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Posts Tagged ‘Cosmic dust

I love images that have some kind of drama attached!

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It’s a gigantic star, some 20 times the mass of our Sun, that has been knocked about in space by a neighboring supernova and here is the latest image capture from NASA files:

And here is its official description:

A huge star ejected from a binary system has been photographed slamming headlong through a barrier of cosmic dust, creating a shockwave that shines in brilliant yellow in infrared views.

The star, called Zeta Ophiuchi, is a stellar behemoth with about 20 times the mass of our sun and would be 65,000 times brighter if it weren’t surrounded by a thick blanket of dust. It is about 4 million years old and is 460 light-years away from Earth. The star is zooming through space at a whopping 54,000 mph (nearly 87,000 kph), according to NASA scientists.

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, called WISE, caught the massive star plowing through thick dust to create what scientists call a “bow shock” – a shockwave that precedes stars as they move through space much like the ripple raised by the front of a boat traveling through water.

I have attached a few related articles suggested by Zemanta.

These kinds of dramatic images are one of the most accessible aspects of astronomy that give NASA their best public image. But is it worth those big budgets?

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/01/26 at 16:37