Posts tagged astronomy


Table of Astronomy

Illustration from Cyclopaedia: or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (two volumes in folio) — an encyclopedia published by Ephraim Chambers in London in 1728, and reprinted in numerous editions in the eighteenth century.


Supernova Remnant E0102-72 

Explanation: The expanding debris cloud from the explosion of a massive star is captured in this multiwavelength composite, combining x-ray and optical images from the Chandra and Hubble telescopes. Identified as E0102-72, the supernova remnant lies about 190,000 light-years away in our neighboring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud. A strong cosmic source of x-rays, E0102 was imaged by the Chandra X-ray Observatory shortly after its launch in 1999. In celebration of Chandra’s 10th anniversary, this colorful view of E0102 and its environs was created, including additional Chandra data. An analysis of all the data indicates that the overall shape of E0102 is most likely a cylinder that is viewed end-on rather than a spherical bubble. The intriguing result implies that the massive star’s explosion has produced a shape similar to what is seen in some planetary nebulae associated with lower mass stars. At the distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud, this field of view spans about 150 light-years.


Galactic Collision via NASA

This composite image of the Antennae galaxies contains X-rays from Chandra (blue), optical data from Hubble (gold and brown), and infrared data from Spitzer (red). The X-ray image shows huge clouds of hot, interstellar gas that have been injected with rich deposits of elements from supernova explosions. 


The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope orbits Earth with a complicated motion. This map shows the position of a particular pulsar (the Vela pulsar) inside the field of view of the telescope as it orbits around the Earth rocking north/south; rolls to keep its solar panels facing the Sun; and processes around its axis once ever 54 days. It is a compound of these three motions that gives rise to this image.


IC 405: Flaming Star Nebula

Image: Marc Jousset

Description: Robert Gendler

First discovered in 1892, the nebula complex IC 405 was eloquently described by Max Wolf in 1903 as “a burning body from which several enormous curved flames seem to break out like gigantic prominences”. Eventually “The Flaming Star Nebula” became adopted as the popular name for IC 405.