May 16

A Beautiful Instance of Stellar Ornamentation

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1616

eso1616aThe glowing gas cloud LHA 120-N55 in the Large Magellanic Cloud .
Credits: ESO.

In this image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), light from blazing blue stars energises the gas left over from the stars’ recent formation. The result is a strikingly colourful emission nebula, called LHA 120-N55, in which the stars are adorned with a mantle of glowing gas. Astronomers study these beautiful displays to learn about the conditions in places where new stars develop.(learn more)

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Jan 14

Unravelling the web of a cosmic creeply-crawly

Source: Photo Release heic1402

New Hubble infrared view of the Tarantula Nebula.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, E. Sabbi (STScI)

his new Hubble image is the best-ever view of a cosmic creepy-crawly known as the Tarantula Nebula, a region full of star clusters, glowing gas, and dark dust. Astronomers are exploring and mapping this nebula as part of the Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project, in a bid to try to understand its starry anatomy.(read more)

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Aug 13

Hubble finds source of Magellanic Stream

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1314


Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have solved the 40-year-old mystery of the origin of the Magellanic Stream, a long ribbon of gas stretching nearly halfway around the Milky Way. New Hubble observations reveal that most of this stream was stripped from the Small Magellanic Cloud some two billion years ago, with a smaller portion originating more recently from its larger neighbour.(read more)

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Jun 13

Swift Produces Best Ultraviolet Maps of the Nearest Galaxies


Most detailed seurveys ever of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.
UV image credit: NASA/Swift/S. Immler (Goddard) and M. Siegel (Penn State)
Visible image credit: Axel Mellinger, Central Michigan Univ.

Astronomers at NASA and Pennsylvania State University have used NASA's Swift satellite to create the most detailed ultraviolet light surveys ever of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the two closest major galaxies.

"We took thousands of images and assembled them into seamless portraits of the main body of each galaxy, resulting in the highest-resolution surveys of the Magellanic Clouds at ultraviolet wavelengths," said Stefan Immler, who proposed the program and led NASA's contribution from the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Immler presented a 160-megapixel mosaic image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and a 57-megapixel mosaic image of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) at the 222nd American Astronomical Society meeting in Indianapolis on Monday.

The new images reveal about 1 million ultraviolet sources in the LMC and about 250,000 in the SMC. The images include light ranging from 1,600 to 3,300 angstroms, which is a range of UV wavelengths largely blocked by Earth's atmosphere. (read more)

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Jan 13

A hidden treasure in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Source: ESA/Hubble Photo Release heic1301

Nearly 200 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. Vast clouds of gas within it slowly collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a riot of colours, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.(read more)

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