Sunday, February 26, 2012

astro picture for the day/ latest Hubble on one of its biggest hits - Eta Carinae(future supernova star)

What we see is the remains of an outburst of this supergiant star(it dwarfs our star; that's hard to imagine enough; it's even more difficult to imagine this star going completely kaplewee!) from 1843. 

They say this is an even more detailed image; i'm not sure I can tell how much better detailed this is over the previous images actually.  It's still a stunning sight though.

"The well known nebula  in Andromeda, and the great spiral in Canes Venatici are among the more remarkable of those giving a continuous spectrum; and as a general rule, the emissions of all such nebulae as present the appearance of star-clusters grown misty through excessive distance, are of the same kind. It would, however, be eminently rash to conclude thence that they are really aggregations of such sun-like bodies. The improbability of such an inference has been greatly enhanced by the occurrence, at an interval of a quarter of a century, of stellar outbursts in two of them. For it is practically certain that, however, distant the nebulae, the stars were equally remote; hence, if the constituent particles of the former be suns, the incomparably vaster orbs by which their feeble light was well-nigh obliterated must, as was argued by Mr Proctor, have been on a scale of magnitude such as the imagination recoils from contemplating." - Agnes Mary Clerke 1893

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