NASA’s space telescope has captured a rather impressive image of a thin, glittering streak of stars known as the spiral galaxy ESO 121-6, which lies in the southern constellation of Pictor (The Painter’s Easel).
Viewed almost exactly side-on, the intricate structure of the swirling arms is hidden, but the full length of the galaxy can be seen - including the intense glow from the central bulge, a dense region of tightly packed young stars located at the center of the spiral arms.
Just arrived 2 weeks early to fulfill the solstice prophesy.
Fabulous fabulous FABULOUS scope
Astronomers Identify the Stellar Patrons of the Milky Way Bar
Scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) have announced the discovery of hundreds of stars rapidly moving together in long, looping orbits around the center of our Galaxy. “The best explanation for their orbits is that these stars are part of the Milky Way bar,” says David Nidever, a Dean B. McLaughin Fellow in the Astronomy Department at the University of Michigan. “We know that the bar plays an important role in determining the structure of the Galaxy, so learning more about these stars will help us understand the whole Galaxy, even out here in the spiral arms.”
The team’s discovery came from accurately measuring the speeds of thousands of stars near the center of the Milky Way. The center of our Galaxy is 30,000 light-years away—close by cosmic standards—yet we know surprisingly little about it, because the Galaxy’s dusty disk hides it from view. In spite of this blind spot, though, we do know a key fact about our Galaxy: like many spiral galaxies, the Milky Way has a ‘bar’ of stars that orbit together around the Galactic Center.
IC2220 is the result of the reflection of gas and star material coming ejected from the red giant HD 65750.
The dust emitted from the red star is not displaced equally in all directions. It is thought that the material is distributed via magnetic fields, electric fields or the rotation of the central star giving an irregular shape. Astro photographer David Malin called this object the Toby Jug Nebula after the english drinking vessel. For some others the shape resembles a similarity with a flying butterfly. — Sergio Eguivar
The Iris Nebula
Sometimes called the Iris Nebula because of its flowering shape, this object is located in the constellation Cepheus (the king). The glowing nebula is caused by light from the central star reflecting off dust particles left over from when the star was formed.
Image credit: R. Jay GaBany.
The moon shot with my new scope.
Side Note: The two images shown above are mere crop outs from ESA’s recent hit: The 9 Billion Pixel Image of 84 Million Stars. These two focus on the bright center of the image for the purpose of highlighting what a peak at 84,000,000 stars looks like.
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have released a breathtaking new photograph showing the central area of our Milky Way galaxy. The photograph shows a whopping 84 million stars in an image measuring 108500×81500, which contains nearly 9 billion pixels.
It’s actually a composite of thousands of individual photographs shot with the observatory’s VISTA survey telescope, the same camera that captured the amazing 55-hour exposure. Three different infrared filters were used to capture the different details present in the final image.
The VISTA’s camera is sensitive to infrared light, which allows its vision to pierce through much of the space dust that blocks the view of ordinary optical telescope/camera systems.
A dwarf planet is a celestial body orbiting the Sun that is massive enough that its shape is controlled by gravitational forces rather than mechanical forces, but has not cleared the neighboring region of other objects.
There are five dwarf planets in our solar system. In ascending orbital radius:
- Ceres, 2.77 AU
- Pluto, 39.48 AU
- Haumea, 43.13 AU
- Makemake, 45.79 AU
- Eris, 67.67 AU
They are imaged above in this order.
Astronomical unit (AU) - the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun. For example, Ceres is 2.77 times farther from the Sun than the Earth.
Little Telescope Spies Gigantic Galaxy Clusters
ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2012) — Our solar system, with its colorful collection of planets, asteroids and comets, is a fleck in the grander cosmos. Hundreds of billions of solar systems are thought to reside in our Milky Way galaxy, which is itself just a drop in a sea of galaxies.