I took this shot of The Shard in London not long after I’d taken ERRIE, although it’s quite a vivid shot, the bit that I like most is that the Orion Nebula was right on its pinnacle.
Orion Nebula in Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Sulphur (British English spelling)
Image Credit & Copyright: César Blanco González
Some astronomical sights really excite my imagination, none more so than the nearby stellar nursery known as The Orion Nebula, which was stunningly captured by César Blanco González.
The Orion Nebula‘s glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud. Many of the filamentary structures visible in the above image are actually shock waves – fronts where fast-moving material encounters slow-moving gas. The Orion Nebula spans about 40 light years and is located about 1500 light years away in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy as the Sun. The Great Nebula in Orion can be found with the unaided eye just below and to the left of the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular constellation Orion. The above image shows the nebula in three colors specifically emitted by hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur (British English spelling) gas. The whole Orion Nebula cloud complex, which includes the Horsehead Nebula, will slowly disperse over the next 100,000 years.
RIP Sir Patrick Moore
If you read this blog, you’ll know I love Astronomy and the Planets, so it’s such sad news for me that the inspiration and institution that is Sir Patrick Moore from the BBC’s The Sky at Night has passed away, he really inspired me right to the very end in more ways than one, it was only the other day on the 6th of December that I feel asleep on the sofa, when I woke up Patrick Moore was on the TV talking about Mercury and the Moon and the latest news from Messenger which is over Mercury at the moment. He more poignantly talked about that it was forty years since the Moon was last visited by man in December 1972 and looked at the legacy that the Apollo 17 missions have left. After the programme finished at 1.30am in the morning, ‘totally inspired’ I got the camera out and spent some time in the garden taking photos of the Orion Constellation and Nebula, also Pleiades (The Seven Sisters) and wider star field shots on what was a crystal clear and cold night. Hopefully one those many stars will be twinkling for him now.
These pictures (which were already named Sky at Night over Leeds) are for you Patrick
…A true inspiration.
(click to enlarge)
Also known as M42, the nebula’s glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud only 1,500 light-years away. The Orion Nebula offers one of the best opportunities to study how stars are born partly because it is the nearest large star-forming region, but also because the nebula’s energetic stars have blown away obscuring gas and dust clouds that would otherwise block our view – providing an intimate look at a range of ongoing stages of starbirth and evolution. This detailed image of the Orion Nebula is the sharpest ever, constructed using data from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla 2.2 meter telescope. The mosaic contains a billion pixels at full resolution and reveals about 3,000 stars.