ionized gas

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Mark your calendars for summer 2018: That’s when we’re launching a spacecraft to touch the sun

In honor of our first-ever mission to the heart of the solar system, this week we’re delving into the life and times of this powerful yellow dwarf star.

1. Meet Parker 

Parker Solar Probe, our first mission to go to the sun, is named after Eugene Parker, an American astrophysicist who first theorized that the sun constantly sends out a flow of particles and energy called the solar wind. This historic mission will explore one of the last regions of the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft and help scientists unlock answers to questions they’ve been pondering for more than five decades.

2. Extra SPF, Please 

Parker Solar Probe will swoop within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. The mission will provide new data on solar activity to help us better understand our home star and its activity - information that can improve forecasts of major space-weather events that could impact life on Earth.

3. Majorly Massive 

The sun is the center of our solar system and makes up 99.8 percent of the mass of the entire solar system. If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, Earth would be about the size of a nickel.

4. Different Spin 

Since the sun is not a solid body, different parts of the sun rotate at different rates. At the equator, the sun spins once about every 25 days, but at its poles the sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days.

5. Can’t Stand on It

The sun is a star and a star doesn’t have a solid surface. Rather, it’s a ball of ionized gas 92.1% hydrogen (H2) and 7.8% helium (He) held together by its own gravity.

6. Center of Attention 

The sun isn’t a planet, so it doesn’t have any moons. But, the sun is orbited by eight planets, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and hundreds of thousands to trillions of comets and icy bodies.

7. It’s Hot in There 

And we mean really, really hot. The temperature at the sun’s core is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. However, its atmosphere, the corona, can reach temperatures of 3 million degrees. (That’s as if it got hotter the farther away you got from a fire, instead of cooler!) Parker Solar Probe will help scientists solve the mystery of why the corona’s temperature is so much higher than the surface.

8. Travel Conditions

The sun influences the entire solar system, so studying it helps us better understand the space weather that our astronauts and spacecraft travel through.

9. Life on the Sun? 

Better to admire from afar. Thanks to its hot, energetic mix of gases and plasma, the sun can’t be home to living things. However, we can thank the sun for making life on Earth possible by providing the warmth and energy that supply Earth’s food chain.

10. Chance of a Lifetime 

Last but not least, don’t forget that the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the U.S. from coast-to-coast since 1918 is happening on August 21, 2017. Our toolkit has you need to know to about it

Want to learn more? Read our full list of the 10 things to know this week about the solar system HERE.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

NGC 206 and the Star Clouds of Andromeda: The large stellar association cataloged as NGC 206 is nestled within the dusty arms of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. Also known as M31, the spiral galaxy is a mere 2.5 million light-years away. NGC 206 is near top center in this gorgeous close-up of the southwestern extent of Andromedas disk, a remarkable composite of data from space and ground-based observatories. The bright, blue stars of NGC 206 indicate its youth. In fact, its youngest massive stars are less than 10 million years old. Much larger than the open or galactic clusters of young stars in the disk of our Milky Way galaxy, NGC 206 spans about 4,000 light-years. Thats comparable in size to the giant stellar nurseries NGC 604 in nearby spiral M33 and the Tarantula Nebula, in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Star forming sites within Andromeda are revealed by the telltale reddish emission from clouds of ionized hydrogen gas. via NASA

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A Scarecrow For God

by reddit user survivalprocedure

“Can I take your picture?” Larissa sat a few feet away from me on the grey velvet sofa as I aimed my iPhone towards her. I stared at the screen intently for a moment before shifting my focus, looking over the brim of the phone at her defeated, hopeless state portrayed by bloodshot eyes.

Keep reading

historyofmemes  asked:

You have explained how invisibility and intangibility could work using 4D physics,but what about "ghost rays"?Do they adhere to 3D rules only or do they function through 4D physics as well?

Ghost rays are ectoplasmic plasma, which is a form of 3D matter and generally behaves like an extremely hot ionized gas should. Although, ghosts have a lot of control over its shape and direction, probably through manipulation of the electromagnetic fields within the plasma. They form ghost rays by drawing stray atoms of ectoplasm in from the Ghost Zone (or by ripping off bits of their own body) and pumping it full of energy until it dissociates into ions. Don’t stare at a ghost ray too long, it’s like looking at a welding torch.

The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble 

The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust.

This sharp close-up of the dying star’s nebula was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope and is presented here in reprocessed colors. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star’s dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).

Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA;
Reprocessing & Copyright: Jesús M.Vargas & Maritxu Poyal

Requested by @kittycatpasta11

Pew! It looks like Nebby escaped the bag again, and came straight for our blog! Today we have the pleasure of examining everyone’s favorite bag-defying rebel, Nebby Cosmog. Cosmog is the “Nebula Pokémon”, so naturally we should talk about nebulas.

The word “nebula” comes from the Latin word for “cloud”, which is a pretty good description of what a nebula is. A nebula is cloud in space: but instead of being made of water like clouds in Earth’s atmosphere, they’re made of stuff like hydrogen, helium, ionized gas, and dust. There are four main types of nebulae, so if we want to learn about Cosmog we first need to figure out which kind of nebula it is.

Planetary nebula are sometimes formed when a star dies,  gently puffing out its outer layers until all that’s left is the core of the star, which usually becomes a white dwarf star itself (which you can see as the central dot in all of these images). The central star pumps light energy into the nebula, which causes it to glow the bright colors.

Supernova Remnants, on the other hand, are formed when a star dies violently. When a massive star runs out of fuel to burn, it will explode in a supernova, tearing itself apart at speeds of over 30,000 m/s. A neutron star or black hole is left in the center, and what is left of the star in the explosion becomes the nebula.

The third kind of nebula is called a Dark Nebula or an Absorption Nebula, obecause it “absorbs” and blocks out light behind it. They’re made of molecules, such as molecular hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon monoxide – which is why they’re also called molecular clouds. These are the coldest, and most dense clouds in space. In fact, they are the only nebula dense enough to collapse into stars, forming new baby stars as they collapse.

The last of nebula is called an HII region. HII is astronomy jargon for ionized hydrogen–in other words, just a proton. These clouds are made of mostly protons. HII regions are typically larger than the other nebulas we’ve talked about, and often just had a lot of recent star formation  in them: they were molecular clouds, but since they just formed new baby stars, they’re full of new energy. The baby stars add so much heat and light into the nebula that the molecules are ripped apart once again, leaving mostly protons.

Cosmog, of course, is much smaller than actual nebula. But, we know Cosmog evolves into Cosmoem, the “Protostar Pokémon”, which means that Cosmog must be closest to a star-forming nebula, or a molecular cloud. You can even see the little glowing spots in Cosmog’s arm where it’s starting to form stars.

Cosmog is a dark nebula made up of molecular hydrogen and other molecules, collapsing to form new stars.

SH2-155: The Cave Nebula : This colorful skyscape features the dusty Sharpless catalog emission region Sh2-155, the Cave Nebula. In the composite image, data taken through narrowband filters tracks the glow of ionized sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in red, green, and blue hues. About 2,400 light-years away, the scene lies along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the royal northern constellation of Cepheus. Astronomical explorations of the region reveal that it has formed at the boundary of the massive Cepheus B molecular cloud and the hot, young stars of the Cepheus OB 3 association. The bright rim of ionized interstellar gas is energized by radiation from the hot stars, dominated by the bright star just above picture center. Radiation driven ionization fronts are likely triggering collapsing cores and new star formation within. Appropriately sized for a stellar nursery, the cosmic cave is over 10 light-years across. via NASA

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Ring Nebula

The Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra. Such objects are formed when a shell of ionized gas is expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a red giant star, which was passing through the last stage in its evolution before becoming a white dwarf.

Image credit: NASA / ESA & Hubble

M82: Galaxy with a Supergalactic Wind : Whats lighting up the Cigar Galaxy? M82, as this irregular galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesnt fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas, however. Evidence indicates that this gas is being driven out by the combined emerging particle winds of many stars, together creating a galactic superwind. The featured photographic mosaic highlights a specific color of red light strongly emitted by ionized hydrogen gas, showing detailed filaments of this gas. The filaments extend for over 10,000 light years. The 12-million light-year distant Cigar Galaxy is the brightest galaxy in the sky in infrared light, and can be seen in visible light with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Great Bear . 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)

N159 in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Over 150 light-years across, this cosmic maelstrom of gas and dust is not too far away. It lies south of the Tarantula Nebula in our satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud a mere 180,000 light-years distant. Massive stars have formed within. Their energetic radiation and powerful stellar winds sculpt the gas and dust and power the glow of this HII region, entered into the Henize catalog of emission stars and nebulae in the Magellanic Clouds as N159. The bright, compact, butterfly-shaped nebula above and left of center likely contains massive stars in a very early stage of formation. Resolved for the first time in Hubble images, the compact blob of ionized gas has come to be known as the Papillon Nebula.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble

This craggy fantasy mountaintop enshrouded by wispy clouds looks like a bizarre landscape from Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” or a Dr. Seuss book, depending on your imagination. The NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, which is even more dramatic than fiction, captures the chaotic activity atop a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks.

This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The image celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth.

Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from super-hot newborn stars in the nebula are shaping and compressing the pillar, causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of hot ionized gas can be seen flowing off the ridges of the structure, and wispy veils of gas and dust, illuminated by starlight, float around its towering peaks. The denser parts of the pillar are resisting being eroded by radiation much like a towering butte in Utah’s Monument Valley withstands erosion by water and wind.

Nestled inside this dense mountain are fledgling stars. Long streamers of gas can be seen shooting in opposite directions off the pedestal at the top of the image. Another pair of jets is visible at another peak near the center of the image. These jets (known as HH 901 and HH 902, respectively) are the signpost for new star birth. The jets are launched by swirling disks around the young stars, which allow material to slowly accrete onto the stars’ surfaces.

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar on Feb. 1-2, 2010. The colors in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulfur (red).

Object Names: HH 901, HH 902

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Time And Space

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The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula (IC 1396).

The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble : The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earths night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This sharp close-up of the dying stars nebula was recorded in 2009 by the Hubble Space Telescopes Wide Field Camera 3, and is presented here in reprocessed colors. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot stars dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion . 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 dark dust lanes, bright yellowish core, and spiral arms traced by blue starlight. A mosaic of well-exposed broad and narrow-band image data, this colorful, premier portrait of our neighboring island universe offers strikingly unfamiliar features though, faint reddish clouds of glowing ionized hydrogen gas 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 BernalAndreo(Deep Sky Colors)

Time And Space