Galaxy Cluster Mergers in X-Rays

Galaxy Cluster Mergers in X-Rays

Edited Chandra Space Telescope annotated image of how galaxy clusters look in x-rays, over time.

Image source: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2019/cluster_merge/

Original caption: For the first time, astronomers have found two giant clusters of galaxies that are just about to collide, as reported in a new press release by RIKEN. This observation is important in understanding the formation of structure in the Universe, sincelarge-scale structures—such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies—are thought to grow by collisions and mergers.

The composite image shows the separate galaxy clusters 1E2215 and 1E2216, located about 1.2 billion light years from Earth, captured as they enter a critical phase of merging. Chandra’s X-ray data (blue) have been combined with a radio image from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India (red). These images were then overlaid on an optical image from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that shows galaxies and stars in the field of view.

The discovery of 1E2215 and 1E2216 at this stage of merging has enabled astronomers to test their computer simulations of these important collisions. This new result provides evidence of a shock wave that is generated early in the merging process and travels out away from the collision in a perpendicular direction.

Because the merging process takes much longer than a human lifetime, astronomers only see snapshots of the various stages of these collisions. A separate graphic shows 1E2215 and 1E2216, plus two systems at earlier stages before collision (Abell 399/Abell 401, and Abell 1758), and one where the collision has already occurred (CIZA J2242.8). This series of images represents the sequential steps a galaxy cluster would undergo. A labeled version shows the separation between the two clusters and the amount of time, measured in billions of years, before or after impact.

(In the additional four systems of the cluster sequence graphic, only X-ray and radio data are shown. For Abell 399 and Abell 401, the X-ray data are from ROSAT and the radio data are from GMRT. In the Abell 1758 image, the X-ray are from Chandra and the radio data come from GMRT. Finally, the X-ray data in CIZA J2242.8 are from ESA’s XMM-Newton, while the radio data are from the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope in the Netherlands.)

Clusters of galaxies are the largest known objects held together by gravity and consist of hundreds of galaxies that each contain hundreds of billions of stars. Ever since the Big Bang, these objects have been growing by colliding and merging with each other. Due to their large size, with diameters of a few million light years, these collisions can take about a billion years to complete. After the dust has settled, the two colliding clusters will have merged into one bigger cluster.

The result was published in Nature Astronomy on June 24, 2019, by first author Liyi Gu of the RIKEN national science institute in Japan and the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research and collaborators. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

Posted by sjrankin on 2019-07-28 04:19:13

Tagged: , 28 July 2019 , Edited , NASA , Chandra Space Telescope , X-Rays , Galaxies , Galaxy Clusters , Coma Galaxy Cluster , Merge , Stars , Annotated , XMM-Newton , ESA , European Space Agency

Galaxy Cluster Mergers in X-Rays, variant

Galaxy Cluster Mergers in X-Rays, variant

Edited Chandra Space Telescope annotated image of how galaxy clusters look in x-rays, over time. Color/processing variant.

Image source: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2019/cluster_merge/

Original caption: For the first time, astronomers have found two giant clusters of galaxies that are just about to collide, as reported in a new press release by RIKEN. This observation is important in understanding the formation of structure in the Universe, sincelarge-scale structures—such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies—are thought to grow by collisions and mergers.

The composite image shows the separate galaxy clusters 1E2215 and 1E2216, located about 1.2 billion light years from Earth, captured as they enter a critical phase of merging. Chandra’s X-ray data (blue) have been combined with a radio image from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India (red). These images were then overlaid on an optical image from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that shows galaxies and stars in the field of view.

The discovery of 1E2215 and 1E2216 at this stage of merging has enabled astronomers to test their computer simulations of these important collisions. This new result provides evidence of a shock wave that is generated early in the merging process and travels out away from the collision in a perpendicular direction.

Because the merging process takes much longer than a human lifetime, astronomers only see snapshots of the various stages of these collisions. A separate graphic shows 1E2215 and 1E2216, plus two systems at earlier stages before collision (Abell 399/Abell 401, and Abell 1758), and one where the collision has already occurred (CIZA J2242.8). This series of images represents the sequential steps a galaxy cluster would undergo. A labeled version shows the separation between the two clusters and the amount of time, measured in billions of years, before or after impact.

(In the additional four systems of the cluster sequence graphic, only X-ray and radio data are shown. For Abell 399 and Abell 401, the X-ray data are from ROSAT and the radio data are from GMRT. In the Abell 1758 image, the X-ray are from Chandra and the radio data come from GMRT. Finally, the X-ray data in CIZA J2242.8 are from ESA’s XMM-Newton, while the radio data are from the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope in the Netherlands.)

Clusters of galaxies are the largest known objects held together by gravity and consist of hundreds of galaxies that each contain hundreds of billions of stars. Ever since the Big Bang, these objects have been growing by colliding and merging with each other. Due to their large size, with diameters of a few million light years, these collisions can take about a billion years to complete. After the dust has settled, the two colliding clusters will have merged into one bigger cluster.

The result was published in Nature Astronomy on June 24, 2019, by first author Liyi Gu of the RIKEN national science institute in Japan and the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research and collaborators. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

Posted by sjrankin on 2019-07-28 04:19:13

Tagged: , 28 July 2019 , Edited , NASA , Chandra Space Telescope , X-Rays , Galaxies , Galaxy Clusters , Coma Galaxy Cluster , Merge , Stars , Annotated , XMM-Newton , ESA , European Space Agency

Still and stunning

Still and stunning

I can almost hear once again the sound of the quiet that I enjoyed while I shot this scene at the beginning of June on the Tuross River, on Australia’s southeast coast. The lack of breeze on the river rendered the water’s surface a natural mirror to reflect the light from the sky and the foreground to where I had positioned my camera. As well as numerous stars, you can see the Large Magellanic Cloud–which is a galaxy and not a cloud at all–shining off the top of the water.

At this point, the river forks off to the right into Bumbo Creek, which is broached by the wooden bridge that leads to lush and prized dairy paddocks. Beyond that bridge, you can see the fine layer of fog that hovered over the fields in the post-midnight hour.

Ruling over it all, of course, is the central band and concentrated core of our home in the heavens, the Milky Way galaxy. My attraction to viewing and photographing this section of the sky isn’t only the billions of stars concentrated there. The dark filament-like structures known as "dust lanes" that only make themselves visible by the millions of stars they obscure, also captivate me.

I created this image by shooting nine overlapping images, with my camera mounted on a panoramic head that sets a fixed angle between each photo. After capturing the individual pictures and downloading them to my computer, I used some panorama-stitching software to blend the nine images into one. To shoot each of those nine photos I used my Canon EOS 6D Mk II camera, a Samyang 14mm f/2.4 lens @ f/2.4, using an exposure time of 20 seconds @ ISO 6400.

Posted by nightscapades on 2019-07-30 12:09:57

Tagged: , Astronomy , Astrophotography , Australia , Autopano Pro , Eurobodalla , Galactic Core , Milky Way , Night , Nightscapes , Pano , Panorama , Panos , River , Sky , South Coast NSW , Stars , Stitch , Tuross , Tuross Head , Tuross River , Reflection , Large Magellanic Cloud , New South Wales

The pleaides

The pleaides

The Pleiades (/ˈplaɪ.ədiːz, ˈpliːə-/), also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45, are an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.

The cluster is dominated by hot blue and luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Reflection nebulae around the brightest stars were once thought to be left over material from the formation of the cluster, but are now considered likely to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium through which the stars are currently passing.

Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades were probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.

Posted by Zelaox on 2019-02-13 20:26:00

Tagged: , Space , stars , star , dark , photoshop , ´´dark , frames´´

THE KEYS OF ENOCH ….. fabulous times before the Flood… waterways shows massive chambers, proportions of largest cathedral..enormous statues ..”prediluvian patriarchs” ..mother tongue…language of Light to tune the planet like a giant harmonic bell.

THE KEYS OF ENOCH ..... fabulous times before the Flood... waterways shows massive chambers,  proportions of largest cathedral..enormous statues ..”prediluvian patriarchs

The hangings are like a missed light on Lucifer’s forehead, it’s probably a pending question for a gargoyle game…. What is the deep understanding of the creature suspended on Freiburg Cathedral in Breisgau? Much rain fell and the question remained suspended to the scepticism of official historians? while a Green Serpent read JW Goethe and fed on the heart of this stone suspended above our consciences limited by many proud clouds. The gargoyles are used to evacuate the flow of three-dimensional logic. The layer of paint forgotten by the architects of the Spirit limited by the green moss that invades their sectarian thoughts.
Just after the Flood, at the dawn of the current cycle, an era that the Egyptians called ZEP TEPI, "The First Times", a mysterious group of "gods", appeared to introduce the survivors to the rudiments of civilization. From Thoth and Osiris in Egypt to Quetzacoatal and Viracocha in the Americas, traditions around the world are bringing the origins of contemporary civilization into this sophisticated group. The creatures hanging on the top are suffering a flood, they have been vomiting since the dawn of time, but unfortunately we have lost their flood of messages. The East has nourished this Rhine land for centuries, today we are in ethnocentric explanations…..

Despite the misleading popularity of Von Danikan journalism, evidence from around the world, indicates these people were the hi-tech survivors of the previous civilisation. Like the nuclear survival bunkers and secret research facilities of our civilisation, there were those who arose from the underground "cities of the Gods", after the dust settled. They were the "prediluvian patriarchs", like Enoch and Methuselah, the "giants and heroes of old", mentioned in Genesis.

The enigmatic gods ancient Summer, Egypt and India, all hail from the fabulous times before the Flood. Since the declassification of the new ground-penetrating radar 2 years ago, the most staggering data has emerged of complex and labyrinthine underground systems in various parts of the world. At places like Guatemala in the South Americas, tunnels have been mapped under the Mayan pyramid complex at Tikal, which extend a full 800 kilometres to the opposite side of the country. Investigators remarked, it was possible to understand how half a million Mayan Indians escaped the decimation of their culture.

In similar fashion, the SIRA radar was deployed in Egypt as early as 1978, mapping an extraordinary subterranean complex beneath the Egyptian pyramids. Arrangements made with President Sadat of Egypt, resulted in three decades of top secret excavations to penetrate the system. At a recent meeting in Australia, one of the key scientists on the Giza project, Dr. Jim Hurtak, showed film footage of work in progress called, CHAMBERS OF THE DEEP, due to be released at the end of the century. The film reveals the discovery of a vast megalithic metropolis, 15,000 years old, reaching several levels below the Giza plateau.

While the rest of the Nu-Age speculates about a hidden chamber under the left paw of the Sphinx, the legendary "City Of The Gods", lays sprawled beneath. Complete with hydraulic underground waterways, the film shows massive chambers, the proportions of our largest cathedrals, with enormous statues, the size of the Valley of the Nile, carved in-situ. Researchers, risking their lives with lights and cameras, carefully negotiated rubber dinghies across subterranean rivers and kilometer-wide lakes, to penetrate sealed chambers beyond. Already, remarkable caches of records and artifacts have been found. It is the legacy of a civilisation and a technology way beyond our own. A technology capable of creating a vast underground city, of which the sphinx and pyramids are merely the surface markers. The project scientist, Dr. Hurtak, likens it to the impact of contact with an advanced extraterrestrial culture. He described it as the discovery of the Fourth Root culture, the so-called Atlantean civilisation, destroyed by the last earth tumble. It presents unequivocal evidence that all languages, cultures and religions trace back to a single common source, which Dr. Hurtak refers to as the "Parent Civilisation".

The technology unearthed is way beyond machine technology, as we know it. As Arthur C. Clark once joked, "any technology beyond our own would seem like magic to us." According to Dr. Hurtak, this was a culture who cracked the genetic code and possessed the keys of the physical spectrum, the "Higher Light Physics" of the ancients… everything old Gilgamesh went searching for in his famous trek to the lost "City of the Gods" to search the tunnels beneath "Mt. Mashu" in the desert lands.

Hurtak refers to a "language of light" and a great priest-scientist of the previous time cycle, named ENOCH, who is associated with the building of the Great Pyramid complex. Hurtak alludes to a grand spiritual science, a science which describes a genetic stairway to the stars. The priest-scientist ENOCH, is a prediluvian patriarch, one of the most famous and seminal characters of the previous time cycle. Father of Methuselah and great grandfather of Noah, Enoch is credited in the Bible as architect of the original Zion, the legendary "City of Yahweh", as well as inventor of the alphabet and calendar. Enoch is also history’s first astronaut, who "is taken aloft by the Lord" and shown "the secrets of earth and heaven". He returns to earth with the "weights and measures" for all humankind.

Known to the Egyptians as THOTH, the "Lord of Magic and Time" and to theGreeks as HERMES, "messenger of the gods", he is even remembered in the Celtic tradition as the enigmatic wizard Merlin, who disappears up an apple tree to mythic Avalon, seeking the secret of immortality and vowing to return. As one who attained immortality, the secret of how we "might become as gods", Thoth/Enoch promises to return at the end of time "with the keys to the gates of the sacred land."

In the controversial Dead Sea Scrolls, revealing the lost Books Of Enoch removed from the Bible by early religious leaders, Enoch describes a wondrous civilisation in the past, who misused the keys of higher knowledge and were unable to save themselves from the last cataclysm. Both literally and figuratively they lost the "keys", they lost all higher knowledge.Yet, Enoch, along with many traditions, even the Mayan legend of Quetzacoatal, promises a return of this knowledge at "The end of time", the end of the present time cycle.

Biblical Revelations promise "all will be revealed" at the end of the present world. The extraordinary discoveries in Egypt and other parts of the world, describe not just an advanced technology but, evolutionary path beyond our present state. Careful scientific examination of the world’s key pyramid sites, reveal them to be sophisticated harmonic structures, not only mirroring positions of the planets and stellar systems but, designed to mimic the chakras and harmonic cavities of the human body. Even each stone within the Great Pyramid is harmonically tuned to a specific frequency or musical tone. The sarcophagus in the centre of the Great Pyramid is tuned to the frequency of the human heart beat. Astonishing experiments, conducted by Dr. Hurtak and colleagues at the Great Pyramid and other sites in the South Americas, demonstrate the pyramids to be voice-activated "geophysical computers."

Intoning specific ancient sounds, the scientific team produced visible standing waves of light, above and within the pyramids and were even able to penetrate, hitherto, inaccessible chambers. Subsequent discoveries indicate the ancient priest-scientists employed some sort of harmonic sound technology within the temple structures. The lost Enochian knowledge reveals the mother tongue as a "language of Light". Known to the ancients as HIBURU, it is the primal seed language, introduced at the beginning of this time cycle.

Modern research confirms, the most ancient form Hebrew to be a natural language, the alphabetic forms emerging from the phosphene flare patterns of the brain. The same shapes, in fact, born of a spinning vortex. It is a true language of light, coursing through our very nervous system. Encoding the natural waveform geometries of the physical world, Hiburu is a harmonic language, mimicking the waveform properties of light.

The "keys" Enoch speaks of, turn out to be sound keys, keys to be vibratory matrix of reality itself, the mythic "Power of the World". The Enochian knowledge describes sonic equations, encoded within the ancient mantras and god names, capable of directly affect the nervous system and producing profound effect of healing and higher consciousness states. As the ancient texts declare, "If you would speak with the gods you must first learn the language of the gods."

DNA, the ancient cabalistic "Tree Of Life" portrayed in the Biblical Torah, is now coming to be viewed as a live vibrating structure, rather than a fixed tape recording. Many modern scientists, regard DNA as a shimmering, waveform configuration, able to be modified by light, radiation, magnetic fields or sonic pulses. The legacy of Thoth/Enoch suggests this "language of Light", the harmonic science of the ancients, could actually affect DNA. The evidence in Egypt, indicates this was the grand 6,000 year genetic experiment attempted by the Egyptians, the quest for immortality and the stars, a quest described by the great ones of old, a quest initiated by Gilgamesh so very long ago.

The Egyptians were not fixated on the afterlife, as thought by early Christian translators but, focussed on creating a higher type of human. Along with many ancient cultures, they believed DNA came from the stars and was destined to return.The knowledge of Thoth/Enoch implies humans are meant to evolve beyond our present terrestrial form, as the Bible tells us, "we may become greater than angels".The Egyptians record stories of the "Star Walkers", occasional individuals who, like Enoch, travelled "beyond the Great Eye of Orion" and returned, to walk like gods amongst men.

Despite the bleaching of semi-divine beings from modern consciousness, could it be possible, as the ancient texts insist, we are destined to "become as gods"? are the Mayan "Lords of Light" and the Egyptian/Tibetan "Shining Ones" really a higher form of human? According to many earth legends, such beings are supposed to return regularly, at the beginning and end of each time cycle, the 13,000 year half-point of our solar system’s 26,000 year zodiacal orbit around galaxy centre. Because of conditions on our galactic orbit, these 13,000 year intervals or "worlds", seem to be separated by cataclysmic upheaval. According to the "calendar in stone" of the Great Pyramid, which describes the so-called "Phoenix Cycle" of our galactic orbit, the present time period ends (converted to our present calendar) in the year 2012 AD.

The Greek word PHOENIX, derived from the Egyptian word, PA-HANOK, actually means, "The House of Enoch". The Enochian knowledge suggests, these regular cataclysmic changes act as an evolutionary agent provocateur, to quicken the resident life forms to the next evolutionary phase, prior to exodus from the womb planet. Human evolution may proceed more rapidly than previously thought. The evidence now appearing, records civilisations before us, who mastered the physical continuum and progressed beyond this world. There were also those who failed.

We, too, have equal opportunity to make it or break it.The discoveries emerging from Egypt, describe the existence of a world wide pyramid temple system in prehistory, mounted like antennae on the key energy meridians, which were employed by ancient priest-scientists as a musical system to stabilize the tectonic plates of the planet… cataclysmic geology at it’s finest.

>From the mother tongue word JEDAIAH, meaning "the way of the Word" or "the power of the Word", the ancient JEDAI priests used the language of Light to tune the planet like a giant harmonic bell. Much is being rediscovered in the last days of this time cycle. In the words of Dr. Jay Franz, of the Omega Foundation, "even if we don’t dare to name it, there is a universal feeling of something impending on the world stage

lightparty.com/Spirituality/ThothEnoch.html

Posted by bernawy hugues kossi huo on 2019-01-20 11:06:41

Tagged: , mother tongue , stone , harmonic , evolutionary , extraordinary , Biblical Revelations , cataclysm , knowledge , higher , wondrous , controversial , Merlin , Hermes , messenger , humankind , secrets , the Lord , astronaut , alphabet , inventor , City of Yahweh , Zion , architect , Noah , characters , seminal , stars , stairway , time cycle , priest-scientist , language of light , City of the Gods , Higher Light Physics , spectrum , physical , code , genetic , magic , beyond , Parent Civilisation , common source , religions , Atlantean , culture , extraterrestrial 👽 , artifacts , waterways , hydraulic , labyrinthine , enigmatic , Flood , Methuselah , prediluvian patriarchs , previous , survival , hi-tech , group , sophisticated , mysterious , gods , The First Times , key , Deluge , ENOCH , freiburg , germany , cathedral , shadow , langage , underworld , gargoyles , gargoyle , gothic , goth

M45 Pleiades

M45 Pleiades

The Pleiades also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45, are an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.

The cluster is dominated by hot blue and luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Reflection nebulae around the brightest stars were once thought to be left over material from the formation of the cluster, but are now considered likely to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium through which the stars are currently passing.

Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades were probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.
(c) Wikipedia

NEQ6 mount, ED80 (520mm at 1/6.5), QHY8, 20 x 600s. Guilde – 50×9 finderscope with QHY5 camera. Total exposure – 3 hours.

Captured in MaxIm DL, processed in MaxIm DL, DSS, FitStacker and Pixinsight.

Posted by sergiy.vakulenko on 2019-01-17 10:33:47

Tagged: , Astronomy , Astrophotography , Astrophoto , Deepsky , DSO , Space , Sky , Stars , Cluster , M45 , Pleiades , ED80 , QHY8

The Pleiades (M45)

The Pleiades (M45)

The Pleiades (also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45). This is one of my favourite autumn targets and one I feel compelled to image every year in order to try and improve on previous attempts. Their rising heralds the arrival of the constellation of Orion which pursues them. I love the mythology associated with the Pleiades and Orion and different cultures have their own stories to explain them. M45 always seems like it should be a fairly easy object to image and it is, however processing it is another matter. This image was made over two nights (24/09/18 and 03/10/18). The original idea was to capture all the data in one night but the first night, although being very clear, was a full Moon and many of the subs were washed out making processing a nightmare. The second night the Moon wasn’t an issue but conditions were still less than ideal and we were shooting into a murky sky with high cloud. Ultimately I combined the best shots from both nights and this is the result…by no means perfect but as good as I can get it, not too noisy and a reasonable amount of nebulosity coming through.

The Pleiades are an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.

The cluster is dominated by hot blue and luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. A faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster (hence the alternative name Maia Nebula after the star Maia), but is now likely an unrelated foreground dust cloud in the interstellar medium, through which the stars are currently passing.

Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades were probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades_(Greek_mythology)

060 x 300 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C
030 x dark frames
063 x flat frames
100 x bias/offset frames
Binning 1×1

Total integration time = 5 hours

Captured with APT
Guided with PHD2
Polar Alignment with SharpCap Pro
Processed in Nebulosity, Fitsworks, Microsoft ICE and Photoshop

Equipment
Telescope: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS
Mount: Skywatcher EQ5
Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Mini
Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MC
Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC Pro
Baader Mark-III MPCC Coma Corrector
Light pollution filter

Posted by Davide Simonetti on 2018-10-07 11:51:56

Tagged: , Pleiades , Seven Sisters , Messier 45 , Star Clusters , Stars , M45 , Maia , Electra , Taygete , Alcyone , Celaeno , Sterope , Merope , Pleione , Atlas , Astrophotography , Astronomy , Space

M45 – The Pleiades Cluster

M45 - The Pleiades Cluster

The Pleiades, also known as M45, the Seven Sisters or Subaru (Japan), is an open star cluster containing middle-aged stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.

The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium, through which the stars are currently passing. Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades was probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.

[Info from Wikipedia]

ZWO ASI1600MC-Pro with Baader IR/UV cut filter
Explore Scientific ED80
Celestron AVX Mount, guided
105 minutes of integration time

Shot from the L&A County Dark Sky Viewing Area in Erinsville, Ontario

Posted by Dark Arts Astrophotography on 2018-08-11 20:24:48

Tagged: , astrophotography , astronomy , space , Sky , stars , star , science , m45 , Subaru , subarudarksky , Pleiades , Cluster , Messier

Center of the Milky Way Galaxy, distorted annotation

Center of the Milky Way Galaxy, distorted annotation

Edited Chandra Space Telescope visualization of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy (our galaxy), with lots of stars and gas and energetic processes. Annotated by NASA and distorted by me.

Image source: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2018/gcenter360/

Original caption: A new visualization provides an exceptional virtual trip — complete with a 360-degree view — to the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. This project, made using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, allows viewers to control their own exploration of the fascinating environment of volatile massive stars and powerful gravity around the monster black hole that lies in the center of the Milky Way.

The Earth is located about 26,000 light years, or about 150,000 trillion miles, from the center of the Galaxy. While humans cannot physically travel there, scientists have been able to study this region by using data from powerful telescopes that can detect light in a variety of forms, including X-ray and infrared light.

This visualization builds on infrared data with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope of 30 massive stellar giants called Wolf-Rayet stars that orbit within about 1.5 light years of the center of our Galaxy. Powerful winds of gas streaming from the surface of these stars are carrying some of their outer layers into interstellar space.

When the outflowing gas collides with previously ejected gas from other stars, the collisions produce shock waves, similar to sonic booms, which permeate the area. These shock waves heat the gas to millions of degrees, which causes it to glow in X-rays. Extensive observations with Chandra of the central regions of the Milky Way have provided critical data about the temperature and distribution of this multimillion-degree gas.

Astronomers are interested in better understanding what role these Wolf-Rayet stars play in the cosmic neighborhood at the Milky Way’s center. In particular, they would like to know how the stars interact with the Galactic center’s most dominant resident: the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* (abbreviated Sgr A*). Pre-eminent yet invisible, Sgr A* has the mass equivalent to some four million Suns.

The Galactic Center visualization is a 360-degree movie that immerses the viewer into a simulation of the center of our Galaxy. The viewer is at the location of Sgr A* and is able to see about 25 Wolf-Rayet stars (white, twinkling objects) orbiting Sgr A* as they continuously eject stellar winds (black to red to yellow color scale). These winds collide with each other, and then some of this material (yellow blobs) spirals towards Sgr A*. The movie shows two simulations, each of which start around 350 years in the past and span 500 years. The first simulation shows Sgr A* in a calm state, while the second contains a more violent Sgr A* that is expelling its own material, thereby turning off the accretion of clumped material (yellow blobs) that is so prominent in the first portion.

Scientists have used the visualization to examine the effects Sgr A* has on its stellar neighbors. As the strong gravity of Sgr A* pulls clumps of material inwards, tidal forces stretch the clumps as they get closer to the black hole. Sgr A* also impacts its surroundings through occasional outbursts from its vicinity that result in the expulsion of material away from the giant black hole, as shown in the later part of the movie. These outbursts can have the effect of clearing away some of the gas produced by the Wolf-Rayet winds.

The researchers, led by Christopher Russell of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, used the visualization to understand the presence of previously detected X-rays in the shape of a disk that extend about 0.6 light years outward from Sgr A*. Their work shows that the amount of X-rays generated by these colliding winds depends on the strength of outbursts powered by Sgr A*, and also the amount of time that has elapsed since an eruption occurred. Stronger and more recent outbursts result in weaker X-ray emission.

The information provided by the theoretical modeling and a comparison with the strength of X-ray emission observed with Chandra led Russell and his colleagues to determine that Sgr A* most likely had a relatively powerful outburst that started within the last few centuries. Moreover, their findings suggest the outburst from the supermassive black hole is still affecting the region around Sgr A* even though it ended about one hundred years ago.

The 360-degree video of the Galactic Center is ideally viewed in virtual reality (VR) goggles, such as Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard. The video can also be viewed on smartphones using the YouTube app. Moving the phone around pans to show a different portion of the movie, mimicking the effect in the VR goggles. Finally, most browsers on a computer also allow 360-degree videos to be shown on YouTube. To look around, either click and drag the video, or click the direction pad in the corner.

Christopher Russell presented this new visualization and the related scientific findings at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, DC. Some of the results are based on a paper by Russell et al published in 2017 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. An online version is here. The co-authors of this paper are Daniel Wang from University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. and Jorge Cuadra from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

Posted by sjrankin on 2018-01-11 04:56:18

Tagged: , 11 January 2018 , Edited , NASA , Milky Way , Galaxy , Center , Annotated , Chandra , Chandra Space Telescope , Sgr A* , Gas , Dust , Stars

Center of the Milky Way Galaxy

Center of the Milky Way Galaxy

Edited Chandra Space Telescope visualization of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy (our galaxy), with lots of stars and gas and energetic processes.

Image source: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2018/gcenter360/

Original caption: A new visualization provides an exceptional virtual trip — complete with a 360-degree view — to the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. This project, made using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, allows viewers to control their own exploration of the fascinating environment of volatile massive stars and powerful gravity around the monster black hole that lies in the center of the Milky Way.

The Earth is located about 26,000 light years, or about 150,000 trillion miles, from the center of the Galaxy. While humans cannot physically travel there, scientists have been able to study this region by using data from powerful telescopes that can detect light in a variety of forms, including X-ray and infrared light.

This visualization builds on infrared data with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope of 30 massive stellar giants called Wolf-Rayet stars that orbit within about 1.5 light years of the center of our Galaxy. Powerful winds of gas streaming from the surface of these stars are carrying some of their outer layers into interstellar space.

When the outflowing gas collides with previously ejected gas from other stars, the collisions produce shock waves, similar to sonic booms, which permeate the area. These shock waves heat the gas to millions of degrees, which causes it to glow in X-rays. Extensive observations with Chandra of the central regions of the Milky Way have provided critical data about the temperature and distribution of this multimillion-degree gas.

Astronomers are interested in better understanding what role these Wolf-Rayet stars play in the cosmic neighborhood at the Milky Way’s center. In particular, they would like to know how the stars interact with the Galactic center’s most dominant resident: the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* (abbreviated Sgr A*). Pre-eminent yet invisible, Sgr A* has the mass equivalent to some four million Suns.

The Galactic Center visualization is a 360-degree movie that immerses the viewer into a simulation of the center of our Galaxy. The viewer is at the location of Sgr A* and is able to see about 25 Wolf-Rayet stars (white, twinkling objects) orbiting Sgr A* as they continuously eject stellar winds (black to red to yellow color scale). These winds collide with each other, and then some of this material (yellow blobs) spirals towards Sgr A*. The movie shows two simulations, each of which start around 350 years in the past and span 500 years. The first simulation shows Sgr A* in a calm state, while the second contains a more violent Sgr A* that is expelling its own material, thereby turning off the accretion of clumped material (yellow blobs) that is so prominent in the first portion.

Scientists have used the visualization to examine the effects Sgr A* has on its stellar neighbors. As the strong gravity of Sgr A* pulls clumps of material inwards, tidal forces stretch the clumps as they get closer to the black hole. Sgr A* also impacts its surroundings through occasional outbursts from its vicinity that result in the expulsion of material away from the giant black hole, as shown in the later part of the movie. These outbursts can have the effect of clearing away some of the gas produced by the Wolf-Rayet winds.

The researchers, led by Christopher Russell of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, used the visualization to understand the presence of previously detected X-rays in the shape of a disk that extend about 0.6 light years outward from Sgr A*. Their work shows that the amount of X-rays generated by these colliding winds depends on the strength of outbursts powered by Sgr A*, and also the amount of time that has elapsed since an eruption occurred. Stronger and more recent outbursts result in weaker X-ray emission.

The information provided by the theoretical modeling and a comparison with the strength of X-ray emission observed with Chandra led Russell and his colleagues to determine that Sgr A* most likely had a relatively powerful outburst that started within the last few centuries. Moreover, their findings suggest the outburst from the supermassive black hole is still affecting the region around Sgr A* even though it ended about one hundred years ago.

The 360-degree video of the Galactic Center is ideally viewed in virtual reality (VR) goggles, such as Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard. The video can also be viewed on smartphones using the YouTube app. Moving the phone around pans to show a different portion of the movie, mimicking the effect in the VR goggles. Finally, most browsers on a computer also allow 360-degree videos to be shown on YouTube. To look around, either click and drag the video, or click the direction pad in the corner.

Christopher Russell presented this new visualization and the related scientific findings at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, DC. Some of the results are based on a paper by Russell et al published in 2017 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. An online version is here. The co-authors of this paper are Daniel Wang from University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. and Jorge Cuadra from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

Posted by sjrankin on 2018-01-11 04:56:18

Tagged: , 11 January 2018 , Edited , NASA , Milky Way , Galaxy , Center , Chandra , Chandra Space Telescope , Sgr A* , Gas , Dust , Stars