Photo of the day

From National Geographic Best Space photos of 2012 (you should really check them all.  Many super-cool photos):

Nebula picture: an infrared view of the Helix nebula

Helix Nebula

Image courtesy ESO

The intricate structure of the Helix Nebula, seen in January, is featured as one of National Geographic News editor’s picks for the best space pictures of 2012. (See more nebula pictures.)

The rust-colored remains of a star like our sun, the Helix puffed up as it died and shed its shells of gas and dust into space.

In visible light, fine details in the Helix are largely obscured by dust. But the infrared view—snapped by the European Southern Observatory’s VISTA telescope—can pierce this veil to see radiating filaments of cooler gas in the rings as well as a faint halo of thinly spread gas that extends to at least four light-years from the dead star’s core.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

5 Responses to Photo of the day

  1. Matt Thomas says:

    Reblogged this on Matt Thomas and commented:
    Amazing.

  2. Reblogged this on A Bottomless Pit of "Random Information" and commented:
    worth Reblogging

  3. Mike from Canada says:

    They should have named this the Eye Of Mordor Nebula.

  4. Reblogged this on Clements Are Not The Only Fruit and commented:
    This picture is absolutely amazing, one of the many wonders in the universe that should be shared.

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