The Color of IC 1795


This sharp cosmic portrait features glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds in IC 1795, a star forming region in the northern constellation Cassiopeia. Also cataloged as NGC 896, the nebula’s remarkable details, shown in its dominant red color, were captured using a sensitive camera, and long exposures that include image data from a narrowband filter. The narrow filter transmits only H-alpha light, the red light of hydrogen atoms. Ionized by ultraviolet light from energetic young stars, a hydrogen atom emits the characteristic H-alpha light as its single electron is recaptured and transitions to lower energy states. Not far on the sky from the famous Double Star Cluster in Perseus, IC 1795 is itself located next to IC 1805, the Heart Nebula, as part of a complex of star forming regions that lie at the edge of a large molecular cloud. Located just over 6,000 light-years away, the larger star forming complex sprawls along the Perseus spiral arm of our Milky Way Galaxy. At that distance, this picture would span about 70 light-years across IC 1795.

NGC 7635: The Bubble Nebula


It’s the bubble versus the cloud. NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula, is being pushed out by the stellar wind of massive central star BD+602522. Next door, though, lives a giant molecular cloud, visible to the right. At this place in space, an irresistible force meets an immovable object in an interesting way. The cloud is able to contain the expansion of the bubble gas, but gets blasted by the hot radiation from the bubble’s central star. The radiation heats up dense regions of the molecular cloud causing it to glow. The Bubble Nebula, pictured above in scientifically mapped colors to bring up contrast, is about 10 light-years across and part of a much larger complex of stars and shells. The Bubble Nebula can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Queen of Aethiopia (Cassiopeia).

The Fermi Paradox

Finally, an explanation which makes sense:

via xkcd

Apollo 11 Customs Declaration

On the return from the Moon, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins didn’t manage to dodge the tedium of filling out a customs declaration:

“Any other condition on board which may lead to the spread of disease: To be determined.” Gold.

via reddit

This Is Earth

It’s easy to forget how magnificent Earth Utah is, especially if you live in the city. Let Dustin Farrell remind you with this awe-inspiring time-lapse video featuring the soundtrack from the movie Sunshine: