starstuffblog
ohstarstuff:

8,000 light-years from Earth lies the incredible NGC 3292 star cluster in the constellation of Carina. Most of the stars seen here are very young, and the cluster itself is less than 10 million years old. Comparatively, our Sun is 4.6 billion years old and is only halfway through its lifecycle. 
NGC 3292 is an “open cluster”, formed from a giant cloud of molecular gas. The stars are held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. But these forces are not enough to hold a cluster together against close encounters with other clusters and clouds of gas as the cluster’s own gas and dust dissipates. So, open clusters will only last a few hundred million years, unlike larger globular clusters, which can survive for billions of years, and hold on to far more stars. (Image credit: La Silla Observatory in Chile, ESO/G. Beccari)

ohstarstuff:

8,000 light-years from Earth lies the incredible NGC 3292 star cluster in the constellation of Carina. Most of the stars seen here are very young, and the cluster itself is less than 10 million years old. Comparatively, our Sun is 4.6 billion years old and is only halfway through its lifecycle.

NGC 3292 is an “open cluster”, formed from a giant cloud of molecular gas. The stars are held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. But these forces are not enough to hold a cluster together against close encounters with other clusters and clouds of gas as the cluster’s own gas and dust dissipates. So, open clusters will only last a few hundred million years, unlike larger globular clusters, which can survive for billions of years, and hold on to far more stars.

(
Image credit: La Silla Observatory in Chile, ESO/G. Beccari)

starstuffblog
distant-traveller:

The oldest cluster in its cloud


This image shows NGC 121, a globular cluster in the constellation of Tucana (The Toucan). Globular clusters are big balls of old stars that orbit the centres of their galaxies like satellites — the Milky Way, for example, has around 150.



NGC 121 belongs to one of our neighbouring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). It was discovered in 1835 by English astronomer John Herschel, and in recent years it has been studied in detail by astronomers wishing to learn more about how stars form and evolve.
Stars do not live forever — they develop differently depending on their original mass. In many clusters, all the stars seem to have formed at the same time, although in others we see distinct populations of stars that are different ages. By studying old stellar populations in globular clusters, astronomers can effectively use them as tracers for the stellar population of their host galaxies. With an object like NGC 121, which lies close to the Milky Way, Hubble is able to resolve individual stars and get a very detailed insight.
NGC 121 is around 10 billion years old, making it the oldest cluster in its galaxy; all of the SMC’s other globular clusters are 8 billion years old or younger. However, NGC 121 is still several billions of years younger than its counterparts in the Milky Way and in other nearby galaxies like the Large Magellanic Cloud. The reason for this age gap is not completely clear, but it could indicate that cluster formation was initially delayed for some reason in the SMC, or that NGC 121 is the sole survivor of an older group of star clusters.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowlegement: Stefano Campani

distant-traveller:

The oldest cluster in its cloud

This image shows NGC 121, a globular cluster in the constellation of Tucana (The Toucan). Globular clusters are big balls of old stars that orbit the centres of their galaxies like satellites — the Milky Way, for example, has around 150.

NGC 121 belongs to one of our neighbouring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). It was discovered in 1835 by English astronomer John Herschel, and in recent years it has been studied in detail by astronomers wishing to learn more about how stars form and evolve.

Stars do not live forever — they develop differently depending on their original mass. In many clusters, all the stars seem to have formed at the same time, although in others we see distinct populations of stars that are different ages. By studying old stellar populations in globular clusters, astronomers can effectively use them as tracers for the stellar population of their host galaxies. With an object like NGC 121, which lies close to the Milky Way, Hubble is able to resolve individual stars and get a very detailed insight.

NGC 121 is around 10 billion years old, making it the oldest cluster in its galaxy; all of the SMC’s other globular clusters are 8 billion years old or younger. However, NGC 121 is still several billions of years younger than its counterparts in the Milky Way and in other nearby galaxies like the Large Magellanic Cloud. The reason for this age gap is not completely clear, but it could indicate that cluster formation was initially delayed for some reason in the SMC, or that NGC 121 is the sole survivor of an older group of star clusters.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowlegement: Stefano Campani

starstuffblog
brightestofcentaurus:

IC 2560
IC 2560 is a spiral galaxy located about 110 million light years away towards the constellation Antlia, the Air Pump. It is a member of the Antlia galaxy group, which is notable for its unusual lack of a dominant galaxy though it contains over 200 galaxies.
IC 2560 is a Seyfert-2 galaxy, with a very bright nucleus and strong hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and oxygen emission lines. Super hot gas is believed to cause the brightness as it is thrown off from the edges of a central black hole.
Image and information from ESA.

brightestofcentaurus:

IC 2560

IC 2560 is a spiral galaxy located about 110 million light years away towards the constellation Antlia, the Air Pump. It is a member of the Antlia galaxy group, which is notable for its unusual lack of a dominant galaxy though it contains over 200 galaxies.

IC 2560 is a Seyfert-2 galaxy, with a very bright nucleus and strong hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and oxygen emission lines. Super hot gas is believed to cause the brightness as it is thrown off from the edges of a central black hole.

Image and information from ESA.

starstuffblog
distant-traveller:

IC 4603: reflection nebula in Ophiuchius

Why does this starfield photograph resemble an impressionistic painting? The effect is created not by digital trickery but by large amounts of interstellar dust. Dust, minute globs rich in carbonand similar in size to cigarette smoke, frequently starts in the outer atmospheres of large, cool, evolved stars. The dust is dispersed as the star dies and grows as things stick to it in the interstellar medium. Dense dust clouds are opaque to visible light and can completely hide background stars. For less dense clouds, the capacity of dust to preferentially reflect blue starlight becomes important, effectively blooming the stars blue light out and marking the surrounding dust. Nebular gas emissions, typically brightest in red light, can combine to form areas seemingly created on an artist’s canvas. Photographed above is the central part of the nebula IC 4603 surrounding the bright star SAO 184376 (actually 8th magnitude) which mostly illuminates the blue reflection nebula. IC 4603 can be seen near the very bright star Antares (1st magnitude) toward the constellation of Ophiuchus.

Image credit & copyright: Rolf Olsen

distant-traveller:

IC 4603: reflection nebula in Ophiuchius

Why does this starfield photograph resemble an impressionistic painting? The effect is created not by digital trickery but by large amounts of interstellar dust. Dust, minute globs rich in carbonand similar in size to cigarette smoke, frequently starts in the outer atmospheres of large, cool, evolved stars. The dust is dispersed as the star dies and grows as things stick to it in the interstellar medium. Dense dust clouds are opaque to visible light and can completely hide background stars. For less dense clouds, the capacity of dust to preferentially reflect blue starlight becomes important, effectively blooming the stars blue light out and marking the surrounding dust. Nebular gas emissions, typically brightest in red light, can combine to form areas seemingly created on an artist’s canvas. Photographed above is the central part of the nebula IC 4603 surrounding the bright star SAO 184376 (actually 8th magnitude) which mostly illuminates the blue reflection nebula. IC 4603 can be seen near the very bright star Antares (1st magnitude) toward the constellation of Ophiuchus.

Image credit & copyright: Rolf Olsen

libutron

scienceyoucanlove:

Misumena vatia (Goldenrod Crab Spider)

The Goldenrod Spider is a member of the crab spider family. It is best known for its ability to change its color from white to yellow in order to camouflage among flowers. The female is the one most often seen. She is either yellow or white, depending on where she is, with red streaks on her abdomen. The male is dark reddish-brown, with a whitish abdomen with dark red streaks. The male is smaller (about 1/8 inch) than the female (up to 3/8 inch). Goldenrod Spiders are found wherever there are yellow and white flowers, especially goldenrod and daisies. This is usually in a field or garden.

Goldenrod Spiders eat insects, either by hunting on the ground, or by ambushing from a flower. They especially attack bees, butterflies, and flies which visit flowers for nectar. Grasshoppers and other plant-eating insects are also frequent prey. Goldenrod Spiders have small jaws which contain venom. This venom allows them to take on animals much larger than them. Usually, the Goldenrod Spider grabs its prey with its front legs and injects the venom. It then sucks all the body fluids from its prey.

Goldenrod Spiders can walk forwards, backwards, or sideways. They do not build webs. After mating, female Goldenrod Spiders will spin a silk sac to hold eggs. This is done by folding a leaf over the eggs and wrapping the silk around it. The female usually dies before the young spiderlings hatch. They are on their own from the moment they are born.

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photo source 

starstuffblog
spacettf:

UGC 6138 by geckzilla on Flickr.Tramite Flickr:
Moving right along: Galaxy number four of six from Proposal 10550! Lovely spiral structures to this one and also a nice contrast with a background edge-on galaxy seen straight through the galactic nucleus. Look at how bright the background galaxy is compared to it. I am only just beginning to learn how dark matter possibly takes up residence in the centers of these low-surface-brightness galaxies as opposed to mainly the halo of normal galaxies. I’m also still trying to understand if these can be called dwarf galaxies. Sometimes you can’t just look at something and drop it easily into a category or two.
Speaking of background galaxies, my favorite part about this image are these faint fuzzies. On the left side of the field is a three-armed galaxy (cropped, close-up here) the likes of which I have never seen before. I’ve seen other pictures of them but they’re usually jumbled and barely discernible as having three arms. For this one, there is no question. It’s almost perfect and it even looks triangular.
In the upper right corner is a galaxy which looks exactly like a baby crocodile head.
The chip gap is here to torment me again. I’ve filled it with somewhat blurry, noisy fake data to keep the distraction minimal. As always, it is not blended with real data. The line between the fake data in the gap and the real data is a hard one.
Red: HST_10550_04_ACS_WFC_F775W_sci
Green: Pseudo
Blue: HST_10550_04_ACS_WFC_F475W_sci
North is NOT up. It is 29.5° clockwise from up.

spacettf:

UGC 6138 by geckzilla on Flickr.

Tramite Flickr:
Moving right along: Galaxy number four of six from Proposal 10550! Lovely spiral structures to this one and also a nice contrast with a background edge-on galaxy seen straight through the galactic nucleus. Look at how bright the background galaxy is compared to it. I am only just beginning to learn how dark matter possibly takes up residence in the centers of these low-surface-brightness galaxies as opposed to mainly the halo of normal galaxies. I’m also still trying to understand if these can be called dwarf galaxies. Sometimes you can’t just look at something and drop it easily into a category or two.

Speaking of background galaxies, my favorite part about this image are these faint fuzzies. On the left side of the field is a three-armed galaxy (cropped, close-up here) the likes of which I have never seen before. I’ve seen other pictures of them but they’re usually jumbled and barely discernible as having three arms. For this one, there is no question. It’s almost perfect and it even looks triangular.

In the upper right corner is a galaxy which looks exactly like a baby crocodile head.

The chip gap is here to torment me again. I’ve filled it with somewhat blurry, noisy fake data to keep the distraction minimal. As always, it is not blended with real data. The line between the fake data in the gap and the real data is a hard one.

Red: HST_10550_04_ACS_WFC_F775W_sci
Green: Pseudo
Blue: HST_10550_04_ACS_WFC_F475W_sci

North is NOT up. It is 29.5° clockwise from up.