Now THIS is what I call universal…isn’t it just beautiful?


Pics and texts (try to guess which one matches each pic, hehehe) taken from my friend Andre’s blog, check it out, there’s other cool (and weird too!) photos there…

http://www.fotolog.net/nihil_

Nebulosa Bumerangue. Foto tirada pela Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, do Hubble, em 1998. Está a 5.000 Anos-Luz daqui, na direção da constelação do Centauro.
A aparência desta nebulosa planetária se deve a gases ultra-gelados expelidos por uma estrela agonizante a 600.000km/h. Justamente por essa velocidade de expansão, os gases se esfriam a ponto de atingirem 1K, é o lugar mais frio conhecido no universo. Estima-se que essa estrela perca 1/1000 de massa solar a cada 1.500 anos.

——

Original Caption Released with Image:

In a splendid portrait created by light and gravity, Saturn`s lonely moon Mimas is seen against the cool, blue-streaked backdrop of Saturn`s northern hemisphere. Delicate shadows cast by the rings arc gracefully across the planet, fading into darkness on Saturn`s night side.

The part of the atmosphere seen here appears darker and more bluish than the warm brown and gold hues seen in Cassini images of the southern hemisphere, due to preferential scattering of blue wavelengths by the cloud-free upper atmosphere.

The bright blue swath near Mimas (398 kilometers, or 247 miles across) is created by sunlight passing through the Cassini division (4,800 kilometers, or 2,980 miles wide). The rightmost part of this distinctive feature is slightly overexposed and therefore bright white in this image. Shadows of several thin ringlets within the division can be seen here as well. The dark band that stretches across the center of the image is the shadow of Saturn`s B ring, the densest of the main rings. Part of the actual Cassini division appears at the bottom, along with the A ring and the narrow, outer F ring. The A ring is transparent enough that, from this viewing angle, the atmosphere and threadlike shadows cast by the inner C ring are visible through it.

Images taken with red, green and blue filters were combined to create this color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Nov. 7, 2004, at a distance of 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 22 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel. link:

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA06142.jpg


The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA`s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

For more information, about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit, http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

——-

Messier Object 31 – Galáxia em Andrômeda.

Junto com a Via Láctea, a M31 forma o "par central" de gravidade do Grupo Local de Galáxias, que faz parte do Super-Aglomerado de Virgem.

A M31 está a 2.900.000 de Anos-Luz daqui, ou seja 27.417.339.370.915.200.024 Kilômetros, e se aproxima a uma velocidade de 100m/s da Via Láctea. (Devido à rotação, essa velocidade é de 300m/s em relação a nós). Um dia, as duas galáxias vão se "encontrar", e se fundir. Devido ao espaço existente estrelas não colidem na colisão de galáxias, no entanto as galáxias em si se deformam e acabam por formar um único conjunto no final.

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Dying Star Creates Fantasy-like Sculpture of Gas and Dust


In this detailed view from NASA`s Hubble Space Telescope, the so-called Cat`s Eye Nebula looks like the penetrating eye of the disembodied sorcerer Sauron from the film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings."

The nebula, formally cataloged NGC 6543, is every bit as inscrutable as the J.R.R. Tolkien phantom character. Though the Cat`s Eye Nebula was one of the first planetary nebulae to be discovered, it is one of the most complex such nebulae seen in space. A planetary nebula forms when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers that form bright nebulae with amazing and confounding shapes.

In 1994, Hubble first revealed NGC 6543`s surprisingly intricate structures, including concentric gas shells, jets of high-speed gas, and unusual shock-induced knots of gas.

As if the Cat`s Eye itself isn`t spectacular enough, this new image taken with Hubble`s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) reveals the full beauty of a bull`s eye pattern of eleven or even more concentric rings, or shells, around the Cat`s Eye. Each `ring` is actually the edge of a spherical bubble seen projected onto the sky — that`s why it appears bright along its outer edge.

Observations suggest the star ejected its mass in a series of pulses at 1,500-year intervals. These convulsions created dust shells, each of which contain as much mass as all of the planets in our solar system combined (still only one percent of the Sun`s mass). These concentric shells make a layered, onion-skin structure around the dying star. The view from Hubble is like seeing an onion cut in half, where each skin layer is discernible.

Until recently, it was thought that such shells around planetary nebulae were a rare phenomenon. However, Romano Corradi (Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Spain) and collaborators, in a paper published in the European journal Astronomy and Astrophysics in April 2004, have instead shown that the formation of these rings is likely to be the rule rather than the exception.

The bull`s-eye patterns seen around planetary nebulae come as a surprise to astronomers because they had no expectation that episodes of mass loss at the end of stellar lives would repeat every 1,500 years. Several explanations have been proposed, including cycles of magnetic activity somewhat similar to our own Sun`s sunspot cycle, the action of companion stars orbiting around the dying star, and stellar pulsations. Another school of thought is that the material is ejected smoothly from the star, and the rings are created later on due to formation of waves in the outflowing material. It will take further observations and more theoretical studies to decide between these and other possible explanations.

Approximately 1,000 years ago the pattern of mass loss suddenly changed, and the Cat`s Eye Nebula started forming inside the dusty shells. It has been expanding ever since, as discernible in comparing Hubble images taken in 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2002. The puzzle is what caused this dramatic change? Many aspects of the process that leads a star to lose its gaseous envelope are still poorly known, and the study of planetary nebulae is one of the few ways to recover information about these last few thousand years in the life of a Sun-like star.

Credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Acknowledgment: R. Corradi (Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Spain) and Z.

Tsvetanov (NASA)

Image Type: Astronomical
STScI-PRC2004-27

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