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):

flame

Galaxies

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):

proam

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:

pia17843bowshock_0_0

Spinning

Because I feel like I’m going down the drain, here’s a whirlpool galaxy (Credit: NASA/Hubble):

729779main_hubble_spin_full_full

Image

Have a heart

NASA put this up as the Celestial Valentine. I’m not sure it really looks like a heart, but it is pretty (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian):

W5 Star Formation Region

Fire, ice, and some stars

I really like this picture (Credit: NASA Earth Observatory):

IDL TIFF file

It’s the picture of the volcano Tolbachik in the Kamchatka region of Russia. If you click on it you can see a lava flow (black) under the snow and even a current eruption (look for the orange bit).

I’ll also throw in a spiral galaxy, just because they look good (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/DSS):

717547main_pia16605-full_full

Stars

It’s a lazy Sunday, so here’s a picture of lots of stars (it’s a dwarf irregular galaxy, Credit:ESA/Hubble & NASA):

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