interstellar clouds

The Witch Head Nebula : Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble . maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A frighteningly shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its malevolent visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigels starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebulas color is caused not only by the stars intense bluish light but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earths daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in planet Earths atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. via NASA

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the types as | space phenomena

ISTP // cosmic ray
high-energy radiation, mainly originating from outside the solar system. upon impact with the earth’s atmosphere, they can produce showers of secondary particles that sometimes reach the surface.

ESTP // solar flare
a sudden flash of brightness observed near the sun’s surface. the flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona of the sun into space.

ISTJ // solar eclipse
an eclipse of the sun happens when the new moon moves between the sun and earth, blocking out the sun’s rays and casting a shadow on parts of earth.

ESTJ // the sun
the star at the centre of our solar system. it is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, and forms the most important source of energy for life on earth.

INFP // supermoon
a full moon that coincides with the closest distance that the moon reaches to earth in its elliptic orbit, resulting in a larger-than-usual size of the lunar disk.

ENFP // galaxy
a system of millions or billions of stars, together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction.

INFJ // lunar eclipse
an eclipse in which the moon appears darkened as it passes into the earth’s shadow. this can occur only when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned with the earth in the middle.

ENFJ // constellation
a group of stars forming a recognisable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure.

ISFJ // saturn’s rings
the rings of saturn are the most extensive planetary ring system of any planet in the solar system. although reflection from the rings increases saturn’s brightness, they are not visible from earth with unaided vision.

ESFJ // aurora
an aurora is an incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen.

ISFP // winter solstice
an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is at its lowest.

ESFP // meteor shower
a number of meteors that appear to radiate from one point in the sky at a particular date each year, due to the earth regularly passing through them at that position in its orbit.

INTP // nebula
a cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright patch or as a dark silhouette against other luminous matter. 

ENTP // galactic wind
composed of photons ejected from large stars, it is a powerful cosmic force that can push interstellar dust clouds into intergalactic space. 

INTJ // black hole
a black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. the gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. this can happen when a star is dying.

ENTJ // a supernova
an astronomical event that occurs during the last stages of a massive star’s life, destruction is marked by one final titanic explosion. this causes the sudden appearance of a “new” bright star.

Happy Asteroid Day, and happy Meteor Watch Day! Thousands of years ago, the world-famous Willamette meteorite, traveling some 64,000 kilometers per hour, crashed into Earth’s surface.

Billions of years before that, an early planet orbiting the Sun was shattered, perhaps in a collision with another protoplanet. While planets including Earth gradually formed and matured, the fragment orbited the Sun. Eventually, it landed in Oregon just outside of what is today the city of Portland. Over many centuries, rainwater interacting with its iron sulfide deposits produced sulfuric acid, which slowly etched and carved large cavities.

The Willamette is made of iron and weighs 15.5 tons.  It is the largest ever found in the United States and the sixth-largest in the world. Only about 600 of the 25,000 meteorites found on Earth are made of iron. The material was created deep inside stars, which produce energy by fusing lighter elements into heavier ones - for example, hydrogen into helium. The force of nuclear fusion eventually shatters stars much more massive than our Sun, casting fused elements, such as iron, into interstellar space. Over eons, these elements collect inside clouds of gas and dust. 

Within such an iron-rich interstellar cloud, our Sun formed 4.5 billion years ago, giving rise to comets, asteroids, planets and all life on Earth. So when we study the Willamette meteorite, we are also studying the chemical record of our origins and our place in the universe.

The Witch Head Nebula : Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble . maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A frighteningly shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its malevolent visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigels starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebulas color is caused not only by the stars intense bluish light but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earths daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in planet Earths atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. via NASA

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Lagoon and Triffid Nebula - M8, M20

First deep space image from my trip to Tenerife last week. M8 and M20 are huge interstellar clouds of gas sitting in the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way. Taken at an altitude of 2138m on El Teide Volcano, Tenerife. May 25th 2017. 

Canon 700D mod, Canon 200mm 78x30sec

The Tadpoles of IC 410 : This telescopic close-up shows off the otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410. It also features two remarkable inhabitants of the cosmic pond of gas and dust below and right of center, the tadpoles of IC 410. Partly obscured by foreground dust, the nebula itself surrounds NGC 1893, a young galactic cluster of stars. Formed in the interstellar cloud a mere 4 million years ago, the intensely hot, bright cluster stars energize the glowing gas. Composed of denser cooler gas and dust, the tadpoles are around 10 light-years long and are likely sites of ongoing star formation. Sculpted by winds and radiation from the cluster stars, their heads are outlined by bright ridges of ionized gas while their tails trail away from the clusters central region. IC 410 lies some 10,000 light-years away, toward the nebula-rich constellation Auriga. via NASA

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The Tulip in the Swan : Framing a bright emission region this telescopic view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula the glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. About 8,000 light-years distant and 70 light-years across the complex and beautiful nebula blossoms at the center of this composite image. Red, green, and blue hues map emission from ionized sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Ultraviolet radiation from young, energetic stars at the edge of the Cygnus OB3 association, including O star HDE 227018, ionizes the atoms and powers the emission from the Tulip Nebula. HDE 227018 is the bright star very near the blue arc at the cosmic tulip’s center. Glowing across the electromagnetic spectrum, microquasar Cygnus X-1 and a curved shock front created by its powerful jets lie toward the top and right. via NASA

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Comet Dust over Enchanted Rock : Dusty debris from periodic Comet Swift-Tuttle was swept up by planet Earth this week. Vaporized by their passage through the dense atmosphere at 59 kilometers per second, the tiny grains produced a stream of Perseid meteors. A bright, colorful Perseid meteor flash was captured during this 20 second exposure. It made its ephemeral appearance after midnight on August 12, in the moonless skies over the broad granite dome of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, central Texas, USA. Below the Perseid meteor, trees stand in silhouette against scattered lights along the horizon and the faint Milky Way, itself cut by dark clouds of interstellar dust. via NASA

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Riding high in the constellation of Auriga, beautiful, blue vdB 31 is the 31st object in Sidney van den Bergh’s 1966 catalog of reflection nebulae. It shares this well-composed celestial still life with dark, obscuring clouds recorded in Edward E. Barnard’s 1919 catalog of dark markings in the sky. All are interstellar dust clouds, blocking the light from background stars in the case of Barnard's dark nebulae. For vdB 31, the dust preferentially reflects the bluish starlight from embedded, hot, variable star AB Aurigae. Exploring the environs of AB Aurigaewith the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed the several million year young star is itself surrounded by flattened dusty disk with evidence for the ongoing formation of aplanetary system. AB Aurigae is about 470 light-years away. At that distance this cosmic canvas would span about four light-years.

Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona

Time And Space
Orion blazing bright in radio light

A team of astronomers has unveiled a striking new image of the Orion Molecular Cloud (OMC) – a bustling stellar nursery teeming with bright, young stars and dazzling regions of hot, glowing gas.

The researchers used the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia to study a 50 light-year long filament of star-forming gas that is wending its way through the northern portion of the OMC known as Orion A.

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Saturn and Mars visit Milky Way Star Clouds : Planets, stars, nebulas and a galaxy this impressive image has them all. Closest to home are the two planets Mars , visible as the two bright orange spots in the upper half of the featured image. On the central right are the colorful Rho Ophiuchus star clouds featuring the bright orange star Antares lined up below Mars. These interstellar clouds contain both red emission nebulas and blue reflection nebulas. At the top right of the image is the Blue Horsehead reflection nebula. On the lower left are many dark absorption nebulas that extend from the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. The featured deep composite was composed of multiple deep exposures taken last month from Brazil. Although you need a telescope to see the nebulosities, Saturn and Mars will remain visible to the unaided eye this month toward the east, just after sunset. via NASA

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The beautiful Andromeda Galaxy is often imaged by planet Earth-based astronomers. Also known as M31, the nearest large spiral galaxy is a familiar sight with spiral arms traced by blue starlight. In a mosaic of well-exposed broad and narrow-band image data, faint reddish clouds of glowing ionized hydrogen gas lie in the same wide field of view. Still, the ionized hydrogen clouds likely lie in the foreground of the scene, well within our Milky Way Galaxy. They could be associated with the pervasive, dusty interstellar cirrus clouds scattered hundreds of light-years above our own galactic plane. If they were located at the 2.5 million light-year distance of the Andromeda Galaxy they would be enormous, since the Andromeda Galaxy itself is 200,000 or so light-years across.

Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)