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  • richardmitnick 7:32 pm on February 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From NASA/ESA Hubble: “Glowing, fiery shells of gas” 

    25 February 2013

    It may look like something from The Lord of the Rings, but this fiery swirl is actually a planetary nebula known as ESO 456-67. Set against a backdrop of bright stars, the rust-coloured object lies in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer), in the southern sky.

    eso
    Planetary nebula ESO 456-67

    When a star like the Sun approaches the end of its life, it flings material out into space. Planetary nebulae are the intricate, glowing shells of dust and gas pushed outwards from such a star. At their centres lie the remnants of the original stars themselves – small, dense white dwarf stars.

    In this image of ESO 456-67 taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, it is possible to see the various layers of material expelled by the central star. Each appears in a different hue – red, orange, yellow and green-tinted bands of gas, with clear patches of space at the heart of the nebula.

    See the original article here.

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.

    ESA Space Science Banner

    ESA Icon Large


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  • richardmitnick 7:08 pm on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From National Geographics: “Hubbles Amazing Universe” 

    National Geographic

    The Hubble Space Telescope is perhaps the most renowned telescope in the world; responsible for unlocking many mysteries of the final frontier. Glimpse the far ends of the universe through the Hubble”

    “The Hubble Space Telescope has explored the creation of stars and planets, the glory of supernovas and the formation of super massive black holes, charted dark matter and changed forever our understanding of reality itself.”

    This video is from 2008. But it is still relevant, with many lessons to teach. I hope that you will watch it and enjoy it.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:19 pm on January 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , NASA Hubble   

    From NASA: “Image of the Day Gallery – Large Magellanic Cloud” 

    Nearly 200,000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. Vast clouds of gas within it slowly collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a riot of colors, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

    lmc
    Image Credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble

    The Large Magellanic Cloud is ablaze with star-forming regions. From the Tarantula Nebula, the brightest stellar nursery in our cosmic neighborhood, to LHA 120-N 11, part of which is featured in this Hubble image, the small and irregular galaxy is scattered with glowing nebulae, the most noticeable sign that new stars are being born.”

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.


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  • richardmitnick 1:54 pm on January 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From NASA Hubble: “NASA’s Hubble Reveals Rogue Planetary Orbit For Fomalhaut B” 

    This false-color composite image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, reveals the orbital motion of the planet Fomalhaut b. Based on these observations, astronomers calculated that the planet is in a 2,000-year-long, highly elliptical orbit. The planet will appear to cross a vast belt of debris around the star roughly 20 years from now. If the planet’s orbit lies in the same plane with the belt, icy and rocky debris in the belt could crash into the planet’s atmosphere and produce various phenomena. The black circle at the center of the image blocks out the light from the bright star, allowing reflected light from the belt and planet to be photographed. The Hubble images were taken with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph in 2010 and 2012.

    image2
    Credit: NASA, ESA, and P. Kalas (University of California, Berkeley and SETI Institute)

    Newly released NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of a vast debris disk encircling the nearby star Fomalhaut and a mysterious planet circling it may provide forensic evidence of a titanic planetary disruption in the system.

    Astronomers are surprised to find the debris belt is wider than previously known, spanning a section of space from 14 to nearly 20 billion miles from the star. Even more surprisingly, the latest Hubble images have allowed a team of astronomers to calculate the planet follows an unusual elliptical orbit that carries it on a potentially destructive path through the vast dust ring.

    The planet, called Fomalhaut b, swings as close to its star as 4.6 billion miles, and the outermost point of its orbit is 27 billion miles away from the star. The orbit was recalculated from the newest Hubble observation made last year.

    ‘We are shocked. This is not what we expected,’ said Paul Kalas of the University of California at Berkeley and the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif.”

    See the full article here.

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.


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  • richardmitnick 7:33 pm on January 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From Berkeley Lab: “The Farthest Supernova Yet for Measuring Cosmic History” 


    Berkeley Lab

    Berkeley Lab-based Supernova Cosmology Project uses Hubble Space Telescope data to discover the most distant well-measured Type Ia supernova ever found

    scp

    January 09, 2013
    Paul Preuss

    “What if you had a ‘Wayback Television Set’ and could watch an entire month of ancient prehistory unfold before your eyes in real time? David Rubin of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) presented just such a scenario to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Long Beach, CA, when he announced the discovery of a striking astronomical object: a Type Ia supernova with a redshift of 1.71 that dates back 10 billion years in time. Labeled SN SCP-0401, the supernova is exceptional for its detailed spectrum and precision color measurement, unprecedented in a supernova so distant.

    sn
    Supernova SCP-0401, nicknamed “Mingus,” was collected by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004 but could not be positively identified until after the installation of a new camera that serendipitously acquired more data. (Photo Space Telescope Science Institute)

    hwfc3
    Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 (HubbleSite)

    ‘This is the most distant supernova anyone has ever found for doing dependable cosmology,’ says Rubin, a member of the international Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP) based at Berkeley Lab. ‘The most important unanswered question we have about the nature of dark energy is whether it varies over time – whether it affects the expansion of the universe differently in different eras. With SN SCP-0401, we have the first example of a well-measured supernova sufficiently far away to study the expansion history of the universe from almost 10 billion years ago.'”

    See the full and really cool article here.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California

    doeseal
    cal

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  • richardmitnick 6:11 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From NASA Hubble: “Hubble Eyes a Wanderer Dancing the Dance of Stars and Space” NGC 1097 

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides us this week with a spectacular image of the bright star-forming ring that surrounds the heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097. In this image, the larger-scale structure of the galaxy is barely visible: its comparatively dim spiral arms, which surround its heart in a loose embrace, reach out beyond the edges of this frame.

    1097
    This picture was taken with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys using visual and infrared filters.

    another
    Another and very different image

    This face-on galaxy, lying 45 million light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation of Fornax (The Furnace), is particularly attractive for astronomers. NGC 1097 is a Seyfert galaxy. Lurking at the very center of the galaxy, a supermassive black hole 100 million times the mass of our sun is gradually sucking in the matter around it. The area immediately around the black hole shines powerfully with radiation coming from the material falling in.

    The distinctive ring around the black hole is bursting with new star formation due to an inflow of material toward the central bar of the galaxy. These star-forming regions are glowing brightly thanks to emission from clouds of ionized hydrogen. The ring is around 5000 light-years across, although the spiral arms of the galaxy extend tens of thousands of light-years beyond it.

    NGC 1097 is also pretty exciting for supernova hunters. The galaxy experienced three supernovae (the violent deaths of high-mass stars) in the 11-year span between 1992 and 2003. This is definitely a galaxy worth checking on a regular basis.”

    See the full article here.

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.


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  • richardmitnick 6:05 pm on November 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From NASA Hubble: “Hubble Spots a Peculiar Compact Blue Dwarf Galaxy” 

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured an impressive image of the irregular galaxy NGC 5253.

    ngc
    NGC 5253 is one of the nearest of the known Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies (Wikipedia)
    Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

    NGC 5253 is one of the nearest of the known Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies, and is located at a distance of about 12 million light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Centaurus. The most characteristic signature of these galaxies is that they harbor very active star-formation regions. This is in spite of their low dust content and comparative lack of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, which are usually the basic ingredients for star formation.

    These galaxies contain molecular clouds that are quite similar to the pristine clouds that formed the first stars in the early Universe, which were devoid of dust and heavier elements. Hence, astronomers consider the BCD galaxies to be an ideal test bed for better understanding the primordial star-forming process.

    See the full article here.

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.


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  • richardmitnick 5:51 pm on November 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From NASA Chandra: “SNR 0509-67.5: Supernova Bubble Resembles Holiday Ornament” How Cool is this!! 

    NASA Chandra

    This colorful creation was made by combining data from two of NASA’s Great Observatories. Optical data of SNR 0509-67.5 and its accompanying star field, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, are composited with X-ray energies from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The result shows soft green and blue hues of heated material from the X-ray data surrounded by the glowing pink optical shell which shows the ambient gas being shocked by the expanding blast wave from the supernova. Ripples in the shell’s appearance coincide with brighter areas of the X-ray data.

    NASA Hubble Telescope
    Hubble

    compos
    Composite

    CX-r
    X-ray

    opt
    Optical

    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.Hughes et al, Optical: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
    Release Date: December 14, 2010

    The Type 1a supernova that resulted in the creation of SNR 0509-67.5 occurred nearly 400 years ago for Earth viewers. The supernova remnant, and its progenitor star reside in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth. The bubble-shaped shroud of gas is 23 light-years across and is expanding at more than 11 million miles per hour (5,000 kilometers per second).

    lmc
    LMC

    Data from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, taken in 2006 with a filter that isolates light from glowing hydrogen were combined with visible-light images of the surrounding star field that were imaged with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 in 2010. These data were then merged with X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory taken with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) in 2000 and 2007.

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 11:58 am on November 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , NASA Hubble, NASA STScI   

    From NASA Hubble: “Hubble Eyes a Loose Spiral Galaxy” 

    The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the spiral galaxy ESO 499-G37, seen here against a backdrop of distant galaxies, scattered with nearby stars.

    loose
    Image Credit: NASA/Hubble

    The galaxy is viewed from an angle, allowing Hubble to reveal its spiral nature clearly. The faint, loose spiral arms can be distinguished as bluish features swirling around the galaxy’s nucleus. This blue tinge emanates from the hot, young stars located in the spiral arms. The arms of a spiral galaxy have large amounts of gas and dust, and are often areas where new stars are constantly forming.

    The galaxy’s most characteristic feature is a bright elongated nucleus. The bulging central core usually contains the highest density of stars in the galaxy, where typically a large group of comparatively cool old stars are packed in this compact, spheroidal region.

    One feature common to many spiral galaxies is the presence of a bar running across the center of the galaxy. These bars are thought to act as a mechanism that channels gas from the spiral arms to the center, enhancing the star formation.

    Recent studies suggest that ESO 499-G37’s nucleus sits within a small bar up to a few hundreds of light-years along, about a tenth the size of a typical galactic bar. Astronomers think that such small bars could be important in the formation of galactic bulges since they might provide a mechanism for bringing material from the outer regions down to the inner ones. However, the connection between bars and bulge formation is still not clear since bars are not a universal feature in spiral galaxies.

    The galaxy ESO 499-G37 lies in the southern border of the constellation of Hydra, which is shared with Antlia.

    ESO 499-G37 was first observed in the late seventies within the ESO/Uppsala Survey of the ESO (B) atlas. This was a joint project undertaken by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Uppsala Observatory, which used the ESO 1-metre Schmidt telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile, to map a large portion of the southern sky looking for stars, galaxies, clusters, and planetary nebulae.

    This picture was created from visible and infrared exposures taken with the Wide Field Channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys. The field of view is approximately 3.4 arcminutes wide.

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.


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  • richardmitnick 10:12 am on November 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From NASA Chandra: “Abell 520: Dark Matter and Galaxies Part Ways in Collision between Hefty Galaxy Clusters” 

    NASA Chandra

    A clump of dark matter has apparently been left behind after a violent collision of galaxy clusters. This dark matter clump contains far fewer galaxies than would be expected if the dark matter and galaxies hung together. Astronomers used Chandra, Hubble, and the Canada-France-Hawaii, and Subaru telescopes to observe Abell 520, which is 2.4 billion light years away. This latest result agrees with a similar conclusion that was announced in 2007.

    Composite
    Composite

    This composite image shows the distribution of dark matter, galaxies, and hot gas in the core of the merging galaxy cluster Abell 520, formed from a violent collision of massive galaxy clusters that is located about 2.4 billion light years from Earth.

    X-ray
    X-ray

    optical
    Optical

    Data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory show the hot gas in the colliding clusters colored in green. The gas provides evidence that a collision took place. Optical data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in Hawaii are shown in red, green, and blue. Starlight from galaxies within the clusters, derived from observations by the CFHT and smoothed to show the location of most of the galaxies, is colored orange.


    Hubble

    The blue-colored areas pinpoint the location of most of the mass in the cluster, which is dominated by dark matter. Dark matter is an invisible substance that makes up most of the universe’s mass. The dark-matter map was derived from the Hubble observations, by detecting how light from distant objects is distorted by the cluster galaxies, an effect called gravitational lensing. The blend of blue and green in the center of the image reveals that a clump of dark matter (which can be seen by mousing over the image) resides near most of the hot gas, where very few galaxies are found.

    dmm
    One Dark Matter Map (There are many of different locations and in different galaxies and galaxy clusters)

    This finding confirms previous observations of a dark-matter core in the cluster announced in 2007. The result could present a challenge to basic theories of dark matter, which predict that galaxies should be anchored to dark matter, even during the shock of a powerful collision.

    This work is from March 2012.

    See the full article here.


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