Search Results for 'spitzer'

The Universe is still expanding. As expected.

October 4, 2012 | By

The Universe is getting bigger! But then, we knew this. We’ve known it for a long time! The reason you know Edwin Hubble’s name at all is because in the 1920s he was critical in figuring out the Universe was expanding. He and many other people did this by looking at a specific kind of […]

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The Helix has pink eye

October 4, 2012 | By

One of the most amazing objects in the sky is the Helix Nebula, an expanding cloud of gas and dust surrounding a dying star. This type of object is called a planetary nebula, and it’s formed when a star a bit more massive than the Sun turns into a red giant and blows off its […]

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7000

September 21, 2012 | By

According to my software, this blog post you are reading is the 7000th article I have published on the Bad Astronomy Blog. Wow. That’s a lot of words. It’s also a lot of astronomy, geekery, science, antiscience, web comics, puns, embiggenates, and "Holy Haleakala!"s (61, to be exact, plus this one to make 62). I […]

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Hubble's Hidden Treasures: winners!

August 24, 2012 | By

Earlier this year, the folks at the European Space Agency’s Hubble HQ announced a contest called Hubble’s Hidden Treasures: they wanted people to go through the massive archives of Hubble’s data and look for gorgeous objects that may have been previously overlooked. This is a cool idea, and they got over 3000 submissions! They just […]

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Newborn star makes a cosmic bank shot

July 3, 2012 | By

Like human babies, newborn stars tend to blast out gas from both ends. Unlike infant people, when stars do it it’s because of things like angular momentum, magnetic fields, and radiation pressure. Also unlike human babies, when stars blast out gas it’s incredibly beautiful. Like in the case of HH110, seen here using the Hubble […]

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Rainbow Pinwheel galaxy

May 29, 2012 | By

I have no shame in admitting I love face-on spiral galaxies. Scientifically, of course, they’re fascinating; spread out in front of us are all the inner workings of a galaxy. It’s like having an X-ray of human body in front of you, making it easier to understand anatomy. But their beauty… well. The scope and […]

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Andromeda's majestic spray of billions of hot stars

May 18, 2012 | By

Well, what can I say about this devastating and jaw-dropping picture of our nearest spiral neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy? [Click to massive chainedmaidenate. Do it!] Well, I could start with HOLY HALEAKALA! This image is a collection of 11 separate observations of Andromeda taken by NASA’s GALEX satellite. Launched in 2003, GALEX (which stands for […]

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The darkness and the light

May 9, 2012 | By

The sky is not as it seems. Certainly, gazing upon it on a clear night you see so much: stars, planets, the glow of hot gas here and there… but there’s also darkness. Look at the Milky Way, its stream split down the middle by a rift of black. Gape at a gaudy nebula, and […]

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Spitzer sees the glow of a boiling planet

May 8, 2012 | By

Since the first planet was discovered orbiting another Sun-like star in 1995, nearly 800 more have been discovered. Only a handful have been directly detected: most are discovered by their influence on their star, either by tugging it or blocking its light as the planet orbits (at the bottom of this post is a gallery […]

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A spiral that can beat you with two arms tied behind its back

May 4, 2012 | By

Messier 106 is an elongated spiral galaxy, seen by us at a low angle, in the constellation of Canes Venatici (CANE-eez ven-AT-ih-sigh, the hunting dogs). It’s about 25 million light years away, give or take. That may sound far — 250 million trillion kilometers! — but for Hubble, that’s considered close. So if you take […]

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