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Astronomy Picture of the Day
Posted on 12/31/2009 8:18:10 AM PST by sig226
Dust and the Helix Nebula
NASA, JPL-Caltech, Kate Su (Steward Obs, U. Arizona) et al.
Explanation: Dust makes this cosmic eye look red. The eerie Spitzer Space Telescope image shows infrared radiation from the well-studied Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) a mere 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. The two light-year diameter shroud of dust and gas around a central white dwarf has long been considered an excellent example of a planetary nebula, representing the final stages in the evolution of a sun-like star. But the Spitzer data show the nebula's central star itself is immersed in a surprisingly bright infrared glow. Models suggest the glow is produced by a dust debris disk. Even though the nebular material was ejected from the star many thousands of years ago, the close-in dust could be generated by collisions in a reservoir of objects analogous to our own solar system's Kuiper Belt or cometary Oort cloud. Formed in the distant planetary system, the comet-like bodies would have otherwise survived even the dramatic late stages of the star's evolution.
TOPICS: Astronomy Picture of the Day
KEYWORDS: apod; falsecolor
posted on 12/31/2009 8:18:10 AM PST
To: null and void; fnord; Number57; KevinDavis; rdb3; MNJohnnie; RightWhale; proudofthesouth; ...
posted on 12/31/2009 8:18:38 AM PST
(Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
posted on 12/31/2009 8:21:00 AM PST
by left that other site
(Your Mi'KMaq Paddy Whacky Bass Playing Biker Buddy)
posted on 12/31/2009 8:25:53 AM PST
To: sig226; BenLurkin
A great picture and a great book.
posted on 12/31/2009 8:50:04 AM PST
New desktop wallpaper for a new year - thank you.
posted on 12/31/2009 8:51:33 AM PST
(If you want a friend, get a dog.)
Wow! After I pass on, my soul will spend the eternity exploring the heavens!
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
posted on 12/31/2009 11:08:12 AM PST
by null and void
(We are now in day 344 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
posted on 12/31/2009 11:18:26 AM PST
(We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly.)
Looks kinda like the Eye of Sauron. lol
As always, a beautiful picture!!!
posted on 12/31/2009 2:58:11 PM PST
(Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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