Google PlusFacebookTwitter

Gorgeous Sagittarius Sunflowers Blooming in the Cosmos

By on Aug 17, 2016 in Nebula | 0 comments

This is a beautiful cosmic family portrait of what is known as the “Sagittarius Sunflower.” What you are looking at are 3 distinct cosmic nebulae. On the left we have the famous M8 or “Lagoon Nebula,” located about 4,400 light years from Earth. This nebula alone is about hundreds of light years across or about 1 quadrillion KM. To try and put that in perspective, if we travelled at 50 km/s (which we have before) it would take us 5 trillion hours or 26 million years!! And this is in our own Milky Way. We haven’t even left our neighborhood! On the bottom we have M20 or the “Trifid Nebula,” located 5,200 light years from Earth. Finally on the right we have NGC 6559 located 5,000 light years away. This narrowband data records ionized hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur atoms radiating at visible wavelengths. Further Reading or Sources:...

The Coldest Region in the Universe: The Boomerang Nebula (Bow Tie Nebula)

By on May 15, 2016 in Nebula | 0 comments

If we take a trip 5,000 light-years away from Earth and towards the constellation Centaurus we will find one of the coldest regions in the universe. Say hello to the beautiful Boomerang Nebula. The Boomerang Nebula or what is also known as the “Bow Tie Nebula” is a protoplanetary nebula. What is fascinating about this nebula is that it’s only 1 degree above absolute zero! Meaning it’s 1 degrees Kelvin or -271 degrees Celsius. The bow shape you see here is due to the outflow of gas originating from the core of the star. The gas itself is traveling at 164 km/s which this rapid expansion is the cause of the unusually low temperatures. To paint a clearer picture of why this nebula is essentially a cosmic freezer and the fact that we don’t see these low temperatures elsewhere is the magnitude of which the gas is escaping from the star. The star’s core is...

The Destruction of Supernova Remnant Simeis 147: The Spaghetti Nebula

By on May 5, 2016 in Nebula, Supernova | 0 comments

Located right in our own Milky Way is a story of a star that ended in utter destruction. Say hello to Supernova Remnant Simeis 147 or the Spaghetti Nebula. Discovered in 1952 this supernova remnant is located 3,000 (+/- 300) light years away from Earth on the border of constellations Auriga and Taurus. The Spaghetti nebula is about 40,000 years old or the first photon or light particle reached Earth 40,000 years ago. In its wake it left a neutron star known as pulsar PSR J0538+2817. What this means is that there is a star that is highly magnetized and shooting out electromagnetic beams as if it was a light house. The expanding remnants is expanding at an incredible rate of 950 kilometers per second! The entire nebula you see here is about 150 light years across. Further Reading or Sources: +Anne’s astronomy news +Emil Ivanov Astronomy +Wikipedia...

Gorgeous Wizard Nebula

By on Apr 9, 2016 in Nebula | 0 comments

Located 8,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cepheus we arrive to an open star cluster NGC 7380, or more famously known as the Wizard Nebula. This young cluster is about 4 million years old and is a many light years wide. The color red or orange is a signature of the element sulfur, green is hydrogen, and blue is oxygen. The cosmic gas is moving towards us at 34 km/s. The bright star you see on the right of it is binary star HD215835 (DH Cephei). It’s one of the main reason the nebula is illuminated as well as ionized. The solar winds from the star also contribute to carving out the magical shapes you see before your very eyes.   For more information or sources used: Anne’s Astronomy News APOD...

The Subtle Beauty of the California Nebula

By on Mar 30, 2016 in Nebula | 0 comments

Between 1,000 to 1,500 light years away from the planet Earth, lays a gorgeous nebula called the California Nebula or NGC 1499. This nebula is actually one of the more challenging ones to observe through binoculars and even a low powered telescope. This is due to the low surface brightness. However, the reason why it has such low surface brightness might impress you. First, let’s get a good look at this lovely beast.   The impressive mystery of what lights up the entire California Nebula Going back to our question on why the surface brightness is dim (if you had try to look at it from Earth with low powered equipment), the answer is actually right above the nebula itself! It’s the star right above called Xi Persei. This star is 30 times bigger than our own Sun! Not only that but is pumping out light at a blistering 250,000 times the rate of the Sun. Quite astonishing!...

The Incredibly Beautiful Orion Nebula (M42)

By on Mar 16, 2016 in Nebula | 0 comments

If you were to ask what is one of the most famous nebulae or images of a nebula in astronomy it’s the great Orion Nebula or M42.  This gorgeous emission nebula or diffused nebula is located about 1,344 light years from Earth in the constellation Orion, south of Orion’s belt. What’s interesting about this nebula is that it’s moving away from us at 17.5 km per second! If we were going to compare the size of our Sun or mass of our Sun to M42 it would take 2,000 solar masses. The nebula has been churning and burning hydrogen and oxygen and other elements for 300,000 years in the universe. Deep within the heart of M42 is an enormous amount of energy that is causing this beautiful glow. The source is actually a young star burning bright called the Trapezium.   Looking at the temperature of this nebulous cloud it actually reaches a whopping 10,000 K or about 9,726...