Music. Tea. Justice. (Bitey mad lady with a love of physics, food, and fiction, and a hyper-literate prog rock soundtrack.)
Debunking The Largest Void in The Universe
Discovered in 2007, this is the largest known void in the universe. More info: http://bit.ly/17CJxaA
Decided to give this reply its own post since I saw people taking off what I said about this pic:
This is extremely false and misleading. If I’m not mistaken (please correct me if I’m wrong), this is actually Barnard 68. B68 is a dark nebula:
"Barnard 68 is a molecular cloud, dark absorption nebula or Bok globule, towards the southern constellation Ophiuchus and well within our own galaxy at a distance of about 500 light-years, so close that not a single star can be seen between it and the Sun. American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard added this nebula to his catalog of dark nebulae in 1919. He published his catalog in 1927, at which stage it included some 350 objects. Because of its opacity, its interior is extremely cold, its temperature being about 16 K (−257 °C). Its mass is about twice that of the Sun and it measures about half a light-year across." [source]
It’s actually a blob of dust gravitationally collapsing in on its own mass to eventually become a star in like 100,000 years.
This is simply a photoshopped version, whoever did this must have used the liquify tool to give the nebula’s figure a slightly different shape. But what caught my attention aside from that suspicious description about being “completely empty of normal matter and dark matter” was the fact that I remember what the brighter stars surrounding B68 look like.
This is B68:
See how similar it looks? down to the position of the closer stars most visible? The above pic is a sham :/ I love the mysteries of the Universe as much as the next person but there’s really no point in misleading stuff like this. Oh and p.s. the link provided above in the original post is a completely different article talking about a completely different occurrence unrelated to the provided image of B68.
Death, taxes, and the speed of light in a vacuum.
NASA: Increasing Awesome (by vlogbrothers)
Everytime I see this I feel sad.
It’s okay Pluto. I’m not a planet either.
Stfu Pluto IS a planet!
Saying Pluto isn’t a planet is like saying Geri isn’t a Spice Girl
Please guys, come on. Pluto just isn’t a planet. Pluto is cool and groovy and we should love it for what it is but we shouldn’t force our expectations on it. Let Pluto be Pluto. It doesn’t need this kind of pressure.
Astronomers discovered a possible magnetar that emitted 40 visible-light flashes before disappearing again.
Magnetars are young neutron stars with an ultra-strong magnetic field a billion times stronger than that of the Earth. The twisting of magnetic field lines in magnetars give rise to ”starquakes”, which will eventually lead to an intense soft gamma-ray burst.
In the case of the SWIFT source, the optical flares that reached the Earth were probably due to ions ripped out from the surface of the magnetar and gyrating around the field lines.
Side Note: The two images shown above are mere crop outs from ESA’s recent hit: The 9 Billion Pixel Image of 84 Million Stars. These two focus on the bright center of the image for the purpose of highlighting what a peak at 84,000,000 stars looks like.
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have released a breathtaking new photograph showing the central area of our Milky Way galaxy. The photograph shows a whopping 84 million stars in an image measuring 108500×81500, which contains nearly 9 billion pixels.
It’s actually a composite of thousands of individual photographs shot with the observatory’s VISTA survey telescope, the same camera that captured the amazing 55-hour exposure. Three different infrared filters were used to capture the different details present in the final image.
The VISTA’s camera is sensitive to infrared light, which allows its vision to pierce through much of the space dust that blocks the view of ordinary optical telescope/camera systems.
Staring Into Galactic Infinity
The European Space Organization (ESO) has just released the stunning photo above. At first glance, its just another fine piece of star porn, beautiful little glowing dots and clouds, like so many others whose images we have captured in our quest to catalogue the observable universe.
But this one is special.
This is a nine-gigapixel image was taken using a telescope that looks into the infrared, allowing us to see through the dusty galactic arms. The view is of the galactic center of the Milky Way, our home. That means somewhere in the glowing center lies a black hole, and we are here, rotating around it. The photo marks the largest catalogue of Milky Way stars ever assembled.
If you made counting all of the 84 million objects so far identified in this picture a full-time job, counting 16 hours per day at a comfortable pace, it would take you somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years to finish. If it were printed at book resolution, that image would be 9 meters tall and 7 meters wide.
And this is less than 1% of the whole sky. In just our own galaxy.