stsci

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ripples: Crab Nebula, photographed by Hubble, autumn 2005.

10 images in 558 nm (green) light, September-December 2005.

The Crab Nebula is a cloud of gas 11 light years across, created by the collapse and explosion of a giant star in 1054 AD (a Type II supernova). At the centre of the nebula is a neutron star, the Crab Pulsar, the incredibly dense remnant of the original star; 1.5 to 2 times the mass of the Sun, but only 30 km across. Intense solar wind from the pulsar creates visible ripples in the surrounding nebula.

From Proposal 10526. Some more gifs of the Crab Nebula seen by Hubble.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

The Lonely Galaxy

Most galaxies are part of a group or cluster where a neighboring galaxy is never far away. Galaxy NGC 6503 however, is an exception. This galaxy has found itself in a  lonely position, at the edge of a strangely empty patch of space called the Local Void. The Local Void is a huge stretch of space that is at least 150 million light-years across.

Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA

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dreamed about you too: Comet and stars, photographed by Hubble Space Telescope, 3rd March 2001.

Comet 74P/Smirnova–Chernykh, photographed 8 (top), 8 (middle), and 6 times (bottom). The camera follows the comet, so the background stars appear to zip past in a blur. Since comets do not randomly change direction, the different apparent motions of the stars was presumably created by Hubble changing orientation between sets.

Smirnova–Chernykh, which has an orbit comparable to outer main-belt asteroids, was discovered by Tamara Smirnova (1935-2001) and Nikolai Chernykh (1931-2004) at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in 1975. Smirnova also discovered 135 asteroids during her career; Chernykh discovered another comet and a staggering 537 asteroids.

Photographed here under Hubble Proposal 8699, by Laurent Lamy of the Observatoire de Paris.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

Cluster and Starforming Region Westerlund 2

Located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, the young cluster and starforming region Westerlund 2 fills this cosmic scene. Captured with Hubble’s cameras in near-infrared and visible light, the stunning image is a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990. The cluster’s dense concentration of luminous, massive stars is about 10 light-years across. Strong winds and radiation from those massive young stars have sculpted and shaped the region’s gas and dust, into starforming pillars that point back to the central cluster. Red dots surrounding the bright stars are the cluster’s faint newborn stars, still within their natal gas and dust cocoons. But brighter blue stars scattered around are likely not in the Westerlund 2 cluster and instead lie in the foreground of the Hubble anniversary field of view.

Image Credit & Copyright: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

An optical image of NGC 6543 from the first systematic survey of such objects in the solar neighbourhood made with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. A planetary nebula is a phase of stellar evolution that the sun should experience several billion years from now, when it expands to become a red giant and then sheds most of its outer layers, leaving behind a hot core that contracts to form a dense white dwarf star. Oct. 11, 2012.

© Reuters/NASA/STScI

Hubble Captures a Collision in a Black Hole's "Death Star" Beam

Hubble Captures a Collision in a Black Hole’s “Death Star” Beam

Activity within a jet from NGC 3852 observed with Hubble over 20 years. Credit: NASA, ESA, and E. Meyer (STScI).

Even the Empire’s planet-blasting battle station has nothing compared to the immense energy being fired from the heart of NGC 3862, a supermassive black hole-harboring elliptical galaxy located 300 million light-years away.

And while jets of high-energy plasma coming from active…

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reupload: Almost certainly the first gif posted on ageofdestruction.

Transit of Io across Jupiter, photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope, 1st April 1997.

You can also see the dark shadow of Io, above the moon itself in the image, moving across the face of Jupiter.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScl. Proposal 6774.

The date given is wrong, because I hadn’t figured out how to read HST proposals at that point; actually photographed 22nd July 1997.

Ring Galaxy AM 0644-741 from Hubble

How could a galaxy become shaped like a ring? The rim of the blue galaxy pictured on the right is an immense ring-like structure 150,000 light years in diameter composed of newly formed, extremely bright, massive stars. That galaxy, AM 0644-741, is known as a ring galaxy and was caused by an immense galaxy collision. When galaxies collide, they pass through each other – their individual stars rarely come into contact. The ring-like shape is the result of the gravitational disruption caused by an entire small intruder galaxy passing through a large one. When this happens, interstellar gas and dust become condensed, causing a wave of star formation to move out from the impact point like a ripple across the surface of a pond. The intruder galaxy is just outside of the frame taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. This featured image was taken to commemorate the anniversary of Hubble’s launch in 1990. Ring galaxy AM 0644-741 lies about 300 million light years away.

Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI), J. Higdon (Cornell) ESA, NASA

A Galactic Spectacle 

A beautiful image of two colliding galaxies has been released by NASA’s Great Observatories. The Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light years from Earth, are shown in this composite image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), the Hubble Space Telescope (gold and brown), and the Spitzer Space Telescope (red). The Antennae galaxies take their name from the long antenna-like “arms,” seen in wide-angle views of the system. These features were produced by tidal forces generated in the collision.

The collision, which began more than 100 million years ago and is still occurring, has triggered the formation of millions of stars in clouds of dusts and gas in the galaxies. The most massive of these young stars have already sped through their evolution in a few million years and exploded as supernovas.

Image Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI 
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1771.html

Light Show

A grand ringed planet, Saturn is one of the most intriguing bodies orbiting our sun. This image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009 features Saturn with the rings edge-on and both poles in view, offering a stunning double view of its fluttering auroras.

Created by the interaction of the solar wind with the planet’s magnetic field, Saturn’s aurorae are analogous to the more familiar northern and southern lights on Earth. At the time when Hubble snapped this picture, Saturn was approaching its equinox so both poles were equally illuminated by the sun’s rays.

At first glance the light show of Saturn’s auroras appears symmetric at the two poles. However, astronomers discovered some subtle differences between the northern and southern auroras, which reveal important information about Saturn’s magnetic field. The northern auroral oval is slightly smaller and more intense than the southern one, implying that Saturn’s magnetic field is not equally distributed across the planet; it is slightly uneven and stronger in the north than the south.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/University of Leicester

@nasa
As seen on #Cosmos: The next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.

This illustration shows a stage in the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, as it will unfold over the next several billion years. In this image, representing Earth’s night sky in 3.75 billion years, Andromeda (left) fills the field of view and begins to distort the Milky Way with tidal pull.

Credit: NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger

#nasa #space #universe #hubble #stsci #hubbletelescope #galaxy #milkyway

What’s Old is New in the Large Magellanic Cloud 

This vibrant image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy. The Large Magellanic Cloud, located 160,000 light-years from Earth, is one of a handful of dwarf galaxies that orbit the Milky Way.

The blue color in the picture, seen most prominently in the central bar, represents starlight from older stars. The chaotic, bright regions outside this bar are filled with hot, massive stars buried in thick blankets of dust. The red color around these bright regions is from dust heated by stars, while the red dots scattered throughout the picture are either dusty, old stars or more distant galaxies. The greenish clouds contain cooler interstellar gas and molecular-sized dust grains illuminated by ambient starlight.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_666.html

Arp 147: Giant Ring of Black Holes

This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue) produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, MD.

Arp 147 contains the remnant of a spiral galaxy (right) that collided with the elliptical galaxy on the left. This collision has produced an expanding wave of star formation that shows up as a blue ring containing in abundance of massive young stars.  These stars race through their evolution in a few million years or less and explode as supernovas, leaving behind neutron stars and black holes…

(read more: Chandra X-ray Observatory)

The Eskimo Nebula from Hubble
Credit: Andrew Fruchter (STScI) et al., WFPC2, HST, NASA

Explanation: In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula. From the ground, NGC 2392 resembles a person’s head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the Eskimo Nebula. From space, the nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. The Eskimo Nebula is clearly a planetary nebula, and the gas seen above composed the outer layers of aSun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments visible above are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments. The Eskimo Nebula spans about 1/3 of a light year and lies in our Milky Way Galaxy, about 3,000 light years distant, toward the constellation of the Twins (Gemini).

Spiral Galaxy NGC 3627 

The spiral galaxy NGC 3627 is located about 30 million light years from Earth. This composite image includes X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope (red), and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope (yellow). The inset shows the central region, which contains a bright X-ray source that is likely powered by material falling onto a supermassive black hole.

A search using archival data from previous Chandra observations of a sample of 62 nearby galaxies has shown that 37 of the galaxies, including NGC 3627, contain X-ray sources in their centers. Most of these sources are likely powered by central supermassive black holes. The survey, which also used data from the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxy Survey, found that seven of the 37 sources are new supermassive black hole candidates.

Credits: NASA/CXC/Ohio State Univ./C.Grier et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI, ESO/WFI; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2418.html

M51: X-Rays from the Whirlpool

X-ray: NASA

What if we X-rayed an entire spiral galaxy? This was done (again) recently by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory for the nearby interacting galaxies known as the Whirlpool (M51). Hundreds of glittering x-ray stars are present in the above Chandra image of the spiral and its neighbor. The image is a conglomerate of X-ray light from Chandra and visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope. The number of luminous x-ray sources, likely neutron star and black hole binary systems within the confines of M51, is unusually high for normal spiral or elliptical galaxies and suggests this cosmic whirlpool has experienced intense bursts of massive star formation. The bright cores of both galaxies, NGC 5194 and NGC 5195 (right and left respectively), also exhibit high-energy activity. In this false-color image where X-rays are depicted in purple, diffuse X-ray emission typically results from multi-million degree gas heated by supernova explosions.