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Bubbly Little Star November 17, 2007

Posted by jtintle in Deep Space.
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NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Velusamy (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)


In this processed Spitzer Space Telescope image, baby star HH 46/47 can
be seen blowing two massive “bubbles.” The star is 1,140 light-years
away from Earth.The infant star can be seen as a white spot toward the center of the
Spitzer image. The two bubbles are shown as hollow elliptical shells of
bluish-green material extending from the star. Wisps of green in the
image reveal warm molecular hydrogen gas, while the bluish tints are
formed by starlight scattered by surrounding dust.

These bubbles formed when powerful jets of gas, traveling at 200 to 300
kilometers per second, or about 120 to 190 miles per second, smashed
into the cosmic cloud of gas and dust that surrounds HH 46/47. The red
specks at the end of each bubble show the presence of hot sulfur and
iron gas where the star’s narrow jets are currently crashing head-on
into the cosmic cloud’s gas and dust material.

Whenever astronomers observe a star, or snap a stellar portrait,
through the lens of any telescope, they know that what they are seeing
is slightly blurred. To clear up the blurring in Spitzer images,
astronomers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed an image
processing technique for Spitzer called Hi-Res deconvolution.

This process reduces blurring and makes the image sharper and cleaner,
enabling astronomers to see the emissions around forming stars in
greater detail. When scientists applied this image processing technique
to the Spitzer image of HH 46/47, they were able to see winds from the
star and jets of gas that are carving the celestial bubbles.

This infrared image is a three-color composite, with data at 3.6
microns represented in blue, 4.5 and 5.8 microns shown in green, and 24
microns represented as red.

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Gullies in the Eastern Hellas Region of Mars November 17, 2007

Posted by jtintle in Planets, Space Fotos.
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Gullies in the Eastern Hellas Region of Mars

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona



This image shows several gullies along the southern wall of unnamed crater in the eastern Hellas region of Mars. This particular crater has gullies on both the polar and equatorial-facing walls. The gully floors appear to be filled with rough-textured, somewhat knobby-looking materials. As multiple gullies located upslope feed into a single gully reaching the crater floor, the materials have converged to form a large deposit. Lineations parallel to apparent flow direction are evident on the textured surface. It’s not clear if liquid flows carved the gullies at this location, but the eastern Hellas region is well known for its abundant ice-rich flow features, such as lobate debris aprons at the base of knobs and massifs. Thus, the gully floor materials may have also incorporated ice at some time in the recent past and moved downslope as possible glacial-like flows.



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The Mystery Machine November 17, 2007

Posted by jtintle in Deep Space.
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NASA/IoA/A.Fabian et al.


The Chandra X-ray Observatory is a devilishly clever machine which can look back in time and probe the dark, hidden mysteries of the Universe. Chandra has seen the unseen, probing the fall of the house of the Cas A supernova remnant, measuring the tell tale heart of the Crab Pulsar, and many other amazing things. Here we reprise probably the “scariest” of Chandra’s observations, an image of the dark hot glowing demonic visage in the Perseus cluster of galaxies. The demon is the result of the “drumming” of a monster with a heart of darkness which has produced a banshee wail heard through the known Universe. Happy Halloween!

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NGC 6888: The Crescent Nebula November 17, 2007

Posted by jtintle in Deep Space.
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Credit & Copyright:

Franck Bugnet


What caused the Crescent Nebula? Looking like an emerging space cocoon, the Crescent Nebula, visible in the center of the above image, was created by the brightest star in its center. A leading progenitor hypothesis has the Crescent Nebula beginning to form about 250,000 years ago. At that time, the massive central star had evolved to become a Wolf-Rayet star (WR 136), shedding its outer envelope in a strong stellar wind, ejecting the equivalent of our Sun’s mass every 10,000 years. This wind impacted surrounding gas left over from a previous phase, compacting it into a series of complex shells, and lighting it up. The Crescent Nebula, also known as NGC 6888, lies about 4,700 light-years away in the constellation of Cygnus. Star WR 136 will probably undergo a supernova explosion sometime in the next million years.

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