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5 Reasons Why You Should Know Future Mars-Walker Alyssa Carson

By on Apr 13, 2014 in For Your Information | 2 comments

5 Reasons Why You Should Know Future Mars-Walker Alyssa Carson     There are a lot of ways one could feel inspired in astronomy, whether it’s from looking at a marvelous galaxy located millions or even billions of light years away, or landing a rover on another planet. One person really caught my attention and her name is Alyssa Carson. She is quite an amazing person and just an overall humble and intelligent person. I’m going to list 5 reasons why I think you should know the future Mars-walker Alyssa Carson.   1. She’s the First Person to Complete All NASA Space Camps     Alyssa said she has always wanted to be an astronaut since she was 3, which is amazing someone wanted to dream big at such an early age. She’s completed all NASA Space Camp programs including Space Camp Turkey and Space Camp Canada. You have to keep in mind that Alyssa...

Our Current Understanding of How are Planets Formed

By on Mar 31, 2014 in For Your Information | 1 comment

Our Current Understanding of How are Planets Formed     Have you ever wondered how planets are formed? For hundreds of years astronomers have imagined how it could have formed and formed theories around these ideas as more and more evidence came into the picture. However, we can only observe after the fact planets have formed so it makes it a little difficult to study. There are ways around this and the Hubble Space Telescope has helped scientists all over uncover the mystery of how planets are formed. Let’s take a look.   From our understanding we know that a star and its planets form out of a collapsing cloud of gas and dust within a larger cloud, which is called a nebula. Some of these gasses and dust are leftovers from supernovas and colliding stars. As gravity starts to take over and pulls in the materials together, the cloud compresses, churns, and gets...

Three Beautiful Galaxies in Draco

By on Mar 26, 2014 in Pictures | 0 comments

Three Beautiful Galaxies in Draco     Here are three beautiful galaxies in the Draco constellation. These three galaxies are (from left to right) NGC 5981, NGC 5982, and NGC 5985, which lie 100 million light years from Earth. The sharp-edged shell details on NGC 5982 hint at a previous galaxy merger. To many deep sky observers this is also known as the “Draco Trio.” Seeing two barred spiral galaxies at different angles is a rare sight to see in one image. There are a few mysteries bubbling in some of these galaxies. For example, NGC 5982 has been said by researcher Simões Lopes, that the galaxy may house a supermassive black hole within its active galactic nucleus. “This result demonstrates a strong correlation between the presence of circumnuclear dust and accretion onto the central, supermassive black hole in elliptical and lenticular galaxies. Current...

One of the Coolest Discoveries About Andromeda You Never Knew About

By on Mar 24, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

One of the Coolest Discoveries About Andromeda You Never Knew About     You’ve may have heard of this famous galaxy called Andromeda or M31. It’s located 2.5 million light years away and it’s so large that it can even be seen with the naked eye! However, that’s not the astounding fact I want to talk about today. What’s really interesting is this research paper published in the new Nature issue (March 2014). What researchers discovered is that Andromeda is surrounded by numerous small satellite galaxies (that’s not even the new part!). Astronomers from the Niels Bhor Institute, and among others, detected a string of stars in one of Andromeda’s outer galaxies called Andromeda II. As these researchers follow the movement of the stars they uncovered that they were left over from a merger between two dwarf galaxies. Mergers of such low...

How the Tulip Nebula (Sh2-101) is More than Just a Gorgeous Image

By on Mar 23, 2014 in Pictures | 0 comments

How the Tulip Nebula (Sh2-101) is More than Just a Gorgeous Image     This image really takes my breath away. Everyone, say hello to the beautiful cosmic flower called the Tulip Nebula (Sh2-101). This gorgeous nebula is about 8,000 light years away from Earth. You can find this in the constellation of Cygnus which is located within our Milky Way. The Tulip Nebula was first discovered in 1959 by astronomer Stewart Sharpless. What’s cool about this image is it’s a composite image that maps the emission. The red gasses in this image represent ionized sulfur, the green is hydrogen, and finally blue is the lovely oxygen. The ultraviolet radiation from young energetic O star called HDE 227018 ionizes the atoms and powers the Tulip Nebula. HDE 227018 can be seen glowing brilliantly right in the middle of this image near the blue arc. Also, one more little piece of...

What is a Pulsar and Why are they Incredibly Deadly?

By on Mar 19, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

What is a Pulsar and Why are they Incredibly Deadly?     Pulsars are one of the most energetic and deadly death rays that exist in the universe, and you know what makes them even worse? When they are pointed at Earth.  First things first is laying down the definition of a pulsar. A pulsar is basically the endpoint of a stellar evolution. Think of a star, at least 8 times bigger and no more than 50 times bigger than our Sun, that spends its happy life fusing atoms and burning up oxygen, helium, hydrogen and so on. Then near the end of its life it gets to a point where it exceeds the Chandrasekhar limit and the star collapses upon itself and exerting most of its energy and mass outward until it is halted by a neutron degeneracy and all that’s left is a dense neutron star. These neutron stars are only about 13 km in radius and spins 642 times per second! But then something...

The Gorgeous Butterfly Nebula NGC 6302 Emerges from a Dying Star

By on Mar 12, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

The Gorgeous Butterfly Nebula NGC 6302 Emerges from a Dying Star     What a beautiful image of the Butterfly Nebula. This planetary nebula is a result of a dying star that was 5 times the mass of our own Sun and released a fury of hot gasses and a stream of ultraviolet radiation. For those of you who don’t know it’s called a planetary nebula because when viewed through a telescope it appears to look like a planet. In the 1780′s William Herschel coined the term planetary nebula even though it is a misnomer, astronomers still use the term today. The gas you see in the image is ripping through space at 965,606 km an hour (600,000 miles an hour), fast enough to travel from the Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes! If you wanted to take a trip to the Butterfly Nebula or also known as the Bug Nebula it would take you about 2,200 years travelling at the speed of light....

Space Station Mir: The Love and Loss of Earth’s First Space Station

By on Mar 2, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

Space Station Mir: The Love and Loss of Earth’s First Space Station When we think about space stations the first name that comes to mind to most of us is the International Space Station (ISS). However, a space station that is often forgotten but was important to us is a space station called Mir. Space Station Mir lasted 15 years, three times it’s expected lifespan, and even outlasted the Soviet Union who launched it into space. The Russian word “mir” literally translates to peace, world, or village.  It’s a fitting name as it was a host for many crewmembers and international visitors. What’s interesting about Mir that some may not know is that it was the first to raise a crop in outer space from a seed. Space Station Mir carried a lot of strong feelings such as joyous reunions, feats of courage, determination, moments of panic, and heartache. There...