Next pageArchive


Senza titolo by Kenneth Gisi on Flickr.

(NASA) IC 4603: Reflection Nebula in Ophiuchius 
Why does this starfield photograph resemble an impressionistic painting? The effect is created not by digital trickery but by large amounts of interstellar dust. Dust, minute globs rich in carbon and similar in size to cigarette smoke, frequently starts in the outer atmospheres of large, cool, young stars. The dust is dispersed as the star dies and grows as things stick to it in the interstellar medium. Dense dust clouds are opaque to visible light and can completely hide background stars. For less dense clouds, the capacity of dust to preferentially reflect blue starlight becomes important, effectively blooming the stars blue light out and marking the surrounding dust. Nebular gas emissions, typically brightest in red light, can combine to form areas seemingly created on an artist’s canvas. Photographed above is the central part of the nebula IC 4603 surrounding the bright star SAO 184376 (actually 8th magnitude) which mostly illuminates the blue reflection nebula. IC 4603 can be seen near the very bright star Antares (1st magnitude) toward the constellation of Ophiuchus.

Pillars of Creation - The Heart of The Eagle Nebula by strongmanmike2002 on Flickr.

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica by nickcockcroft on Flickr.

Greatness by wildlifemoments on Flickr.

Chasing rays
(just another quickie to not get out of practice; code here)

RainbowCosmos | Alexis Coram

From Exploring Space: A Ladybird Achievements Book: (Revised Edition), series ‘601.’ Originally published in 1964, this edition updated in the late 1960s. Illustrated by B. Knight and B.H. Robinson.

The Mandrake and the Moon by Morgan Linforth

Head, painted clay over skull, human hair, cowrie-shell eyes, Sepik River
Sepik (river) — East Sepik — Papua New Guinea
American Museum of Natural History

NGC7000-Ha-2014-fullres by astrovirus on Flickr.

Xylaria hypoxylon
1000 Steps Trail, Upper Ferntree Gully, VictoriaLate Autumn, May 2014Taken on 60mm Macro, Canon 600D