. There are symbols for each of the signs and planets. Sometimes these symbols are used in astronomy. Here is a little key:
♇ and this symbol:
stand for Pluto.
There are also more symbols for asteroids, Chirons, the nodes, etc.