A place where science is about discovery of God's creation. Content is added daily, so check back tomorrow!
The Pleiades Deep and Dusty
The well-known Pleiades star cluster is slowly destroying part of a passing cloud of gas and dust. The Pleiades is the brightest open cluster of stars on Earth's sky and can be seen from almost any northerly location with the unaided eye. Pressure from the stars' light significantly repels the dust in the surrounding blue reflection nebula, with smaller dust particles being repelled more strongly. A short-term result is that parts of the dust cloud have become filamentary and stratified. The featured deep image also captured Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS) on the lower left.
Image Credit: Juan Carlos CasadoTWANEarth & StarsFECYT
A Colourful MoonThe Moon is normally seen in subtle shades of grey. But small, measurable color differences have been greatly exaggerated in this mosaic of high-resolution images captured near the Moon's full phase, to construct a multicolored, central moonscape. The different colors are recognized to correspond to real differences in the mineral makeup of the lunar surface. Blue hues reveal titanium rich areas while more orange and purple colors show regions relatively poor in titanium and iron. The intriguing Sea of Vapors, or Mare Vaporum, is below center in the frame with the sweeping arc of the lunar Montes Apenninus (Apennine Mountains) above it. The dark floor of 83 kilometer diameter Archimedes crater within the Sea of Rains, or Mare Imbrium, is toward the top left. Near the gap at the top of the Apennine's arc is the Apollo 15 landing site. Calibrated by rock samples returned by the Apollo missions, similar multicolor images from spacecraft have been used to explore the Moon's global surface composition.
Image Credit: Alain Paillou
Williamina Fleming's Triangular Wisp
Chaotic in appearance, these tangled filaments of shocked, glowing gas are spread across planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus as part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova explosion likely reached Earth over 5,000 years ago. Blasted out in the cataclysmic event, the interstellar shock waves plow through space sweeping up and exciting interstellar material. The glowing filaments are really more like long ripples in a sheet seen almost edge on, remarkably well separated into the glow of ionized hydrogen atoms shown in red and oxygen in blue hues. Also known as the Cygnus Loop, the Veil Nebula now spans nearly 3 degrees or about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon. While that translates to over 70 light-years at its estimated distance of 1,500 light-years, this field of view spans less than one third that distance.
Image Credit: Sara Wager
How to make Mars hab
Things humans would have to achieve to colonize Mars and make it habitable.
Why stars cannot forIt has been believed for some time that stars can form from a collapsing nebula. But is it actually possible? Let's look at processes that woul
How long did it takeAccording to currently accepted models, light travels at the same speed in all parts of the universe, and it has always traveled at this speed. Dis
Is the asteroid beltThere has been a theory proposed a while back that hypothesized an asteroid belt to be the remains of an exploded planet. I've he
WASP-12b - A Planet Eaten by its own Star
WASP-12 star is a yellow dwarf star, in the constellation Auriga, 870 light-years from Earth. The star has a planet orbiting it every 1.1 days. If the Earth orbits the Sun at a distance of 150 million kilometers, this planet orbits its star at a distance of 3.4 million km. To make matters worse, the WASP-12 star is larger and hotter than our Sun.
In the May 10, 2010 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters, it was claimed that the gas cloud above the planet extends up to 60,000 km above the surface. The mass of the planet is estimated to be 1.4 times the mass of Jupiter.
The gravitational pull of the star stretched the planet into a shape of a rugby ball. Due to the enourmous heat, the planet's atmosphere is three times the size of Jupiter; but it is gradually lost, as matter is spilled into the star. Every seven years, the planet loses as much matter as is contained in all of Earth's oceans. In this flow of matter, chemical elements never observed on planets outside of our Solar System were discovered. This is the first time matter exchange has been observed between a star and a planet.
But the end of the planet is nowhere near. According to some estimates, it would take 10 million years for the star to pull this planet into itself.
This discovery has verified two former hypotheses of astronomers. One is that if the planet was too close to the star, it would be stretched by the gravitational pull from the star. The other one is that because of the resulting heat of being so close to the star, the planet's atmosphere would expand.
By the way, WASP stands for Wide Area Search for Planets, a British project.
The image you see is not a real photograph, because the star is too far away from us for Hubble telescope to take a picture of it. Instead, this is an artist's impression of the data obtained through studies.
GW170817: A Spectacular Multi-Radiation Merger Event Detected
Moon Shadow versus Sun Reflection
Pluto Flyover from New Horizons
Sign in for full access.