eyes to the telescope

N  ext to me her thigh presses hard on my soft skin. it isn’t anything but safe. light pressure, a flare of awareness across my skin, and this moment in and out of focus.

O  ur eyes meet. blue, brown, green, gray. a false sunrise of pinks clashed on blue skies in a terrible display of beauty. in those eyes lay just a little bit of beauty, just a little bit of everything. it seems like watching universes born and die in billions and billions of seconds, that planet’s floating dust come together and form explosions of rocky color, only to fall apart and float again. every color in the eye of a telescope is you.

R  eal life crashes hard on my shoulders sometimes in the spaces between that freckle on my back and the one on my neck. this moment doesn’t have the taste of real life. it feels like waking up sharp and letting my eyes fall, watching colors dance across my eyelids in reds, oranges, pinks, golds and the skies over beaches and lakes and cities and towns. letting my mind draw itself up and float around at the top. listening to quiet air. no thoughts, no feelings, just this, out of word.

A  nxiety pumps my heart, all that blood has nowhere to go. these veins were never made for fast track life full of scarlet passions and crimson furys and cherry lips and rose splotched skin, but a slow dream under yellow yolk suns and yellow honey’s slow drag and yellow flowers sway’s in time to light breezes. and then- your fingers are sharp when they dig into spaces between my thumbs and pinkies, and I am a fish caught on hooks after hours and hours of a glass still pond, dragged into a tossing salt ocean burning my mouth, tumbling my head.

- NORA // N.A

Dedicated to @stunningfandoms

The Helix Nebula in Infrared : What makes this cosmic eye look so red? Dust. The featured image from the robotic Spitzer Space Telescope shows infrared light from the well-studied Helix Nebula a mere 700 light-years away in the constellation of the Water Carrier Aquarius. The two light-year diameter shroud of dust and gas around a central white dwarf has long been considered an excellent example of a planetary nebula, representing the final stages in the evolution of a Sun-like star. But the Spitzer data show the nebulas central star itself is immersed in a surprisingly bright infrared glow. Models suggest the glow is produced by a dust debris disk. Even though the nebular material was ejected from the star many thousands of years ago, the close-in dust could have been generated by collisions in a reservoir of objects analogous to our own solar systems Kuiper Belt or cometary Oort cloud. Had the comet-like bodies formed in the distant planetary system, they would have survived even the dramatic late stages of the stars evolution. via NASA

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To some, it may look like a cat’s eye. Thealluring Cat’s Eye nebula, however, lies three thousand light-years from Earth across interstellar space. A classic planetary nebula, the Cat’s Eye (NGC 6543) represents a final, brief yet glorious phase in the life of a sun-like star. This nebula’s dying central star may have produced the simple, outer pattern of dustyconcentric shells by shrugging off outer layersin a series of regular convulsions. But the formation of the beautiful, more complex inner structures is not well understood. Seen so clearly in this digitally reprocessed HubbleSpace Telescope image, the truly cosmic eye is over half a light-year across. Of course, gazing into this Cat’s Eye, astronomers may well be seeing the fate of our sun, destined to enter its own planetary nebula phase of evolution … in about 5 billion years.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA;Reprocessing & Copyright: Raul Villaverde

Hubble Space Telescope

Time And Space

M64: The Black Eye Galaxy : This big, bright, beautiful spiral galaxy is Messier 64, often called the Black Eye Galaxy or the Sleeping Beauty Galaxy for its heavy-lidded appearance in telescopic views. M64 is about 17 million light-years distant in the otherwise well-groomed northern constellation Coma Berenices. In fact, the Red Eye Galaxy might also be an appropriate moniker in this colorful composition. The enormous dust clouds obscuring the near-side of M64s central region are laced with the telltale reddish glow of hydrogen associated with star forming regions. But they are not this galaxys only peculiar feature. Observations show that M64 is actually composed of two concentric, counter-rotating systems. While all the stars in M64 rotate in the same direction as the interstellar gas in the galaxys central region, gas in the outer regions, extending to about 40,000 light-years, rotates in the opposite direction. The dusty eye and bizarre rotation is likely the result of a billion year old merger of two different galaxies. via NASA

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This is the Andromeda galaxy!  It is the furthest thing away from Earth that can still be seen with the naked eye on a clear night.  It is 2.3 million light years away from us.  The galaxy used to be called the ‘Great Andromeda Nebula’, since they thought that is was a bunch of glowing gases, or a solar system in formation.  The Andromeda galaxy is a major galaxy, and is slightly bigger than our Milky Way.  So spectacular.

The Cat’s Eye Nebula is a lovely planetary Nebula in the constellation of Draco located roughly 3300 light-years away. This image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope highlights the detail of the structure, including jets and arcs, whilst showing a beautiful mixture of colours. This Nebula is studied intensely in a broad spectrum of wavelengths and is composed on mostly Hydrogen and Helium. 🌌

Deep Magellanic Clouds Image Indicates Collisions : Did the two most famous satellite galaxies of our Milky Way Galaxy once collide? No one knows for sure, but a detailed inspection of deep images like that featured here give an indication that they have. Pictured, the Large Magellanic Cloud is on the bottom right. The surrounding field is monochrome color-inverted to highlight faint filaments, shown in gray. Perhaps surprisingly, the featured research-grade image was compiled with small telescopes to cover the large angular field nearly 40 degrees across. Much of the faint nebulosity is Galactic Cirrus clouds of thin dust in our own Galaxy, but a faint stream of stars does appear to be extending from the SMC toward the LMC. Also, stars surrounding the LMC appear asymmetrically distributed, indicating in simulations that they could well have been pulled off gravitationally in one or more collisions. Both the LMC and the SMC are visible to the unaided eye in southern skies. Future telescopic observations and computer simulations are sure to continue in a continuing effort to better understand the history of our Milky Way and its surroundings. via NASA

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In this detailed view from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the so-called Cat’s Eye Nebula looks like the penetrating eye of the disembodied sorcerer Sauron from the film adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings.”

The nebula, formally cataloged NGC 6543, is every bit as inscrutable as the J.R.R. Tolkien phantom character. Though the Cat’s Eye Nebula was one of the first planetary nebulae to be discovered, it is one of the most complex such nebulae seen in space. A planetary nebula forms when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers that form bright nebulae with amazing and confounding shapes.

In 1994, Hubble first revealed NGC 6543’s surprisingly intricate structures, including concentric gas shells, jets of high-speed gas, and unusual shock-induced knots of gas.

As if the Cat’s Eye itself isn’t spectacular enough, this new image taken with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) reveals the full beauty of a bull’s eye pattern of eleven or even more concentric rings, or shells, around the Cat’s Eye. Each ‘ring’ is actually the edge of a spherical bubble seen projected onto the sky — that’s why it appears bright along its outer edge.

Observations suggest the star ejected its mass in a series of pulses at 1,500-year intervals. These convulsions created dust shells, each of which contain as much mass as all of the planets in our solar system combined (still only one percent of the Sun’s mass). These concentric shells make a layered, onion-skin structure around the dying star. The view from Hubble is like seeing an onion cut in half, where each skin layer is discernible.

Until recently, it was thought that such shells around planetary nebulae were a rare phenomenon. However, Romano Corradi (Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Spain) and collaborators, in a paper published in the European journal Astronomy and Astrophysics in April 2004, have instead shown that the formation of these rings is likely to be the rule rather than the exception.

The bull’s-eye patterns seen around planetary nebulae come as a surprise to astronomers because they had no expectation that episodes of mass loss at the end of stellar lives would repeat every 1,500 years. Several explanations have been proposed, including cycles of magnetic activity somewhat similar to our own Sun’s sunspot cycle, the action of companion stars orbiting around the dying star, and stellar pulsations. Another school of thought is that the material is ejected smoothly from the star, and the rings are created later on due to formation of waves in the outflowing material. It will take further observations and more theoretical studies to decide between these and other possible explanations.

Approximately 1,000 years ago the pattern of mass loss suddenly changed, and the Cat’s Eye Nebula started forming inside the dusty shells. It has been expanding ever since, as discernible in comparing Hubble images taken in 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2002. The puzzle is what caused this dramatic change? Many aspects of the process that leads a star to lose its gaseous envelope are still poorly known, and the study of planetary nebulae is one of the few ways to recover information about these last few thousand years in the life of a Sun-like star.

Object Names: Cat’s Eye Nebula, NGC 6543

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Acknowledgment: R. Corradi (Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Spain) and Z. Tsvetanov (NASA)

Time And Space

vimeo

Videographer tries to rethink astrovideography and timelapse with some amazing work. I’ll let them explain in their caption below:

You are lying on a blanket on a clear summer night and gazing at the dark starry sky. You are trying to spot the big dipper, Andromeda, or maybe Orion. However you are noticing strange bright patches aligned in a band across the night sky and realize they are not stars: it is our home town, our own galaxy, the milky way. That’s how all star-gazing experiences, hobbies, but also the history of astronomy began: from naked eye observations thousands of years ago, to the finest and biggest telescopes today, capable of unravelling the most intriguing secrets of the universe. As the hobby or science grows and evolves, we always want to go deeper and zoom in. You are now seeing not only our galaxy, but billions of them!
> 
> With the first opus of the short film series ‘Galaxies’, I wanted to experiment and take the astro-timelapse technique to the next level. There are a lot of sumptuous short films and very technical time-lapses featuring the milky way, but I found very little variation in this field. Most of the time they show a wide-angle view of the milky way, albeit majestic, rising or setting against various foregrounds. This is the reason why I wanted to rethink the whole process, find different angles, get more detail. Why not zoom in? Why not consider other deep-sky objects like other galaxies? Why not show our very space home address and neighborhood in a very different way?

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Dating Fred Weasley Would Include (plus headcanons): 

  • Running around the halls of Hogwarts late at night, laughter echoing through the halls. 
  • Being totally cool with the other Weasleys, even Percy. 
  • Late nights joking around the fire with the twins. 
  • Helping come up with products for Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. 
  • Getting so full you think you’ll pass out from all the sweets on the train. 
  • Stealing all his sweaters and shirts, they usually fall to your thighs or knees. 
  • Kicking his ass in Quidditch “Got a problem Weasley?” 
  • Racing him on your cleansweeps. 
  • *Fred caring a body bag up the stairs” 
  • “Should I be concerned?” 
  • *Fred stops to look at you for a few moments* “No” 
  • “Everyone has been calling me Stanco all day. I think Fred Fred Weasley paid them to.” 
  • “Yes. Five Galleons each. it was totally worth it.” 
  • “I miss Draco. Congratulations, universe you win.” 
  • “(Y/N) and I would sometimes hum the same high-pitched note and try to get Draco to make an appointment with Madam Pomfrey.” 
  • “I just want to be friends. Plus a little extra. Also I love you.” 
  • “You know what would energize me? If you (Y/N) (Y/M/N) (Y/L/N)”
  • “Don’t.” 
  • “Would you” 
  • “Don’t you dare. If you propose to me during a House meeting I will say no.” 
  • “Well it’s too late because I’m proposing that you get me a pint of butterbeer. Which would greatly energize me and make me the happiest man in the world.” 
  • Fred when pranking with you, “All her idea too. Awesome. She’s so great.” 
  • “FREEEEEEEDDDDDD” You shout from the top of the stairs at the Burrow. You’re staring down at the bottom of the stairs. You had a black eye from the Boxing Telescope. 
  • Fred whipped his head around to look at George. You came running down the stairs while Fred and George shot up to run outside. You chased them until you tackled Fred to the ground while George crippled over in laughter. 
Nobody Said It Was Easy

It was far too early on a Friday night for Keith to be in bed and his body was simply not having it. Groaning in frustration, he turned over and shoved his face into the pillow, willing himself to fall asleep, even if by means of suffocation.

Behind him, his phone chirps with what must have been the fiftieth text in the last hour. He bitterly wonders who the latest message was from: Allura? Pidge? Hunk?

No sooner had the thought crossed his mind, the phone begins to ring and ‘Waiting for Superman’ plays, too loud. It echoes in the otherwise silent room, in the otherwise silent house. Loud. Far too loud. He grits his teeth, waiting for the designated ringtone to end, and sighs in relief when it does. That was, what? Call number four? Maybe five? Either way, he really wasn’t in the mood to deal with Shiro or his annoying habit of trying to fix everything for him.

Honestly, he wasn’t sure if there was anything left to fix.

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