Dusty Death of a Massive Star
The supernova remnant1E0102.2-7219 (seen below) sits next to the nebula N76 in a bright, star-forming region of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy located about 200,000 light-years from Earth. A supernova remnant is made up of the messy bits and pieces of a massive star that exploded, or went supernova. The image on the right shows glowing dust grains in three wavelengths of infrared radiation: 24 microns (red) measured by the multiband imaging photometer aboard NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope; and 8.0 microns (green) and 3.6 microns (blue) measured by Spitzer’s infrared array camera. The red bubble is a dust envelope around the supernova remnant E0102, which is being heated by the shock wave created in the explosion of the remnant’s massive progenitor star some 1,000 years ago. Most of the blue stars are in the Small Magellanic Cloud, though some are in our own galaxy.
The World’s Largest Telescope Made With Data
Look up on a starry night and consider this: in our lifetime we just might find the answers to one of life’s biggest mysteries, and we mean BIG. Dutch research institute, ASTRON and its international partners are building the world’s largest radio telescope, aka The Square Kilometer Array, to get a glimpse of the origins of the universe. This big telescope is made up of thousands of interconnected smaller telescopes, carefully arranged in fractal patterns to let us look back in time more than 13 billion years—to mere seconds after the universe was created. How on Earth is this possible? By processing exabytes of Big Data (That’s a 1, plus 18 zeroes) in real time. Or roughly 3X the amount of data running through the Internet per day. Amazingly, this will let scientists map out how the universe came to be. Imagine the look on Galileo’s face if he were here to see it.
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Astronomers Professor Chris Collins and Dr Ian McCarthy from LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute are challenging the view that the currently preferred cosmological model of the Universe is correct by comparing recent measurements of the cosmic background radiation and galaxy clusters in two independent studies partly funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
One of the cornerstones of the Big Bang theory of the Universe is the cosmic background radiation (CBR). Discovered in 1965 these electro-magnetic waves bombard the Earth continuously from all directions at harmless microwave frequencies. However, the radiation arriving here has been cooled to only 2.7 degrees above absolute zero (as it traverses deep space) by the expansion of the universe; therefore, in the distant past the temperature would have been much higher. This leads us to the conclusion that the universe had a hot origin – the so called Big Bang – nearly 14 billion years ago.
The Horsehead, also known as Barnard 33, is a cold, dark cloud of gas and dust, silhouetted against the bright nebula, IC 434. The bright area at the top left edge is a young star still embedded in its nursery of gas and dust. But radiation from this hot star is eroding the stellar nursery. The top of the nebula also is being sculpted by radiation from a massive star located out of Hubble’s field of view.
“bye honey, i’m off to work”
Tower of Vega
Looking up from the bottom of the mobile launch gantry for ESA’s Vega launcher in French Guiana, as captured by photographer Edgar Martins.
The 50-m tall mobile gantry houses all the equipment needed for launch personnel to assemble and check Vega, the newest member of Europe’s launcher family. Once preparation is complete, the 1000-tonne gantry rolls back on rails, leaving the Vega launcher on its pad, ready for launch.
Image credit & copyright: Edgar Martins
Curiosity on Mars - as seen from the orbiting HiRise [pic]
the lunar eclipse condensed to 3 seconds, for those of you who had clouds or are in a hurry
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In this composite image of spiral galaxy M106 (NGC 4258), optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey is shown as yellow, radio data from the Very Large Array appears as purple, X-ray data from Chandra is coded blue, and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope appears red. Two anomalous arms, which aren’t visible at optical wavelengths, appear as purple and blue emission.