neuronsandneutrons
ikenbot:

Ancient Orbs
This sparkling picture taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the centre of globular cluster M 4. The power of Hubble has resolved the cluster into a multitude of glowing orbs, each a colossal nuclear furnace.
M 4 is relatively close to us, lying 7200 light-years distant, making it a prime object for study. It contains several tens of thousand stars and is noteworthy in being home to many white dwarfs — the cores of ancient, dying stars whose outer layers have drifted away into space.

ikenbot:

Ancient Orbs

This sparkling picture taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the centre of globular cluster M 4. The power of Hubble has resolved the cluster into a multitude of glowing orbs, each a colossal nuclear furnace.

M 4 is relatively close to us, lying 7200 light-years distant, making it a prime object for study. It contains several tens of thousand stars and is noteworthy in being home to many white dwarfs — the cores of ancient, dying stars whose outer layers have drifted away into space.

the-star-stuff
the-star-stuff:

Saturn-rise Over the Lake
This is an artist’s depiction of a large lake on Titan, as seen from the surface. The landscape is at once alien and familiar: peaceful waves lapping at the shoreline contrast with a strangely-colored sky lit by the bright rings and body of Saturn.
While this image is fanciful, astronomers may get a chance to capture even more spectacular views if the Titan Mare Explorer (pdf) is selected to fly to Saturn. This mission would land a small boat-like probe on a large lake of Titan – likely Kraken or Ligeia Mare – in order to explore the seas of another world.
Images: 1) NASA

the-star-stuff:

Saturn-rise Over the Lake

This is an artist’s depiction of a large lake on Titan, as seen from the surface. The landscape is at once alien and familiar: peaceful waves lapping at the shoreline contrast with a strangely-colored sky lit by the bright rings and body of Saturn.

While this image is fanciful, astronomers may get a chance to capture even more spectacular views if the Titan Mare Explorer (pdf) is selected to fly to Saturn. This mission would land a small boat-like probe on a large lake of Titan – likely Kraken or Ligeia Mare – in order to explore the seas of another world.

Images: 1) NASA

the-star-stuff
the-star-stuff:

Dec. 30, 1924: Hubble Reveals We Are Not Alone
1924: Astronomer Edwin Hubble announces that the spiral nebula Andromeda is actually a galaxy and that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies in the universe.


Photo: Edwin Hubble’s 1920s observations of Andromeda (whose ultraviolet spectrum is rendered here) expanded our notions of the size and nature of a universe that is itself expanding.Galaxy Evolution Explorer image courtesy NASA.

the-star-stuff:

Dec. 30, 1924: Hubble Reveals We Are Not Alone

1924: Astronomer Edwin Hubble announces that the spiral nebula Andromeda is actually a galaxy and that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies in the universe.


Photo: Edwin Hubble’s 1920s observations of Andromeda (whose ultraviolet spectrum is rendered here) expanded our notions of the size and nature of a universe that is itself expanding.
Galaxy Evolution Explorer image courtesy NASA.

the-star-stuff
the-star-stuff:

Sulfur-Rich Rocks on Mars
Photograph courtesy NASA/JPL/Cornell
Sulfur-rich rocks in the Columbia Hills on Mars stand out in bright blue in this false-color image from the Spirit rover. Spirit used its rock abrasion tool, or RAT, to grind a hole in the rock. The rock’s high sulfur content and softness are probably evidence of past alteration by water.

the-star-stuff:

Sulfur-Rich Rocks on Mars

Photograph courtesy NASA/JPL/Cornell

Sulfur-rich rocks in the Columbia Hills on Mars stand out in bright blue in this false-color image from the Spirit rover. Spirit used its rock abrasion tool, or RAT, to grind a hole in the rock. The rock’s high sulfur content and softness are probably evidence of past alteration by water.

the-star-stuff
the-star-stuff:

After Galaxies Collide 
This diffuse-looking galaxy may be the only evidence remaining from an ancient collision between two galaxies. Known as SDSS J162702.56+432833.9, this object is technically catalogued as an elliptical galaxy, but it was likely created during the collision of two spiral galaxies, astronomers say. This image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Some ribbons of dust notably obscure parts of the conglomerated galaxy’s central, bluish region. Those dust lanes could be remnants of the spiral arms of the recently departed galaxies. 
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

the-star-stuff:

After Galaxies Collide 

This diffuse-looking galaxy may be the only evidence remaining from an ancient collision between two galaxies. Known as SDSS J162702.56+432833.9, this object is technically catalogued as an elliptical galaxy, but it was likely created during the collision of two spiral galaxies, astronomers say. 

This image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Some ribbons of dust notably obscure parts of the conglomerated galaxy’s central, bluish region. Those dust lanes could be remnants of the spiral arms of the recently departed galaxies. 

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

the-star-stuff
the-star-stuff:

Is Vesta a giant asteroid or a protoplanet?

Giant asteroid Vesta is so enormous, many astronomers don’t even refer to it as an asteroid, preferring to call the celestial body a “protoplanet.” This image, which compares Vesta to eight other asteroids that we’ve sent spacecraft to investigate, helps illustrate the reason such a distinction exists.
At roughly 330 miles in diameter, Vesta is not only the largest asteroid we’ve ever visited (NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting Vesta since July), it’s nearly the largest asteroid in our entire Solar System. Second in size only to Ceres, the two bodies are estimated to account for over 40% of the mass in the entire main asteroid belt.
Dawn, which recently maneuvered into its closest orbit around Vesta, is scheduled to continue investigating the protoplanet until the middle of 2012, when it will set course for Ceres. By investigating these massive celestial bodies, scientists hope to acquire a better understanding of what conditions were like during our Solar System’s infancy. [NASA | Spotted on PBS]
Top image via NASA/JPL

the-star-stuff:

Is Vesta a giant asteroid or a protoplanet?

Giant asteroid Vesta is so enormous, many astronomers don’t even refer to it as an asteroid, preferring to call the celestial body a “protoplanet.” This image, which compares Vesta to eight other asteroids that we’ve sent spacecraft to investigate, helps illustrate the reason such a distinction exists.

At roughly 330 miles in diameter, Vesta is not only the largest asteroid we’ve ever visited (NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting Vesta since July), it’s nearly the largest asteroid in our entire Solar System. Second in size only to Ceres, the two bodies are estimated to account for over 40% of the mass in the entire main asteroid belt.

Dawn, which recently maneuvered into its closest orbit around Vesta, is scheduled to continue investigating the protoplanet until the middle of 2012, when it will set course for Ceres. By investigating these massive celestial bodies, scientists hope to acquire a better understanding of what conditions were like during our Solar System’s infancy. [NASA | Spotted on PBS]

Top image via NASA/JPL