Search Results for 'nebula'

Jaw-dropping rotating 3D nebula

October 8, 2012 | By

A little over 2000 light years away, toward the constellation of Cepheus, is a place where stars are being born. It’s a nebula, a gas cloud, and it’s called IC 1396. It’s monstrous, well over a hundred light years across – even at its tremendous distance, it’s wider than six full Moons in our sky. […]

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Desktop Project Part 18: X-raying the Pac-Man nebula

April 12, 2012 | By

[Over the next week or two, I’ll be posting some of the many, many cool astronomical images I’ve been collecting and which are cluttering my computer’s desktop. These are all really cool pictures, and I’m glad I’m finally getting around to writing about them!] One of my favorite types of objects are things that look […]

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Desktop Project Part 15: The expanding Fireworks Nebula

April 9, 2012 | By

[In an effort to clean off the gazillion astronomical pictures I’ve been collecting on my computer’s desktop, I’m posting one per day until they’re gone, and my PC heaves a sigh of relief.] In 1901, an obscure star in the constellation of Perseus suddenly flared into brightness, becoming briefly one of the brightest stars in […]

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Angry nebula is really REALLY angry

November 16, 2011 | By

In the heart of the Large Magellanic Cloud (one of the Milky Way’s many satellite galaxies), there lies a vast complex of gas called 30 Doradus. And inside that sprawling volume of space is the Tarantula Nebula, a star-forming region so huge it dwarfs even our own Orion Nebula. Thousands of stars are churning away […]

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Heart and Skull nebula

April 7, 2011 | By

I’ve been an astronomer a long, long time. Even so, I still sometimes get surprised at how different the same object can look when imaged in different ways. I just saw an excellent example of this… W5, aka the Soul Nebula: [Click to ennebulanate.] Pretty, isn’t it? It was taken by César Cantú, an amateur […]

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What does a nebula look like up close?

April 26, 2008 | By

A while back, during one of my video live chats, I was asked what star I’d like to see up close. That’s a good question, so I recorded my answer. It morphed into a discussion of what a nebula, an interstellar gas cloud, would look like if you traveled up close to one. Here’s the […]

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Frankenstein nebula

March 4, 2008 | By

Planetary nebulae are too cool. When a star like the Sun dies, it goes through a series of episodes where it blows off dense winds, vast volumes of gas which expand out from the star in exotic shapes. This is caused by paroxysms in the star’s core; at its advanced age, fusion of one element […]

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Moon Nebulae

June 5, 2006 | By

I wrestled with myself a bit about posting this, but really, we are all human (except for spambots) and so we all have certain biological functions that, although we try to ignore/suppress/downplay them, they will always make themselves heard. Or smelled. So I will simply link to this FAQ about gaseous emissions, and excuse myself […]

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Time lapse: Helvetia’s Dream

November 6, 2012 | By

Oh my, another lovely night sky (and landscape!) time lapse video; this time from Alessandro Della Bella, and called Helvetia’s Dream: [Make sure you set it to hi-def and make it full screen.] I love the opening shot! Unless it was just digitally zoomed, it must have taken some planning; you have to know just […]

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They Came From Outer Space

October 31, 2012 | By

Space is scary. Supernovae explode, flooding their neighborhood with deadly high-energy light and blasting superheated matter outward at a large fraction of the speed of light. Black holes gobble down everything around them, and they’re sloppy eaters, spewing out deadly radiation and belching vast winds of gas. Galaxies collide, asteroids impact, entire worlds are chewed […]

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