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Veil Nebula

How Do We Know It: Supernova Remnant Age

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • November 20, 2015
  • Comments Off on How Do We Know It: Supernova Remnant Age

I get a lot of inspiration for blog-topics from questions I get via email. Often they don’t have easy or straightforward answers (see this question on how many stars there are in the Milky Way). I was recently asked how we arrived at an age of 8000 years for the … Continue Reading →


Image credit:
X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN/D.Takei et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA

Cosmic Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July to those of you that celebrate it! We couldn’t let the date slip by without presenting a little display of cosmic fireworks. We think you’ll find they’re much quieter than the earthly kind. We start with this 3D visualization of the nebula Gum 29 with the … Continue Reading →


Valentine's Day 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day from NASA Blueshift. We spotted this image go by on social media this morning and Rick Wiggins was kind enough to grant us permission to repost it. This is the Heart Nebula, or IC 1805. It’s about 7500 light years away from Earth, and can be located … Continue Reading →


Why Infrared? Nebulae Edition

Why infrared? (nebula edition)

As someone who fields a lot of questions about the James Webb Space Telescope, a giant infrared observatory being built right now, I see a lot of “Why infrared?” questions. There are a lot of answers to this, but here’s one I think is particularly interesting and illustrative of why … Continue Reading →


Cosmic Baby Pictures

Awww! Cosmic baby pictures!

Protostars in Messier 78, as seen by multiple observatories Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO/JPL-Caltech/Max-Planck The side-by-side images above depict protostars found in Messier 78, a reflection nebula found within the constellation Orion (but not the Orion Nebula, which is Messier 42). These are some of the youngest stars that astronomers have ever seen … Continue Reading →


Awesomeness Roundup

Awesomeness Round-Up – 4/20/2012

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • April 20, 2012
  • Comments Off on Awesomeness Round-Up – 4/20/2012

Credit: NASA, ESA, D. Lennon and E. Sabbi (ESA/STScI), J. Anderson, S. E. de Mink, R. van der Marel, T. Sohn, and N. Walborn (STScI), N. Bastian (Excellence Cluster, Munich), L. Bedin (INAF, Padua), E. Bressert (ESO), P. Crowther (University of Sheffield), A. de Koter (University of Amsterdam), C. Evans … Continue Reading →


Awesomeness Round-up

Awesomeness Round-up – 11/29/10

Two colliding spiral galaxies triggered a burst of star formation called a “starburst” (not like the candy). This one is the brightest ever seen away from the center of a galaxy merger. This image of these two galaxies (which are collectively known as II Zw 096) is a combination of … Continue Reading →


Podcast: Making Hubble’s Great Orion Mosaic

Podcast: Making Hubble’s Great Orion Mosaic

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • August 14, 2009
  • Comments Off on Podcast: Making Hubble’s Great Orion Mosaic

Click to listen! (7.5MB MP3, right-click to save) Transcript (Text, PDF) The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for its beautiful images of celestial objects – from planets in our own Solar System to far away galaxies. The Orion Nebula (known to astronomers as Messier object 42, or M42) is a … Continue Reading →


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