distant-traveller:

Jets and explosions in NGC 7793

This new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows NGC 7793, a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Sculptor some 13 million light-years away from Earth. NGC 7793 is one of the brightest galaxies in the Sculptor Group, and one of the closest groups of galaxies to the Local Group — the group of galaxies containing our galaxy, the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds.
The image shows NGC 7793’s spiral arms and small central bulge. Unlike some other spirals, NGC 7793 doesn’t have a very pronounced spiral structure, and its shape is further muddled by the mottled pattern of dark dust that stretches across the frame. The occasional burst of bright pink can be seen in the galaxy, highlighting stellar nurseries containing newly-forming baby stars.
Although it may look serene and beautiful from our perspective, this galaxy is actually a very dramatic and violent place. Astronomers have discovered a powerful microquasar within NGC 7793 — a system containing a black hole actively feeding on material from a companion star. While many full-sized quasars are known at the cores of other galaxies, it is unusual to find a quasar in a galaxy’s disc rather than at its centre.
Micro-quasars are almost like scale models — they allow astronomers to study quasars in detail. As material falls inwards towards this black hole, it creates a swirling disc around it. Some of the infalling gas is propelled violently outwards at extremely high speeds, creating jets streaking out into space in opposite directions. In the case of NGC 7793, these jets are incredibly powerful, and are in the process of creating an expanding bubble of hot gas some 1000 light-years across.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

distant-traveller:

Jets and explosions in NGC 7793

This new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows NGC 7793, a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Sculptor some 13 million light-years away from Earth. NGC 7793 is one of the brightest galaxies in the Sculptor Group, and one of the closest groups of galaxies to the Local Group — the group of galaxies containing our galaxy, the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds.

The image shows NGC 7793’s spiral arms and small central bulge. Unlike some other spirals, NGC 7793 doesn’t have a very pronounced spiral structure, and its shape is further muddled by the mottled pattern of dark dust that stretches across the frame. The occasional burst of bright pink can be seen in the galaxy, highlighting stellar nurseries containing newly-forming baby stars.

Although it may look serene and beautiful from our perspective, this galaxy is actually a very dramatic and violent place. Astronomers have discovered a powerful microquasar within NGC 7793 — a system containing a black hole actively feeding on material from a companion star. While many full-sized quasars are known at the cores of other galaxies, it is unusual to find a quasar in a galaxy’s disc rather than at its centre.

Micro-quasars are almost like scale models — they allow astronomers to study quasars in detail. As material falls inwards towards this black hole, it creates a swirling disc around it. Some of the infalling gas is propelled violently outwards at extremely high speeds, creating jets streaking out into space in opposite directions. In the case of NGC 7793, these jets are incredibly powerful, and are in the process of creating an expanding bubble of hot gas some 1000 light-years across.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

scinote:

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Tooth?

Every time you squirt toothpaste on your toothbrush, you could be brushing your teeth with the stars. And by “stars”, I don’t mean celebrities, but our sun’s ancestors. 
Fluorine is a chemical element that appears in our toothpaste and chewing gum. You’ll often hear it called “fluoride,” which simply means that the fluorine is in the form of an ion (the fluoride ion, F-). Fluorine is often used to prevent cavities, but up until now, we didn’t really have any idea of where it originally came from.
Researchers from the U.S., Ireland, and Sweden have found evidence to support the theory that fluorine was formed in red giants, which are heavy stars at the end of their lifespan. The material from these dead stars became the sun and the planets in our solar system.  Using a powerful telescope in Hawaii, researchers detected fluorine in stars of different ages by measuring the light emitted, which is possible because each element gives off different wavelengths of light. Next, researchers will explore the possibility of fluorine formation in the early universe, before any red giants existed, to determine if fluorine might be produced in different environments (like black holes, perhaps) and to discover if the process is different.
Surprisingly, most elements are actually formed in stars, and understanding the processes of their formation can give us insight into our early universe. For now, I’ll just think about where the ingredients of my toothpaste came from and hope that brushing with them will make my teeth twinkle like the night sky.

Submitted by: Allison T., Discoverer
Edited by Margaret G.

scinote:

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Tooth?

Every time you squirt toothpaste on your toothbrush, you could be brushing your teeth with the stars. And by “stars”, I don’t mean celebrities, but our sun’s ancestors.

Fluorine is a chemical element that appears in our toothpaste and chewing gum. You’ll often hear it called “fluoride,” which simply means that the fluorine is in the form of an ion (the fluoride ion, F-). Fluorine is often used to prevent cavities, but up until now, we didn’t really have any idea of where it originally came from.

Researchers from the U.S., Ireland, and Sweden have found evidence to support the theory that fluorine was formed in red giants, which are heavy stars at the end of their lifespan. The material from these dead stars became the sun and the planets in our solar system.  Using a powerful telescope in Hawaii, researchers detected fluorine in stars of different ages by measuring the light emitted, which is possible because each element gives off different wavelengths of light. Next, researchers will explore the possibility of fluorine formation in the early universe, before any red giants existed, to determine if fluorine might be produced in different environments (like black holes, perhaps) and to discover if the process is different.

Surprisingly, most elements are actually formed in stars, and understanding the processes of their formation can give us insight into our early universe. For now, I’ll just think about where the ingredients of my toothpaste came from and hope that brushing with them will make my teeth twinkle like the night sky.

Submitted by: Allison T., Discoverer

Edited by Margaret G.

vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
―Neil deGrasse Tyson
These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.
Zoom Info
vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
―Neil deGrasse Tyson
These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.
Zoom Info
vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
―Neil deGrasse Tyson
These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.
Zoom Info
vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
―Neil deGrasse Tyson
These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.
Zoom Info
vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
―Neil deGrasse Tyson
These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.
Zoom Info
vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
―Neil deGrasse Tyson
These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.
Zoom Info
vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
―Neil deGrasse Tyson
These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.
Zoom Info
vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
―Neil deGrasse Tyson
These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.
Zoom Info

vacilandoelmundo:

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”

―Neil deGrasse Tyson

These photos are on the shortlist for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, a competition and exhibition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winning images will be posted here on September 18.

sciencefriday:

rhamphotheca:

Strong Solar Flares This Weekend A Big Double Wammy
(AURORA BOREALIS MAY BE VISIBLE TONIGHT!!!)
by Laura Geggel
Two powerful solar storms arriving at Earth today have captured the public’s attention for their potential to spark amazing auroras, but scientists say there’s another reason to watch. The solar double whammy is actually somewhat rare.
The particles from the two flares could interact as they head toward Earth, and researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center said they are monitoring the situation.
The sun unleashed a medium-sized flare on Monday (Sept. 8) followed by a second, larger flare, called an Earth-directed X-class flare, on Wednesday (Sept. 10). Both are from the same active sunspot region (Active Region 2158) and are directed at Earth, said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center, during a news conference yesterday (Sept. 11, 2014)…
(read more: Live Science)
images: Solar Dynamics Observatory - NASA and Accuweather

Important information for those of you in the northern U.S.!
Zoom Info
sciencefriday:

rhamphotheca:

Strong Solar Flares This Weekend A Big Double Wammy
(AURORA BOREALIS MAY BE VISIBLE TONIGHT!!!)
by Laura Geggel
Two powerful solar storms arriving at Earth today have captured the public’s attention for their potential to spark amazing auroras, but scientists say there’s another reason to watch. The solar double whammy is actually somewhat rare.
The particles from the two flares could interact as they head toward Earth, and researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center said they are monitoring the situation.
The sun unleashed a medium-sized flare on Monday (Sept. 8) followed by a second, larger flare, called an Earth-directed X-class flare, on Wednesday (Sept. 10). Both are from the same active sunspot region (Active Region 2158) and are directed at Earth, said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center, during a news conference yesterday (Sept. 11, 2014)…
(read more: Live Science)
images: Solar Dynamics Observatory - NASA and Accuweather

Important information for those of you in the northern U.S.!
Zoom Info

sciencefriday:

rhamphotheca:

Strong Solar Flares This Weekend A Big Double Wammy

(AURORA BOREALIS MAY BE VISIBLE TONIGHT!!!)

by Laura Geggel

Two powerful solar storms arriving at Earth today have captured the public’s attention for their potential to spark amazing auroras, but scientists say there’s another reason to watch. The solar double whammy is actually somewhat rare.

The particles from the two flares could interact as they head toward Earth, and researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center said they are monitoring the situation.

The sun unleashed a medium-sized flare on Monday (Sept. 8) followed by a second, larger flare, called an Earth-directed X-class flare, on Wednesday (Sept. 10). Both are from the same active sunspot region (Active Region 2158) and are directed at Earth, said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center, during a news conference yesterday (Sept. 11, 2014)…

(read more: Live Science)

images: Solar Dynamics Observatory - NASA and Accuweather

Important information for those of you in the northern U.S.!

Why is H2O clear?

nanodash:

Water is only clear in small quantities, In larger quantities it’s actually got a little bit of a blue colour. Here’s why!

Light carries energy. The amount of energy is specific to the colour of the light. Red light has some energy and as you move across the rainbow spectrum, it…