Supernova 1604

Today in Astronomical History —> On this day in 1604 Supernova 1604 is sighted, the most recent supernova to be observed within the Milky Way.

Here’s the modern remnant of that supernova, which apparently was visible in 1604 for three weeks during the day, and was by far the brightest star in the sky back then:

Skylab (1973-1979)

Skylab (1973-1979)

Skylab was the United States’ first space station that orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979. The station was equipped with a solar observatory (Apollo Telescope Mount), workshop and scientific equipment for conducting experiments in space.

Launched on the retiring Saturn V rocket, the station saw three manned expeditions between 1973 and 1974. Thousands of photographs of Earth were taken, and the Earth Resources Experiment Package (EREP) viewed Earth with sensors that recorded data in the visible, infrared, and microwave spectral regions.

Plans to reuse Skylab for further space missions were delayed and eventually scrapped due to the development of the Space Shuttle Program.

On July 11th 1979, Skylab was de-orbited and fell back to Earth amid huge worldwide media attention.

#WorldSpaceWeek #Skylab

Sculptor Galaxy

Breathtakingly Beautiful Galaxy With an Enormous Halo of Extreme Star Creation

The Sculptor Galaxy has an enormous halo of gas, dust and stars, which had not been observed before at frequencies below 300 MHz. The halo originates from galactic “fountains” caused by star formation in the disk and a super-wind coming from the galaxy’s core.

Astronomers have used a radio telescope in outback Western Australia to see the halo of a nearby starburst galaxy in unprecedented detail. A starburst galaxy is a galaxy experiencing a period of intense star formation and this one, known as NGC 253 or the Sculptor Galaxy, is approximately 11.5 million light-years from Earth…

Kepler’s Supernova

In 1604 Kepler’s Supernova is observed in the constellation of Ophiuchus.

This was the last supernova in our galaxy observed with the naked eye. Here’s a false-color* composite photo:

* False color refers to a group of color rendering methods used to display images in color which were recorded in the visible or non-visible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Crab Nebula

When a supernova explodes, its outer layers blow off, leaving a small, dense core that continues to collapse, jamming protons and electrons together—and creating a neutron star. Its matter is packed so tightly that a sugar-cube-sized amount of material would weigh more than 1 billion tons. The Crab Nebula is the result of a bright supernova explosion. At its center is a super-dense neutron star, rotating once every 33 milliseconds, shooting out rotating lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and light…

#NeutronStar #Supernova #SpaceGeek

Eta Carinae – Double Star System


Imagine slow-motion fireworks that started exploding nearly two centuries ago and haven’t stopped since then. This is how you might describe this Hubble photo of the double star system Eta Carinae’s expanding gases glowing in red, white, and blue. This is the highest resolution image of Eta Carinae taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope…

#Science #EtaCarinae

First Image Of A Black Hole


We have seen what we thought was unseeable.  We have seen and taken a picture of a black hole.”

~ Sheperd Doeleman, director of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

What are black holes? 

Black holes are made up of huge amounts of matter squeezed into a small area, according to NASA, creating a massive gravitational field which draws in everything around it, including light. They also have a way of super-heating the material around them and warping spacetime. Material accumulates around black holes, is heated to billions of degrees and reaches nearly the speed of light. Light bends around the gravity of the black hole, which creates the photon ring seen in the image.

In April 2017, scientists used a global network of telescopes to see and capture the first-ever picture of a black hole, according to an announcement by researchers at the National Science Foundation Wednesday morning. They captured an image of the supermassive black hole and its shadow at the center of a galaxy known as M87.

The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, called EHT, is a global network of telescopes that captured the first-ever photograph of a black hole. More than 200 researchers were involved in the project. They have worked for more than a decade to capture this. The project is named for the event horizon, the proposed boundary around a black hole that represents the point of no return where no light or radiation can escape.

A lot of people have heard the term “event horizon” That isn’t what we’re  seeing in this image. The bright ring is light bending around the intense gravity of the black hole. The event horizon is actually a long way inside the black circular shadow. 

The visual confirmation of black holes acts as confirmation of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. In the theory, Einstein predicted that dense, compact regions of space would have such intense gravity that nothing could escape them. But if heated materials in the form of plasma surround the black hole and emit light, the event horizon could be visible.

Black holes have sparked imaginations for decades.  They have exotic properties and are mysterious to us. Yet with more observations like this one they are yielding their secrets. This is why NSF exists. We enable scientists and engineers to illuminate the unknown, to reveal the subtle and complex majesty of our universe.” 

~ France Córdova, National Science Foundation Director 

Source: CNN

Rosette Nebula


The Rosette Nebula

The Rosette Nebula (also known as Caldwell 49) is a large, spherical (circular in appearance), H II region located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros region of the Milky Way Galaxy. The open cluster NGC 2244 (Caldwell 50) is closely associated with the nebulosity, the stars of the cluster having been formed from the nebula’s matter.

Photo Credits: Miguel Claro