The Photography Thread

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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby IronDog » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:48 pm

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This picturesque view from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope peers into the distant universe to reveal a galaxy cluster called Abell 2537.

Galaxy clusters such as this one contain thousands of galaxies of all ages, shapes and sizes, together totaling a mass thousands of times greater than that of the Milky Way. These groupings of galaxies are colossal — they are the largest structures in the Universe to be held together by their own gravity.

Clusters are useful in probing mysterious cosmic phenomena like dark energy and dark matter, which can contort space itself. There is so much matter stuffed into a cluster like Abell 2537 that its gravity has visible effects on its surroundings. Abell 2537’s gravity warps the very structure of its environment (spacetime), causing light to travel along distorted paths through space. This phenomenon can produce a magnifying effect, allowing us to see faint objects that lie far behind the cluster and are thus otherwise unobservable from Earth. Abell 2537 is a particularly efficient lens, as demonstrated by the stretched stripes and streaking arcs visible in the frame. These smeared shapes are in fact galaxies, their light heavily distorted by the gravitational field of Abell 2537.

This spectacular scene was captured by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3 as part of an observing program called RELICS.

Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA
Text Credit: European Space Agency

Last Updated: Dec. 1, 2017
Editor: Karl Hille
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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby IronDog » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:09 pm

Purty

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Where do most of the elements essential for life on Earth come from? The answer: inside the furnaces of stars and the explosions that mark the end of some stars’ lives.

Astronomers have long studied exploded stars and their remains – known as “supernova remnants” – to better understand exactly how stars produce and then disseminate many of the elements observed on Earth, and in the cosmos at large.

Due to its unique evolutionary status, Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is one of the most intensely studied of these supernova remnants. A new image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the location of different elements in the remains of the explosion: silicon (red), sulfur (yellow), calcium (green) and iron (purple). Each of these elements produces X-rays within narrow energy ranges, allowing maps of their location to be created. The blast wave from the explosion is seen as the blue outer ring.

X-ray telescopes such as Chandra are important to study supernova remnants and the elements they produce because these events generate extremely high temperatures – millions of degrees – even thousands of years after the explosion. This means that many supernova remnants, including Cas A, glow most strongly at X-ray wavelengths that are undetectable with other types of telescopes.


Chandra’s sharp X-ray vision allows astronomers to gather detailed information about the elements that objects like Cas A produce. For example, they are not only able to identify many of the elements that are present, but how much of each are being expelled into interstellar space. 



The Chandra data indicate that the supernova that produced Cas A has churned out prodigious amounts of key cosmic ingredients. Cas A has dispersed about 10,000 Earth masses worth of sulfur alone, and about 20,000 Earth masses of silicon. The iron in Cas A has the mass of about 70,000 times that of the Earth, and astronomers detect a whopping one million Earth masses worth of oxygen being ejected into space from Cas A, equivalent to about three times the mass of the sun. (Even though oxygen is the most abundant element in Cas A, its X-ray emission is spread across a wide range of energies and cannot be isolated in this image, unlike with the other elements that are shown.)



Astronomers have found other elements in Cas A in addition to the ones shown in this new Chandra image. Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and hydrogen have also been detected using various telescopes that observe different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Combined with the detection of oxygen, this means all of the elements needed to make DNA, the molecule that carries genetic information, are found in Cas A.



Oxygen is the most abundant element in the human body (about 65% by mass), calcium helps form and maintain healthy bones and teeth, and iron is a vital part of red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body. All of the oxygen in the Solar System comes from exploding massive stars. About half of the calcium and about 40% of the iron also come from these explosions, with the balance of these elements being supplied by explosions of smaller mass, white dwarf stars. 



While the exact date is not confirmed, many experts think that the stellar explosion that created Cas A occurred around the year 1680 in Earth’s timeframe. Astronomers estimate that the doomed star was about five times the mass of the Sun just before it exploded. The star is estimated to have started its life with a mass about 16 times that of the Sun, and lost roughly two-thirds of this mass in a vigorous wind blowing off the star several hundred thousand years before the explosion.



Earlier in its lifetime, the star began fusing hydrogen and helium in its core into heavier elements through the process known as “nucleosynthesis.” The energy made by the fusion of heavier and heavier elements balanced the star against the force of gravity. These reactions continued until they formed iron in the core of the star. At this point, further nucleosynthesis would consume rather than produce energy, so gravity then caused the star to implode and form a dense stellar core known as a neutron star.

The exact means by which a massive explosion is produced after the implosion is complicated, and a subject of intense study, but eventually the infalling material outside the neutron star was transformed by further nuclear reactions as it was expelled outward by the supernova explosion.

Chandra has repeatedly observed Cas A since the telescope was launched into space in 1999. The different datasets have revealed new information about the neutron star in Cas A, the details of the explosion, and specifics of how the debris is ejected into space.



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.

Image credit: NASA/CXC/SAO
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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:09 pm

That pic reminded me of the Helix Nebula or as it more commonly known "The eye of God"










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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby IronDog » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:34 pm

running as fast as I could, this yayhoo almost got away from me....

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When NASA’s next X-plane takes to the skies, it will produce some pretty cool images.

Thanks to the completion of a recent flight test series at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, the agency is a step closer to being able to visually capture the shockwaves of NASA’s future Low Boom Flight Demonstration aircraft, or LBFD.

In this schlieren image, an Air Force Test Pilot School T-38 is shown in a transonic state, meaning the aircraft is transitioning from a subsonic speed to supersonic. Above and beneath the aircraft, shockwaves are seen starting to form. These shockwaves propagate away from the aircraft and are heard on the ground as a sonic boom. NASA researchers use this imagery to study these shockwaves as part of the effort to make sonic booms quieter, which may open the future to possible supersonic flight over land.

Learn more about supersonic aircraft https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/feature/NASA_advances_schlieren_imagery_for_supersonic_aircraft.html.

Image Credit: NASA


Neat! I clicked the link at the end and they have a video showing how they took this shot. Had the T-38 cross right in front of the sun and the shock waves are clearly visible. Purty Nifty.
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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby IronDog » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:22 pm

A little nighttime romance from above

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"Hello Little Rock, Memphis, Jackson, New Orleans, Birmingham, Miami, and many places in between! #SpaceIsCloserThanYouThink" So ran the greeting from @Astro_Sabot, otherwise known as Mark Vande Hei, with this image taken from aboard the International Space Station https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html, orbiting 250 miles above the planet we call home.

Vande Hei and his crewmates on the station are not only conducting cutting-edge research aboard the orbital laboratory; their images of Earth help monitor conditions on Earth, and also showcase its beauty.

For more images, visit Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/.

Image Credit: NASA/Mark Vande Hei
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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby Noles1724 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:16 pm

IronDog wrote:A little nighttime romance from above

Image

"Hello Little Rock, Memphis, Jackson, New Orleans, Birmingham, Miami, and many places in between! #SpaceIsCloserThanYouThink" So ran the greeting from @Astro_Sabot, otherwise known as Mark Vande Hei, with this image taken from aboard the International Space Station https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html, orbiting 250 miles above the planet we call home.

Vande Hei and his crewmates on the station are not only conducting cutting-edge research aboard the orbital laboratory; their images of Earth help monitor conditions on Earth, and also showcase its beauty.

For more images, visit Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/.

Image Credit: NASA/Mark Vande Hei


Doesn't look flat to me
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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby Kress » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:49 pm

Noles1724 wrote:
IronDog wrote:A little nighttime romance from above

Image



Doesn't look flat to me



Launch your own steam powered rocket. Then you will see. And then fall off the edge, so that will suck for you.
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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby IronDog » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:49 am

And a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday to you from Deep Space

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The Hubble Space Telescope captured what looks like a colorful holiday ornament in space. It's actually an image of NGC 6326, a planetary nebula with glowing wisps of outpouring gas that are lit up by a central star nearing the end of its life.

When a star ages and the red giant phase of its life comes to an end, it starts to eject layers of gas from its surface leaving behind a hot and compact white dwarf. Sometimes this ejection results in elegantly symmetric patterns of glowing gas, but NGC 6326 is much less structured. This object is located in the constellation of Ara, the Altar, about 11,000 light-years from Earth.

Planetary nebulae are one of the main ways in which elements heavier than hydrogen and helium are dispersed into space after their creation in the hearts of stars. Eventually some of this out-flung material may form new stars and planets.

This picture was created from images taken using the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The vivid blue and red hues come from material including ionized oxygen and hydrogen glowing under the action of the fierce ultraviolet radiation from the still hot central star.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby IronDog » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:28 pm

So......Where to go next.....

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A new analysis of about 10,000 normal Sun-like stars in the central hub of the Milky Way reveals that our galaxy’s bulge is a dynamic environment of stars of various ages zipping around at different speeds. This conclusion is based on nine years’ worth of archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope. This study of the complicated, chaotic heart of our Milky Way may provide new clues to the evolution of our galaxy and its merger with smaller satellite galaxies. Currently, only Hubble has sharp enough resolution to simultaneously measure the motions of thousands of Sun-like stars at the galaxy bulge's distance from Earth over time. Hubble gives a narrow, pencil-beam view of the galaxy’s core to unveil thousands more stars than those spotted in earlier studies.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and T. Brown (STScI)
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Re: The Photography Thread

Postby IronDog » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:24 pm

One step closer to deployment...(but damn that's cold)

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Taken from inside Chamber A at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in September 2017 while the combined optical and science instrument element of the James Webb Space Telescope (https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/webb/main/index.html) was undergoing cryogenic testing, the temperature at the time this image was taken was approximately 50 kelvins (about -369.7 degrees Fahrenheit/-223.2 degrees Celsius). The camera that captured this image was placed inside the chamber to measure the telescope’s alignment, but engineers also used it to monitor the black DuPont™ Kapton® covering that outlines Webb’s primary mirror. Engineers used this and other images to assess the material’s slack as the telescope shrank ever so slightly in the extreme cold of the chamber.

Once Webb is fully deployed and in orbit at the second Lagrange point (L2)(https://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/webb-l2.html), this Kapton® “wreath” around the primary mirror will block unwanted light from behind the telescope from interfering with its observations. There are five so-called "Lagrange Points" - areas where gravity from the Sun and Earth balance the orbital motion of a satellite. Putting a spacecraft at any of these points allows it to stay in a fixed position relative to the Earth and Sun with a minimal amount of energy needed for course correction.

In the photo, you can see each of Webb’s 18 hexagonal primary mirror segments, though the ones further from the camera quickly fade into darkness. The bright elements in the photo — the “stars” that seem to envelope Webb within the chamber — are targets that were used to measure extremely precise movements of the telescope as it cooled. Those targets appear so bright because this photo had a very long exposure time.

Webb’s combined optical and science instrument element completed cryogenic testing inside the chamber in November 2017.

Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn
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