NGC 1433

Lazy. Picture (Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: D. Calzetti (UMass) and the LEGUS Team):

A galaxy with a glowing heart

Storm cell

This is a pretty impressive cloud (you can read about it more here; image credit: NASA / Stu Broce):


The plane, the ER-2, that took the picture is pretty impressive also–the plane can fly as high as 70,000 feet and is the civilian version of the old U-2 (Credit: NASA/ Tony Landis):


When galaxies attract

This was a spiral galaxy but has been distorted by a nearby galaxy (Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Kathy van Pelt):


Stars aborning

Below is the Flame nebula as a composite image from the Chandra and Spitzer telescopes. It shows that the stars at the edge of the nebula are older than the ones at the center (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/K.Getman, E.Feigelson, M.Kuhn & the MYStIX team; Infrared:NASA/JPL-Caltech):



Here’s what you get when you combine different takes on the same image (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: Detlef Hartmann; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech):


This is a combination of x-ray data from the Chandra telescope, infrared data from the Spitzer space telescope, and optical data from amateur astronomers Detlef Hartmann and Rolf Olsen–very nice everyone.

Where’s the star police

This is pretty impressive:

Roguish runaway stars can have a big impact on their surroundings as they plunge through the Milky Way galaxy. Their high-speed encounters shock the galaxy, creating arcs, as seen in this newly released image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

In this case, the speedster star is known as Kappa Cassiopeiae, or HD 2905 to astronomers. It is a massive, hot supergiant moving at around 2.5 million mph relative to its neighbors (1,100 kilometers per second). But what really makes the star stand out in this image is the surrounding, streaky red glow of material in its path. Such structures are called bow shocks, and they can often be seen in front of the fastest, most massive stars in the galaxy.

Incredibly, this shock is created about 4 light-years ahead of Kappa Cassiopeiae, showing what a sizable impact this star has on its surroundings. (This is about the same distance that we are from Proxima Centauri, the nearest star beyond the sun.)

Here’s the image:


A hexagon on Saturn

This is great (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute):

converted PNM file

Yes, that’s a hexagon formed by a jet stream around the north pole of Saturn. Now where’s that octagon?

I can see through you

This is a cool picture (Credit: NASA/ESA):


The two bright lights in the middle come from a quasar–one quasar. It looks like two objects because it lies behind a galaxy so massive that light is bent around it, in this case not only can we see around the galaxy (which is cool by itself) but we see it twice.

Bright lights

Here’s a picture of news stars aborning–it’s the Orion Nebula taken in infrared, the red part of the image are protostars (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech):


Happy New Year

I’m going to be away from a computer for a while, so I wish you all a Happy New Year. To put things in perspective here are a couple pictures from NASA:

the first is of a spiral galaxy showing how small we are in the scheme of things (Credit: NASA/Hubble):


the second is the picture the Apollo 8 crew took of the Earth as they were orbiting the moon 45 years ago (the picture was taken on 12/24–a nice Christmas present to the world; Credit: NASA):


The crab nebula

This is a beautiful picture of the Crab Nebula as seen by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble (Credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant  Team; NASA, ESA and
Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)):

Most detailed image of the Crab Nebula

Hawaii’s mini-explosion

Hawaii is the latest state to make gay marriage legal. Twenty years ago, Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled that not allowing same-sex marriages was discriminatory and this set off a wave of constitutional amendments that made same-sex marriage illegal and also lead to DOMA. Now this news won’t come close to making the front pages of most newspapers, which is great progress.

Here’s my pictoral analogy–this is a picture of the spiral galaxy NGC 6984 and there is supernova in the picture, can you find it? (Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble):



Saturn from above

The government shutdown is over, so here’s a picture of Saturn put together from pictures taken October 10 by Cassini (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/G. Ugarkovic):


Soyuz landing

Here’s a nice picture of the Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft landing in Kazackstahn (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls):
Expedition 36 Soyuz TMA-08M Landing


I have to say that I really like the appearance of the Soyuz rocket (this is from a launch in May; Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls):

Expedition 36 Launch

Expedition 36 Soyuz TMA-09M Rollout


Expedition 36 Soyuz TMA-09M Rollout

When galaxies collide

According to NASA (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Huntingdon Institute for X-ray Astronomy/G. Garmire; Optical: ESO/VLT):


this might be the aftermath of a collision between a dwarf galaxy and a larger one. Hot … six million degrees or so.

Curiosity anniversary

The rover Curiosity landed on Mars one year ago today. Here’s a picture of its path as of June 27 (the blue are to the left is the landing spot while the small blue dot lower down and to the right is its current location. You can see the tracks. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona):


Curiosity is now headed for Mount Sharp.

Off to somewhere

I’m off to somewhere for some amount of time, so no posting for a while. I’m going to an undisclosed location. I can definitively state that it’s not here (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech):


but I won’t deny that I might be going to snack on some phytoplankton off of Iceland (Credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz):


The Sun and the Moon

In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a manipulated shot of the moon passing in front of the Sun (Credit: NASA/SDO/LRO/GSFC):


Ok, I don’t know how this connects to Father’s Day, but it’s a nice picture. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.

Black Hole

Another lazy day. Here’s a picture of jets of particles pushed away from a black hole at millions of miles per hour (Credit: NASA):

At some point someone will invent space surfing. Imagine riding a wave of particles going a million mph (hmm, I wonder how well you can judge your speed in space?).

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