Adam BlockDec 12, 2014

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Strange and spooky

WeBo 1 is a strange planetary nebula (dying star) that was discovered in the mid-1900s. Although an interesting curiosity to astronomers (see the link below) no high-resolution color images have been taken of it...until now. :)

WeBo 1, a strange planetary nebula
WeBo 1, a strange planetary nebula WeBo 1, captured in November 2014. View additional information. Adam Block / Mount Lemmon SkyCenter / University of Arizona

It is a tiny, faint and very cool object. The discovers (that recognized its true nature) wrote a readable astronomical journal article about it here (you will find small grayscale images of it as acquired using the 4 meter Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory).

I just love the nearly perfect oval glow amidst a sea of stars and nebulae.

Here is Sh2-140 presented in a way perhaps you have not seen before:

Sh2-140 emission nebula
Sh2-140 emission nebula Sh2-140 is an HII emission nebula on the southwest edge of the Lynds 1204 darn nebula. It is also on the edge the Cephus Ring, a ring of molecular gas and dust. This view was acquired in July and August 2014. View additional information. Adam Block / Mount Lemmon SkyCenter / University of Arizona

It is a subtle affair and dream-like. Come, stand with me on the shores of a cosmic ocean and together we will peer into the vastness of space...

Here is LBN 438:

LBN 438
LBN 438 LBN 438 is a dusty nebula within our own galaxy. This view was acquired in August and September 2014. View additional information. Adam Block / Mount Lemmon SkyCenter / University of Arizona

The cloud of dust glows eerily both from scattered starlight and extended red emission due to the radiation of some nearby star. My mind alternates between something dancing in ecstasy or writhing in torture. Either way...very spooky...

"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

Sign up for email updates