Peter Lodge

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Hubble Finds Jets and Explosions Spiral Galaxy: This new image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Sculptor some 13 million light-years away from Earth. It is one of the brightest galaxies in the Sculptor Group, one of the closest groups of galaxies to the Local Group — the group of galaxies containing our galaxy, the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds. The image shows its spiral arms and small central bulge. Unlike some other spirals, this one doesn’t have a very pronounced spiral structure, and its shape is further muddled by the mottled pattern of dark dust that stretches across the frame. The occasional burst of bright pink can be seen in the galaxy, highlighting stellar nurseries containing newly-forming baby stars. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: D. Calzetti (University of Massachusetts) and the LEGUS Team #nasa #galaxy #astronomy #hubble #hst #milkyway #science

Sh2-155: The Cave Nebula. This colorful skyscape features the dusty Sharpless catalog emission region Sh2-155, the Cave Nebula. In the composite image, data taken through narrowband filters tracks the glow of ionized sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in red, green, and blue hues. About 2,400 light-years away, the scene lies along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the royal northern constellation of Cepheus. Astronomical explorations of the region reveal that it has formed at the boundary of the massive Cepheus B molecular cloud and the hot, young stars of the Cepheus OB 3 association. The bright rim of ionized interstellar gas is energized by radiation from the hot stars, dominated by the bright star just above picture center. Radiation driven ionization fronts are likely triggering collapsing cores and new star formation within. Appropriately sized for a stellar nursery, the cosmic cave is over 10 light-years across. (Image Credit & Copyright: Bill Snyder (Bill Snyder Photography))

T Tauri and NGC 1555. T Tauri is a famous variable star in the constellation of Taurus. In this image, it is the star at the center of the image, embedded in dust and gas. The nebula itself is known as NGC 1555. T Tauri is the prototype for a class of stars (known collectively as 'T Tau stars') that are notable because they are very young stars in the process of forming. These stars have just recently emerged from the dense dust and gas cocoons from which they formed. (Image Credit & Copyright: Travis Rector)

The Bubble Nebula. Blown by the wind from a massive star, this interstellar apparition has a surprisingly familiar shape. Cataloged as NGC 7635, it is also known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Although it looks delicate, the 10 light-year diameter bubble offers evidence of violent processes at work. Below and left of the Bubble's center is a hot, O star, several hundred thousand times more luminous and around 45 times more massive than the Sun. A fierce stellar wind and intense radiation from that star has blasted out the structure of glowing gas against denser material in a surrounding molecular cloud. The intriguing Bubble Nebula and associated cloud complex lie a mere 11,000 light-years away toward the boastful constellation Cassiopeia. This tantalizing view of the cosmic bubble is composed from narrowband image data, recording emission from the region's ionized hydrogen and oxygen atoms. To create the three color image, hydrogen and oxygen emission were used for red and blue and combined to create the green channel. (Image Credit & Copyright: Bernard Michaud) #interstellarhd

The Tulip Nebula. Framing a bright emission region this telescopic view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula the glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. About 8,000 light-years distant and 70 light-years across the complex and beautiful nebula blossoms at the center of this composite image. Red, green, and blue hues map emission from ionized sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Ultraviolet radiation from young, energetic stars at the edge of the Cygnus OB3 association, including O star HDE 227018, ionizes the atoms and powers the emission from the Tulip Nebula. HDE 227018 is the bright star very near the blue arc at the cosmic tulip's center. Glowing across the electromagnetic spectrum, microquasar Cygnus X-1 and a curved shock front created by its powerful jets lie toward the top and right. (Image Credit & Copyright: J-P Metsävainio (Astro Anarchy))

The universe is what we usually think of as the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space. The observable part alone contains over ten billion trillion stars arranged in about 100 billion galaxies, and is estimated to be around 156 billion light years in diameter. By definition, we are at the centre of our observable universe, but it is totally unknown where we are in the universe as a whole. (Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Oria)

Melotte 15 in the Heart. Cosmic clouds form fantastic shapes in the central regions of emission nebula IC 1805. The clouds are sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster, Melotte 15. About 1.5 million years young, the cluster stars are toward the right in this colorful skyscape, along with dark dust clouds in silhouette against glowing atomic gas. A composite of narrowband and broadband telescopic images, the view spans about 30 light-years and includes emission from ionized hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms mapped to green, red, and blue hues in the popular Hubble Palette. Wider field images reveal that IC 1805's simpler, overall outline suggests its popular name - The Heart Nebula. IC 1805 is located about 7,500 light years away toward the boastful constellation Cassiopeia. (Image Credit & Copyright: Ivan Eder) #interstellarhd

APOD: LDN 988: Dark Nebula in Cygnus (2014 Nov 20) Image Credit & Copyright: Bob Franke http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141120.html Explanation: Obscuring the rich starfields of northern Cygnus, dark nebula LDN 988 lies near the center of this cosmic skyscape. Composed with telescope and camera, the scene is some 2 degrees across. That corresponds to 70 light-years at the estimated 2,000 light-year distance of LDN 988. Stars are forming within LDN 988, part of a larger complex of dusty molecular clouds along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy sometimes called the Northern Coalsack. In fact, nebulosities associated with young stars abound in the region, including variable star V1331 Cygni shown in the inset. At the tip of a long dusty filament and partly surrounded by a curved reflection nebula, V1331 is thought to be a T-Tauri star, a sun-like star still in the early stages of formation. http://bf-astro.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141120 #APOD

APOD: The Tulip Nebula (2014 Nov 15) Image Credit & Copyright: J-P Metsävainio (Astro Anarchy) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141115.html Explanation: Framing a bright emission region this telescopic view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula the glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. About 8,000 light-years distant and 70 light-years across the complex and beautiful nebula blossoms at the center of this composite image. Red, green, and blue hues map emission from ionized sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Ultraviolet radiation from young, energetic stars at the edge of the Cygnus OB3 association, including O star HDE 227018, ionizes the atoms and powers the emission from the Tulip Nebula. HDE 227018 is the bright star very near the blue arc at the cosmic tulip's center. Glowing across the electromagnetic spectrum, microquasar Cygnus X-1 and a curved shock front created by its powerful jets lie toward the top and right. http://www.astroanarchy.blogspot.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141115 #APOD

APOD: Comet McNaught Over New Zealand (2014 Oct 19) Image Credit & Copyright: Minoru Yoneto http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141019.html Explanation: Comet McNaught was perhaps the most photogenic comet of modern times -- from Earth. After making quite a show in the northern hemisphere in early January of 2007, the comet moved south and developed a long and unusual dust tail that dazzled southern hemisphere observers. In late January 2007, Comet McNaught was captured between Mount Remarkable and Cecil Peak in this spectacular image taken from Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand. The bright comet dominates the right part of the above image, while the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy dominates the left. Careful inspection of the image will reveal a meteor streak just to the left of the comet. Today, Comet Siding Spring may become the most photogenic comet of modern times -- from Mars. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141019 #APOD

Now Philae down to sleep

And yet, Philae was untroubled by its distressingly low power state. It carried on executing a series of science operations from its new position. …

César Cantú

Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction. The building site, dubbed “Sparky,” is a dense galactic core blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars that are forming at a ferocious rate. The discovery was made possible through combined observations from NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, the W.M. Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and the European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory, in which NASA plays an important role. A fully developed elliptical galaxy is a gas-deficient gathering of ancient stars theorized to develop from the inside out, with a compact core marking its beginnings. Because the galactic core is so far away, the light of the forming galaxy that is observable from Earth was actually created 11 billion years ago, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang. Although only a fraction of the size of the Milky Way, the tiny powerhouse galactic core already contains about twice as many stars as our own galaxy, all crammed into a region only 6,000 light-years across. The Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across. Image Credit

Oort Cloud: The Outer Solar System's Icy Shell

A giant shell of icy bodies known as the Oort Cloud is thought to encircle the solar system. There may be billions, even trillions of bodies in it. …

ESA releases pictures of Philae probe’s comet landing location

Probe’s final resting spot in the shadow of a cliff has meant that insufficient sunlight reached its solar panels<p>The European Space Agency (ESA) has released images taken by the Rosetta orbiter that reveal the location of the Philae probe on the surface of the comet 67P.<p>The larger circle on the …

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 …