Images of The Wonders of the Universe!
To mark the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into Earth orbit, NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute issued this stunning image. The new photograph is reminiscent of a craggy fantasy mountaintop surrounded by wispy clouds. The image captures the chaotic activity on a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby colossal young stars. Those massive stars are located above the pillar, off the image.
A collision of two galaxies created the Cartwheel galaxy which is part of a group of galaxies about 400 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor (the two smaller galaxies in the group are visible below and left). It was first noticed by astronomers in 1941 and they say its cartwheel shape is the result of gravitational disruption caused when the smaller galaxy passed right through a large disk galaxy and produced shock waves that swept up gas and dust.
The Helix Nebula, a cosmic starlet famous for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye is located about 700 light-years away from Earth. Planetary nebulae are the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun. When sun-like stars die, they puff out their outer gaseous layers. These layers are heated by the hot core of the dead star, called a white dwarf, and shine with infrared and visible colours.
The Small Magellanic Cloud is a small dwarf galaxy about 200,000 light years away from our own Milky Way galaxy. It was named after the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan who first used it to help him navigate across the oceans in the sixteenth century. It is one of our closest galactic neighbours, and can be seen unaided with the naked eye from the Southern Hemisphere near the equator. The SMC is so close and bright that modern astronomers have, for the first time, been able to detect X-ray em
This view of the iconic Crab Nebula, as viewed by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope, lies within our own Milky Way Galaxy, and shows the remains of the supernova explosion that was first observed by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054. While studying this wispy cloud of gas and dust, a team of astronomers has detected emission lines from argon hydride, a molecular ion containing the noble gas argon. This is the first detection of a noble-gas based compound in space.
This stellar swarm is M80 one of the densest of the 147 known globular star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. Located about 28,000 light-years from Earth, M80 contains hundreds of thousands of stars, all held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. Globular clusters are particularly useful for studying stellar evolution, since all of the stars in the cluster have the same age (about 15 billion years), but cover a range of stellar masses.
This view of the Lagoon Nebula is dominated by swirling dust clouds and bright newborn stars and is estimated to be between 4000 and 6000 light years away, lying towards the centre of our galaxy. For stargazers it is of particular interest as it is one of only two star forming nebulae which can be seen with the naked eye and appears as a fuzzy grey patch from northern latitudes. Seen in visible light the shimmering waters are in reality pools of hot gas, which surround the massive young stars.
This beautiful image features the young star LL Orionis interacting with the flow of the Orion Nebula, producing a fast stellar wind. When this collides into the slow moving gas a huge shock wave is formed similar to that produced by a plane travelling at supersonic speed. The small graceful arcing structure just above the centre is LL Ori's cosmic bow shock that is measures about 1/2 light year across.
More than 100 times the mass of our sun, Eta Carina is such a massive star that it can barely hold itself together. Over the years it has brightened and faded as material has exploded away from it's surface. It is believed that it may die in a supernova explosion within our lifetime. Eta Carina sits within the Carina Nebula that is located in the southern portion of our Milky Way galaxy, 10,000 light years from Earth This massive cloud of gas and dust stretches across 200 light years of space.
These are some of the most astounding images from the Nasa Archives used In the Dark Skies Jewellery collection. If you would like to see and to know more about these and many others then please follow the link http://www.nasa.gov or if you would like to know more about the International Dark Skies Association this is their website http://www.darksky.org