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IC 4603 - The Turbulent Heart of the Scorpion

Link to large image: http://goo.gl/Cg2OXH

This image shows the core region of the Rho Ophiuchi Complex, centred around the prominent blue reflection nebula IC 4603. This is one of the nearest star forming regions and the intricacies of the dense interstellar dust clouds in the area provide a spectacular display of light and shade; the contrasting hues making this one of the most dramatic and colourful patches of the entire night sky.

Even the brightest parts of this dusty nebulousity is barely noticeable when viewed through large amateur telescopes. This deep exposure brings out the full splendour of the scene and shows the delicately swirling clouds like an expressionist painting on a giant interstellar canvas. 

The bright star is 7.9 magnitude SAO184376 which is the main source of light for the blue reflection nebula. The contrasting red areas are primarily illuminated by the red supergiant star Antares, which lies just outside the field of view. 
Antares has been referred to as the heart of the scorpion since antiquity, and we now know that it is one of the largest stars in existence.

The dense nebulousity blocks the usual sprawling star fields that are normally seen near the galactic plane. Instead the area is littered with dim reddish stars, which are typically very young T Tauri stars. Such stars are among the youngest visible stars with masses comparable to our Sun. Because they have only recently condensed out of the surrounding molecular clouds their core temperatures are not yet high enough for hydrogen fusion. Instead they are powered by heat released from gravitational contraction, which lasts until the star reaches a density where the fusion process ignites. For these stars this initial stage of stellar evolution takes approximately 100 million years. The process is typically much faster for blue giant stars which evolve and burn their hydrogen at a furious pace before exploding as brilliant supernovae. 

Image details:
Date: 6th, 7th, 10th, 27th, 28th, 31st March and 4th, 6th April 2014
Telescope: Homebuilt 12.5" f/4 Serrurier Truss Newtonian
Exposure: LRGB 755:80:75:75 mins, total 16hrs 25mins @ -25C 
Camera: QSI 683wsg with Lodestar guider 
Filters: Astrodon LRGB E-Series Gen 2 
Taken from my observatory in Auckland, New Zealand
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The moon has turned red in the skies above North and South America at the start of a rare series of lunar eclipses some fear signals the end of the world.

The so-called 'blood moon', which occurs when the Earth's shadow passes over the moon, will be repeated three times this year and next.

The phenomenon, known as a tetrad, will not happen again until 2032.

http://news.sky.com/story/1242717/blood-moon-watch-total-lunar-eclipse-live
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The Butterfly Nebula

Explanation: The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This sharp and colorful close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded in 2009 by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, installed during the final shuttle servicing mission. 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 of the Scorpion (Scorpius).

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130607.html
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Galaxies spiralling around Leo | Hubble Space Telescope
Shown here is a spiral galaxy known as NGC 3455, which lies some 65 million light-years away from us in the constellation of Leo (The Lion).

Galaxies are classified into different types according to their structure and appearance. This classification system is known as the Hubble Sequence, named after its creator Edwin Hubble.

In this sequence, NGC 3455 is known as a type SB galaxy — a barred spiral. Barred spiral galaxies account for approximately two thirds of all spirals. Galaxies of this type appear to have a bar of stars slicing through the bulge of stars at their centre. The SB classification is further sub-divided by the appearance of a galaxy's pinwheeling spiral arms; SBa types have more tightly wound arms, whereas SBc types have looser ones. SBb types, such as NGC 3455, lie in between.

NGC 3455 is part of a pair of galaxies — its partner, NGC 3454, lies out of frame. This cosmic duo belong to a group known as the NGC 3370 group, which is in turn one of the Leo II groups, a large collection of galaxies scattered some 30 million light-years to the right of the Virgo cluster.

This new image is from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). A version of this image was entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Nick Rose.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Nick Rose

+European Space Agency, ESA +Hubble Space Telescope 

#NASA #Space #Astronomy #Hubble #Galaxy #Spiral #Barred #NGC3455 #NGC3454 #NGC3370 #Leo #Virgo #Universe #Cosmos
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Today we will experience the most spectacular lunar eclipse for a long time! Are you prepared ?  
Watch it live  : http://live.slooh.com/ thanks to +Adisa Hanic 

for more Follow +World Explore 
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Hubble image of beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 1300 | NASA/ESA
The Hubble telescope captured a display of starlight, glowing gas, and silhouetted dark clouds of interstellar dust in this image of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300. NGC 1300 is considered to be prototypical of barred spiral galaxies. Barred spirals differ from normal spiral galaxies in that the arms of the galaxy do not spiral all the way into the center, but are connected to the two ends of a straight bar of stars containing the nucleus at its center.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

+European Space Agency, ESA +Hubble Space Telescope 

#NASA #Space #Astronomy #Hubble #Galaxy #Spiral #Barred #NGC1300 #Universe #Cosmos
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As seen on #Cosmos: Large Magellanic Cloud

Nearly 200,000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. Vast clouds of gas within it slowly collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a riot of colors, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is ablaze with star-forming regions. From the Tarantula Nebula, the brightest stellar nursery in our cosmic neighborhood, to LHA 120-N 11, part of which is featured in this Hubble image, the small and irregular galaxy is scattered with glowing nebulae, the most noticeable sign that new stars are being born.

Image Credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble
#nasa #hubble #universe #space

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