(via NASA - Massive Star Makes Waves)
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Zeta Ophiuchi is really, really flying along. Like fast. Like it’s a massive star (20 solar masses, and 80,000 times brighter) that was shot away from the explosion of its former companion star and is moving along at 24 km/sec (54,000 mph, if you’re using imperial units)…and running into interstellar material, creating a bow-shock and lighting up the gas and dust in the infrared. Actually, it’s lit up all across the spectrum, but there’s plenty of dust in the way (that bit the star is pushing against isn’t the totality of the cloud) so that only the IR wavelengths get through.
The speed of the star and the speed of the interstellar wind (very fast coming off a hot, massive star) combine to really sock it to the dust here. The colors in the image are from IR wavelenghts of 3.6/4.5 microns rendered in blue, 8 microns in green, and 24 microns in red.

(via NASA - Massive Star Makes Waves)

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Zeta Ophiuchi is really, really flying along. Like fast. Like it’s a massive star (20 solar masses, and 80,000 times brighter) that was shot away from the explosion of its former companion star and is moving along at 24 km/sec (54,000 mph, if you’re using imperial units)…and running into interstellar material, creating a bow-shock and lighting up the gas and dust in the infrared. Actually, it’s lit up all across the spectrum, but there’s plenty of dust in the way (that bit the star is pushing against isn’t the totality of the cloud) so that only the IR wavelengths get through.

The speed of the star and the speed of the interstellar wind (very fast coming off a hot, massive star) combine to really sock it to the dust here. The colors in the image are from IR wavelenghts of 3.6/4.5 microns rendered in blue, 8 microns in green, and 24 microns in red.

(via Chandra :: Photo Album :: NGC 1929 :: August 30, 2012)
NGC 1929 (star forming region) in N44 (nebular cloud): A Surprisingly Bright Superbubble
Hey all, before I bid you good night (though I wasn’t exactly on this evening, but hey, I had a queue going…for a bit…in the afternoon mostly but you know what I mean…anyway…) I want you to slow your tumblr-scroll for a second and take a look see here. That amazing picture above? That’s an in-depth analysis of an amazing nebular cavity in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of our Milky Way’s satellite galaxies. What’s going on here is a classic story of a stellar nursery in a dust cloud. When the particles start to create gravitational collection points, they rapidly accrete matter. As the compressed matter pulls in more gas and dust from the surrounding cloud, it also heats up. Continue this process long enough and you start to form a proto-star, then, once the core gets hot enough, and the hydrogen gets friendly enough, you start getting fusion reactions. Suddenly there’s a whole lot of energy at the center that can push back against the force of gravity pulling everything in. A star is born and reaches hydrostatic equilibrium. But the first new stars in an interstellar cloud are often quite massive, burning very hot, which means they throw off a lot of radiation. As this moves out (along with the particles blown out by the nuclear reactions, mostly neutrinos) it creates a stellar wind, which runs right up against the very gas and dust that gave rise to the stars in the first place. This starts to put pressure on the gas cloud, creating new dense points, eventually creating ideal conditions for another generation of stars. These young stars, however, are rather James Dean-ish. They live fast and die young. (And, if you think supernovae are pretty, they also leave a good looking corpse…unless you consider the neutron star to be the corpse, which would also be good looking. I think they’re cool anyway. Oops, digression.)
"So", you say, somewhat bewilderedly, or not, "what’s all that got to do with a weird four-color mosaic of space bubbles?"
I’m glad you asked. Each color is from a different wavelength source. Let’s go through them, and see what they tell us about what’s going on in NGC 1929.

X-ray imaging from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (a space telescope because x-rays have a hard time getting through our atmosphere…thankfully) shows - in blue - the insanely hot gas (so hot it lights up in x-ray, now that’s energetic!) around the young stars and the where the shockwaves of the supernovae have run into the nebular material.

Infrared imaging from the Spitzer Space Telescope shows - in red - the dust and cooler gas that is glowing from the ultraviolet radiation coming off the stars. UV is not as energetic as x-rays (remember, a longer wavelength = lower energy) and so the light down in the infrared shows those parts of the cloud that aren’t getting superheated.

Optical light from the 2.2m Max-Planck-ESO telescope in Chile shows - in yellow - more of the glowing gas at a lower temperature than the superheated gas, and also gives us our nice background star field.
So, now you see how we learn so much about something so far away by combining the various types of data we can collect at each wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Buenos noches! Tschuss! Etc.

(via Chandra :: Photo Album :: NGC 1929 :: August 30, 2012)

NGC 1929 (star forming region) in N44 (nebular cloud): A Surprisingly Bright Superbubble

Hey all, before I bid you good night (though I wasn’t exactly on this evening, but hey, I had a queue going…for a bit…in the afternoon mostly but you know what I mean…anyway…) I want you to slow your tumblr-scroll for a second and take a look see here. That amazing picture above? That’s an in-depth analysis of an amazing nebular cavity in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of our Milky Way’s satellite galaxies. What’s going on here is a classic story of a stellar nursery in a dust cloud. When the particles start to create gravitational collection points, they rapidly accrete matter. As the compressed matter pulls in more gas and dust from the surrounding cloud, it also heats up. Continue this process long enough and you start to form a proto-star, then, once the core gets hot enough, and the hydrogen gets friendly enough, you start getting fusion reactions. Suddenly there’s a whole lot of energy at the center that can push back against the force of gravity pulling everything in. A star is born and reaches hydrostatic equilibrium. But the first new stars in an interstellar cloud are often quite massive, burning very hot, which means they throw off a lot of radiation. As this moves out (along with the particles blown out by the nuclear reactions, mostly neutrinos) it creates a stellar wind, which runs right up against the very gas and dust that gave rise to the stars in the first place. This starts to put pressure on the gas cloud, creating new dense points, eventually creating ideal conditions for another generation of stars. These young stars, however, are rather James Dean-ish. They live fast and die young. (And, if you think supernovae are pretty, they also leave a good looking corpse…unless you consider the neutron star to be the corpse, which would also be good looking. I think they’re cool anyway. Oops, digression.)

"So", you say, somewhat bewilderedly, or not, "what’s all that got to do with a weird four-color mosaic of space bubbles?"

I’m glad you asked. Each color is from a different wavelength source. Let’s go through them, and see what they tell us about what’s going on in NGC 1929.

X-ray imaging from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (a space telescope because x-rays have a hard time getting through our atmosphere…thankfully) shows - in blue - the insanely hot gas (so hot it lights up in x-ray, now that’s energetic!) around the young stars and the where the shockwaves of the supernovae have run into the nebular material.

Infrared imaging from the Spitzer Space Telescope shows - in red - the dust and cooler gas that is glowing from the ultraviolet radiation coming off the stars. UV is not as energetic as x-rays (remember, a longer wavelength = lower energy) and so the light down in the infrared shows those parts of the cloud that aren’t getting superheated.

Optical light from the 2.2m Max-Planck-ESO telescope in Chile shows - in yellow - more of the glowing gas at a lower temperature than the superheated gas, and also gives us our nice background star field.

So, now you see how we learn so much about something so far away by combining the various types of data we can collect at each wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Buenos noches! Tschuss! Etc.

(via The Swirling Arms of the M100 Galaxy - NASA Spitzer Space Telescope)

The galaxy Messier 100, or M100, shows its swirling spiral in this infrared image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope. The arcing spiral arms of dust and gas that harbor starforming regions glow vividly when seen in the infrared.
M100 is a classic example of a grand design spiral galaxy, with prominent and well-defined spiral arms winding from the hot center, out to the cooler edges of the galaxy. It is located about 55 million light years away from Earth, in the little-known constellation of Coma Berenices, near to the more recognizable Leo.
In the center, we can see a prominent ring of hot, bright dust surrounding the inner galactic core. Moving further out, the spiral arms peter out towards the edges of the galaxy, where thick webs of dust dominate. Beyond the edges of the dust clouds, a faint blue glow of stars extends to the edge of the galaxys disk.
Two small companion galaxies, known as NGC 4323 and NGC 4328, appear as fuzzy blue blobs on the upper side of M100. These so-called lenticular galaxies are virtually clear of any dust, so they lack any of the red/green glow seen in their bigger neighbor. The shape of M100 is probably being perturbed by the gravity of these galaxies.

This, then, is the power of infrared telescopes like Spitzer, their ability to see through the dust, which scatters visible light quite well, but is transparent to infrared, and show us the activity inside of a galaxy’s spiral arms.

(via The Swirling Arms of the M100 Galaxy - NASA Spitzer Space Telescope)

The galaxy Messier 100, or M100, shows its swirling spiral in this infrared image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope. The arcing spiral arms of dust and gas that harbor starforming regions glow vividly when seen in the infrared.

M100 is a classic example of a grand design spiral galaxy, with prominent and well-defined spiral arms winding from the hot center, out to the cooler edges of the galaxy. It is located about 55 million light years away from Earth, in the little-known constellation of Coma Berenices, near to the more recognizable Leo.

In the center, we can see a prominent ring of hot, bright dust surrounding the inner galactic core. Moving further out, the spiral arms peter out towards the edges of the galaxy, where thick webs of dust dominate. Beyond the edges of the dust clouds, a faint blue glow of stars extends to the edge of the galaxys disk.

Two small companion galaxies, known as NGC 4323 and NGC 4328, appear as fuzzy blue blobs on the upper side of M100. These so-called lenticular galaxies are virtually clear of any dust, so they lack any of the red/green glow seen in their bigger neighbor. The shape of M100 is probably being perturbed by the gravity of these galaxies.

This, then, is the power of infrared telescopes like Spitzer, their ability to see through the dust, which scatters visible light quite well, but is transparent to infrared, and show us the activity inside of a galaxy’s spiral arms.

(via APOD: 2012 July 13 - 21st Century M101)
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, JPL, Caltech STScI
This amazing shot of M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, is composed of the following captures:
X-Ray: Chandra X-Ray Observatory (purple)
Ultraviolet: Galaxy Evolution Explorer, or GALEX (blue)
Visual: Hubble Space Telescope (yellow)
Infrared: Spitzer Space Telescope (red)
M101 is huge at 170,000 light-years across (almost twice the size of the Milky Way) and is one of the “spiral nebulae”, along with the Andromeda Galaxy, that were part of the great debate (especially Curtis/Shapley) about island universes at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. (The debate wasn’t entirely settled until Hubble resolved individual stars in the Andromeda “Nebula” with his "giant" 100-inch telescope atop Mount Wilson in Southern California.)

(via APOD: 2012 July 13 - 21st Century M101)

Image Credit: NASAESACXCJPL, Caltech STScI

This amazing shot of M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, is composed of the following captures:

X-Ray: Chandra X-Ray Observatory (purple)

Ultraviolet: Galaxy Evolution Explorer, or GALEX (blue)

Visual: Hubble Space Telescope (yellow)

Infrared: Spitzer Space Telescope (red)

M101 is huge at 170,000 light-years across (almost twice the size of the Milky Way) and is one of the “spiral nebulae”, along with the Andromeda Galaxy, that were part of the great debate (especially Curtis/Shapley) about island universes at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. (The debate wasn’t entirely settled until Hubble resolved individual stars in the Andromeda “Nebula” with his "giant" 100-inch telescope atop Mount Wilson in Southern California.)

polymath4ever

astrodidact:

N49- One of the most extraordinary events in all of Astronomy is the inevitable violent death of massive stars. What is known as a supernova, this event is the very reason why you and I are alive right now. Because massive stars explode violently, the heavy elements they have fused deep within the star are hurtled through space at incredible speeds. Located 160,000 light years away, within the Large Magellanic Cloud, N49 did just that; explode through a core-collapse supernova. We are able to detect x-rays, seen in blue, as well as view N49 through infrared. The reason we can see this supernova in x-ray is because of the million degree gas located in the center. Infrared is seen in wavelengths that are third longest, only to radio and microwaves. Slightly smaller wavelengths than infrared result in visible light, what you and I see at this very moment. It is also worth noting that something called a magnetar exists in the center of this explosion. It is the solid neutron core of a dead, high-mass star. It is rotating at unbelievable speed. Try hundreds of times per second!! It emits powerful electromagnetic radiation in the form of x-rays and gamma-rays.

If you overlapped these two images, you’d see where the infrared shows off the outer gas and dust getting heated up. The x-rays are intense where the gas has gone beyond hot and into superheated as the OP mentioned.

A magnetar is a high-speed, rotating neutron star. It would show up as a pulsar, except that it is pointed in the “wrong” direction for us to note it. The intense magnetic field on a neutron star, and especially on a magnetar, forces all electromagnetic radiation to escape only via the magnetic poles (which, as you know just from our own planet, aren’t necessarily on the rotational axis). When those magnetic poles are aligned to pass through our line-of-sight with respect to the neutron star, we see a blip as all the EM radiating from the star sweeps across us (like a lighthouse). If, however, the poles aren’t aligned, we’ll see the same effects of radiation within a small range, but well only see them having an effect on things around the star itself (like the gas and dust from a supernova explosion), not as blips in our field-of-view.

Given this page over at the Chandra website, http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2006/n49/

I’m going to guess that the IR data is from Spitzer and the x-rays from Chandra, with some helpful visual data from Hubble.

Thus, the credit line missing from this post probably ought to read:

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/S.Kulkarni et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/UIUC/Y.H.Chu & R.Williams et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R.Gehrz et al.

anniker-deactivated20120906
So, this is from WeAreAllStarStuff.tumblr.com, but I thought I’d add a nice how-to for anyone interested in making their own version of this:
1) Get the anniversary Hubble shot of The Fairy of Eagle Nebula. This one from APOD would probably do: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110821.html
2) Get the Spitzer shots of the Eagle Nebula. Grab it (or both together) here: http://ethics-www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA09109
3) Flip the images horizontally.
4) Use Photoshop or the GIMP to add the Hubble image as the bottom layer, and then add the Spitzer image as the top layer.
5) Change the layer interaction on the Spitzer shot to “Multiply”.
6) Save As…
7) Profit!
Actually, don’t profit, since the images are from NASA missions.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, STScI, Spitzer, JPL/CalTech
Compilation: wearallstarstuff.tumblr.com

So, this is from WeAreAllStarStuff.tumblr.com, but I thought I’d add a nice how-to for anyone interested in making their own version of this:

1) Get the anniversary Hubble shot of The Fairy of Eagle Nebula. This one from APOD would probably do: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110821.html

2) Get the Spitzer shots of the Eagle Nebula. Grab it (or both together) here: http://ethics-www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA09109

3) Flip the images horizontally.

4) Use Photoshop or the GIMP to add the Hubble image as the bottom layer, and then add the Spitzer image as the top layer.

5) Change the layer interaction on the Spitzer shot to “Multiply”.

6) Save As…

7) Profit!

Actually, don’t profit, since the images are from NASA missions.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, STScI, Spitzer, JPL/CalTech

Compilation: wearallstarstuff.tumblr.com

NASA’S Spitzer Finds First Objects Burned Furiously

WASHINGTON — The faint, lumpy glow from the very first objects in the universe may have been detected with the best precision yet using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The objects could be wildly massive stars or voracious black holes. They are too far away to be seen individually, but Spitzer has captured new, convincing evidence of what appears to be the collective pattern of their infrared light. 

The observations help confirm the first objects were numerous in quantity and furiously burned cosmic fuel. 

"These objects would have been tremendously bright," said Alexander "Sasha" Kashlinsky of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., lead author of a new paper appearing in The Astrophysical Journal. "We can’t yet directly rule out mysterious sources for this light that could be coming from our nearby universe, but it is now becoming increasingly likely that we are catching a glimpse of an ancient epoch. Spitzer is laying down a roadmap for NASA’s upcoming James Webb Telescope, which will tell us exactly what and where these first objects were." 

Read more

Want the pictures…even if they’re just lumpy infrared blobs!

the-star-stuff

the-star-stuff:

Top Ten Infrared Space Pictures

1. Helix Nebula. A newly expanded image of the Helix Nebula (pictured) is one of the ten infrared pictures chosen by scientists to celebrate the thousand days that the Spitzer Space Telescope has been working past its retirement date. Image courtesy J. Hora, HSCfA, W. Latter, Herschel, and Caltech/NASA

2. Mountains of Creation. An infrared photograph of the star-forming region W5, aka the Mountains of Creation (pictured), was taken before Spitzer’s coolant ran out. Image courtesy L. Allen, HSCfA, and Caltech/NASA

3. See-Through Sombrero. At visible wavelengths, the Sombrero galaxy is a fuzzy white ball encircled by a black-rimmed ring of dust. Yet in infrared (pictured), the dust glows with splendor. Image courtesy R. Kennicutt, U. Arizona, and Caltech/NASA

4. Cygnus Constellation. This close-up of the Cygnus constellation was the very first picture taken after Spitzer ran out of coolant in 2009. Image courtesy Caltech/NASA

5. Trifid Nebula. One of the more striking objects in the visible-light sky is the Trifid Nebula.Image courtesy J. Rho, SSC/Caltech/NASA

6. Ancient Galaxies. Spitzer is widely known for its see-through views of nebulae, the Milky Way, and nearby galaxies, but it was also designed to peer back in time-possible because of the time it takes light to travel from distant objects to reach Earth. Image Courtesy Spitzer Space Telescope

(via APOD: 2012 April 10 - A Fox Fur, a Unicorn, and a Christmas Tree Image Credit: Rolf Geissinger)
In the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn, there is this confluence of nebulae and star clusters.
Below center is the Fox Fur nebula, and the bluish reflection haze in the dust is from the star S Mon.
At the top of image center is the Cone Nebula sitting above the Christmas Tree star cluster. The positioning of the image puts the Christmas Tree standing “upright”, but not positioned that way it is usually seen.
Here’s NGC 2264, which includes both the Christmas Tree cluster and the Cone Nebula in the designation, as imaged by Spitzer in the infrared (which shows off the Snowflake Nebula in the middle, as well):

An infrared Spitzer Space Telescope image of NGC 2264Credit: SIRTF/NASA/ESA. via Wikipedia
This is the same shot in optical from the La Silla Observatory in the Atacama desert of Chile:

Credit ESO
The optical shot also includes a bit of the Fox Fur Nebula which gives you an idea of the orientation.

(via APOD: 2012 April 10 - A Fox Fur, a Unicorn, and a Christmas Tree Image Credit: Rolf Geissinger)

In the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn, there is this confluence of nebulae and star clusters.

Below center is the Fox Fur nebula, and the bluish reflection haze in the dust is from the star S Mon.

At the top of image center is the Cone Nebula sitting above the Christmas Tree star cluster. The positioning of the image puts the Christmas Tree standing “upright”, but not positioned that way it is usually seen.

Here’s NGC 2264, which includes both the Christmas Tree cluster and the Cone Nebula in the designation, as imaged by Spitzer in the infrared (which shows off the Snowflake Nebula in the middle, as well):

An infrared Spitzer Space Telescope image of NGC 2264
Credit: SIRTF/NASA/ESA. via Wikipedia

This is the same shot in optical from the La Silla Observatory in the Atacama desert of Chile:

Credit ESO

The optical shot also includes a bit of the Fox Fur Nebula which gives you an idea of the orientation.