Planetary Nebulas - Fast Winds From Dying Stars
This panel of composite images shows part of the unfolding drama of the last stages of the evolution of sun-like stars.
Dynamic elongated clouds envelop bubbles of multimillion degree gas produced by high-velocity winds from dying stars. In these images, Chandra’s X-ray data are shown in blue, while green and red are optical and infrared data from Hubble.
Planetary nebulas - so called because some of them resemble a planet when viewed through a small telescope - are produced in the late stages of a sun-like star’s life. After several billion years of stable existence (the sun is 4.5 billion years old and will not enter this phase for about 5 billion more years) a normal star will expand enormously to become a bloated red giant. Over a period of a few hundred thousand years, much of the star’s mass is expelled at a relatively slow speed of about 50,000 miles per hour…
(read more: Chandra X-Ray Observatory)

Planetary Nebulas - Fast Winds From Dying Stars

This panel of composite images shows part of the unfolding drama of the last stages of the evolution of sun-like stars.

Dynamic elongated clouds envelop bubbles of multimillion degree gas produced by high-velocity winds from dying stars. In these images, Chandra’s X-ray data are shown in blue, while green and red are optical and infrared data from Hubble.

Planetary nebulas - so called because some of them resemble a planet when viewed through a small telescope - are produced in the late stages of a sun-like star’s life. After several billion years of stable existence (the sun is 4.5 billion years old and will not enter this phase for about 5 billion more years) a normal star will expand enormously to become a bloated red giant. Over a period of a few hundred thousand years, much of the star’s mass is expelled at a relatively slow speed of about 50,000 miles per hour…

(read more: Chandra X-Ray Observatory)

NGC 2467 is a star-forming region with a visual appearance often likened to a skull or a mandrill. Located in the southern constellation of Puppis, it contains the open clusters Haffner 18 (centre) and Haffner 19 (middle right: located inside the smaller pink “eye”), as well as vast areas of ionised gas. The bright star at the centre of the largest pink region is HD 64315, a massive young star that is helping to shape the whole nebular region’s structure.
 Photograph: European Southern Observatory
(via: Wikipedia)

NGC 2467 is a star-forming region with a visual appearance often likened to a skull or a mandrill. Located in the southern constellation of Puppis, it contains the open clusters Haffner 18 (centre) and Haffner 19 (middle right: located inside the smaller pink “eye”), as well as vast areas of ionised gas. The bright star at the centre of the largest pink region is HD 64315, a massive young star that is helping to shape the whole nebular region’s structure.

Photograph: European Southern Observatory

(via: Wikipedia)

NGC 3132: The Southern Ring Nebula
It’s the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of NGC 3132 that created this odd but beautiful planetary nebula. Nicknamed the Eight-Burst Nebula and the Southern Ring Nebula, the glowing gas originated in the outer layers of a star like our Sun.
In this reprocessed color picture, the hot purplish pool of light seen surrounding this binary system is energized by the hot surface of the faint star. Although photographed to explore unusual symmetries, it’s the asymmetries that help make this planetary nebula so intriguing. Neither the unusual shape of the surrounding cooler shell nor the structure and placements of the cool filamentary dust lanes running across NGC 3132 are well understood.
(via: NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day)
Image : Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Donald Waid

NGC 3132: The Southern Ring Nebula

It’s the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of NGC 3132 that created this odd but beautiful planetary nebula. Nicknamed the Eight-Burst Nebula and the Southern Ring Nebula, the glowing gas originated in the outer layers of a star like our Sun.

In this reprocessed color picture, the hot purplish pool of light seen surrounding this binary system is energized by the hot surface of the faint star. Although photographed to explore unusual symmetries, it’s the asymmetries that help make this planetary nebula so intriguing. Neither the unusual shape of the surrounding cooler shell nor the structure and placements of the cool filamentary dust lanes running across NGC 3132 are well understood.

(via: NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day)

Image : Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Donald Waid

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The nebula was first recorded in 1888 by Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light-years from Earth.
Photographer: Ken Crawford                                            via: Wikipedia

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The nebula was first recorded in 1888 by Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light-years from Earth.

Photographer: Ken Crawford                                            via: Wikipedia

The star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357, which extends one degree on the sky in the direction of the constellation Scorpius. Part of the nebula is ionised by the youngest (bluest) heavy stars in Pismis 24. The intense ultraviolet radiation from the blazing stars heats the gas surrounding the cluster and creates a bubble in NGC 6357. The brightest point of light above the centre of this image is Pismis 24-1, once thought to be the most massive known star but now known to be a binary system.
Photograph: HST/NASA/ESA                                                via: Wikipedia

The star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357, which extends one degree on the sky in the direction of the constellation Scorpius. Part of the nebula is ionised by the youngest (bluest) heavy stars in Pismis 24. The intense ultraviolet radiation from the blazing stars heats the gas surrounding the cluster and creates a bubble in NGC 6357. The brightest point of light above the centre of this image is Pismis 24-1, once thought to be the most massive known star but now known to be a binary system.

Photograph: HST/NASA/ESA                                                via: Wikipedia

Dust factory seen in the heart of an exploding star
by Jack Millner
This baleful red glow is a dust factory, located at the heart of a dead star’s expanding remains.
It is the first time such an object has been glimpsed at the centre of a supernova. The red glow is newly formed dust in the cool centre of the remnant, while the blue and green part is the shockwave expanding into space.
Supernovae are extremely bright explosions that occur when massive stars die, ejecting their matter into space. This one is called supernova 1987A – its light first reached us in 1987, having travelled all the way from the Large Magellanic Cloud…
(read more: New Scientist)
photos: Alexandra Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF), NASA Hubble, NASA Chandra

Dust factory seen in the heart of an exploding star

by Jack Millner

This baleful red glow is a dust factory, located at the heart of a dead star’s expanding remains.

It is the first time such an object has been glimpsed at the centre of a supernova. The red glow is newly formed dust in the cool centre of the remnant, while the blue and green part is the shockwave expanding into space.

Supernovae are extremely bright explosions that occur when massive stars die, ejecting their matter into space. This one is called supernova 1987A – its light first reached us in 1987, having travelled all the way from the Large Magellanic Cloud…

(read more: New Scientist)

photos: Alexandra Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF), NASA Hubble, NASA Chandra

Hubble Telescope Captures Spectacular Views of Spidery Tarantula Nebula 

by Miriam Kramer

New views from the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing the spooky-looking Tarantula Nebula in never-before-seen detail.

The Tarantula Nebula is located about 160,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way. The prolific Hubble Space Telescope produced the image, which shows multicolored clouds of gas and dust glowing with stars sprinkled throughout the image.

Hubble officials previously released images of the spidery nebula, however, this is the deepest view of the intriguing cosmic region full of star clusters yet….

(read more: Live Science)

This image is NGC 6543 known as the Cat’s Eye Nebula. A planetary nebula is a phase of stellar evolution that the sun should experience several billion years from now, when it expands to become a red giant and then sheds most of its outer layers, leaving behind a hot core that contracts to form a dense white dwarf star. This image was released Oct. 10, 2012
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al.; Optical: NASA/STSc
(via: Live Science)

This image is NGC 6543 known as the Cat’s Eye Nebula. A planetary nebula is a phase of stellar evolution that the sun should experience several billion years from now, when it expands to become a red giant and then sheds most of its outer layers, leaving behind a hot core that contracts to form a dense white dwarf star. This image was released Oct. 10, 2012

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al.; Optical: NASA/STSc

(via: Live Science)

Eye-Popping Collection of 100+ Planetary Nebulas
Artist Judy Schmidt, aka Geckzilla, does her own processing of raw images from the Hubble Space Telescope and other sources. And inspired by posters of insect illustrations, she decided to create this image of 100 planetary nebulas, all in one place. Enjoy!
Schmidt writes:

Inspired by insect illustration posters, this is a large collage of planetary nebulas I put together bit by bit as I processed them. All are presented north up and at apparent size relative to one another—I did not rotate or resize them in order to satisfy compositional aesthetics (if you spot any errors, let me know). Colors are aesthetic choices, especially since most planetary nebulas are imaged with narrowband filters.
How many of them can you identify?

(via: io9)

Eye-Popping Collection of 100+ Planetary Nebulas

Artist Judy Schmidt, aka Geckzilla, does her own processing of raw images from the Hubble Space Telescope and other sources. And inspired by posters of insect illustrations, she decided to create this image of 100 planetary nebulas, all in one place. Enjoy!

Schmidt writes:

Inspired by insect illustration posters, this is a large collage of planetary nebulas I put together bit by bit as I processed them. All are presented north up and at apparent size relative to one another—I did not rotate or resize them in order to satisfy compositional aesthetics (if you spot any errors, let me know). Colors are aesthetic choices, especially since most planetary nebulas are imaged with narrowband filters.

How many of them can you identify?

(via: io9)

Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A
One of the most famous objects in the sky - the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant - will be on display like never before, thanks to NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and a new project from the Smithsonian Institution. A new three-dimensional (3D) viewer, being unveiled this week, will allow users to interact with many one-of-a-kind objects from the Smithsonian as part of a large-scale effort to digitize many of the Institutions objects and artifacts.


Scientists have combined data from Chandra, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities to construct a unique 3D model of the 300-year old remains of a stellar explosion that blew a massive star apart, sending the stellar debris rushing into space at millions of miles per hour. The collaboration with this new Smithsonian 3D project will allow the astronomical data collected on Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short, to be featured and highlighted in an open-access program — a major innovation in digital technologies with public, education, and research-based impacts…
(read more: Wired Science)
Image: NASA/CXC/SAO [high-resolution]

Caption: Chandra Space Telescope

Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A

One of the most famous objects in the sky - the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant - will be on display like never before, thanks to NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and a new project from the Smithsonian Institution. A new three-dimensional (3D) viewer, being unveiled this week, will allow users to interact with many one-of-a-kind objects from the Smithsonian as part of a large-scale effort to digitize many of the Institutions objects and artifacts.

Scientists have combined data from Chandra, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities to construct a unique 3D model of the 300-year old remains of a stellar explosion that blew a massive star apart, sending the stellar debris rushing into space at millions of miles per hour. The collaboration with this new Smithsonian 3D project will allow the astronomical data collected on Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short, to be featured and highlighted in an open-access program — a major innovation in digital technologies with public, education, and research-based impacts…

(read more: Wired Science)

Image: NASA/CXC/SAO [high-resolution]

Caption: Chandra Space Telescope


Lagoon Nebula
The Lagoon Nebula, M8 or NGC 6523. As one of the showpiece objects of the summer sky in the northern hemisphere, the Lagoon never rises very high from most locations north of the equator. This image of the Lagoon was imaged from Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Twenty hours of data were collected over several nights with seeing usually around 0.5” and occasionally as low as the mid 0.30”.
Those who are familiar with other images of the Lagoon nebula may note that this version shows more blue: most renditions of this nebula are decidedly reddish in character. However, the object’s altitude during much of the imaging – as high as 80 degrees – minimized the normal tendency for blue extinction that is commonly experienced when imaging objects closer to the horizon. The numerous dark Bok Globules associated with M8 are also readily apparent.
Image: SSRO/PROMPT/CTIO [high-resolution] Read NOAO Conditions of Use before downloading
Caption: NOAO

(via: Wired Science)

(via: Wired Science)

Jellyfish Nebula Bobs Away
Photograph by Bob Franke, National Geographic
Jellyfish Nebula, the gas-filled remains of a distant stellar explosion, seems to swim away from remnants of its former home in a photo uploaded to Your Shot on November 2. Some 5,200 light-years away, the nebula is joined on its left by an “emission nebula,” a cloud of electrically charged gas thrown off an exploded star.
(via: National Geo)

Jellyfish Nebula Bobs Away

Photograph by Bob Franke, National Geographic

Jellyfish Nebula, the gas-filled remains of a distant stellar explosion, seems to swim away from remnants of its former home in a photo uploaded to Your Shot on November 2. Some 5,200 light-years away, the nebula is joined on its left by an “emission nebula,” a cloud of electrically charged gas thrown off an exploded star.

(via: National Geo)

Witch’s Head Nebula
A witch appears to be screaming out into space in this new image from NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The infrared portrait shows the Witch Head nebula, named after its resemblance to the profile of a wicked witch. Astronomers say the billowy clouds of the nebula, where baby stars are brewing, are being lit up by massive stars. Dust in the cloud is being hit with starlight, causing it to glow with infrared light, which was picked up by WISE’s detectors.
The Witch Head nebula is estimated to be hundreds of light-years away in the Orion constellation, just off the famous hunter’s knee. WISE was recently “awakened” to hunt for asteroids in a program called NEOWISE. The reactivation came after the spacecraft was put into hibernation in 2011, when it completed two full scans of the sky, as planned.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech [high-resolution]
Caption: NASA/JPL
(via: Wired Science)

Witch’s Head Nebula

A witch appears to be screaming out into space in this new image from NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The infrared portrait shows the Witch Head nebula, named after its resemblance to the profile of a wicked witch. Astronomers say the billowy clouds of the nebula, where baby stars are brewing, are being lit up by massive stars. Dust in the cloud is being hit with starlight, causing it to glow with infrared light, which was picked up by WISE’s detectors.

The Witch Head nebula is estimated to be hundreds of light-years away in the Orion constellation, just off the famous hunter’s knee. WISE was recently “awakened” to hunt for asteroids in a program called NEOWISE. The reactivation came after the spacecraft was put into hibernation in 2011, when it completed two full scans of the sky, as planned.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech [high-resolution]

Caption: NASA/JPL

(via: Wired Science)

THREE DEAD STARS:
This trio of ghostly images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the disembodied remains of dying stars called planetary nebulas. Planetary nebulas are a late stage in a sun-like star’s life, when its outer layers have sloughed off and are lit up by ultraviolet light from the central star. They come in a variety of shapes, as indicated by these three spooky structures. In all of the images, infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 microns is rendered in blue, 4.5 microns in green, and 8.0 microns in red.
Exposed Cranium Nebula (left) - The brain-like orb called PMR 1 has been nicknamed the “Exposed Cranium” nebula by Spitzer scientists. This planetary nebula, located roughly 5,000 light-years away in the Vela constellation, is host to a hot, massive dying star that is rapidly disintegrating, losing its mass. The nebula’s insides, which appear mushy and red in this view, are made up primarily of ionized gas, while the outer green shell is cooler, consisting of glowing hydrogen molecules.
Ghost of Jupiter Nebula (middle) - The Ghost of Jupiter, also known as NGC 3242, is located roughly 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Hydra. Spitzer’s infrared view shows off the cooler outer halo of the dying star, colored here in red. Also evident are concentric rings around the object, the result of material being periodically tossed out in the star’s final death throes.
Little Dumbbell Nebula (right)This planetary nebula, known as NGC 650 or the Little Dumbbell, is about 2,500 light-years from Earth in the Perseus constellation. Unlike the other spherical nebulas, it has a bipolar or butterfly shape due to a “waist,” or disk, of thick material, running from lower left to upper right. Fast winds blow material away from the star, above and below this dusty disk. The ghoulish green and red clouds are from glowing hydrogen molecules, with the green area being hotter than the red.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA [high-resolution]
Caption: NASA                                      
(via: Wired Science)

THREE DEAD STARS:

This trio of ghostly images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the disembodied remains of dying stars called planetary nebulas. Planetary nebulas are a late stage in a sun-like star’s life, when its outer layers have sloughed off and are lit up by ultraviolet light from the central star. They come in a variety of shapes, as indicated by these three spooky structures. In all of the images, infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 microns is rendered in blue, 4.5 microns in green, and 8.0 microns in red.

Exposed Cranium Nebula (left) - The brain-like orb called PMR 1 has been nicknamed the “Exposed Cranium” nebula by Spitzer scientists. This planetary nebula, located roughly 5,000 light-years away in the Vela constellation, is host to a hot, massive dying star that is rapidly disintegrating, losing its mass. The nebula’s insides, which appear mushy and red in this view, are made up primarily of ionized gas, while the outer green shell is cooler, consisting of glowing hydrogen molecules.

Ghost of Jupiter Nebula (middle) - The Ghost of Jupiter, also known as NGC 3242, is located roughly 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Hydra. Spitzer’s infrared view shows off the cooler outer halo of the dying star, colored here in red. Also evident are concentric rings around the object, the result of material being periodically tossed out in the star’s final death throes.

Little Dumbbell Nebula (right)This planetary nebula, known as NGC 650 or the Little Dumbbell, is about 2,500 light-years from Earth in the Perseus constellation. Unlike the other spherical nebulas, it has a bipolar or butterfly shape due to a “waist,” or disk, of thick material, running from lower left to upper right. Fast winds blow material away from the star, above and below this dusty disk. The ghoulish green and red clouds are from glowing hydrogen molecules, with the green area being hotter than the red.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA [high-resolution]

Caption: NASA                                      

(via: Wired Science)

The Starlit Bubble Nebula
Photograph by Terry Hancock, National Geographic
The Bubble Nebula seems to float upward, borne aloft by a froth of surrounding stars, in this photograph submitted October 21 to National Geographic’s Your Shot.

The nebula is actually a bubble of gas flowing outward from a powerful young star some 15 times more massive than the sun. The bubble sits embedded within a cloud of interstellar gas.
The view seen here was captured over ten nights of viewing time from a backyard in Fremont, Michigan.
(via: National Geographic)

The Starlit Bubble Nebula

Photograph by Terry Hancock, National Geographic

The Bubble Nebula seems to float upward, borne aloft by a froth of surrounding stars, in this photograph submitted October 21 to National Geographic’s Your Shot.

The nebula is actually a bubble of gas flowing outward from a powerful young star some 15 times more massive than the sun. The bubble sits embedded within a cloud of interstellar gas.

The view seen here was captured over ten nights of viewing time from a backyard in Fremont, Michigan.

(via: National Geographic)