Science Photo of the Week

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Offline neilep

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Some quality pics of the Antarctic here
http://www.leenks.com/link132921.html

I just looked at every single one !

Imposing and Sensational Photos !...I'd love to go there.
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Offline rosalind dna

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Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2008, the Astronomical Photos are beautiful. I think.

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/12/hubble_space_telescope_advent.html






Rosalind Franklin was my first cousin and one my life's main regrets is that I never met this brilliant and beautiful lady.
She discovered the Single DNA Helix in 1953, then it was taken by Wilkins without her knowledge or agreeement.

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Offline elmejor

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"Residents of Tainan learned a lesson in whale biology after the decomposing remains of a 60-ton sperm whale exploded on a busy street, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours."

Source : MSNBC

[attachment=3410]

Links : Naked Scientists Radio Show coverage of this story 1st February 2004 newbielink:http://www.thenakedscientists.com/html/shows/2004.02.01.htm [nonactive]


that must have been a stinky day for everybody around. well how did it explode?
newbielink:http://www.earthforenergykits.com [nonactive]

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18 Billion Suns -Biggest Black Hole in Universe Discovered—and it’s BIG! A Galaxy Classic

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Whatever gave birth to this monster can be real proud. The biggest black hole in the universe weighs in with a respectable mass of 18 billion Suns, and is about the size of an entire galaxy. Just like in the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito flick “Twins”, the massive black hole has a puny twin hovering nearby. By observing the orbit of the smaller black hole, astronomers are able to test Einstein's theory of general relativity with stronger gravitational fields than ever before.

The biggest black hole beats out its nearest competitor by six times. Fortunately, it’s 3.5 billion light years away, forming the heart of a quasar called OJ287. Quasars are extremely bright objects in which matter spiraling into a giant black hole emits large amounts of radiation.

The smaller black hole, which weighs about 100 million Suns, orbits the larger one on an oval-shaped path every 12 years. It comes close enough to punch through the disc of matter surrounding the larger black hole twice each orbit, causing a pair of outbursts that make OJ287 suddenly brighten.

General relativity predicts that the smaller hole's orbit itself should rotate over time, so that the point at which it comes nearest its neighbor moves around in space. This effect  is seen in Mercury's orbit around the Sun, on a much smaller scale.

In the case of OJ287, the tremendous gravitational field of the larger black hole causes the smaller black hole's orbit to precess at an impressive 39° each orbit. The precession changes where and when the smaller hole crashes through the disc surrounding its larger sibling.

About a dozen of the resulting bright outbursts have been observed to date, and astronomers led by Mauri Valtonen of Tuorla Observatory in Finland have analysed them to measure the precession rate of the smaller hole's orbit. That, along with the period of the orbit, suggests the larger black hole weighs a record 18 billion Suns.

So just how big can these bad boys get? Craig Wheeler of the University of Texas in Austin, US, says it depends only on how long a black hole has been around and how fast it has swallowed matter in order to grow. "There is no theoretical upper limit," he says.

The most recent outburst occurred on 13 September 2007, as predicted by general relativity. "If there was no orbital decay, the outburst would have been 20 days later than when it actually happened," Valtonen told New Scientist, adding that the black holes are on track to merge within 10,000 years.

Wheeler says the observations of the outbursts fit closely with the expectations from general relativity. "The fact that you can fit Einstein's theory [so well] ... is telling you that that's working," he says.


SOURCE:http://www.dailygalaxy.com
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Dark energy’s galactic stranglehold seen


BY KULVINDER SINGH CHADHA

ASTRONOMY NOW


Posted: 19 December, 2008

It dominates the Universe, accounting for 74 percent of its energy density. The mysterious, space-stretching force known as dark energy, which is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, could also be inhibiting the development of galaxies.


In a study that has taken years to complete, astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory have seen that something is stifling the growth of galaxy clusters. The crucial thing about Chandra’s data is that it is independent of previous dark energy studies that have made use of supernovae. It means that there is a real phenomenon occurring that isn’t an artefact of observational techniques. Research team leader Dr Alexey Vikhlinin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory likens the effect to an ‘arrested development’ of the Universe.


[attachment=6161]
Snapshots from a simulation representing the
growth of cosmic structure when the Universe
was 0.9, 3.2 and 13.7 billion years old (now)
, from a smooth state to one with structure.
 Image: MPE/V.Springel.


Dark energy is in competition with the gravitational force, because unlike gravity, dark energy is repulsive. Invisible dark matter, which is known to constitute around 95 percent of the Universe’s mass, is responsible for much of this gravity. But on the largest scales dark energy appears to win out, hence the observed acceleration of an already expanding Universe (something which was well-known). But why should this repulsion inhibit the growth of galaxy clusters, the most massive collapsed objects in the Universe?


At a NASA press conference on 16 December, Vikhlinin’s colleague Dr William Forman says, “Structures [galaxy clusters] grow from very weak fluctuations present in the beginning of the Universe, and which can be seen in the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. Gravity slows the expansion of the Universe and amplifies these very small fluctuations so that they grow to form the galaxy clusters we see so prominently in the X-ray images.” Forman adds that the scale of the new observations is around 100 million light years. This is the scale where the effect of dark energy becomes important. When the Universe entered and accelerated expansion phase eight billion years ago, the dominance of dark energy slowed structure growth significantly.


[attachment=6163]
Galaxy cluster Abell 85 is one of 86 clusters
 observed by Chandra to trace how dark energy
has stifled the growth of massive structures
over the last 7 billion years. Image:
 SDSS/NASA/CXC/SAO/A.Vikhlinin et al.



The reason that X-ray observations are used is because the bulk of the normal mass (i.e. not dark matter) of the cluster is in the form of high-temperature, diffuse, intergalactic gas. This is straightforward to see in X-rays and has the advantage of being bright, thus observable at great distances. And this property was particularly helpful to Vikhlinin’s team. By looking at galactic clusters at different distances, Vikhlin’s team were able to observe structure growth at different epochs of the Universe’s development. What they found corroborated well with accelerating and decelerating phases in the Universe’s history.


But this is just a tentative first step towards unravelling the mystery of dark energy. Its exact nature is still a matter of speculation. Could it be the famed cosmological constant predicted by Einstein (the inherent energy of space itself)? Or, does Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which describes gravitation, need to be revised on these large scales? Could it be something else entirely? Will we ever truly know?


Forman ends on an upbeat note, quoting American physicist John Wheeler: “Mass tells space how to curve, and space tells mass how to behave. With supernovae data, we’ve seen how mass curves space, and with our results, we can now see how space tells matter to behave.”

SOURCE:SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM
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Jupiter's largest moon caught going to 'dark side'
SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE NEWS RELEASE


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has caught Jupiter's moon Ganymede playing a game of "peek-a-boo." In this crisp Hubble image, Ganymede is shown just before it ducks behind the giant planet.

[attachment=6177]
Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Karkoschka (University of Arizona)

 
 
Ganymede completes an orbit around Jupiter every seven days. Because Ganymede's orbit is tilted nearly edge-on to Earth, it routinely can be seen passing in front of and disappearing behind its giant host, only to reemerge later.

Composed of rock and ice, Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system. It is even larger than the planet Mercury. But Ganymede looks like a dirty snowball next to Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Jupiter is so big that only part of its Southern Hemisphere can be seen in this image.

Hubble's view is so sharp that astronomers can see features on Ganymede's surface, most notably the white impact crater, Tros, and its system of rays, bright streaks of material blasted from the crater. Tros and its ray system are roughly the width of Arizona.

The image also shows Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the large eye-shaped feature at upper left. A storm the size of two Earths, the Great Red Spot has been raging for more than 300 years. Hubble's sharp view of the gas giant planet also reveals the texture of the clouds in the Jovian atmosphere as well as various other storms and vortices.

Source:spaceflightnow.com
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The Galactic Core in Infrared
Credit: Hubble: NASA, ESA, & D. Q. Wang (U. Mass, Amherst); Spitzer: NASA, JPL, & S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech)


[attachment=6239]

WOW !!..awesome big pig piccy right here !!



 What's happening at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy? To help find out, the orbiting Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have combined their efforts to survey the region in unprecedented detail in infrared light. Infrared light is particularly useful for probing the Milky Way's center because visible light is more greatly obscured by dust. The above image encompasses over 2,000 images from the Hubble Space Telescope's NICMOS taken last year. The image spans 300 by 115 light years with such high resolution that structures only 20 times the size of our own Solar System are discernable. Clouds of glowing gas and dark dust as well as three large star clusters are visible. Magnetic fields may be channeling plasma along the upper left near the Arches Cluster, while energetic stellar winds are carving pillars near the Quintuplet Cluster on the lower left. The massive Central Cluster of stars surrounding Sagittarius A* is visible on the lower right. Why several central, bright, massive stars appear to be unassociated with these star clusters is not yet understood.
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Orion's Belt
Credit & Copyright: Martin Mutti, Astronomical Image Data Archive


[attachment=6800]

BIGGY PICCY HERE

Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, are the bright bluish stars from east to west (left to right) along the diagonal in this gorgeous cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion, these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie about 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion's well-studied interstellar clouds. In fact, clouds of gas and dust adrift in this region have intriguing and some surprisingly familiar shapes, including the dark Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula near Alnitak at the lower left. The famous Orion Nebula itself lies off the bottom of this star field that covers about 4.5x3.5 degrees on the sky. This image was taken last month with a digital camera attached to a small telescope in Switzerland, and better matches human color perception than a more detailed composite taken over 15 years ago.
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Planck Probe To Record the Very Echoes of Creation


[attachment=6894]
Blue Lagoon Nebula !




Probing the very earliest available evidence of the universe as we know it has already netted a Nobel Prize, but if you understand science at all you know that that's just the beginning.  In April the Planck satellite will start recording the very echoes of creation, and that's such a big picture the teams have spent ten years just getting ready to look at the data.

Huge statistical analysis at two data centers (one in Paris and one one in Trieste) are needed to extract information from the data the Planck will receive, and when they practice the take it seriously.  As in "The Max Planck institute spending a decade developing software to simulate virtual universes as test cases" serious, which is more seriously than a heart surgeon operating on his firstborn son.

These test cases are versions of the cosmic microwave background, the earliest available information in existence.  The universe is thought to have been around for a few hundred thousand years before that, but as it was opaque to radiation nothing survived to echo. Accurate information from the instant it all became transparent, expanding rapidly into the reality we now know (as far as we know now) could make or break many theories of how it all got going.

As well as studying the effects of inflation (or not) on the beginning of the universe, Plank will also gather data on "secondary anisotropies" - or as you might know them, galactic clusters.  This thing looks at a question so big, a trillion suns is a side-effect.
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[size=01pt].[/size]
[attachment=6904]

Parasitic wasps lay eggs in caterpillars using toxins to paralyze their hosts. The wasp young then eat their way out. A study in Science magazine confirms the genetics of wasp toxins rely heavily of the DNA of viruses that infected the insects millions of years ago.

BBC NEWS
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Offline Chemistry4me

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[:o] That's neat, if not a bit freaky!

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Orion Nebula: The Hubble View
Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (STScI/ESA) et al.


[attachment=7074]







 Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula. Also known as M42, the nebula's glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud only 1,500 light-years away. The Orion Nebula offers one of the best opportunities to study how stars are born partly because it is the nearest large star-forming region, but also because the nebula's energetic stars have blown away obscuring gas and dust clouds that would otherwise block our view - providing an intimate look at a range of ongoing stages of starbirth and evolution. This detailed image of the Orion Nebula is the sharpest ever, constructed using data from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys and the European Southern Observatory's La Silla 2.2 meter telescope. The mosaic contains a billion pixels at full resolution and reveals about 3,000 stars.
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The Helix Nebula from La Silla Observatory
Credit: WFI, MPG/ESO 2.2-m Telescope, La Silla Obs., ESO

[attachment=7322]


 Will our Sun look like this one day? The Helix Nebula is one of brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gasses of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce. The Helix Nebula, given a technical designation of NGC 7293, lies about 700 light-years away towards the constellation of Aquarius and spans about 2.5 light-years. The above picture was taken by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter Telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows complex gas knots of unknown origin.
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Offline Lincon

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Hi,
     Naked science makes an interesting facts about the new technologies. It has given a lot of contributions in the emerging new society.


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Horsehead and Orion Nebulae

[attachment=7384]

Credit & Copyright: Dale J. Martin (Massapoag Pond Obs.)


 Adrift 1,500 light-years away in one of the night sky's most recognizable constellations, the glowing Orion Nebula and the dark Horsehead Nebula are contrasting cosmic vistas. They appear in opposite corners of this stunning mosaic taken with a digital camera attached to a small telescope. The magnificent emission region, the Orion Nebula (aka M42), lies at the upper right of the picture. Immediately to its left is a prominent bluish reflection nebula sometimes called the Running Man. The Horsehead nebula appears as a dark cloud, a small silhouette notched against the long red glow at the lower left. Alnitak is the easternmost star in Orion's belt and is seen as the brightest star to the left of the Horsehead. Below Alnitak is the Flame Nebula, with clouds of bright emission and dramatic dark dust lanes. Pervasive tendrils of glowing hydrogen gas are easily traced throughout the region in this deep field image of the same region.

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DRACULA FISH

[attachment=7458]



--While he may not vant to suck your blood, the male fish seen above does sport spooky-looking fangs that have earned it the name Danionella dracula.

Researchers at London's Natural History Museum found several of the new species (bottom) in a tank of aquarium fish. Initially museum staff had thought the 0.7-inch-long (1.7-centimeter-long) creatures, caught in Myanmar (Burma), were part of an already known, related species.

"After a year or so in captivity, they started dying," museum scientist Ralf Britz told BBC News.

"When I preserved them and looked at them under the microscope, I thought, my God, what is this, they can't be teeth."

In fact, the fangs are not true teeth—the line of fish that gave rise to D. dracula is thought to have lost teeth around 50 million years ago.

By staining the bone and dissolving away tissue to reveal the full jawbones of dead specimens (top), Briz found that the odd species has rows of bony jaw protrusions (inset) that lack the pulp cavities and enamel caps of true teeth.

Despite their ghoulish appearance, the fangs likely aren't used for feeding.

"We did not study stomach contents, but we know that its close relatives live on small crustaceans … and other small invertebrates," Britz said in an email to National Geographic News. "In captivity it readily accepts brine shrimp [larvae], tiny nematodes, and even very fine flake food."

Based on the behavior of live "Dracula" fish, the researchers think the males use their extralong fangs to spar with each other during aggressive displays. The findings are described this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

—Victoria Jaggard

Photographs courtesy Ralf Britz, Natural History Museum
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A Prominent Solar Prominence from SOHO
Credit: SOHO - EIT Consortium, ESA, NASA

[attachment=7509]







 What's happened to our Sun? It was sporting a spectacular -- but not very unusual -- solar prominence. A solar prominence is a cloud of solar gas held above the Sun's surface by the Sun's magnetic field. In 2004, NASA's Sun-orbiting SOHO spacecraft imaged an impressively large prominence hovering over the surface, pictured above. The Earth would easily fit under the hovering curtain of hot gas. A quiescent prominence typically lasts about a month, and may erupt in a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) expelling hot gas into the Solar System. Although somehow related to the Sun's changing magnetic field, the energy mechanism that creates and sustains a Solar prominence is still a topic of research.
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Offline latebind

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ALL THESE PHOTOS ARE AMAZING!
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ALL THESE PHOTOS ARE AMAZING!

aww thanks !

This thread is of course open to everybody to contribute to, but I am very grateful that you enjoy them latebind.
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Tycho's Supernova Remnant
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: MPIA, Calar Alto, O. Krause et al.




[attachment=7535]


 What star created this huge puffball? Pictured above is the best multi-wavelength image yet of Tycho's supernova remnant, the result of a stellar explosion first recorded over 400 years ago by the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe. The above image is a composite of an X-ray image taken by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, an infrared image taken by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, and an optical image taken by the 3.5-meter Calar Alto telescope located in southern Spain. The expanding gas cloud is extremely hot, while slightly different expansion speeds have given the cloud a puffy appearance. Although the star that created SN 1572, is likely completely gone, a star dubbed Tycho G, too dim to be easily discerned here, is being studied as the possible companion. Finding progenitor remnants of Tycho's supernova is particularly important because the supernova was recently determined to be of Type Ia. The peak brightness of Type Ia supernovas is thought to be well understood, making them quite valuable in calibrating how our universe dims distant objects.
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The Seahorse of the Large Magellanic Cloud
Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio (STScI)



[attachment=7696]

To some it may look to some like a big space monster, but it is more big than monster. To others it may look like a grazing seahorse, but the dark object toward the image right is actually an inanimate pillar of smoky dust about 20 light years long. The curiously-shaped dust structure occurs in our neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud, in a star forming region very near the expansive Tarantula Nebula. The energetic nebula is creating a star cluster named NGC 2074, whose center is visible just off the top of the image in the direction of the neck of the seahorse. The above representative color image was taken last year by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in honor of Hubble's 100,000th trip around the Earth. As young stars in the cluster form, their light and winds will slowly erode the dust pillars away over the next million years.
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Signals of a Strange Universe
Credit: High-Z Supernova Search Team, HST, NASA


[attachment=7822]


 Eleven years ago results were first presented indicating that most of the energy in our universe is not in stars or galaxies but is tied to space itself. In the language of cosmologists, a large cosmological constant is directly implied by new distant supernovae observations. Suggestions of a cosmological constant (lambda) were not new -- they have existed since the advent of modern relativistic cosmology. Such claims were not usually popular with astronomers, though, because lambda is so unlike known universe components, because lambda's value appeared limited by other observations, and because less- strange cosmologies without lambda had previously done well in explaining the data. What is noteworthy here is the seemingly direct and reliable method of the observations and the good reputations of the scientists conducting the investigations. Over the past eleven years, independent teams of astronomers have continued to accumulate data that appears to confirm the existence of dark energy and the unsettling result of a presently accelerating universe. The above picture of a supernova that occurred in 1994 on the outskirts of a spiral galaxy was taken by one of these collaborations.
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In the Heart of the Tarantula Nebula
Credit: ESA, NASA, ESO, & Danny LaCrue

[attachment=7839]

BIG PICCY HERE (Makes a great desktop piccy)




In the heart of monstrous Tarantula Nebula lies huge bubbles of energetic gas, long filaments of dark dust, and unusually massive stars. In the center of this heart, is a knot of stars so dense that it was once thought to be a single star. This star cluster, labeled as R136 or NGC 2070, is visible just above the center of the above image and home to a great number of hot young stars. The energetic light from these stars continually ionizes nebula gas, while their energetic particle wind blows bubbles and defines intricate filaments. The above representative-color picture of this great LMC nebula details its tumultuous center. The Tarantula Nebula, also known as the 30 Doradus nebula, is one of the largest star-formation regions known, and has been creating unusually strong episodes of star formation every few million years.
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Scientists offer new theory for largest known mass extinction


[attachment=7843]


Hypothetically speaking, large areas of the hyper saline Zechstein Sea and its direct environment
could have looked like this, which in the Permian Age was situated about where present day Central
 Europe is. At the end of the Permian Age the Zechstein Sea was irrevocably disconnected from the
open sea and the remaining sections of sea soon dried out after that. As a result the microbial-limited
halogenated gases from the Zechstein Sea stopped and vegetation was able to regenerate again. The pink
colour of the Zechstein Sea was probably brought about by microbes with an extreme preference for salt,
 as is the case with salt lakes today. In the background sand dunes can be recognised from a landscape
 with hardly any water. Photo: Dr. Karsten Kotte/Universität Heidelberg



MORE HERE
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 Uh oh !..time to put the thinking caps on again !!

 
Hubble uncovers unusual supernova progenitor star
SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE NEWS RELEASE


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has identified a star that was one million times brighter than the Sun before it exploded as a supernova in 2005. According to current theories of stellar evolution, the star should not have self-destructed so early in its life.

"This might mean that we are fundamentally wrong about the evolution of massive stars, and that theories need revising," says Avishay Gal-Yam of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.



[attachment=7863]



 
 
The doomed star, which is estimated to have had about 100 times our Sun's mass, was not mature enough, according to theory, to have evolved a massive iron core of nuclear fusion ash. This is the prerequisite for a core implosion that triggers a supernova blast.

The finding appears today in the online version of Nature Magazine.

The explosion, called supernova SN 2005gl, was seen in the barred-spiral galaxy NGC 266 on October 5, 2005. Pre-explosion pictures from the Hubble archive, taken in 1997, reveal the progenitor as a very luminous point source with an absolute visual magnitude of -10.3.

The progenitor was so bright that it probably belonged to a class of stars called Luminous Blue Variables (LBVs), "because no other type of star is as intrinsically brilliant," says Gal-Yam. As an LBV-class star evolves it sheds much of its mass through a violent stellar wind. Only at that point does it develop a large iron core and ultimately explodes as a core-collapse supernova.

Extremely massive and luminous stars topping 100 solar masses, such as Eta Carinae in our own Milky Way Galaxy, are expected to lose their entire hydrogen envelopes prior to their ultimate explosions as supernovae. "These observations demonstrate that many details in the evolution and fate of LBVs remain a mystery. We should continue to keep an eye on Eta Carinae -- it may surprise us yet again," says supernova expert Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.

"The progenitor identification shows that, at least in some cases, massive stars explode before losing most of their hydrogen envelope, suggesting that the evolution of the core and the evolution of the envelope are less coupled than previously thought, a finding which may require a revision of stellar evolution theory," says co-author Douglas Leonard from San Diego State University, Calif.

One possibility is that the progenitor to SN 2005gl was really a pair of stars, a binary system that merged. This would have stoked nuclear reactions to brighten the star enormously, making it look more luminous and less evolved than it really is. "This also leaves open the question that there may be other mechanisms for triggering supernova explosions," says Gal-Yam. "We may be missing something very basic in understanding how a superluminous star goes through mass loss."

Gal-Yam reports that the observation revealed that only a small part of the star's mass was flung off in the explosion. Most of the material, says Gal-Yam, was drawn into the collapsing core that has probably become a black hole estimated to be at least 10 to 15 solar masses.

Gal-Yam and Leonard located the progenitor in archival images of NGC 266 taken in 1997. It was easily identifiable only because it is so superluminous. Only Hubble could clearly resolve it at such a great distance.

The team then used the Keck telescope to precisely locate the supernova on the outer arm of the galaxy. A follow-up observation with Hubble in 2007 unequivocally showed that the superluminous star was gone. To make sure the new observation was consistent with the 1997 archival image, the astronomers used the same Hubble camera used in 1997, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

Finding archival images of stars before the stars exploded as supernovae isn't an easy task. Several other supernova progenitor candidates have been reported prior to the Hubble observation. The only other absolutely indisputable progenitor, however, was the blue supergiant progenitor to SN 1987A. In the case of SN 1987A, it was thought that the progenitor star was once a red supergiant and at a later stage evolved back to blue supergiant status. This led to a major reworking of supernova theory. The progenitor star observed by Gal-Yam is too massive to have gone through such an oscillation to the red giant stage, so yet another new explanation is required, he says.

 
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Around the World in 80 Telescopes
Illustration Credit & Copyright: ESO / 100 Hours of Astronomy


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 Want to go on an extraordinary voyage? Today you can, by watching Around the World in 80 Telescopes. The 24-hour long webcast is organized by the European Southern Observatory for the International Year of Astronomy cornerstone project 100 Hours of Astronomy. As suggested in this astronomically intense composite, the webcast event follows night and day around the globe to visit some of the most advanced observatories on Earth and in space, exploring the universe in visible light and beyond. The Gemini North Telescope (Hawaii, USA) and the large observatories at the summit of volcanic Mauna Kea are scheduled for the first stops in the program beginning April 3 at 09:00 UT. Others on the schedule include the Swift Satellite and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, the Himalayan Chandra Telescope (Hanle, India), and the 10-meter South Pole Telescope and IceCube Neutrino Telescope (South Pole, Antarctica).

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A Solar Prominence from SOHO
Credit: SOHO-EIT Consortium, ESA, NASA

[attachment=8431]

 How can gas float above the Sun? Twisted magnetic fields arching from the solar surface can trap ionized gas, suspending it in huge looping structures. These majestic plasma arches are seen as prominences above the solar limb. In 1999 September, this dramatic and detailed image was recorded by the EIT experiment on board the space-based SOHO observatory in the light emitted by ionized Helium. It shows hot plasma escaping into space as a fiery prominence breaks free from magnetic confinement a hundred thousand kilometers above the Sun. These awesome events bear watching as they can affect communications and power systems over 100 million kilometers away on Planet Earth. Recently, our Sun has been unusually quiet.
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Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis
Credit & Copyright: Andrey Oreshko

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 Cosmic dust clouds sprawl across a rich field of stars in this sweeping telescopic vista near the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. Probably less than 500 light-years away and effectively blocking light from more distant, background stars in the Milky Way, the densest part of the dust cloud is about 8 light-years long. At its tip (upper right) is a group of lovely reflection nebulae cataloged as NGC 6726, 6727, 6729, and IC 4812. A characteristic blue color is produced as light from hot stars is reflected by the cosmic dust. The smaller yellowish nebula (NGC 6729) surrounds young variable star R Coronae Australis. Magnificent globular star cluster NGC 6723 is at the upper right corner of the view. While NGC 6723 appears to be part of the group, it actually lies nearly 30,000 light-years away, far beyond the Corona Australis dust clouds.
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The Milky Road
Credit & Copyright: Larry Landolfi


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Inspired by the night skies of planet Earth in the International Year of Astronomy, photographer Larry Landolfi created this tantalizing fantasy view. The composited image suggests a luminous Milky Way is the heavenly extension of a country road. Of course, the name for our galaxy, the Milky Way (in Latin, Via Lactea), does refer to its appearance as a milky band or path in the sky. In fact, the word galaxy itself derives from the Greek for milk. Visible on moonless nights from dark sky areas, though not so bright or colorful as in this image, the glowing celestial band is due to the collective light of myriad stars along the plane of our galaxy, too faint to be distinguished individually. The diffuse starlight is cut by dark swaths of obscuring galactic dust clouds. Four hundred years ago, Galileo turned his telescope on the Milky Way and announced it to be "... a congeries of innumerable stars ..."
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Stars at the Galactic Center
Credit: Susan Stolovy (SSC/Caltech) et al., JPL-Caltech, NASA

[attachment=8553]

Clicking HERE will take you to a massive piccy that is 30MB !!

The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by clouds of obscuring dust and gas. But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras, penetrate much of the dust revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region. A mosaic of many smaller snapshots, the detailed, false-color image shows older, cool stars in bluish hues. Reddish glowing dust clouds are associated with young, hot stars in stellar nurseries. The very center of the Milky Way was only recently found capable of forming newborn stars. The galactic center lies some 26,000 light-years away, toward the constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this picture spans about 900 light-years.

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Mount Rushmore's Starry Night
Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (TWAN)


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 This starry night sky sparkles above the Black Hills of South Dakota and the United States' Mount Rushmore National Park. The historic site features enormous sculptures of four US presidents; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, carved into the southeast face of granite cliffs. Above the monumental symbols of the country's independence and early history, the night features stars and constellations familiar to northern skygazers around the world. Most noticeable are the stars of Ursa Major and the asterism known as the Big Dipper, almost resting upright along the cliff edge near picture center. Follow the arc of the Big Dipper's handle to get to Arcturus, the bright yellowish star in the lower left corner. Of course, a line extending through the dipper's two right most stars points to the upper right toward Polaris, planet Earth's North Star.
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Neutron Repulsion Powers

Stars at the Galactic Center
Credit: Susan Stolovy (SSC/Caltech) et al., JPL-Caltech, NASA

[attachment=8553]

Clicking HERE [nofollow] will take you to a massive piccy that is 30MB !!

The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by clouds of obscuring dust and gas. But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras, penetrate much of the dust revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region. A mosaic of many smaller snapshots, the detailed, false-color image shows older, cool stars in bluish hues. Reddish glowing dust clouds are associated with young, hot stars in stellar nurseries. The very center of the Milky Way was only recently found capable of forming newborn stars. The galactic center lies some 26,000 light-years away, toward the constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this picture spans about 900 light-years.



In the following image,

LEFT: Data points are rest masses of 3,000 types of atoms that comprise the entire visible universe.

RIGHT: Intersections of empirical mass parabolas with front plane (Z/A =0) reveal repulsive interactions between neutrons.

[attachment=8827]

CONCLUSION: When matter is compressed into small regions of space, then repulsive interactions between neutrons will energize each neutron by ~10-22 MeV.  This produces highly energized compact cosmic objects, like that at the core of the Sun, and it prevents their collapse to form the imaginary Black Holes. [Credit: The above image is Figure 3 of a paper, "On the cosmic nuclear cycle and the similarity of nuclei and stars," Journal of Fusion Energy 25 (2006) 107-114.]

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
http://myprofile.cos.com/manuelo09 [nofollow]
or http://www.omatumr.com [nofollow]
 
 
« Last Edit: 16/07/2009 13:50:52 by om »

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Amazing pictures.

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Amazing pictures.

Thank you..and welcome !!...please feel free to contribute too.

Thanks again for your kind comment.
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FIVE STUDENTS IN SPECIAL NUCLEAR TOPICS CLASS, CHEM 471

Amazing pictures.

Thank you for your kindness.

The amazing "Cradle of the Nuclides", shown below on the right, was developed with the help of five students in the last graduate class that I taught in the spring semester of 2000.

[attachment=8827]

The five students were Cynthia Bolon, Shelonda Finch, Daniel Ragland, Matthew Seelke, and Bing Zhang, all at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

I was looking forward to retirement and did not want to teach the class that semester.  But the students asked me to teach it anyway.  I did but assigned no textbook. Instead we used only data from the well-known Chart of the Nuclides to see if we could find some unrecognized source of nuclear energy that might explain solar luminosity, solar neutrinos, and solar-wind Hydrogen pouring from the surface of the iron-rich Sun.

The picture is also shown as Figure 16 on page 16 of a more recent picture in AIP Conference Proceedings, volume 822 (2006) pages 206-225:
http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0510001 [nofollow]

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
« Last Edit: 16/07/2009 13:53:29 by om »

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The Chameleon's Dark Nebulae
Credit & Copyright: Andrey Kuznetsov

[attachment=8971]

Biggy Piccy Herey






 The Chameleon is a small constellation near the south celestial pole. Boasting no bright stars, it blends inconspicuously with the starry southern sky. But, taken in dark skies over Namibia, this image reveals a stunning aspect of the shy constellation -- a field of dusty nebulae and colorful stars. Blue reflection nebulae are scattered through the scene, but most eye-catching is the complex of silvery dust clouds that only faintly reflect starlight, punctuated by dense dark nebulae. The dark nebulae stand out because they block out background stars. This view of the cosmic dust clouds spans about 4 degrees on the sky.
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The Big Corona
Credit & Copyright: Koen van Gorp



[attachment=9172]



Most photographs don't adequately portray the magnificence of the Sun's corona. Seeing the corona first-hand during a total solar eclipse is best. The human eye can adapt to see features and extent that photographic film usually cannot. Welcome, however, to the digital age. The above picture is a combination of thirty-three photographs that were digitally processed to highlight faint features of a total eclipse that occurred in March of 2006. The images of the Sun's corona were digitally altered to enhance dim, outlying waves and filaments. Shadow seekers need not fret, though, since as yet there is no way that digital image processing can mimic the fun involved in experiencing a total solar eclipse. Last week, a spectacular total solar eclipse occurred over southern Asia, while the The next total solar eclipse will be visible from the South Pacific on 2010 July 11.
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The Big Corona
Credit & Copyright: Koen van Gorp



[attachment=9172]



Most photographs don't adequately portray the magnificence of the Sun's corona. . . .

Thanks for this beautiful and informative photo of the solar corona!

Even in these times of low solar activity - between the end of solar cycle #23 and the long awaited start of solar cycle #24 - the violent and erratic nature of material above the solar photosphere is obvious.

Earth glides through the Sun's next higher level of material - the heliosphere - in the annual journey around the Sun that produces our four seasons - Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

Earth is directly connected to the Sun, orbiting through this invisible sheath of solar wind particles and solar magnetic and electric fields that extends more that 100 AU above the normally invisible corona and the visible solar photosphere.

Earth and the Sun are mistakenly perceived as separate entities, in large part because visible light from the photosphere produces the illusion of a solar "surface" that separates Earth from the Sun.

Thank you, neilep, for posting an observation that will be of interest to taxpayers who were told that anthropologic CO2 (from fossil fuels) has a greater impact than the Sun on global climate change.

My favorite climatologist - Dr. Timo Niroma of Helsinki, Finland - has a couple of web sites that look at the historical record of the link of Earth's climate with solar activity.

http://www.kolumbus.fi/tilmari/gwuppsala.htm
[nofollow]
http://personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspots.html [nofollow]

With kind regards
Oliver K. Manuel
http://www.omatumr.com [nofollow]
« Last Edit: 26/07/2009 21:07:00 by om »

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A Floral Aurora Corona
Credit & Copyright: Zoltan Kenwell (Infocus Imagery)




[attachment=9211]

 Few auroras show this level of detail. Above, a standard digital camera captured a particularly active and colorful auroral corona that occurred last week above Alberta, Canada. With a shape reminiscent of a flower, the spectacular aurora had an unusually high degree of detail. The vivid green and purple auroral colors are caused by high atmospheric oxygen and hydrogen reacting to a burst of incoming electrons. Many photogenic auroras have been triggered from a solar wind stream that recently passed the Earth. The auroras were unexpected because the initiating Sun has been unusually quiet of late.
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SARYCHEV PEAK VOLCANO

[attachment=9297]

This photo was taken from the International Space Station by an astronaut who just happend to be passing at the right time.

amazing eh ?


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ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!

How little we know about the object beneath our feet!

The material that it continues to collect every day from outer space.

Material that squirts out in volcanos and cracks in the deep ocean floor.

Fifty years ago I started a scientific investigation of Earth's Genesis.

The journey has been rewarding beyond my wildest dreams.

What a beautiful laboratory for those who want to learn!

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
http://www.omatumr.com [nofollow]

PS - I will be 73 years old in a couple of months, approaching the end of life.  I hope to write a biography on the fifty (50) year anniversary of the start of my effort in 1960 to rewrite the Biblical story of Genesis from a scientific point of view [See: "My Journey to the Core of the Sun", in preparation].

The late Nuclear Geochemistry Professor (Paul) Kazuo Kuroda, convinced me to undertake this study in 1960 with reports that the nuclear reactions that produced our elements were still visible as decay products of extinct iodine-129, extinct palladium-107, and extinct plutonium-244, as well as poorly mixed isotopes of element #54 (xenon) in meteorites and in the Earth.  All of these findings have been confirmed, and many other records of the birth of the solar system five billion years (5 Gyr) ago from fresh supernova debris!   

The late Physics Professor John H. Reynolds developed and in 1962-1964 showed me how to operate the mass spectrometer that revealed other recordings of element synthesis in the supernova debris that orbits the Sun and an unmistakable clue to the compact, energetic object at the core of the Sun.   

« Last Edit: 04/08/2009 19:41:25 by om »

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Saturn's Iapetus: Painted Moon
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA


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What has happened to Saturn's moon Iapetus? Vast sections of this strange world are dark as coal, while others are as bright as ice. The composition of the dark material is unknown, but infrared spectra indicate that it possibly contains some dark form of carbon. Iapetus also has an unusual equatorial ridge that makes it appear like a walnut. To help better understand this seemingly painted moon, NASA directed the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn to swoop within 2,000 kilometers in 2007. Pictured above, from about 75,000 kilometers out, Cassini's trajectory allowed unprecedented imaging of the hemisphere of Iapetus that is always trailing. A huge impact crater seen in the south spans a tremendous 450 kilometers and appears superposed on an older crater of similar size. The dark material is seen increasingly coating the easternmost part of Iapetus, darkening craters and highlands alike. Close inspection indicates that the dark coating typically faces the moon's equator and is less than a meter thick. A leading hypothesis is that the dark material is mostly dirt leftover when relatively warm but dirty ice sublimates. An initial coating of dark material may have been effectively painted on by the accretion of meteor-liberated debris from other moons. This and other images from Cassini's Iapetus flyby are being studied for even greater clues.
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Diamonds in a Cloudy Sky
Credit & Copyright: Óscar Martín Mesonero (OSAE), SAROS Group


[attachment=9406]

 Cloudy skies over Wuhan, China hid the delicate solar corona during July's total eclipse of the Sun. Still, the Moon's silhouette was highlighted by these glistening diamonds as the total eclipse phase ended. Caused by bright sunlight streaming through dips and valleys in the irregular terrain along the Moon's edge, the effect is known as Baily's Beads, named after Francis Baily who called attention to the phenomenon in 1836. The dramatic appearance of the beads at the beginning or end of a total solar eclipse is also known as the Diamond Ring effect. In this remarkable image, a small, pinkish solar prominence can also be seen along the edge, below the diamonds.
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The Star Clusters of NGC 1313
Credit: NASA, ESA, Anne Pellerin (STScI)

[attachment=9408]
Biggy Piccy HERE


 Like grains of sand on a cosmic beach, individual stars of barred spiral galaxy NGC 1313 are resolved in this sharp composite from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The inner region of the galaxy is pictured, spanning about 10,000 light-years. Hubble's unique ability to distinguish individual stars in the 14 million light-year distant galaxy has been used to unravel the fate of star clusters whose bright young stars are spread through the disk of the galaxy as the clusters dissolve. The exploration of stars and clusters in external galaxy NGC 1313 offers clues to star formation and star cluster evolution in our own Milky Way
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The Milky Way Over the Badlands
Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (AstroPics.com, TWAN)

[attachment=9550]

 Why take a picture of just the Badlands when you can take one that also shows the spectacular sky above it? Just such a picture, actually a digital stitched panorama of four images, was taken in late June near midnight, looking southwest. In the foreground, the unusual buttes of the Badlands Wall, part of the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, USA, were momentarily illuminated by flashlight during a long duration exposure of the background night sky. The mountain-like buttes visible are composed of soft rock that show sharp erosion features from wind and water. The South Dakota Badlands also contain ancient beds rich with easy-to-find fossils. Some fossils are over 25 million years old and hold clues to the evolutionary origins of the horse and the saber-toothed tiger. Bright Jupiter dominates the sky on the left just above the buttes, while the spectacular Milky Way Galaxy runs down the image right.
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The Gum Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Axel Mellinger


[attachment=9579]

Named for Australian astronomer Colin Stanley Gum (1924-1960), The Gum Nebula is so large and close it is actually hard to see. In fact, we are only about 450 light-years from the front edge and 1,500 light-years from the back edge of this cosmic cloud of glowing hydrogen gas. Covered in this 41 degree-wide mosaic of H-alpha images, the faint emission region is otherwise easy to lose against the background of Milky Way stars. The complex nebula is thought to be a supernova remnant over a million years old, sprawling across the southern constellations Vela and Puppis. Sliding your cursor over this spectacular wide field view will reveal the location of objects embedded in The Gum Nebula, including the Vela supernova remnant.
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NGC 7822 in Cepheus
Credit & Copyright: Don Goldman


[attachment=9670]




 Pillars of gas, dust, and young, hot stars fill the center of NGC 7822. At the edge of a giant molecular cloud toward the northern constellation Cepheus, the glowing star forming region lies about 3,000 light-years away. Within the nebula, bright edges and tantalizing shapes are highlighted in this colorful skyscape. The image includes data from both broadband and narrowband filters, mapping emission from atomic oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur into blue, green, and red hues. The atomic emission is powered by the energetic radiation from the hot stars, whose powerful winds and radiation also sculpt and erode the denser pillar shapes. Stars could still be forming inside the pillars by gravitational collapse, but as the pillars are eroded away, any forming stars will ultimately be cutoff from their reservoir of star stuff. This field spans around 30 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 7822.
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The Butterfly Nebula from Upgraded Hubble
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team


[attachment=9824]

 The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects, and NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the central star of this particular planetary nebula is exceptionally hot though -- shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This dramatically detailed close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded by the newly upgraded Hubble Space Telescope. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star's dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation Scorpius.
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To Fly Free in Space
Credit: STS-41B, NASA

[attachment=10027]

 At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was farther out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space. McCandless and fellow NASA astronaut Robert Stewart were the first to experience such an "untethered space walk" during Space Shuttle mission 41-B in 1984. The MMU works by shooting jets of nitrogen and has since been used to help deploy and retrieve satellites. With a mass over 140 kilograms, an MMU is heavy on Earth, but, like everything, is weightless when drifting in orbit. The MMU was replaced with the SAFER backpack propulsion unit.

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