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):

Almost a supernova

Another lazy day, so I’ll put up another picture from NASA. This one is a picture of the star Eta Carinae which had an outburst in the 1800s that stopped a bit short of a supernova (it’s being watched because a supernova is imminent, for a star. Credit: ESA/NASA):

Some pics

It’s Christmas break, so I’ve been lazy. Here are some pictures–the first is a picture of interacting galaxies (this was taken in celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Hubble, credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

and the second is an impressive picture of a Soyuz rocket (Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi):

Merry the day before Christmas everybody.

Nebulae

Here are two stunning pictures. The first is of the North American Nebula (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech):

 

 

 

 

When galaxies don’t collide

This picture shows that galaxies do not have to collide to drive star birth and it’s also a very nice picture (Credit:  ESA–AOES Medialab):

 

When galaxies attack

It’s hard to say which of the galaxies is the aggressor but here’s a picture of two galaxies colliding (Credit: X-ray NASA/CXC/IfA/D.Sanders et al; Optical NASA/STScI/NRAO/A.Evans et al):

The consequences of violence should be shown, so here’s the Dumbbell Nebula which is the remains of a star (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA):

 

Stars and stuff

Pretty picture day. The first is of a glowing nebula (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech):

The second one looks like a ’60s psychedelic photo, but is a fuel droplet burning in space, colorized from grey scale (Credit: NASA):

and let’s finish with a nice picture of the Earth (Credit: NASA):

Star forming

It ended up being a very busy week for me, hence the lack of posts. Of course, not as busy as a star forming region, such as the Rho Ophiuchi  (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA):

Saturn, some stars, and a poem

I haven’t done this for awhile. Here’s a picture of the North American Nebula shot in Infrared–since it’s in Infrared you can’t see why it’s been given this name (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech):

and here’s a picture of Saturn that shows its auroras as taken by the Hubble telescope (Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/University of Leicester):

Since this is the first time in awhile that I’ve put up a poem, let’s make it a fairly stupid one:

The wallaby

Was never meant

To be swimming

Like manatees.

Mubarak’s gone, so I look up

There was a bit of a blurp yesterday, but now it’s confirmed that Mubarak has stepped down. This means that there will be a lot of tough decisions about the future of Egypt, with the potential for both good and bad. For now, though, take a moment to rejoice over the departure of a dictator.

In celebration let’s look up. First up is a lovely picture of the Andromeda galaxy (Credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/J.Fritz, U.Gent/XMM-Newton/EPIC/W. Pietsch, MPE):

Next is a picture of the lunar module from Apollo 14 with everything glittering (Credit: NASA):

And the last is of the Lynds Bright nebula–as always click on the pic to see it in its full size (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA):

 

Have a good weekend and remember to look up sometimes.

Stars, an eclipse, and a poem

Today, I throw out a few pictures from NASA (as always, click on them to get a good look). The first is an eclipse of the Sun captured by the Solar Dynamic’s Observatory (Credit: NASA):

The second is the Lagoon nebula as captured by the Hubble telescope (Credit: NASA):

The third is of the Andromeda galaxy taken in ultraviolet (Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)):

And finally, the usual Friday poem:

The world comes crashing
Still
And so shall we
Until
We never know.

Galaxies and a poem

Today’s short post has a picture of the Antennae galaxies, formed by a collision of galaxies. I wonder which driver was at fault and if this kind of thing is covered by insurance–especially since they’re still colliding. Anyways, here’s the picture (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI):

And here’s a poem:

You’re so sure
What you see
Is beyond
It could be
Swept away.

Stars aborning and a poem

Today I put up two very nice pictures of stars being born. The first is of the constellation Vulpecula which contains the material used for buiding stars (Credit: ESA/Hi-GAL Consortium):

The second is a cloud associated with the Rosette Nebula, a stellar nursery (Credit: ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortium/HOBYS Key Programme Consortia):

Both the pictures come from the European Space Agency and were taken by the Herschel infared space observatory. As always, click on the pictures to see them better.

And here’s a poem:

I was hit by a leaf one day
It hurt so bad it almost bled
I no longer know what to say
It’s getting to be trees I dread
I see that they’re the other way
If I don’t get to them it’s said
If I don’t go without delay
Everything ends.

Pretend it’s Friday

I was too busy grading and the like on Friday to post a poem, so I’ll post one today instead (Northeastern used to have a Monday schedule on Friday sometimes, so umm … ok nothing) along with a couple of pictures.

The first picture NASA says is of a solar prominence taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly which was launched in February. If  you click on the picture to see it in full resolution, you can see it really shows some kind of being trying to escape the Sun (Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA):

The second picture claims to show:

is but a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. Reminiscent of Hubble’s classic image of the Eagle Nebula dubbed the ‘Pillars of Creation’ this image is even more striking in appearance. Captured here are the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and the dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.

That certainly sounds ominous (Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)):

And here’s a poem:

Why is there air
Inside of my head
I don’t need.

Why do I shout
When no one hears me
Anyway.

Why do I care
What others might say
I don’t listen.

Will it not be
The someday is here
I’ll find out.

Lots of stars and a poem

Today I look at the big picture: some nebulas and galaxies.

The first is the romantically named NGC 1068 galaxy taken by the Chandra X-ray telescope (Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/ MIT/C.Canizares, D.Evans et al), Optical (NASA/STScI), Radio (NSF/ NRAO/VLA)):

The second is a mosaic of images from the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explore of the constellation Cassiopeia which contains a large star-forming nebula called the Heart Nebula (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA):

The last is a beautiful image of the Crab Nebula. Click on the image to see its full size–if you don’t look at the full size image, you’re really missing out(Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU)):

And since it’s Friday, a poem:

Walking on your heels
Gives your toes a rest
And carrying wheels
Gives my back a break.

Some stars, the space shuttle, and a poem

First up is an infrared view of the Small Magellanic Cloud taken by the Spitzer space telescope (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI). As always, click on the image to see the picture in its full glory.

Next is a picture of the shuttle Endeavour as taken from the space station (Credit: NASA):

And the usual Friday poem:

I lie in bed
And think
When I awake
I’m gone.

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