Eye on the Sky: Chelyabinsk Meteor

February 19, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Astronomy, Eye on the Sky, Eye on the Sky, Regular Feature, Science News | Leave a comment

The Chelyabinsk Meteor exploded over Russian skies Friday morning. The 55 foot chunk of rock injured over a 1,000 people with it’s shock wave alone. The following infographic gives a nice summary of the details with some interesting comparisons.

(via Space.com)

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

Eye on the Sky: Andromeda

February 12, 2013 at 12:00 am | Posted in Eye on the Sky, Eye on the Sky, Regular Feature, Science News | Leave a comment

This image of Andromeda is via the Herschel Space Observatory (similar to the Hubble Space Telescope). Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own, though still 2.5 million light years away.

Sensitive to the far-infrared light from cool dust mixed in with the gas, Herschel seeks out clouds of gas where stars are born. The new image reveals some of the very coldest dust in the galaxy — only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero — colored red in this image.

By comparison, warmer regions such as the densely populated central bulge, home to older stars, take on a blue appearance.

Intricate structure is present throughout the 200,000-light-year-wide galaxy with star-formation zones organized in spiral arms and at least five concentric rings, interspersed with dark gaps where star formation is absent.

Andromeda is host to several hundred billion stars. This new image of it clearly shows that many more stars will soon to spark into existence.

(via NASA)

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

Eye on the Sky: When The Stars Stopped

February 5, 2013 at 7:29 am | Posted in Eye on the Sky, Eye on the Sky, Regular Feature, Science News | Leave a comment

Whenever you wonder what all that money spent on NASA amounted to, just remember Hubble. It never ceases to provide a wealth of wonderful imagery, and a reminder of just how big existence is.

“The galaxy in this image, catalogued as 2MASX J09442693+0429569, marks a transitional phase in this process as young, star-forming galaxies settle to become massive, red and dead galaxies.

The galaxy has tail-like features extending from it, typical of a galaxy that has recently undergone a merger. Studying the properties of the light from this galaxy, astronomers see no sign of ongoing star formation; in other words, the merger triggered an event which has used up all the gas. However, the observations suggest that star formation was strong until the very recent past, and has ceased only within the last billion years. This image therefore shows a snapshot of the moment star formation stopped forever in a galaxy.”

(via NASA)

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

Eye on the Sky: Helix Nebula

October 9, 2012 at 11:23 am | Posted in Eye on the Sky, Regular Feature, Science News | Leave a comment

“A dying star is throwing a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which NASA has lent to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In death, the star’s dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core.

This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away, in the constellation of Aquarius. Also known by the catalog number NGC 7293, it is a typical example of a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Discovered in the 18th century, these cosmic works of art were erroneously named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets.

Planetary nebulae are actually the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun. These stars spend most of their lives turning hydrogen into helium in massive runaway nuclear fusion reactions in their cores. In fact, this process of fusion provides all the light and heat that we get from our sun. Our sun will blossom into a planetary nebula when it dies in about five billion years.

When the hydrogen fuel for the fusion reaction runs out, the star turns to helium for a fuel source, burning it into an even heavier mix of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Eventually, the helium will also be exhausted, and the star dies, puffing off its outer gaseous layers and leaving behind the tiny, hot, dense core, called a white dwarf. The white dwarf is about the size of Earth, but has a mass very close to that of the original star; in fact, a teaspoon of a white dwarf would weigh as much as a few elephants!

The glow from planetary nebulae is particularly intriguing as it appears surprisingly similar across a broad swath of the spectrum, from ultraviolet to infrared. The Helix remains recognizable at any of these wavelengths, but the combination shown here highlights some subtle differences.

The intense ultraviolet radiation from the white dwarf heats up the expelled layers of gas, which shine brightly in the infrared. GALEX has picked out the ultraviolet light pouring out of this system, shown throughout the nebula in blue, while Spitzer has snagged the detailed infrared signature of the dust and gas in yellow A portion of the extended field beyond the nebula, which was not observed by Spitzer, is from NASA’s all-sky Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The white dwarf star itself is a tiny white pinprick right at the center of the nebula.

The brighter purple circle in the very center is the combined ultraviolet and infrared glow of a dusty disk circling the white dwarf (the disk itself is too small to be resolved). This dust was most likely kicked up by comets that survived the death of their star.

Before the star died, its comets, and possibly planets, would have orbited the star in an orderly fashion. When the star ran out of hydrogen to burn, and blew off its outer layers, the icy bodies and outer planets would have been tossed about and into each other, kicking up an ongoing cosmic dust storm. Any inner planets in the system would have burned up or been swallowed as their dying star expanded.

Infrared data from Spitzer for the central nebula is rendered in green (wavelengths of 3.6 to 4.5 microns) and red (8 to 24 microns), with WISE data covering the outer areas in green (3.4 to 4.5 microns) and red (12 to 22 microns). Ultraviolet data from GALEX appears as blue (0.15 to 2.3 microns).” ~ NASA Website Image Gallery

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot

Eye on the Sky: When Galaxies Collide

October 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Astronomy, Eye on the Sky, Regular Feature, Science News | 1 Comment

 “The Hubble Space Telescope shows a rare view of a pair of overlapping galaxies, called NGC 3314. The two galaxies look as if they are colliding, but they are actually separated by tens of millions of light-years, or about ten times the distance between our Milky Way and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The chance alignment of the two galaxies, as seen from Earth, gives a unique look at the silhouetted spiral arms in the closer face-on spiral, NGC 3314A.” ~ from the Nasa website.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and W. Keel (University of Alabama)

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot

Eye on the Sky: Supernova Shock Wave

September 25, 2012 at 10:34 am | Posted in Eye on the Sky, Regular Feature, Science News | Leave a comment
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Using observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, researchers have obtained the first X-ray evidence of a supernova shock wave breaking through a cocoon of gas surrounding the star that exploded. This discovery may help astronomers understand why some supernovas are much more powerful than others.

On Nov. 3, 2010, a supernova was discovered in the galaxy UGC 5189A, located about 160 million light years away. Using data from the All Sky Automated Survey telescope in Hawaii taken earlier, astronomers determined this supernova exploded in early October 2010.

This composite image of UGC 5189A shows X-ray data from Chandra in purple and optical data from Hubble Space Telescope in red, green and blue. SN 2010jl is the very bright X-ray source near the top of the galaxy.

NASA Website

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Royal Military College of Canada/P.Chandra et al); Optical: NASA/STScI

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot

Eye on the Sky: Italian Boot

September 18, 2012 at 10:59 am | Posted in Eye on the Sky, Science News | 1 Comment
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The International Space Station captured this night image of Europe on Aug. 18, 2012 while flying 240 miles above the Mediterranean Sea.

Image credit: NASA

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot

Eye on the Sky: 9-11-2001

September 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Eye on the Sky, Miscellaneous, Regular Feature, Science News | Leave a comment
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Taken by Station Commander Frank Culbertson of Expedition 3, this photo (visible from space) shows the smoke rising from the twin towers of the World Trade Center on that morning in September.  Culbertson perhaps summed up America’s feelings in this statement:

“The world changed today. What I say or do is very minor compared to the significance of what happened to our country today when it was attacked.”

Image credit: NASA

(via NASA)

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot

Eye on the Sky: 30 Doradus Nebula

September 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Eye on the Sky, Miscellaneous, Regular Feature, Science News | Leave a comment
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30 Doradus Nebula has been an active star-forming region for 25 million years.  Using data from Hubble astronomers first thought they were seeing one star cluster, but then realized they were actually viewing two merging clusters.  The Hubble observations were made with the Wide Field Camera 3.  The blue color is light from the hottest, most massive stars; the green from the glow of oxygen; and the red from fluorescing hydrogen.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and E. Sabbi (ESA/STScI)

(via: NASA)

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot



Eye on the Sky: Cygnus

August 28, 2012 at 9:57 am | Posted in Astronomy, Eye on the Sky, Regular Feature | Leave a comment

If you look in the northern hemisphere’s summertime sky, you’ll see the lovely swan winging through the night.  This image of Cygnus-X ( a giant star-forming region in the Milky Way) was captured by the Herschel Telescope with combined infrared data.  Herschel is a European Space Agency mission.  Its science instruments are provided by a consortia of European institutes, and NASA is a participant in Herschel.

(Via NASA)

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot
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