Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reality and fiction again.

Today I got an email with the latest cool photo released from the Hubble Space Telescope.  Amazing and pretty as always.  The "official" description of Protostar  IRAS 20324+4057 is below.
Hubble image of IRAS 20324+4057
This light-year-long knot of interstellar gas and dust resembles a caterpillar on its way to a feast. But the meat of the story is not only what this cosmic caterpillar eats for lunch, but also what's eating it. Harsh winds from extremely bright stars are blasting ultraviolet radiation at this 'wanna-be' star and sculpting the gas and dust into its long shape.
What a resemblance!
The first thing I thought when I saw this image was a moment of fear from my childhood watching that somewhat scary episode of Star Trek.   Remember the "Doomsday Machine"? The large worm like ship that would go around eating star ships!  Scary stuff for a young trekker.
There it is, found out in the constellation of Cygnus.  It's currently 4,500 light years away, so we are pretty safe - for now.

Enterprise heading for another adventure where no man has gone before. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Earthlings wave at Saturn.

There we are!  When enlarging the "pale blue dot" image from Cassini, we all show up.  Notice that Seattle isn't quite visible so only my hand could be seen above the horizon.  :-)
Unfortunately, Saturn was too low for me to get a daylight image.

Ok, not really a photo of Earth if I confused anyone (hopefully my readers aren't that clueless!).  A fun image from NASA that was released the other day.

Click image to zoom in on humanity (it's a big image)