Take a Gorgeous Peak at the Rosette Nebula! (Caldwell 49)

By on May 16, 2014 in Pictures | 0 comments

Take a Gorgeous Peak at the Rosette Nebula!     Ah, the Rosetta Nebula or what’s also known as Caldwell 49. This is a true beauty of among the cosmos that’s often showed a lot during romantic holidays like valentines day. This nebula is 5,200 light years distant from Earth and measures in 130 light years in diameter! If you can imagine, the mass of this emission nebula is 10,000 that of our sun! The stars you see surrounding the gas are actually only a few million years old. The colors you see here are not it’s natural ones but they help scientists understand which elements are present in this gas cloud. The ones highlighted in red are sulfur, green is hydrogen, and the blue is oxygen. There are actually tons of images of the Rosette Nebula taken by Hubble Space telescope and amazing astrophotographers. Here are some of my favorites:      ...

Three Beautiful Galaxies in Draco

By on Mar 26, 2014 in Pictures | 0 comments

Three Beautiful Galaxies in Draco     Here are three beautiful galaxies in the Draco constellation. These three galaxies are (from left to right) NGC 5981, NGC 5982, and NGC 5985, which lie 100 million light years from Earth. The sharp-edged shell details on NGC 5982 hint at a previous galaxy merger. To many deep sky observers this is also known as the “Draco Trio.” Seeing two barred spiral galaxies at different angles is a rare sight to see in one image. There are a few mysteries bubbling in some of these galaxies. For example, NGC 5982 has been said by researcher Simões Lopes, that the galaxy may house a supermassive black hole within its active galactic nucleus. “This result demonstrates a strong correlation between the presence of circumnuclear dust and accretion onto the central, supermassive black hole in elliptical and lenticular galaxies. Current...

How the Tulip Nebula (Sh2-101) is More than Just a Gorgeous Image

By on Mar 23, 2014 in Pictures | 0 comments

How the Tulip Nebula (Sh2-101) is More than Just a Gorgeous Image     This image really takes my breath away. Everyone, say hello to the beautiful cosmic flower called the Tulip Nebula (Sh2-101). This gorgeous nebula is about 8,000 light years away from Earth. You can find this in the constellation of Cygnus which is located within our Milky Way. The Tulip Nebula was first discovered in 1959 by astronomer Stewart Sharpless. What’s cool about this image is it’s a composite image that maps the emission. The red gasses in this image represent ionized sulfur, the green is hydrogen, and finally blue is the lovely oxygen. The ultraviolet radiation from young energetic O star called HDE 227018 ionizes the atoms and powers the Tulip Nebula. HDE 227018 can be seen glowing brilliantly right in the middle of this image near the blue arc. Also, one more little piece of...

Beautiful Reflection Nebula of M78

By on Oct 26, 2013 in Pictures | 1 comment

Beautiful Reflection Nebula of M78     This is a beautiful image of a reflection nebula called M78. It’s located in the constellation Orion and is 1600 light years away from Earth. A reflection nebula is a cloud of interstellar dust that reflects the light of nearby stars. The nebula itself is 5 light years across and glows blue because it’s reflecting blue light from young hot stars in the region. Dark dust lanes can be easily traced through this beautiful skyscape. An interesting antidote about reflection nebulas is that the energy from nearby stars are insufficient to ionize the gas of the nebulae to create an emission nebula. However, when you do see ionized gas in a nebulae it is giving you clues that a hot star is entering the stages of a dying star. M78 is a beautiful example of a reflection nebula and is one breath taking image. For more information you...

Hidden Secrets of the Carina Nebula

By on Sep 22, 2013 in Pictures | 0 comments

Hidden Secrets of the Carina Nebula     This is a stunning image of the Carina nebula. It is located somewhere between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth or right in our Milky Way. This image was taken in infrared by the European Southern Observatory. It holds two of the most massive and luminous stars in our galaxy called Eta Carinae and HD 93129A. Eta Carinae is about 100-150 times the mass of our sun and is 4 million times more luminous than it as well. Carina Nebula is a great example of how massive stars are born as well as the aftermath of being ripped apart leaving waves of gas everywhere. It’s a highly active region and is thought to be around for the last 3 million years. If you were to travel across the Carina Nebula it would take you about 260 light years. Some of the hidden secrets of the Carina Nebula lie with the Eta Carinae as it will eventually...

The Most Important Image in Astronomy: Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image

By on Sep 21, 2013 in Pictures | 0 comments

The Most Important Image in Astronomy: Hubble Deep Field Image     If you ever thought about what is one of the most exciting and important images in astronomy then check out Hubble’s ultra deep field image. You are looking at a region of space of 1mm by 1mm and that is 13 billion light years away! The universe is about 13.77 billion years old so that should give you some perspective in how far back we are looking. As you can see in the image there are a plethora of galaxies. Actually there are something like 10,000+ galaxies in the ultra deep field. Hubble started collecting data for the ultra deep field image in September of 2003 and completed in January of 2004. It took 400 orbits and 1 million seconds of exposure time! The furthest galaxy ever discovered is a galaxy that was born 380 million years after the Big Bang. Here is an image of all the oldest galaxies found...