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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 1,300 light years across! As stated in the title it’s 100 times bigger than the famous Orion Nebula. However, if you plan to take a trip there it would take you 3 million light years to get there. 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 this gargantuan nebula actually is. Let’s take a closer look at this beauty…...

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...

The Opulent Vela Supernova Remnant

By on Feb 27, 2016 in Pictures, Supernova | 0 comments

If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of it’s the gorgeous supernovae remnant photos. The cosmos sculpts magnificent scenes from hundreds or hundred of thousands light years away from Earth. The beautiful image you see here is our friend called the Vela Supernova Remnant, located 800 light years away from Earth. This remnant exploded about 11,000 – 12,300 years ago. To give you some context 11,000 years ago on Earth was the emergence of the oldest city still around today called Jericho. Humans who settled there may have been able to see this supernova in the sky. The gorgeous filaments you see here are traces of expanding shockwaves in the X-ray wavelength. As these gasses of elements such as hydrogen and oxygen fly away from the detonated star, they smash into each other and eventually form into young stars. The blue points of light in the photo are the...

Horsehead and Flame Nebula: A Cosmic Tango

By on Feb 22, 2016 in Pictures | 0 comments

Estimated 1,500 light years away from planet Earth, lies a tale of two nebulae dancing in the cosmos. We’ll start with one of the most famous nebulae in astronomy: the Horsehead Nebula.  This gorgeous nebula is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The red emission nebula behind it acts like a gorgeous cosmic backdrop to show the curves and structure of this hydrogen gas beast. The head itself is about 2 to 3 light years across. In kilometers this would be about 20 – 30 trillion kilometers!   On the left hand side you’ll see its partner, famously known as, the Flame Nebula. This nebula is a star nursery for more than 800 young stars. Just right of the Flame Nebula, underneath the Horsehead Nebula, you’ll see a blue reflection nebula reflecting blue light from nearby stars. One of the most famous images of the Horsehead Nebula is the magnified image of...