mosaic image

The Dark River to Antares : Connecting the Pipe Nebula to the colorful region near bright star Antares is a dark cloud dubbed the Dark River, flowing from the pictures left edge. Murky looking, the Dark Rivers appearance is caused by dust obscuring background starlight, although the dark nebula contains mostly hydrogen and molecular gas. Surrounded by dust, Antares, a red supergiant star, creates an unusual bright yellowish reflection nebula. Above it, bright blue double star Rho Ophiuchi is embedded in one of the more typical bluish reflection nebulae, while red emission nebulae are also scattered around the region. Globular star cluster M4 is just seen above and right of Antares, though it lies far behind the colorful clouds, at a distance of some 7,000 light-years. The Dark River itself is about 500 light years away. The colorful skyscape is a mosaic of telescopic images spanning nearly 10 degrees . via NASA

Why building skill in art is fun,

but not inherently required for the art’s value

I explained this a couple times in streams but I want to put it down in text.

Art is an incredible and special process where people can share a concept in their head with the outside world. Human imagination is endless, but part of the fascinating nature of art is the triple disconnect between artist and viewer- and the mosaic of images this creates. I’ll explain:

The first disconnect is between the artist’s imagination, and what they can produce. This is the only disconnect where building skill with practice can bring the two closer together. However, imagination is fluid, beautiful, and impossible. There’s no way to portray exactly what’s in our heads, but chasing that impossible goal is what drives artists! 

The second disconnect is generally a lot smaller, but still worth mentioning. Humans are all biologically slightly different, and we may be viewing the art through a different medium. The viewer may see less or more colour than the artist, or maybe their computer monitor has different settings.

The third disconnect is where the magic happens! A person interpreting an artist’s work will apply their own experiences and feelings to it, making the image they remember totally unique to them. This is part of the exciting nature of art- when you create something, you don’t just create one thing. Everyone who sees it will take away something different! This is a big disconnect and it isn’t affected by an artist’s skill at all. 

This process isn’t a bad thing! Art is incredible and beautiful, and our ability to create and interpret endless variations and feelings is what makes it so exciting! 

It may be discouraging when someone gets a different idea from the one you tried to create- but that doesn’t mean the idea they took away doesn’t have value! It’s still something that you did! 

Create more art! Fill the world with ideas! 

The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation : Sometimes, stars form in walls bright walls of interstellar gas. In this vivid skyscape, stars are forming in the W-shaped ridge of emission known as the Cygnus Wall. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive outline popularly called The North America Nebula, the cosmic ridge spans about 20 light-years. Constructed using narrowband data to highlight the telltale reddish glow from ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with electrons, the image mosaic follows an ionization front with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Sculpted by energetic radiation from the regions young, hot, massive stars, the dark shapes inhabiting the view are clouds of cool gas and dust with stars likely forming within. The North America Nebula itself, NGC 7000, is about 1,500 light-years away. via NASA


Antares by Adrian Jannetta
Via Flickr:
A mosaic of ESO DSS images around Antares in Scorpius. The large globular to right is M 4, the smaller one to the NW of Antares is NGC 6144. R and B images with synthesised G. Processed in IRIS and Photoshop.

New Hubble mosaic of the Orion Nebula

In the search for rogue planets and failed stars astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have created a new mosaic image of the Orion Nebula. During their survey of the famous star formation region, they found what may be the missing piece of a cosmic puzzle; the third, long-lost member of a star system that had broken apart.

The Orion Nebula is the closest star formation region to Earth, only 1400 light-years away. It is a turbulent place – stars are being born, planetary systems are forming and the radiation unleashed by young massive stars is carving cavities in the nebula and disrupting the growth of smaller, nearby stars.

Keep reading

Virgo Cluster Galaxies : Well over a thousand galaxies are known members of the Virgo Cluster, the closest large cluster of galaxies to our own local group. In fact, the galaxy cluster is difficult to appreciate all at once because it covers such a large area on the sky. This careful wide-field mosaic of telescopic images clearly records the central region of the Virgo Cluster through faint foreground dust clouds lingering above the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. The clusters dominant giant elliptical galaxy M87, is just below and to the left of the frame center. To the right of M87 is a string of galaxies known as Markarians Chain. A closer examination of the image will reveal many Virgo cluster member galaxies as small fuzzy patches. Sliding your cursor over the image will label the larger galaxies using NGC catalog designations. Galaxies are also shown with Messier catalog numbers, including M84, M86, and prominent colorful spirals M88, M90, and M91. On average, Virgo Cluster galaxies are measured to be about 48 million light-years away. The Virgo Cluster distance has been used to give an important determination of the Hubble Constant and the scale of the Universe. via NASA



A recently discovered solitary ice volcano on the dwarf planet Ceres may have some hidden older siblings, say scientists who have tested a likely way such mountains of icy rock – called cryovolcanoes – might disappear over millions of years.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft discovered Ceres’s 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) tall Ahuna Mons cryovolcano in 2015. Other icy worlds in our solar system, like Pluto, Europa, Triton, Charon and Titan, may also have cryovolcanoes, but Ahuna Mons is conspicuously alone on Ceres. The dwarf planet, with an orbit between Mars and Jupiter, also lies far closer to the Sun than other planetary bodies where cryovolcanoes have been found.

Now, scientists show there may have been cryovolcanoes other than Ahuna Mons on Ceres millions or billions of years ago, but these cryovolcanoes may have flattened out over time and become indistinguishable from the planet’s surface. They report their findings in a new paper accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

“We think we have a very good case that there have been lots of cryovolcanoes on Ceres but they have deformed,” said Michael Sori of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and lead author of the new paper.

Ahuna Mons is a prominent feature on Ceres, rising to about half the height of Mount Everest. Its solitary existence has puzzled scientists since they spied it.

“Imagine if there was just one volcano on all of Earth,” Sori said. “That would be puzzling.”

Adding to the puzzle are the steep sides and well-defined features of Ahuna Mons – usually signs of geologic youth, Sori said. That leads to two possibilities: Ahuna Mons is just as it appears, inexplicably alone after forming relatively recently on an otherwise inactive world. Or, the cryovolcano is not alone or unusual, and there is some process on Ceres that has destroyed its predecessors and left the young Ahuna Mons as the solitary cryovolcano on the dwarf planet, according to Sori.

Ceres has no atmosphere, so the processes that wear down volcanoes on Earth – wind, rain and ice – aren’t possible on the dwarf planet. Sori and his colleagues hypothesized that another process, called viscous relaxation, could be at work.

Viscous relaxation is the idea that just about any solid will flow, given enough time. For example, a cold block of honey appears to be solid. But if given enough time, the block will flatten out until there is no sign left of the original block structure.

On Earth, viscous relaxation is what makes glaciers flow, Sori explained. The process doesn’t affect volcanoes on Earth because they are made of rock, but Ceres’s volcanoes contain ice – making viscous relaxation possible. On Ceres, viscous relaxation could be causing older cryovolcanoes to flatten out over millions of years so they are hard to discern. Ceres’s location close to the Sun could make the process more pronounced, Sori said.

To test the idea that viscous relaxation had caused cryovolcanoes to flatten out on Ceres, Sori and his colleagues created a model using the actual dimensions of Ahuna Mons to predict how fast the mountain might be flowing. They ran the model assuming different water contents of the material that makes up the mountain – ranging from 100 percent water ice to 40 percent water ice, Sori explained.

Ahuna Mons would need to be composed of more than 40 percent water ice to be affected by viscous relaxation, they found. At this composition, Sori estimates that Ahuna Mons should be flattening out at a rate of 10 to 50 meters (30 to 160 feet) per million years. That is enough to render cryovolcanoes unrecognizable in hundreds of millions to billions of years, suggesting there could have been other cryovolcanoes on Ceres, according to the new study.

“Ahuna Mons is at most 200 million years old. It just hasn’t had time to deform,” Sori said.

The next step for Sori and his team will be to try and identify the flattened remnants of older cryovolcanoes on Ceres. The findings could help scientists better decipher the history of how the dwarf planet formed, he added.

The new study helps scientists expand their knowledge of what might be possible on planetary bodies in our solar system, said Kelsi Singer, a postdoctoral researcher who studies icy worlds at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and was not involved with the new research.

“It would be fun to check some of the other features that are potentially older domes on Ceres to see if they fit in with the theory of how the shapes should viscously evolve over time,” she said. “Because all of the putative cryovolcanic features on other worlds are different, I think this helps to expand our inventory of what is possible.”

TOP IMAGE….Ahuna Mons seen in a simulated perspective view. The elevation has been exaggerated by a factor of two. The view was made using enhanced-color images from NASA’s Dawn mission.
Credit: NASA

LOWER IMAGE….Ceres’ mysterious mountain Ahuna Mons is seen in this mosaic of images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Dawn took these images from 385 kilometers (240 miles ) above the surface, in December 2015. The resolution of the image is 35 meters (120 feet) per pixel.
Credit: NASA

Inside the Coma Cluster of Galaxies : Almost every object in the above photograph is a galaxy. The Coma Cluster of Galaxies pictured above is one of the densest clusters known - it contains thousands of galaxies. Each of these galaxies houses billions of stars - just as our own Milky Way Galaxy does. Although nearby when compared to most other clusters, light from the Coma Cluster still takes hundreds of millions of years to reach us. In fact, the Coma Cluster is so big it takes light millions of years just to go from one side to the other! The above mosaic of images of a small portion of Coma was taken in unprecedented detail in 2006 by the Hubble Space Telescope to investigate how galaxies in rich clusters form and evolve. Most galaxies in Coma and other clusters are ellipticals, although some imaged here are clearly spirals. The spiral galaxy on the upper left of the above image can also be found as one of the bluer galaxies on the upper left of this wider field image. In the background thousands of unrelated galaxies are visible far across the universe. via NASA


disgustednoises  asked:

I just had a thought that maybe before Bodhan found Sandal in the deep roads Sandal found the titian and was influenced by it like Valta, making him act the way that he does, and giving his "not enchantment" powers.

A common theory, one I’ve heard before. We’re not entirely sure where Sandal’s link comes into. He can (weirdly) enter the Fade - his journal can be found in the Vir Dirthara which is in the Fade in Inquisition’s Trespasser DLC. He also has weird dreams of Flemythal in DA2. He definitely has some form of magical ability “not enchantment” but he’s got a STRONG prowess with enchanting ability too. 

Sandal’s one of the big weird points in DA lore. The location he was found was by a massive golden mosaic wall containing images of dragons, elves, and creatures Bodahn had never seen before (possibly Qunari? we don’t know), which is located UNDER Aeducan Thaig. This is down in the Deeper Roads, and that wall is weirdly half buried. We only really know of one thing that can move entire caverns about at whim - Titans. So it’s likely there’s one in the vicinity, and especially so since Orzammar was a mining seat for much of history, and when people thinking mining and the dwarves, they’re really only considering lyrium - again Titans. 

So it’s possible. It might also be the case that Sandal himself comes from the Sha-Brytol settlements - they must have a thaig somewhere as Valta says because they likely don’t live forever as they live in the same conditions as the rest of Thedas and are demonstrably NOT actually connected to the titan - they revere her because SHE IS. 

There’s also some weird discussion as well in odd gossipy banter back in DA2 (I think it was…can’t quite recall) or else in Witch Hunt (again can’t recall), between a couple dwarves talking about how Endrin Aeducan had a son who was half elf and so he sent him into the Deep Roads to disappear. Might be him too, it was implied that was Sandal, and the features KINDA match? But *shrug* .

Other theories suggest he is an Old God Baby or he is akin to Flemeth - just he would be hosting a different god…usually people say June? There’s SO many complicated thoughts about Sandal that it becomes a bit of a chaotic mess, and you’re digging into some of the biggest and most complicated questions in the lore when you start expanding on things with him. So…

I would say it’s very possible he has been in contact with a Titan. It’s the only way we currently know that dwarves can reclaim some magical ability, and so I think that makes a strong case, since he DOES have this magical ability, and also can work lyrium seemingly without training.