Top Ten Infrared Space Pictures
1. Helix Nebula. A newly expanded image of the Helix Nebula (pictured) is one of the ten infrared pictures chosen by scientists to celebrate the thousand days that the Spitzer Space Telescope has been working past its retirement date. Image courtesy J. Hora, HSCfA, W. Latter, Herschel, and Caltech/NASA
2. Mountains of Creation. An infrared photograph of the star-forming region W5, aka the Mountains of Creation (pictured), was taken before Spitzer’s coolant ran out. Image courtesy L. Allen, HSCfA, and Caltech/NASA
3. See-Through Sombrero. At visible wavelengths, the Sombrero galaxy is a fuzzy white ball encircled by a black-rimmed ring of dust. Yet in infrared (pictured), the dust glows with splendor. Image courtesy R. Kennicutt, U. Arizona, and Caltech/NASA
4. Cygnus Constellation. This close-up of the Cygnus constellation was the very first picture taken after Spitzer ran out of coolant in 2009. Image courtesy Caltech/NASA
5. Trifid Nebula. One of the more striking objects in the visible-light sky is the Trifid Nebula.Image courtesy J. Rho, SSC/Caltech/NASA
6. Ancient Galaxies. Spitzer is widely known for its see-through views of nebulae, the Milky Way, and nearby galaxies, but it was also designed to peer back in time-possible because of the time it takes light to travel from distant objects to reach Earth. Image Courtesy Spitzer Space Telescope
IS JUPITER EVIL?
The gas giant is widely regarded as Earth’s protector — but this may only be half of the story.
- Using its gravitational dominance to ‘vacuum’ errant space rocks, Jupiter is often hailed as Earth’s protector.
- However, it is known that comets’ orbits have been modified by Jupiter’s gravity, sending them our way.
<strong>Imaged Above: Sanduleak’s star and the jet of matter shooting out from it at more than 5 million kilometres per hour. The jet is now 400 million million kilometres long.
ASTRONOMERS HAVE FOUND a star spitting matter into a “jet” that stretches for more than 400 million million kilometres across space.
That’s about ten times the distance between the Sun and its nearest neighbouring star (proxima Centauri).
It’s the biggest jet known from a star, and “challenges our current understanding,” said Dr Francesco Di Mille (Australian Astronomical Observatory and the University of Sydney), a member of the team that made the finding.
Theoretical models don’t deal with it, he said, “simply because nobody would ever have bet that such a giant stellar jet could exist”.
Image courtesy R. Angeloni et al