Friday, September 17, 2010

The Rosette Nebula

Just because I can, a recent picture from NASA's Image Of The Day gallery:
Caption: Located about 5,000 light years from Earth, this composite image shows the Rosette star formation region. Data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are colored red and outlined by a white line. The X-rays reveal hundreds of young stars in the central cluster and fainter clusters on either side. Optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey and the Kitt Peak National Observatory (purple, orange, green and blue) show large areas of gas and dust, including giant pillars that remain behind after intense radiation from massive stars has eroded the more diffuse gas.

A recent Chandra study of the cluster on the right side of the image, named NGC 2237, provides the first probe of the low-mass stars in this satellite cluster. Previously only 36 young stars had been discovered in NGC 2237, but the Chandra work has increased this sample to about 160 stars. The presence of several X-ray emitting stars around the pillars and the detection of an outflow -- commonly associated with very young stars -- originating from a dark area of the optical image indicates that star formation is continuing in NGC 2237. By combining these results with earlier studies, scientists conclude that the central cluster formed first, followed by expansion of the nebula, which triggered the formation of the two neighboring clusters, including NGC 2237.

Image Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/J. Wang et al), Optical (DSS & NOAO/AURA/NSF/KPNO 0.9-m/T. Rector et al)

Click to enlarge to the full size I can keep on my image server.

The light we're seeing from this nebula today started out its journey when Babylon was just getting started. Nearly all of our history has happened since. I've said it before, but if you need to believe in some deity to be awed by this universe, you don't know very much about it.

(Original size image)


One Fly said...

This is gonna piss a lot of people off if they see this. I see your post below there too Cujo. Guys like you and others just like you need to get on the wagon and ride it to prosperity and the heavens like the ones who have seen and heard the light. You people are dangerous ya know there ya see.

I see palmer is speaking in iowa tonight or tomorrow. I bet they turn out in droves.

Good stuff by the way!!

And I see at least to of Colorado's congress slugs will probably go for the continuation of bushes tax cuts.

It's getting dark out -really dark.

Cujo359 said...

I don't like wagons - too bumpy and slow.

Yes, it looks like the rich are going to get their tax breaks, no matter what.

Go figure.

Suzanne said...

gorgeous. since babylong was getting started? wow. i always forget just how long ago the light i'm looking at took to get here.

Suzanne said...

errr babylon. sheesh -- i do know how to spell, i do i do

Cujo359 said...

Light years are a great measure of distance for that purpose, Suzanne. As I wrote in an earlier article, if the first known humans had somehow hopped a space ship that was traveling at the speed of light and headed to the farthest point in our galaxy, they'd just be getting back about now.