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Astronomy Picture of the Day 10-10-02
| Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell
Posted on 10/10/2002 1:16:53 AM PDT by petuniasevan
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2002 October 10
Dusty Environs of Eta Carinae
Credit: MSX, IPAC, NASA
Explanation: Eta Car is a massive star, but it's not as bright as it used to be. Now only easily visible in binoculars or a small telescope, Eta Carinae has a history of spectacular flaring and fading behavior. In fact, in April of 1843 Eta Car briefly became second only to Sirius as the brightest star in planet Earth's night sky, even though at a distance of about 7,500 light-years, it is about 80 times farther away. [Petunia's note - that's wrong. Sirius is 9 ly away, so we're talking 800 times farther to Eta Carinae.] Surrounded by a complex and evolving nebula, Eta Carinae is seen near the center of this false-color infrared image, constructed using data from the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX). The MSX satellite mapped the galactic plane in 1996. In the picture, wispy, convoluted filaments are clouds of dust glowing at infrared wavelengths. Astronomers hypothesize that Eta Car itself will explode as a supernova in the next million years or so. Massive Eta Car has even been considered a candidate for a hypernova explosion and the potential source of a future gamma-ray burst.
TOPICS: Astronomy; Astronomy Picture of the Day; Science
KEYWORDS: astronomy; emission; etacarinae; image; infrared; massive; nebula; photography; space; spacecraft; star; unusual; variable
Astronomy Fun Fact:
Eta Carinae is an awesome sight at any wavelength. Remember this Hubble photo?
Be glad it isn't closer. When Eta Carinae explodes (not if, but when),
it could thoroughly sterilize space all around it for hundreds of light years in distance.
Chandra x-ray image:
To: MozartLover; Joan912; NovemberCharlie; snowfox; Dawgsquat; viligantcitizen; theDentist; ...
WOW...That is some gorgeous false color...Someone is an artist! GREAT Fun Facts...We could be blasted with a lethal dose of radiation at any time...Its a miracle that we have a civilization capable of appreciating these MIRACLES! And YES I must include my catch phrase now...WTG GOD!!!
Beautiful picture, Awsome that we live in these feilds of energy and look into them with curiosity about our destiny as a species! Good job APOD!
Hey FRiend, I don't know if you've seen the pictures from NASA,.. but the APOD group here at FR will add you to their PING list if you like.
We really enjoy them, and thanks to this group here at FR, our Grandkids are enjoying the NASA link too.
They are such a refreshing break from everyday life... peaceful and beautiful.
We DO have common interests. I already have the NASA site bookmarked. The pictures are fantastic! I learned of the site recently and was surprised at how far back in time the pictures go.
Although I'm on the wrong coast to get a close-up of the shuttle launches, I can see them from here unless it's cloudy. I have actually been to two.
NASA is terrific and provides quite a learning tool.
Thanks for the ping.
posted on 10/10/2002 11:27:45 AM PDT
BUMP for the thread!!
posted on 10/10/2002 11:53:13 AM PDT
Great article. The battle for the Vet votes is on in Florida,.. but it sounds like there are some top notch Vets backing Gov. Bush. :o)
Copied and sent to my husband. Thanks!
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