More beauty from Hubble.

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More beauty from Hubble.

I never get tired of looking at Hubble's photos, they are..... awe inspiring. Thanks Phil Plait!


Revealing the Veil

 

 

Posted at 9:43 am in Pretty pictures, Astronomy, Cool stuff

No one knows exactly when — maybe it was 5000 years ago, maybe 10,000 — a young star exploded.

image of the Veil nebula as seen by Hubble

It suffered through a fitful life. Born with something like 40 times the mass of the Sun, it led its life a thousand times faster than our more modest star. Hydrogen fused to helium in its core, and then helium to carbon, and carbon to neon… while the vast interplay of light and force drove wave after wave of dense shells of matters off its surface.

Eventually, time ran out. The fuel in the core gone, it collapsed, sending out a fleet of ghostly neutrinos and a shock wave so gigantic that it crushes the human mind to dust. Septillions of tons of matter exploded outward, and a supernova was born.

The gas that was once the core of a sun screamed out at a fraction of light, but something was in the way– the octillions of tons of gas shed earlier by the star, as well as gas and dust left over from its birth just a million or two years before. The two collided, and countless shock waves were generated. The matter surrounding the exploded star was compressed, rammed, and sculpted into thin shells and ribbons. This material, even compressed, is ethereally thin by human standards; seen face-on, the sheets of gas are faint and diffuse, but when they present their edges to us, we see them as sharp filaments, like a soap bubble’s edge. The material glows with the same basic physical principles as a neon sign: sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen contribute their own unique fingerprints to the eerie luminescence of the gas.

And so we see the aftermath of the cosmic catastrophe that is the Veil Nebula, an arcing structure that has, since the explosion, expanded to a diameter a full six times larger than the Moon in the sky, even though it is something like 36 billion times farther away. It’s located in the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan, high in the summer sky for northern hemisphere observers– but you’ll never see it with the naked eye. Millennia have faded its glory, even though it probably shone almost as bright as the Moon when its light first touched Earth. Now, though, you need a big telescope and dark skies to see it at all.

The image above is newly released from the Hubble Space Telescope, which can resolve fine details in the nebular structure. We understand a huge amount about how stars explode, and what happens in the subsequent centuries, but there is also much we don’t know. Images like this one and the others released with it give us a forensic insight on the event that destroyed an entire star. We learn more about the nuclear fires at its heart, the subsequent alchemy of the expanding debris, and the effects of depositing unimaginable energies into its environment.

But it’s also very pretty. There’s a lot to be said for that as well.

 


JCE
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Breathtaking!!

Breathtaking!!


darth_josh
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Pirate that I am:    

Pirate that I am:

 

 

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LOL!

LOL!

I did the same when I saw the pic earlier. Great minds think alike.

 

 


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You are such nerds.  I love

You are such nerds.  I love it.  It is beautiful, though.   


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My God, it's full of

My God, it's full of stars....


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Here's a question for a

Here's a question for a space geek.

If this explosion happened 10,000 light years ago, once the light has passed the earth and travels onward into space, would it no longer be visible to us?

Is there a finite amount of time something like this would be visible to us?

 

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Susan wrote: Here's a

Susan wrote:

Here's a question for a space geek.

If this explosion happened 10,000 light years ago, once the light has passed the earth and travels onward into space, would it no longer be visible to us?

Is there a finite amount of time something like this would be visible to us?

 

There are still stars in the area illuminating the material. As long as those stars are burning and emitting light that is reflected or passing through the matter we will see it. 


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Cool stuff... But just to

Cool stuff...

But just to burst everyone's bubble, it probably wouldn't look like that "in person."


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MrRage wrote: Cool stuff...

MrRage wrote:
Cool stuff... But just to burst everyone's bubble, it probably wouldn't look like that "in person."

No bubble has been burst, the images are still beautiful.

I knew Hubble used composite images but it is awe inspiring that we can get clear visualization of objects that are very far away and without atmospheric distortion.


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  MrRage wrote: Cool

 

MrRage wrote:
Cool stuff... But just to burst everyone's bubble, it probably wouldn't look like that "in person."

Actually, yes it would be close if we understand that the only reason we humans see anything is due to reflective light. Spectral analysis is nothing new. The answer to "why is the sky blue?" is the exact same answer as to "Why does Saturn look like that?"

It is no different than taking someones picture from a computer screen made up of RGB light and re-interpretting that picture to print out on your bubble jet printer using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks.

The picture on your newspaper this morning was made by this process. An image containing only the Cyan dots was printed on the paper then it was printed over with the Magenta dots and that formed all of the colors between those two inks visible from Purples to Deep blues, then those two images had Yellow dots printed over them to form the rest of the dots between all three colors and then finally the black dots were printed over that for detail and toning of the other colors and your text.

Don't believe me? Pick up a magnifying glass and look at the dots close up. Preferably a 10x glass if you can.

Soooooo, when they make these images using one set of images from one filter and then lay all of them on top of one another, you're seeing what you would see if you were capable of looking through a telescope millions/billions of light years away.

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darth_josh wrote:

darth_josh wrote:

Don't believe me? Pick up a magnifying glass and look at the dots close up. Preferably a 10x glass if you can.

Soooooo, when they make these images using one set of images from one filter and then lay all of them on top of one another, you're seeing what you would see if you were capable of looking through a telescope millions/billions of light years away.

I received lessons on this all through my youth. My father was a printing pressman for forty years and it was regular discussion around the house. He would come home and talk about being on the '3 color', the '4 color' or the '6 color'. It was pretty interesting stuff for a kid like me and I was always asking questions about the process.


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The 3 truths to

The 3 truths to printing.

Water is wet.

Ink is nasty.

Paper tears.

lol.

Rough job some nights. Mike Rove(dirty jobs) wouldn't last through a bad day with me. lol. My claim to infamy... I've made a former Navy SEAL cry.

 

We spend a lot of money to make the dots on the paper match the dots on the screen. NASA might embellish but it is as close as we can get right now. New methods come up every day and filter down to me. So, if we assume that printing is a decade behind in spectral analysis then I can't wait for the next ten years. Spectral analysis of emitted light from the LHC experiments? Just thinking out loud. lol.

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