Adrian Will

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How a Bloody Railroad Strike Paved the Way for Labor Day

William Vandivert—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images<p>William Vandivert—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images<p>William Vandivert—The LIFE …

The Week in Review: A Space Milestone

In the 10 a.m. EST hour on Wednesday morning, a space traveler called the Philae detached from the Rosetta spacecraft and landed on Comet 67P.“We are …

Space

Star Factory Messier 17. Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, the star factory known as Messier 17 lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this degree wide field of view spans almost 100 light-years. The sharp, composite, color image utilizing data from space and ground based telescopes, follows faint details of the region's gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way stars. Stellar winds and energetic light from hot, massive stars formed from M17's stock of cosmic gas and dust have slowly carved away at the remaining interstellar material producing the cavernous appearance and undulating shapes. M17 is also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula. (Image Credit & Copyright: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope, Color data: Wolfgang Promper, Processing: Robert Gendler) #interstellarhd

"I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people." - Isaac Newton. (Image Credit & Copyright: Colin Legg) #interstellarhd

IC 4603: Reflection Nebula in Ophiuchius. Why does this starfield photograph resemble an impressionistic painting? The effect is created not by digital trickery but by large amounts of interstellar dust. Dust, minute globs rich in carbon and similar in size to cigarette smoke, frequently starts in the outer atmospheres of large, cool, young stars. The dust is dispersed as the star dies and grows as things stick to it in the interstellar medium. Dense dust clouds are opaque to visible light and can completely hide background stars. For less dense clouds, the capacity of dust to preferentially reflect blue starlight becomes important, effectively blooming the stars blue light out and marking the surrounding dust. Nebular gas emissions, typically brightest in red light, can combine to form areas seemingly created on an artist's canvas. Photographed above is the central part of the nebula IC 4603 surrounding the bright star SAO 184376 (actually 8th magnitude) which mostly illuminates the blue reflection nebula. IC 4603 can be seen near the very bright star Antares (1st magnitude) toward the constellation of Ophiuchus. (Image Credit & Copyright: Rolf Olsen) #interstellarhd

NGC 1999 is a dust filled bright nebula with a vast hole of empty space represented by a black patch of sky, as can be seen in the photograph. It is a reflection nebula, and shines from the light of the variable star V380 Orionis. (Image Credit & Copyright: astrophoto.com) #interstellarhd