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Eye in the Sky October 17, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Music & Dance, Nature.

Excerpt from  NASA ~ Helix Nebula Unraveling At The Seams:

A dying star is throwing a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which NASA has lent to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In death, the star’s dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core.

This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away, in the constellation of Aquarius. Also known by the catalog number NGC 7293, it is a typical example of a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Discovered in the 18th century, these cosmic works of art were erroneously named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets.

Planetary nebulae are actually the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun. These stars spend most of their lives turning hydrogen into helium in massive runaway nuclear fusion reactions in their cores. In fact, this process of fusion provides all the light and heat that we get from our sun. Our sun will blossom into a planetary nebula when it dies in about five billion years.

To read more:  NASA ~ Helix Nebula Unraveling At The Seams

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Waywardspirit - October 17, 2012

Big Gods die too. The light of stars evolves….
Pretty death star.

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

Some of NASA’s shots blow me away. 😯

Waywardspirit - October 17, 2012

small love deaths. Wonderful. : )

2. sweetdaysundertheoaks - October 17, 2012

Stars have tantrums too? 🙂

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

Mais oui! And we can’t even send them to their rooms. 😉

3. aawwa - October 17, 2012

Great video! I enjoyed this – it was different 🙂

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

Thanks, aawwa. Alan Parsons Project has some great tunes . . . including Eye in the Sky. The fact that this video included more sky footage was an unexpected bonus. 😀

4. Pocket Perspectives - October 17, 2012

Can you believe the stunning space photos that we have access to? And that video has amazing shots too! Gigantic WOW!!!!

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

Pretty eye opening stuff, eh? 😯

Pocket Perspectives - October 17, 2012

ahhh….so nice to have you back to your cheerful “self”…resilience triumphs! 😀

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

A better way to BE! 😀

5. Don - October 17, 2012

Wonderful post Nancy. This never ceases to amaze me. Just the scale of things boggles the mind. Many speak of how something like this just adds to our feelings of insignificance, but for me it deepens the mystery, and the deeper the mystery the more it energizes life.

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

Thanks, Don. The vast universe does make me feel small and insignificant . . . but also reinforces my sense of endless possibilities.

6. kateshrewsday - October 17, 2012

Prettiest tantrum I ever did see, Nancy….

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

I could probably wade into NASA photos and forget to come up for air. 😀

7. Andra Watkins - October 17, 2012

These astronomical bits always fascinate me, Nancy.

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

We’re going on a Star Talk on the new Riverwalk on Saturday night . . . leading up to the Meteor Shower at midnight. 😀

8. jannatwrites - October 17, 2012

That picture is awesome! If my kids looked like that when they had tantrums, I might not find them so annoying 🙂

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

Ha ha! Of course, if they lived 650 light years, it would be easy to ignore them when they acted up. 😉

9. sufilight - October 18, 2012

I am always in awe when I see nebulas or read anything that has to do with the cosmos. It’s a cosmic visual treat. 🙂

nrhatch - October 18, 2012

Pondering the skies = awe inspiring.

10. spilledinkguy - October 18, 2012

*cough cough*
I think I’ve got the black hole, Pop.
(Okay… that doesn’t really work, but… you know… if it did… then… um. Yeah.)

nrhatch - October 18, 2012

Bwahaha! We could invent a whole slew of diseases for heavenly bodies. 😀

11. Jas - October 18, 2012

Amazing…it seems so engulfing…

nrhatch - October 18, 2012

It does ~ both omnipotent and omniscient.

12. Three Well Beings - October 19, 2012

What an amazing photo! I’m so fascinated by astronomy, and actually understand so little! LOL! But I gleefully read anything that brings understanding a bit closer to my level…so this was great! And I’m an Alan Parson’s Project fan, too, so this was such a lovely post!

nrhatch - October 19, 2012

Thanks, Debra! Wish you could join us for Star Talk at the Riverwalk tomorrow night . . . a laser tour of the night sky.

13. bluebee - October 19, 2012

A never-ending mystery out there, Nancy. My computer wallpaper is always something from the Hubble – these images put things in perspective on stressful days
(although, it didn’t help this week when my computer went legs up and I had to buy a new one – grrrrr)

nrhatch - October 20, 2012

Computers are not the most faithful of tools, are they? They go “legs up” without much in the way of warning . . . except for one last “Mayday! Mayday!”

I wish my computer would be self-diagnosing when it gets sick, catches a virus, suffers from the hiccups, or starts burping for no obvious reason.

“Ahem. I seem to have caught a bug. Please press X . . . type in Y . . . now hit Ctrl Z . . . great! We should be good to go.”

bluebee - October 20, 2012

Mine didn’t even give me one last ‘Mayday’! It was there then…..Catastrophic Fail!

nrhatch - October 20, 2012

That’s what happened to mine a few years ago. Here today, gone tomorrow. With nary a parting glance.

nrhatch - October 20, 2012

Sorry, BB. Got caught up in commisserating about computer woes and ailments and forgot to comment on the Hubble images that provide needed perspective on stressful days . . . like when our computer wallpaper is AWOL, MIA, or being held for ransom by the hard drive. 😉

bluebee - October 20, 2012


14. ericjbaker - October 20, 2012

I always feel like… somebody’s watching me…

nrhatch - October 20, 2012

You’re not paranoid, Eric. “They” ARE keeping an eye on you. 😉

ericjbaker - October 20, 2012

Ha. The joke is on them. Nothing interesting to see here.

nrhatch - October 20, 2012

That’s the reason they are no longer monitoring my movements. B~O~R~I~N~G! 🙂

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