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Swan_done.jpg
Swan_done.jpgSwan nebula.557 viewsThe Omega Nebula, also known as the Swan Nebula and the Horseshoe Nebula[2] (catalogued as Messier 17 or M17 and as NGC 6618) is an H II region in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745. Charles Messier catalogued it in 1764. It is located in the rich starfields of the Sagittarius area of the Milky Way.

The Omega Nebula is between 5,000 and 6,000 light-years from Earth and it spans some 15 light-years in diameter. The cloud of interstellar matter of which this nebula is a part is roughly 40 light-years in diameter. The total mass of the Omega Nebula is an estimated 800 solar masses.

A open cluster of 35 stars lies embedded in the nebulosity and causes the gases of the nebula to shine due to radiation from these hot, young stars.
MartinOct 19, 2010
snake-nebula.jpg
snake-nebula.jpgSnake nebula.534 viewsThe Snake Nebula (also known as Barnard 72) is a dark nebula in the Ophiuchus constellation. It is a small but readily apparent S-shaped dust lane that snakes out in front of the Milky Way star clouds from the north-north-west edge of the bowl of the Pipe Nebula. Its thickness runs between 2′ and 3′ and runs around 6′ in the north-west / south-east orientation. A good view in a 4" to 6" telescope requires clear dark skies.

It is part of the much larger Dark Horse Nebula.
MartinOct 19, 2010
rosettecropfinal.jpg
rosettecropfinal.jpgRosette nebula.499 viewsThe cluster and nebula lie at a distance of some 5,200 light years from Earth (although estimates of the distance vary considerably) and measure roughly 130 light years in diameter. The radiation from the young stars excite the atoms in the nebula, causing them to emit radiation themselves producing the emission nebula we see. The mass of the nebula is estimated to be around 10,000 solar masses.

It is believed that stellar winds from a group of O and B stars are exerting pressure on interstellar clouds to cause compression, followed by star formation in the nebula. This star formation is currently still ongoing.

A survey of the nebula with the Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2001 has revealed the presence of very hot, young stars at the core of the Rosette Nebula. These stars have heated the surrounding gas to a temperature in the order of 6 million kelvins causing them to emit copious amounts of X-rays.
MartinOct 19, 2010
ngc3293_3324.jpg
ngc3293_3324.jpgNGC3293 and 3324.451 viewsNGC 3293 is an open cluster in the Carina constellation. It was discovered by Abbe Lacaille in 1751-52. It consists of more than 50 stars in a 10 arc minutes field, the brightest of which is a red giant of mag 6.5.MartinOct 19, 2010
m42done.jpg
m42done.jpgM42.827 viewsThe Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion's Belt. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years[2][5] and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. Older texts frequently referred to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.

The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features.[6] The nebula has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers have directly observed protoplanetary disks, brown dwarfs, intense and turbulent motions of the gas, and the photo-ionizing effects of massive nearby stars in the nebula. There are also supersonic "bullets" of gas piercing the dense hydrogen clouds of the Orion Nebula. Each bullet is ten times the diameter of Pluto's orbit and tipped with iron atoms glowing bright blue. They were probably formed one thousand years ago from an unknown violent event.
MartinOct 19, 2010
Lagoon.jpg
Lagoon.jpgLagoon nebula.703 viewsThe Lagoon Nebula is estimated to be between 4,000-6,000 light-years from the Earth. In the sky of Earth, it spans 90' by 40', translates to an actual dimension of 110 by 50 light years. Like many nebulas, it appears pink in time-exposure color photos but is gray to the eye peering through binoculars or a telescope, human vision having poor color sensitivity at low light levels. The nebula contains a number of Bok globules - dark, collapsing clouds of protostellar material - the most prominent of which have been catalogued by E. E. Barnard as B88, B89 and B296. It also includes a funnel-like or tornado-like structure caused by a hot O-type star that pours out ultraviolet light, heating and ionizing gases on the surface of the nebula. The Lagoon Nebula also contains at its centre a structure known as the "Hourglass Nebula" (so named by John Herschel), which should not be confused with the better known Hourglass Nebula in the constellation of Musca. In 2006 the first four Herbig-Haro objects were detected within the Hourglass, also including HH 870. This provides the first direct evidence of active star formation by accretion within it.MartinOct 19, 2010
IC443.jpg
IC443.jpgIC443.542 viewsIC 443 (also known as the Jellyfish Nebula and Sharpless 248 (Sh2-248)) is a Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) in the constellation Gemini. On the plan of the sky, it is located near the star Eta Geminorum. Its distance is roughly 5,000 light years (~5×1016 km) from Earth.
IC 443 is thought to be the remains of a supernova that occurred 3,000 - 30,000 years ago. The same supernova event likely created the neutron star CXOU J061705.3+222127, the collapsed remnant of the stellar core.
IC 443 is one of the best-studied cases of supernova remnants interacting with surrounding molecular clouds.
MartinOct 19, 2010
horsephotobucket.jpg
horsephotobucket.jpgHorsehead nebula.645 viewsThe Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in bright nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just below (to the south of) Alnitak, the star farthest left on Orion's Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which is similar to that of a horse's head when viewed from Earth. The shape was first noticed in 1888 by Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory.

The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funneled by a strong magnetic field. Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula's base are young stars just in the process of forming.
MartinOct 19, 2010
good.jpg
good.jpgNGC6188560 viewsMartinOct 19, 2010
etaha-2.jpg
etaha-2.jpgEta Carinae in HA.563 viewsThis stellar system is currently one of the most massive that can be studied in great detail. Until recently, Eta Carinae was thought to be the most massive single star, but it was recently demoted to a binary system.[7] The most massive star in the Eta Carinae multiple star system has more than 100 times the mass of the Sun. Other known massive stars are more luminous and more massive.

Stars in the mass class of Eta Carinae, with more than 100 times the mass of the Sun, produce more than a million times as much light as the Sun. They are quite rare — only a few dozen in a galaxy as big as the Milky Way. They are assumed to approach (or potentially exceed) the Eddington limit, i.e., the outward pressure of their radiation is almost strong enough to counteract gravity. Stars that are more than 120 solar masses exceed the theoretical Eddington limit, and their gravity is barely strong enough to hold in their radiation and gas.

Eta Carinae's chief significance for astrophysics is based on its giant eruption or supernova impostor event, which was observed around 1843. In a few years, Eta Carinae produced almost as much visible light as a supernova explosion, but it survived. Other supernova impostors have been seen in other galaxies, for example the false supernovae SN 1961v in NGC 1058[8] and SN 2006jc in UGC 4904,[9] which produced a false supernova, noted in October 2004. Significantly, SN 2006jc was destroyed in a supernova explosion two years later, observed on October 9, 2006.[10] The supernova impostor phenomenon may represent a surface instability[11] or a failed supernova. Eta Carinae's giant eruption was the prototype for this phenomenon, and after nearly 170 years the star's internal structure has not fully recovered.
MartinOct 19, 2010
etacrop.jpg
etacrop.jpgEta Carinae nebula.547 viewsThis stellar system is currently one of the most massive that can be studied in great detail. Until recently, Eta Carinae was thought to be the most massive single star, but it was recently demoted to a binary system.[7] The most massive star in the Eta Carinae multiple star system has more than 100 times the mass of the Sun. Other known massive stars are more luminous and more massive.

Stars in the mass class of Eta Carinae, with more than 100 times the mass of the Sun, produce more than a million times as much light as the Sun. They are quite rare — only a few dozen in a galaxy as big as the Milky Way. They are assumed to approach (or potentially exceed) the Eddington limit, i.e., the outward pressure of their radiation is almost strong enough to counteract gravity. Stars that are more than 120 solar masses exceed the theoretical Eddington limit, and their gravity is barely strong enough to hold in their radiation and gas.

Eta Carinae's chief significance for astrophysics is based on its giant eruption or supernova impostor event, which was observed around 1843. In a few years, Eta Carinae produced almost as much visible light as a supernova explosion, but it survived. Other supernova impostors have been seen in other galaxies, for example the false supernovae SN 1961v in NGC 1058[8] and SN 2006jc in UGC 4904,[9] which produced a false supernova, noted in October 2004. Significantly, SN 2006jc was destroyed in a supernova explosion two years later, observed on October 9, 2006.[10] The supernova impostor phenomenon may represent a surface instability[11] or a failed supernova. Eta Carinae's giant eruption was the prototype for this phenomenon, and after nearly 170 years the star's internal structure has not fully recovered.
MartinOct 19, 2010
Eagle_done-1.jpg
Eagle_done-1.jpgEagle nebula.526 viewsThe Eagle Nebula is part of a diffuse emission nebula, or H II region, which is catalogued as IC 4703. This region of active current star formation is about 6,500 light-years distant. The tower of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula is approximately 57 trillion miles (97 trillion km) high.

The brightest star in the nebula has an apparent magnitude of +8.24, easily visible with good binoculars.
MartinOct 19, 2010
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