Starry Skies


Isn't it just gorgeous? I LOVE pictures of space. This happens to be the Orion Nebula taken by the Hubble Telescope. You can find lots more pictures on their website

Some of you may hate me after I say this. I was certainly upset when I found out. I was more devastated than when I found out about Santa...
Space doesn't actually look like this! The colors and swirls aren't really there. 

Well, they are in a way. The Hubble picks up visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light. 

The stars are all emitting light at many different wavelengths. As the light passes thorough the gases and dust in the nebula, the wavelengths change. The Hubble records those changes, then an artistic scientist assigns each wavelength a different color. They layer that on top of the original image of the stars and we get these dreamy pictures of our universe. Below is a comparison of different light of the Orion Nebula.



The Orion Nebula is approximately 1,344 light years away, which means the light that was recorded in this picture is over 1,000 years old. It's a picture of the past! So if something crazy happens out there, it will take us a long time to find out. 

A nebula is the star (and planet) nursery. All of the different gases and dust particles swirling around make it a great place for new stars to form. There are lots and lots of nebulae out there, like the Eagle Nebula.


This was a very simple explanation of the process. There is definitely A LOT more to it. If you want to learn more about the details, I recommend checking out the Hubble website. Or just go for the pictures
 I like learning more about science and thought maybe you would too? I'm thinking about having a Science Sunday feature of concepts that I think are cool with a simple explanation. Oh, and this ties in nicely to a quilt pattern that I will be revealing next week. :)

** ETA: Thanks to Betty, I was turned on to Jimmy McBride who turns these images into quilts!! **
Photo from jimmymcbride.com. Please go to his website to see more!

3 comments:

  1. Great explanation of astrophotography. I'll use your post in my class next year.

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  2. Yes, more food for the brain is always good.
    And your explanations are simple and true.
    Very curious about your next quilt or project!!!
    Have you seen this guy'w work:
    http://jimmymcbride.com/section/20609.html

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  3. Given those colours, I think some of the scientists are artists too :o)

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