Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Space: "Star Factory"

Combination of observations from the UK Infrared Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope is seen in an undated image. Part of a survey in which British astronomers spotted a star factory in the constellation Orion, it shows parts of the Orion Molecular Cloud being illuminated by nearby stars and glowing a green color. The jets punch through the cloud and can be seen as a multitude of tiny pink-purple arcs, knots, and filaments. The young stars that drive the jets are usually found along each jet and are colored golden orange (Reuters/UKIRT/JAC/Spitzer Telescope/Handout).

(SPACE.COM) To commemorate almost two decades of photographing the wonders of the universe, the Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of a peculiar group of interacting galaxies that contains a "cosmic fountain" of stars, gas, and dust that stretches about 100,000 light years. Over the past 19 years, Hubble has taken many images of galactic collisions and close encounters.

The new image of a trio of galaxies, called Arp 194, looks as if one of the galaxies has sprung a leak. The bright blue streamer seen in the image is really a stretched spiral arm full of newborn blue stars. This stellar activity typically happens when two galaxies interact and gravitationally tug at each other. More>>

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