Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

The Ring Is A Lie: Messier 57


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

The Ring Nebula, one of the night sky’s most famous sights isn’t what it appears to be. …

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Ring Nebula (Messier 57)


How Do The Most Massive Stars Die?


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

Create a star that’s massive enough, and it won’t go out with a whimper like our Sun will, burning smoothly for billions upon billions of year before contracting down into a white dwarf. Instead, its core will collapse, leading to a runaway fusion reaction that blows the outer portions of the star apart in a supernova explosion, all while the interior collapses down to either a neutron star or a black hole. At least, that’s the conventional wisdom. But if your star is massive enough, you might not get a supernova at all. Another possibility is direct collapse, where the entire star just goes away, and forms a black hole. Still another is known as a hypernova, which is far more energetic and luminous than a supernova, and leaves no core remnant behind at all. How will the most massive stars of all end their lives? Here’s what the science has to say so far. …

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Supernova remnant W49B

The Dead Star, the Doomed Star, and their Little Friend


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

Cygnus X-3 is one of the most luminous objects in our entire galaxy, and if it weren’t sitting behind layer after layer of nearly opaque dust clouds in our galaxy, we’d see it a phenomenally bright star in our skies. Good thing it’s 25,000 or more light-years away. …

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Cygnus X-3

Magellanic Mountain


(APoD) – Flanked by the satellite galaxies of the Milky Way a volcanic peak rises from this rugged horizon. …


Carlos Fairbairn: Magellanic Clouds over Atacama desert

TESS Launch Close Up


(APoD) – NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) began its search for planets orbiting other stars by leaving planet Earth on April 18. The exoplanet hunter rode to orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 is so designated for its 9 Merlin first stage engines seen in this sound-activated camera close-up from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. …


John Kraus: Falcon 9 launch

The Extinction of Starlight


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

When you think of the word “extinction,” you probably think of a species-ending event like an asteroid impact or catastrophic climate change (or maybe a Stargate movie that never got made).

When an astronomer thinks extinction, they think… dust. …

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Westerlund 1 star cluster, by HST

How Solar Systems Form


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

After generations of speculations, we’ve finally got the images that tell us the full story what it looks like when solar systems form. …

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Early Solar System

Milky Way over Seven Strong Men


(APoD) – “Seven Strong Men”, the unusual Manpupuner rock formations are one of the Seven Wonders of Russia. …


Sergei Makurin: Seven Strong Men Sky

The March for Our Lives


(Patheos::Dispatches) – Ed Brayton:

The March for Our Lives was a nationwide day of protests for stronger gun control policies, with the big march in Washington, DC and others all around the country. To call it powerful would be an understatement. …

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Emma González speaking at The March for Our Lives on 2018-03-24

A Song of Ice and Light


(NASA JPL) – Saturn‘s moon Enceladus drifts before the rings and the tiny moon Pandora in this view captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on Nov. 1, 2009. The entire scene is backlit by the Sun, providing striking illumination for the icy particles that make up both the rings and the jets emanating from the south pole of Enceladus …

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NASA JPL: PIA17144: A Song of Ice and Light