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Someone Did a Shit So Bad On a British Airways Plane That It Had to Turn Around and Come Back Again

Toilet crime grounds multi-million dollar aircraft.<p>A British Airways flight was forced to turn around and land over the weekend because somebody did a shit so bad the plane was essentially rendered useless. Imagine living your life in the knowledge that you once turded so appallingly that a 747-400 …

Aviation

APOD: Horsehead and Orion Nebulas (2013 Oct 29) Image Credit & Copyright: Roberto Colombari & Federico Pelliccia http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131029.html Explanation: The dark Horsehead Nebula and the glowing Orion Nebula are contrasting cosmic vistas. Adrift 1,500 light-years away in one of the night sky's most recognizable constellations, they appear in opposite corners of the above stunning mosaic. The familiar Horsehead nebula appears as a dark cloud, a small silhouette notched against the long red glow at the lower left. Alnitak is the easternmost star in Orion's belt and is seen as the brightest star to the left of the Horsehead. Below Alnitak is the Flame Nebula, with clouds of bright emission and dramatic dark dust lanes. The magnificent emission region, the Orion Nebula (aka M42), lies at the upper right. Immediately to its left is a prominent reflection nebula sometimes called the Running Man. Pervasive tendrils of glowing hydrogen gas are easily traced throughout the region. http://www.astrobin.com/60227/ http://www.astrobin.com/users/rob77/ http://www.astrobin.com/users/pelly93/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=131029 #APOD

APOD: From California to the Pleiades (2013 Nov 22) Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131122.html Explanation: An astronomical trip from the California Nebula to the Pleiades star cluster would cover just 12 degrees across planet Earth's night sky. That's equivalent to the angular extent of 25 Full Moons, as your telescope sweeps over the borders of the constellations Perseus and Taurus. This wide and deep mosaic image of the region explores the cosmic landscape's dusty nebulae and colors otherwise too faint for your eye to see. On the left, cataloged as NGC 1499, the California Nebula does have a familiar shape, though its coastline is actually over 60 light-years long and lies about 1,500 light-years away. The nebula's pronounced reddish glow is from hydrogen atoms ionized by luminous blue star Xi Persei seen just to its right. At the far right, the famous Pleiades star cluster is some 400 light-years distant and around 15 light-years across. Its spectacular blue color is due to the reflection of starlight by interstellar dust. In between are hot stars of the Perseus OB2 association and dusty, dark nebulae along the edge of the nearby, massive Perseus molecular cloud. http://www.deepskycolors.com/ http://www.facebook.com/DeepSkyColors Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=131122 #APOD

APOD: NGC 2359: Thor's Helmet (2014 Feb 15) Image Credit & Copyright: Bob and Janice Fera (Fera Photography) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140215.html Explanation: This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor's Helmet. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across. In fact, the helmet is more like an interstellar bubble, blown as a fast wind from the bright, massive star near the bubble's center sweeps through a surrounding molecular cloud. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. Cataloged as NGC 2359, the nebula is located about 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major. The sharp image, made using broadband and narrowband filters, captures striking details of the nebula's filamentary structures. It shows off a blue-green color from strong emission due to oxygen atoms in the glowing gas. http://www.feraphotography.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140215 #APOD

APOD: The Pleiades Deep and Dusty (2014 Feb 25) Image Credit & Copyright: David Lane http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140225.html Explanation: The well known Pleiades star cluster is slowly destroying part of a passing cloud of gas and dust. The Pleiades is the brightest open cluster of stars on Earth's sky and can be seen from almost any northerly location with the unaided eye. The passing young dust cloud is thought to be part of Gould's belt, an unusual ring of young star formation surrounding the Sun in the local Milky Way Galaxy. Over the past 100,000 years, part Gould's belt is by chance moving right through the older Pleiades and is causing a strong reaction between stars and dust. Pressure from the star's light significantly repels the dust in the surrounding blue reflection nebula, with smaller dust particles being repelled more strongly. A short-term result is that parts of the dust cloud have become filamentary and stratified, as seen in the above deep-exposure image. http://astrogab.us/profile/DaveLane Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140225 #APOD

APOD: Along the Western Veil (2014 Apr 04) Image Processing: Oliver Czernetz Data: Digitized Sky Survey (POSS-II) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140404.html Explanation: Delicate in appearance, these filaments of shocked, glowing gas, draped in planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus, make up the western part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova explosion likely reached Earth over 5,000 years ago. Blasted out in the cataclysmic event, the interstellar shock wave plows through space sweeping up and exciting interstellar material. The glowing filaments are really more like long ripples in a sheet seen almost edge on, remarkably well separated into atomic hydrogen (red) and oxygen (blue-green) gas. Also known as the Cygnus Loop, the Veil Nebula now spans nearly 3 degrees or about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon. While that translates to over 70 light-years at its estimated distance of 1,500 light-years, this wide image of the western portion spans about half that distance. Brighter parts of the western Veil are recognized as separate nebulae, including The Witch's Broom (NGC 6960) along the top of this view and Pickering's Triangle (NGC 6979) below and right of center. http://archive.stsci.edu/dss/copyright.html Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140404 #APOD

APOD: Southern Annular Eclipse (2014 Apr 26) Image Credit & Copyright: Cameron McCarty, Matthew Bartow, Michael Johnson - MWV Observatory, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Columbus State University Eclipse Team http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140426.html Explanation: It's eclipse season, and on April 29 around 06:00 UT the shadow of the new Moon will reach out and touch planet Earth, though only just. Still, if you're standing on the continent of Antarctica within a few hundred kilometers of 79 degrees 38.7 minutes South latitude and 131 degrees 15.6 minutes East longitude you could see an annular solar eclipse with the Sun just above the horizon. Because the Moon will be approaching apogee, the most distant point in the elliptical lunar orbit, its apparent size will be too small to completely cover the solar disk. A rare, off-center eclipse, the annular phase will last at most 49 seconds. At its maximum it could look something like this "ring of fire" image from last May's annular solar eclipse, captured by a webcast team operating near Coen, Australia. Otherwise, a partial eclipse with the Moon covering at least some part of the Sun will be seen across a much broader region in the southern hemipshere, including Australia in the afternoon. http://www.ccssc.org/main.html Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140426 #APOD

M45: The Pleiades Open Star Cluster

<b>M45: The Pleiades Open Star Cluster</b><p>All titles are clickable and link to the original APOD page. Click on an image for a larger view of it.<p>An …

APOD: NGC 6334: The Cat's Paw Nebula (2014 Jun 18) Image Credit & Copyright: Roberto Colombari and SONEAR Obs.; Color data: Robert Gendler & Ryan Hannahoe http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140618.html Explanation: Nebulas are perhaps as famous for being identified with familiar shapes as perhaps cats are for getting into trouble. Still, no known cat could have created the vast Cat's Paw Nebula visible in Scorpius. At 5,500 light years distant, Cat's Paw is an emission nebula with a red color that originates from an abundance of ionized hydrogen atoms. Alternatively known as the Bear Claw Nebula or NGC 6334, stars nearly ten times the mass of our Sun have been born there in only the past few million years. Pictured above is a deep field image of the Cat's Paw nebula. http://www.astrobin.com/users/rob77/ http://www.observatorio-phoenix.org/t_proj/Sonear/sonear.htm http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/ http://ryanhannahoe.nmskies.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140618 #APOD

APOD: NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe (2014 Jul 26) Image Credit & Copyright: László Francsics http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140726.html Explanation: Shiny NGC 253 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one of the dustiest. Some call it the Silver Dollar Galaxy for its appearance in small telescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location within the boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor. First swept up in 1783 by mathematician and astronomer Caroline Herschel, the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years away. About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest to our own Local Group of Galaxies. In addition to its spiral dust lanes, tendrils of dust seem to be rising from a galactic disk laced with young star clusters and star forming regions in this sharp color image. The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation, earning NGC 253 the designation of a starburst galaxy. NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energy x-rays and gamma rays, likely due to massives black hole near the galaxy's center. http://www.ptes.hu Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140726 #APOD

APOD: The Horsehead Nebula from Blue to Infrared (2014 Jul 28) Image Credit & Copyright: Optical: Aldo Mottino & Carlos Colazo, OAC, Córdoba; Infrared: Hubble Legacy Archive http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140728.html Explanation: One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funneled by a strong magnetic field. Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula's base are young stars just in the process of forming. Light takes about 1,500 years to reach us from the Horsehead Nebula. The above image is a digital combination of images taken in blue, green, red, and hydrogen-alpha light from the Argentina, and an image taken in infrared light by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. http://www.oac.uncor.edu/ http://hla.stsci.edu/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140728 #APOD

APOD: NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula (2014 Aug 02) Image Credit & Copyright: Jimmy Walker http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140802.html Explanation: These clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula, NGC 7023 is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers, though. Still, this deep telescopic view shows off the Iris Nebula's range of colors and symmetries in impressive detail. Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a hot, young star. The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Central filaments of the dusty clouds glow with a faint reddish photoluminesence as some dust grains effectively convert the star's invisible ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Infrared observations indicate that this nebula may contain complex carbon molecules known as PAHs. The pretty blue petals of the Iris Nebula span about six light-years. http://jwalk.smugmug.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140802 #APOD

APOD: Rings Around the Ring Nebula (2014 Aug 13) Image Credit: Hubble, Large Binocular Telescope, Subaru Telescope; Composition & Copyright: Robert Gendler http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140813.html Explanation: It is a familiar sight to sky enthusiasts with even a small telescope. There is much more to the Ring Nebula (M57), however, than can be seen through a small telescope. The easily visible central ring is about one light-year across, but this remarkably deep exposure - a collaborative effort combining data from three different large telescopes - explores the looping filaments of glowing gas extending much farther from the nebula's central star. This remarkable composite image includes narrowband hydrogen image, visible light emission, and infrared light emission. Of course, in this well-studied example of a planetary nebula, the glowing material does not come from planets. Instead, the gaseous shroud represents outer layers expelled from a dying, sun-like star. The Ring Nebula is about 2,000 light-years away toward the musical constellation Lyra. http://hla.stsci.edu/ http://www.lbto.org/ http://www.naoj.org/NAOJ/ http://robgendlerastropics.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140813 #APOD

APOD: Arp 188 and the Tadpole's Tail (2014 Aug 25) Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing & Copyright: Joachim Dietrich http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140825.html Explanation: Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco. Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole by their gravitational attraction. During the close encounter, tidal forces drew out the spiral galaxy's stars, gas, and dust forming the spectacular tail. The intruder galaxy itself, estimated to lie about 300 thousand light-years behind the Tadpole, can be seen through foreground spiral arms at the upper right. Following its terrestrial namesake, the Tadpole Galaxy will likely lose its tail as it grows older, the tail's star clusters forming smaller satellites of the large spiral galaxy. http://hla.stsci.edu/ http://www.esa.int/ http://www.nasa.gov/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/83669184@N05/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140825 #APOD

APOD: The Wizard Nebula (2014 Aug 29) Image Credit & Copyright: Michael Miller http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140829.html Explanation: Open star cluster NGC 7380 is still embedded in its natal cloud of interstellar gas and dust popularly known as the Wizard Nebula. Seen with foreground and background stars along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy it lies some 8,000 light-years distant, toward the constellation Cepheus. A full moon would easily fit inside this telescopic view of the 4 million year young cluster and associated nebula, normally much too faint to be seen by eye. Made with telescope and camera firmly planted on Earth, the image reveals multi light-year sized shapes and structures within the Wizard in a color palette made popular in Hubble Space Telescope images. Recorded with narrowband filters, the visible wavelength light from the nebula's hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur atoms is transformed into green, blue, and red colors in the final digital composite. But there is still a trick up the Wizard's sleeve. Sliding your cursor over the image (or following this link) will make the stars disappear, leaving only the cosmic gas and dust of the Wizard Nebula. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1408/NGC7380Narrowband950.jpg Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140829 #APOD

APOD: M27: The Dumbbell Nebula (2014 Sep 14) Image Credit & Copyright: Bill Snyder (Bill Snyder Photography) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140914.html Explanation: The first hint of what will become of our Sun was discovered inadvertently in 1764. At that time, Charles Messier was compiling a list of diffuse objects not to be confused with comets. The 27th object on Messier's list, now known as M27 or the Dumbbell Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the type of nebula our Sun will produce when nuclear fusion stops in its core. M27 is one of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky, and can be seen toward the constellation of the Fox (Vulpecula) with binoculars. It takes light about 1000 years to reach us from M27, shown above in colors emitted by hydrogen and oxygen. Understanding the physics and significance of M27 was well beyond 18th century science. Even today, many things remain mysterious about bipolar planetary nebula like M27, including the physical mechanism that expels a low-mass star's gaseous outer-envelope, leaving an X-ray hot white dwarf. http://billsnyderastrophotography.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140914 #APOD

APOD: Milky Way above Atacama Salt Lagoon (2014 Sep 16) Image Credit & Copyright: Alex Tudorica (AIfA, U. Bonn) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140916.html Explanation: Galaxies, stars, and a serene reflecting pool combine to create this memorable land and skyscape. The featured panorama is a 12-image mosaic taken last month from the Salar de Atacama salt flat in northern Chile. The calm water is Laguna Cejar, a salty lagoon featuring a large central sinkhole. On the image left, the astrophotographer's fiancee is seen capturing the same photogenic scene. The night sky is lit up with countless stars, the Large and Small Magellanic Cloud galaxies on the left, and the band of our Milky Way galaxy running diagonally up the right. The Milky Way may appear to be causing havoc at the horizon, but those are just the normal lights of a nearby town. https://www.flickr.com/photos/27891676@N05 http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140916 #APOD

APOD: The Lagoon Nebula in Stars Dust and Gas (2014 Sep 24) Image Credit & Copyright: Remus Chua (Celestial Portraits) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140924.html Explanation: The large majestic Lagoon Nebula is home for many young stars and hot gas. Spanning 100 light years across while lying only about 5000 light years distant, the Lagoon Nebula is so big and bright that it can be seen without a telescope toward the constellation of Sagittarius. Many bright stars are visible from NGC 6530, an open cluster that formed in the nebula only several million years ago. The greater nebula, also known as M8 and NGC 6523, is named "Lagoon" for the band of dust seen to the left of the open cluster's center. A bright knot of gas and dust in the nebula's center is known as the Hourglass Nebula. The featured picture is a newly processed panorama of M8, capturing five times the diameter of the Moon. Star formation continues in the Lagoon Nebula as witnessed by the many globules that exist there. http://celestialportraits.com/ Nebulas and Star Clusters Wall Calendar: http://friendsofapod.org/?page_id=42 Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140924 #APOD

"Cosmic Gateway" This keyhole on Pfeiffer Beach lines up with the moon set for just a few days each year. After some critical planning to shoot not only the moon but the Milky Way at the same time, my hard work payed off. The clouds cleared and we were left with an unbelievable landscape to shoot for everyone to enjoy. Higher Quality: https://500px.com/photo/84978701/cosmic-gateway-by-justin-majeczky

APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01) Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team; Reprocessing & Copyright: Francesco Antonucci http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141001.html Explanation: The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This sharp close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded in 2009 by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, and is presented here in reprocessed colors. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star's dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius). http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.spacetelescope.org/ http://hubblesite.org/servicing_mission_4/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141001 #APOD

APOD: The Cat's Eye Nebula from Hubble (2014 Nov 09) Image Credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141109.html Explanation: To some, it may look like a cat's eye. The alluring Cat's Eye nebula, however, lies three thousand light-years from Earth across interstellar space. A classic planetary nebula, the Cat's Eye (NGC 6543) represents a final, brief yet glorious phase in the life of a sun-like star. This nebula's dying central star may have produced the simple, outer pattern of dusty concentric shells by shrugging off outer layers in a series of regular convulsions. But the formation of the beautiful, more complex inner structures is not well understood. Seen so clearly in this digitally sharpened Hubble Space Telescope image, the truly cosmic eye is over half a light-year across. Of course, gazing into this Cat's Eye, astronomers may well be seeing the fate of our sun, destined to enter its own planetary nebula phase of evolution ... in about 5 billion years. http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.esa.int/ESA http://www.spacetelescope.org/about_us/heic/ http://heritage.stsci.edu/ http://www.stsci.edu/ http://www.aura-astronomy.org/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141109 #APOD

APOD: Orion in Gas, Dust, and Stars (2014 Nov 11) Image Copyright: Roberto Colombari, Robert Gendler & Federico Pelliccia; Data: DSS PLOSS II http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141111.html Explanation: The constellation of Orion holds much more than three stars in a row. A deep exposure shows everything from dark nebula to star clusters, all embedded in an extended patch of gaseous wisps in the greater Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The brightest three stars on the far left are indeed the famous three stars that make up the belt of Orion. Just below Alnitak, the lowest of the three belt stars, is the Flame Nebula, glowing with excited hydrogen gas and immersed in filaments of dark brown dust. Below and left of the frame center and just to the right of Alnitak lies the Horsehead Nebula, a dark indentation of dense dust that has perhaps the most recognized nebular shapes on the sky. On the upper right lies M42, the Orion Nebula, an energetic caldron of tumultuous gas, visible to the unaided eye, that is giving birth to a new open cluster of stars. Immediately to the left of M42 is a prominent bluish reflection nebula sometimes called the Running Man that houses many bright blue stars. The featured image covers an area with objects that are roughly 1,500 light years away and spans about 75 light years. http://www.astrobin.com/users/rob77/ http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/ http://www.astrobin.com/users/SkyHunter/ http://archive.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_form Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141111 #APOD

APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula (2014 Nov 21) Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141121.html Explanation: The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier's famous 18th century list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, debris from the death explosion of a massive star, witnessed by astronomers in the year 1054. This sharp, ground-based telescopic view uses narrowband data to track emission from ionized oxygen and hydrogen atoms (in blue and red) and explore the tangled filaments within the still expanding cloud. One of the most exotic objects known to modern astronomers, the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star spinning 30 times a second, is visible as a bright spot near the nebula's center. Like a cosmic dynamo, this collapsed remnant of the stellar core powers the Crab's emission across the electromagnetic spectrum. Spanning about 12 light-years, the Crab Nebula is a mere 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. http://www.martinpughastrophotography.id.au/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141121 #APOD

APOD: Sharpless 249 and the Jellyfish Nebula (2014 Dec 03) Image Credit & Copyright: César Blanco González http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141203.html Explanation: Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in this alluring telescopic mosaic. The scene is anchored right and left by two bright stars, Mu and Eta Geminorum, at the foot of the celestial twin while the Jellyfish Nebula is the brighter arcing ridge of emission with dangling tentacles below and right of center. In fact, the cosmic jellyfish is part of bubble-shaped supernova remnant IC 443, the expanding debris cloud from a massive star that exploded. Light from the explosion first reached planet Earth over 30,000 years ago. Like its cousin in astrophysical waters the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, the Jellyfish Nebula is known to harbor a neutron star, the remnant of the collapsed stellar core. An emission nebula cataloged as Sharpless 249 fills the field at the upper left. The Jellyfish Nebula is about 5,000 light-years away. At that distance, this narrowband composite image would be about 300 light-years across. http://www.cieloprofundo.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141203 #APOD

APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec 09) Image Credit & Copyright: Optical (RGB+Ha): Aldo Mottino & Ezequiel Bellocchio (Argentina); Infrared: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141209.html Explanation: What lights up the Flame Nebula? Fifteen hundred light years away towards the constellation of Orion lies a nebula which, from its glow and dark dust lanes, appears, on the left, like a billowing fire. But fire, the rapid acquisition of oxygen, is not what makes this Flame glow. Rather the bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion visible just to the right of the nebula, shines energetic light into the Flame that knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there. Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. The above false-color picture of the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) was taken is a composite of both visible and infrared light, the later energy band being where a young star cluster becomes visible. The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a star-forming region that includes the famous Horsehead Nebula. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141209 #APOD

APOD: IC 1795: The Fishhead Nebula (2014 Dec 24) Image Credit & Copyright: Bill Snyder (Bill Snyder Photography) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141224.html Explanation: To some, this nebula looks like the head of a fish. However, this colorful cosmic portrait really features glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds in IC 1795, a star forming region in the northern constellation Cassiopeia. The nebula's colors were created by adopting the Hubble false-color palette for mapping narrow emission from oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur atoms to blue, green and red colors, and further blending the data with images of the region recorded through broadband filters. Not far on the sky from the famous Double Star Cluster in Perseus, IC 1795 is itself located next to IC 1805, the Heart Nebula, as part of a complex of star forming regions that lie at the edge of a large molecular cloud. Located just over 6,000 light-years away, the larger star forming complex sprawls along the Perseus spiral arm of our Milky Way Galaxy. At that distance, this picture would span about 70 light-years across. http://billsnyderastrophotography.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141224 #APOD

APOD: The Galactic Core in Infrared (2015 Jan 18) Credit: Hubble: NASA, ESA, & D. Q. Wang (U. Mass, Amherst); Spitzer: NASA, JPL, & S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150118.html Explanation: What's happening at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy? To help find out, the orbiting Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have combined their efforts to survey the region in unprecedented detail in infrared light. Infrared light is particularly useful for probing the Milky Way's center because visible light is more greatly obscured by dust. The above image encompasses over 2,000 images from the Hubble Space Telescope's NICMOS taken in 2008. The image spans 300 by 115 light years with such high resolution that structures only 20 times the size of our own Solar System are discernable. Clouds of glowing gas and dark dust as well as three large star clusters are visible. Magnetic fields may be channeling plasma along the upper left near the Arches Cluster, while energetic stellar winds are carving pillars near the Quintuplet Cluster on the lower left. The massive Central Cluster of stars surrounding Sagittarius A* is visible on the lower right. Why several central, bright, massive stars appear to be unassociated with these star clusters is not yet understood. http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.spacetelescope.org/ http://www.astro.umass.edu/ http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ http://ssc.spitzer.caltech.edu/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=150118 #APOD