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Stunning View of the Famous (M27) Dumbbell Nebula

By on Feb 9, 2020 in Pictures | 0 comments

Located 1,227 light-years from Earth is a beautiful planetary nebula called the Dumbbell Nebula. This nebula was actually the first planetary nebula discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. He is famous for publishing an astronomical catalogue that contained 110 nebulae and faint star clusters, which were known as Messier objects. Dumbbell Nebula Credit: Steve Mazlin The first thing you notice is the gorgeous red which represents hydrogen and blue that represents oxygen gasses. This is also a great example of what the future of our Sun may look like after it runs the course of its life. The Dumbbell Nebula resulted from a star that turned into a red giant star. From here it eventually engulfed any planet or moon in its star system and then went supernova. What’s fascinating is although this was discovered in the 18th century and we’ve learned so much about astronomy since...

Zeta Oph the Runaway Star that Left a Gorgeous Bow Shock

By on Feb 3, 2020 in Pictures | 0 comments

Located 366 light-years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus is a runaway star called Zeta Ophiuchi (ζ Ophiuchi) or Zeta Oph. It’s a runaway star because it was flung out of a star system as a result of a supernova. This enormous star is about 20 times the mass of our own Sun! Not only that but our Sun’s radius is about 696,340 km and Zeta Oph is 8 times that. This star is huge but is rotating extremely fast. It’s rotating about 400 km/s where it can rotate this gargantuan mass once per Earth day! To give you some perspective our Sun rotates at 1.997 km/s or about once every 27 days. Credit: NASA Zeta Oph is relatively young from the perspective of the universe. It’s about three million years old and is an O-type star giving it that blue hue. Scientists say it’s roughly halfway through its stellar life and in the next few million years go supernova. Of...

The Giant Stellar Nursery NGC 604 that’s 100x the Orion Nebula

By on Mar 7, 2016 in Pictures | 0 comments

The universe is no stranger to freakishly large objects. Well, enter NGC 604, it’s 1,520 light years across! As stated in the title it’s over 100 times bigger than the famous Orion Nebula. However, if you plan to take a trip there it would take you 2.7 million light years to get there. It’s located in an entire different galaxy called the Triangulum Galaxy. Here’s a photo of the Orion Nebula in comparison to NGC 604: If you want to get a sense of how far Orion Nebula is…well then just look at NGC 604. Its size is the distance from Earth to the Orion Nebula! If NGC 604 was at the distance of Orion Nebula (1,350 light years) it would take up 50 degrees in the night sky! To get an idea, hold up your fist in the air, and extend your thumb and pinky out. Now that distance between your thumb and pinky is 25 degrees. Two of those would give you an idea of how big...

In the Heart Nebula lies Melotte 15

By on Mar 3, 2016 in Pictures | 0 comments

In the beautiful constellation Cassiopeia located 7,500 light years away from Earth, is a gorgeous star cluster called Melotte 15. It lays in the famous Heart Nebula and stretches for 30 light years in the image below, which would amount to 300 trillion km! The cosmic landscape of gorgeous colors represent different elements and gasses. In red we have sulfur, green is hydrogen (most abundant in the universe), and finally blueish hue is oxygen. This nebula and star cluster was only formed 1.5 million years ago, which is still considered a baby in the universe time-scale. Who knows what planets and species may already be present in this part of the universe, or what the future may hold for this star cluster. For now humans can look upon this nebula and star cluster with a sense of wonder and appreciation for how incredible the universe is.   Finally, where Molette is comfortably...

Gorgeous Emission Nebula NGC 6188

By on Mar 2, 2016 in Pictures | 0 comments

Here’s a beautiful image of NGC 6188. It’s amazing this no one has coined a term yet (maybe it’s your chance to suggest one!) but this stunning emission nebula is located in the constellation Ara. It’s still within our Milky Way located 4,000 light years away. The sculptures you see here in the cosmic gas are caused by young stars that are born and emitting intense ultraviolet radiation. NGC 6188 formed a few million years ago so it’s relatively young in the cosmic perspective. The colors here also represent different elements that emit different colors of light. Red is sulfur, green is hydrogen, and blue hues are oxygen atoms. Astronomers estimate that this image spans about 200 light years across!   Further reading and sources used: Astrobin APOD APOD (2nd...

The Incredibly Beautiful Lagoon Nebula

By on Mar 1, 2016 in Pictures | 0 comments

The Lagoon Nebula has got to be one of the most beautiful and photogenic emission nebulae out there. This nebula is located about 4000-6000 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). Astronomers believe it was discovered as early as 1654. Interestingly it is the one of only two star-forming nebulae that you can see faintly with the human eye. However, the real show is when you start examining it with the large telescopes. It’s an absolute must-see. In this post I’ll just be showcasing images of the Lagoon Nebula. So sit back and grab a nice cup of tea or coffee and get lost in the universe… **Make sure to enlarge these photos for the full effect A star nursery where you can see many young stars being born. Look for the bright blue stars which are indicators of young stars that have just formed. A gorgeous interstellar canvas that is...