Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M27: Not a Comet
Posted on 08/31/2011 9:13:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: While hunting for comets in the skies above 18th century France, astronomer Charles Messier diligently kept a list of the things he encountered that were definitely not comets. This is number 27 on his now famous not-a-comet list. In fact, 21st century astronomers would identify it as a planetary nebula, but it's not a planet either, even though it may appear round and planet-like in a small telescope. Messier 27 (M27) is an excellent example of a gaseous emission nebula created as a sun-like star runs out of nuclear fuel in its core. The nebula forms as the star's outer layers are expelled into space, with a visible glow generated by atoms excited by the dying star's intense but invisible ultraviolet light. Known by the popular name of the Dumbbell Nebula, the beautifully symmetric interstellar gas cloud is over 2.5 light-years across and about 1,200 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula. This impressive color composite highlights details within the well-studied central region and fainter, seldom imaged features in the nebula's outer halo. It incorporates broad and narrowband images recorded using filters sensitive to emission from sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
(Excerpt) Read more at 184.108.40.206 ...
[Image Credit & Copyright:: Martin Pugh]
The only way to describe it is, “Oooooooo, pretty”. Not very scientific, but what the hay...
Looks like upper Michigan.
I like! I Like!
If I correctly recall, I believe they predict our own Sun will become a Planetary Nebula(after the ‘Red Giant’ phase) when it’s all done, because it isn’t ‘big’ enough to go Super Nova.
I think my high school earth science teacher’s personal opinion about what will happen to the sun was he said it would expand out to the orbit of either Earth or Mars, then shrink into a white dwarf, then it’ll live out its life that way until it cools and turns into a dark ember.
Speaking of “not a comet”, the “official” word is that Elinin is “breaking up”...but we all know that the “expanding cloud of fragments” is really the Mother Ship launching the fleet of fighter craft.
In fact, the “Mother Ship” isn't really a single, discrete ship at all, but a composite structure composed of all the attack ships bonded together into a single psuedostructure.
The fleet will be arriving in earth orbit in November, as scheduled to complete their mission of the destruction human polluters.
Al Gore tried to warn us that AGW from Greenhouse Gas Emissions would be our planetary death!
Al Shaprton Warned us the Mother Ship was coming!
Even NASA put out a belated warning that aliens would be attracted by our universe shattering output of Greenhouse Gasses, and come to destroy us before we could multiply!
Did we listen? Noooo, and NOW look what is happening! ELE-NIN is going to get us! DOOMED! It is NOT a comet!
Also not a comet: Jupiter-Bound Space Probe Captures Earth and Moon
Story & photo of earth-moon system from 6M miles out at link
Saw it Saturday night from our dark sky site.
Very pretty, but, nothing like that.
M27 is one of the Messier objects that can be seen with a good pair of binoculars, but, just not very well.
It’s bright enough to be seen in town too.
:’) It is.
Calypso Louie’s been looking forward to its arrival.