Small gallery of fascinating photographs from space


28/10/2008

Giant Black Widow is hiding somewhere in the Milky Way, emitting streams of deadly radiation. Located just above the galactic plane, the Black Widow Nebula is a cloud of dust, gas and stars at a distance of about 10,000 light-years from Earth. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has photographed the fine dust streams, like spider legs that go from the center of the nebula, in the formation of massive young stars. (Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / E Churchwell / GLIMPSE).

Giant Black Widow is hiding somewhere in the Milky Way, emitting streams of deadly radiation. Located just above the galactic plane, the Black Widow Nebula is a cloud of dust, gas and stars at a distance of about 10,000 light-years from Earth. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has photographed the fine dust streams, like spider legs that go from the center of the nebula, in the formation of massive young stars. (Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / E Churchwell / GLIMPSE)

The dark figure seems to appear out of the fog in this shot of gas and dust of the nebula NGC 1999. A bright young star called V380 Orionis (top left) highlights the nebula, except for the section where the cold cloud of gas and dust is so dense that block out all the light behind. Perhaps, in this dark cloud, called Bok globules (Bok globule), stars form. (Image: NASA / Hubble Heritage Team / STScI)

One of Saturn’s moons, Mimas, looks like a real Death Star from "Star Wars" on the image made Cassini probe in 2005. A giant crater named Herschel in the center of the image is likely to appear after a collision with a huge asteroid. If the asteroid was moving a little faster or more, it may be the moon has split in two. (Image: NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute)

Huge network of gas filaments in NGC 1275 resembles the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Until recently it was not clear what prevents the destruction of thin filaments by gravitational forces, but the images obtained Hubble Space Telescope suggest that the gas filaments are supported by magnetic fields produced by the black hole at the center of the galaxy. (Image: Fabian et al. / NASA)

In March, astronomers have discovered the brightest gamma-ray burst has ever been recorded. The outbreak occurred incredibly far away, but was so bright that it can be seen with the naked eye. What is so unique about this outbreak of gamma radiation? It turns out that it was some kind of cosmic death ray. When a massive star in the distant universe died, she fired a high-speed charge of radiation directly into the Earth. Well, that was a star at a distance of 7.5 billion light years. After all, if this outbreak occurred within 6,500 light-years from Earth, the incredible amount of gamma radiation would completely demolish the Earth’s ozone layer and cause mass (or even complete) destruction of life on our planet. (Image: J Racusin) Popular news informers tell about the most important events of the day.

Original: Newscientist.com


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