Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023 this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers. Still, this remarkable image shows off the Iris Nebula's range of colors and symmetries in impressive detail. Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a hot, young star. 
 Click image for larger size.
The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Central filaments of the dusty clouds glow with a faint reddish photoluminesence as some dust grains effectively convert the star's invisible ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Infrared observations indicate that this nebula may contain complex carbon molecules known as PAHs. The bright blue portion of the Iris Nebula is about six light-years across.”

2 comments:

  1. This is incredible! I sit here imagining riding a 3-D (roll-pitch-yaw) chair while an IMAX or 360 degree type screen takes you through a starlight ride around the heavens. Slowing down as each of these highlighted wonders appears, giving information on traveling at light speed, showing approximate position in the galaxy, etc. would make a fascinating ride. Thanks for the great pictures!

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  2. What a fabulous vision, LetsPlay, love it! YVW, and thank you always for stopping by and commenting.

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