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Topic: Nebulas

NASA moves forward with Spectro-Photometer Space Telescope

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s upcoming space telescope, the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer, or SPHEREx, is one step closer to launch. The mission has officially entered Phase C, in NASA lingo.

That means the agency has approved preliminary design plans for the observatory, and work can begin on creating a final, detailed design, as well as on building the hardware and software.

The preliminary design for the spacecraft, including hexagonal sun shields that will help keep the instruments cool. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The preliminary design for the spacecraft, including hexagonal sun shields that will help keep the instruments cool. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope images reveals complex behavior of Stars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA says that as nuclear fusion engines, most stars live placid lives for hundreds of millions to billions of years. But near the end of their lives they can turn into crazy whirligigs, puffing off shells and jets of hot gas.

Astronomers have employed Hubble’s full range of imaging capabilities to dissect such crazy fireworks happening in two nearby young planetary nebulas. NGC 6302 is dubbed the Butterfly Nebula because of its wing-like appearance. In addition, NGC 7027 resembles a jewel bug, an insect with a brilliantly colorful metallic shell.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Provides Holistic View of Stars Gone Haywire. (NASA, ESA and J. Kastner (RIT))

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Provides Holistic View of Stars Gone Haywire. (NASA, ESA and J. Kastner (RIT))

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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captures image of Cloud of Gas, Dust full of Bubbles

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – This infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows a cloud of gas and dust full of bubbles, which are inflated by wind and radiation from young, massive stars. Each bubble is filled with hundreds to thousands of stars, which form from dense clouds of gas and dust.

The bubbles are estimated to be 10 to 30 light-years across, based on what astronomers know about them and other cosmic bubbles. However, determining the exact sizes of individual bubbles can be difficult, because their distance from Earth is challenging to measure and objects appear smaller the farther away they are.

This cloud of gas and dust in space is full of bubbles inflated by wind and radiation from massive young stars. Each bubble is about 10 to 30 light-years across and filled with hundreds to thousands of stars. The region lies in the Milky Way galaxy, in the constellation Aquila (aka the Eagle). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This cloud of gas and dust in space is full of bubbles inflated by wind and radiation from massive young stars. Each bubble is about 10 to 30 light-years across and filled with hundreds to thousands of stars. The region lies in the Milky Way galaxy, in the constellation Aquila (aka the Eagle). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope takes ghostly images of three Nebulas for Halloween

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In the spirit of Halloween, scientists are releasing a trio of stellar ghosts caught in infrared light by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. All three spooky structures, called planetary nebulas, are in fact material ejected from dying stars. As death beckoned, the stars’ wispy bits and pieces were blown into outer space.

“Some might call the images haunting,” said Joseph Hora of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, principal investigator of the Spitzer observing program. “We look to the pictures for a sense of the history of the stars’ mass loss, and to learn how they evolved over time.”

This trio of ghostly images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the disembodied remains of dying stars called planetary nebulas. Exposed Cranium Nebula (left) | Ghost of Jupiter Nebula (middle) | Little Dumbbell Nebula (right) (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

This trio of ghostly images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the disembodied remains of dying stars called planetary nebulas. Exposed Cranium Nebula (left) | Ghost of Jupiter Nebula (middle) | Little Dumbbell Nebula (right) (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope sees Ghostly Specter Haunting Boomerang Nebula

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – At a cosmologically crisp one degree Kelvin (minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit), the Boomerang nebula is the coldest known object in the universe — colder, in fact, than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, the explosive event that created the cosmos.

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile have taken a new look at this object to learn more about its frigid properties and to determine its true shape, which has an eerily ghost-like appearance.

The Boomerang nebula, called the "coldest place in the universe," reveals its true shape to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. (NRAO/AUI/NSF/NASA/STScI/JPL-Caltech)

The Boomerang nebula, called the “coldest place in the universe,” reveals its true shape to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. (NRAO/AUI/NSF/NASA/STScI/JPL-Caltech)

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