Cosmic Web of The Tarantula Zone
Distance: 163,000 Light Years
The Tarantula Nebula is more than 1,000 light-years in diameter — a giant star forming region within our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). That cosmic arachnid lies left of center in this sharp, colorful telescopic image taken through narrow-band filters. It covers a part of the LMC over 2,000 light-years across.
Credit & Copyright: John P. Gleason
Zodiacal Light above France
The sky above this lonely tree in southern France displays the northern hemisphere winter Milky Way above the cone-shape glow of the zodiacal light (sunlight reflection from dust in the solar system plane), strongly visible above the western horizon.
The Tree of Life
“The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.” - Carl Sagan
Astronomers have spotted a large and ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid heading towards Earth and it is only less than a month away from passing within four million miles.The object is 150 metres in diameter and has been named ‘2010 ST3’. It was discovered using the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) PS1 telescope in images taken on Sept 16 reports Mail Online, when it was about twenty million miles away.The Pan-STARRS survey based at Haleakala, Maui uses a new telescope designed to scan the skies for asteroids likely to pass close to Earth. It is the first time it has detected a potentially hazardous object. 2010 ST3 is expected to be at its closest to Earth in mid-October.Robert Jedicke is a University of Hawaii member of the PS1 Scientific Consortium, he said:
Although this particular object won’t hit Earth in the immediate future, its discovery shows that Pan-STARRS is now the most sensitive system dedicated to discovering potentially dangerous asteroids. This object was discovered when it was too far away to be detected by other asteroid surveys.
Most of the largest potentially hazardous objects have been catalogued. Scientists suspect there are many more under a mile across that have not yet been discovered.Large asteroids supposedly crash into Earth once every few thousand years.
Diamond star thrills astronomers
Twinkling in the sky is a diamond star of 10 billion trillion trillion carats, astronomers have discovered.
The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallised carbon, 4,000 km across, some 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus.
It’s the compressed heart of an old star that was once bright like our Sun but has since faded and shrunk.
Astronomers have decided to call the star “Lucy” after the Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
Oh my, “Lucy,” how predictable (no offence, Beatles fans). I’d name it “Diana” after Legend of Mana’s diamond.
Big Bear’s Sunspot
This crisp view of a sunspot, captured by New Jersey Institute of Technology’s New Solar Telescope and released last week, may be the most detailed picture of its kind yet shot in visible light, astronomers say.
(via National Geographic)
They are among the true monsters of space - colossal stars whose size and brightness go well beyond what many scientists thought was even possible.
One of the objects, known simply as R136a1, is the most massive ever found.
The star is seen to have a mass about 265 times that of our own Sun; but the latest modelling work suggests at birth it could have been bigger, still.
Perhaps as much as 320 times that of the Sun, says Professor Paul Crowther from Sheffield University, UK.
"If it replaced the Sun in our Solar System, it would outshine [it] by as much as the Sun currently outshines the full Moon," the astronomer told BBC News.
Chromoscope lets you explore our Galaxy (the Milky Way) and the distant Universe in a range of wavelengths from X-rays to the longest radio waves.
An alien planet orbits so close to its star that its atmosphere is being blasted away, forming a gaseous, comet-like tail, astronomers announced Thursday.