The Glow of the Lagoon Nebula

Gas and dust condense, beginning the process of creating new stars in this image of Messier 8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula. Located four to five thousand light-years away, in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), the nebula is a giant interstellar cloud, one hundred light-years across.

Source: http://bit.ly/cXYhJb

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One thousand billion worlds

voie-lactee

This is the sky of the Earth. The vault of heaven, which in reality envelops us in a dark velvet sphere spotted with stars, is seen here projected onto a plane.

This improbable 360-degree panoramic image, covering the whole of the vault of heaven, embodies thus the cosmic landscape in which our small blue planet is immersed.

I have gone mad looking at the videos and pictures this guy has, SERGE BURNIER’s GALLERY.

Did you send your name to Mars

Now you can. NASA now gives anyone the opportunity to send their name to Mars. Just enter your name, country and zip code into the form, and your name – along with many others – will be included in a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover which will be heading to Mars in 2011. I just did and this is the “Certificate of Participation”.

 

But there is one problem. There is no data validation of the form. First of all, there’s no captcha, and the form accepts nearly anything, even very long entries. Check out some cool examples here and here, and hurry up if you really want your name to be on Mars because I suspect that the form might stop accepting new entries soon.

Nebula

A nebula (from Latin: “mist” [1]; pl. nebulae or nebulæ, with ligature or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas and plasma. It is the first stage of a star‘s cycle. Originally nebula was a general name for any extended astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way (some examples of the older usage survive; for example, the Andromeda Galaxy was referred to as the Andromeda Nebula before galaxies were discovered by Edwin Hubble). Nebulae often form star-forming regions, such as in the Eagle Nebula. This nebula is depicted in one of NASA‘s most famous images, the “Pillars of Creation“. In these regions the formations of gas, dust and other materials ‘clump’ together to form larger masses, which attract further matter, and eventually will become big enough to form stars. The remaining materials are then believed to form planets, and other planetary system objects.

References:

^ The Messier Catalog: Diffuse Nebulae. University of Illinois SEDS. Retrieved on 200706-12.

The Wikipedia