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It's been a while since I've revisited my Sunday Starfields concept (original here), but I ran across some Hubble images that are worth sharing.  This isn't intended to be an educational or scientific series, just weekend eye candy.

I will note one issue of scientific interest: You may see some circular "ripple" effects surrounding objects in some images - these are not image artifacts, but a real physical phenomenon called gravitational lensing where large, dense masses warp the fabric of spacetime.  So you're actually seeing ripples in space.  However, don't mistake this first image for that phenomenon - this is called the "Soap Bubble Nebula," because it's basically just a bubble of gas.


The globular star cluster 47 Tucanae


A wanderer dancing the dance of stars and space




Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689




The Lupus 3 dark cloud and associated hot young stars






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Comment Preferences

  •  The pictures are just beautiful! (6+ / 0-)

    I still have the telescope I had when I was a kid and wanted to be an astronomer.  I should dig it out and see if it still works.

    When I was a kid, we'd go out with our parents to look at the night sky.  I learned to identify some constellations, but what I remember most was my parents pointing out the satellites. This was back in the 60s so there weren't that many.

    My parents' yard was so much better for stargazing than ours is:  nice and open with no trees blocking the view and little light pollution. Still I need to take my granddaughters out to look at the night sky despite the trees and lights.

    •  The telescopes I got to use in astronomy classes (5+ / 0-)

      in college totally ruined me as a stargazer, because I could never afford those kind of apertures.  But I do like occasionally just looking up.

      Pour yourself into the future.

      by Troubadour on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:45:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In College a Buddy Astronomer Student Took Us Up (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour, Lorinda Pike

        to the on the Ohio State campus 12" [I think; whatever was on the physics building roof in the 70's] one night and as a young adult for the first time I looked directly at Saturn.

        Honest to Gawd my gut reaction was "that's SO-O wrong. I'm with the Pope, string up Galileo!!"

        We also went north to the legendary Big ["Wow" Signal] Ear radio-telescope site at Perkins Observatory and did some looking around through their [I think] 30-ish inch scope.

        At the turn of the millennium they tore down the Big Ear to put up a golfing lot. I have a piece of it left for scrap.

        I've loved the space probe photos from the early views out V-2 test launches to Hubble and beyond. I remember watching the pictures from the first Ranger that finally survived to make the crash landing on the Moon.

        Being such a dinosaur as to have lived when we thought Mars' vegetation had seasons, every new planet and moon discovery is something I can measure against an ignorance most of the future won't be able to conceive.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:19:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My own experiences aren't quite that storied. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lorinda Pike

          I just got hooked on the $5,000 reflectors my community college had, and was able to look directly at planets and see large-scale features on them.  Saturn was weird for me too - you see the rings and everything.  The toy refractors I'd had up to that point became completely useless to me - they could only resolve blurry dots with the vaguest hint of a disk.  Figured after that I might as well just stick to looking at probes images in magazines and websites.

          But it had been great growing up with Hubble and Galileo mission imagery, and Cassini is still producing the most awesome planetary images in the history of space exploration.  Just two more years and we'll get to see Ceres and Pluto up close and personal.

          Pour yourself into the future.

          by Troubadour on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:41:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I love pictures like these. (4+ / 0-)

    I was disappointed that I could not find  a Hubble calendar for this year, so I got one featuring weather images.  My background and other pics are these images like this. Thanks for these images!

    One does not simply walk into Mordor! One invites a gas driller in, and one’s land becomes Mordor. Chris From Balloon Juice

    by Mr Stagger Lee on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:42:00 PM PST

  •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)

    I've been feeling down, and this was exactly the change in perspective I needed. I'm going to go back now and stare at those galaxy fields for a while, if you don't mind.

    The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty

    by Alice Venturi on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:54:53 PM PST

  •  Thank you... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Every one of these pictures (especially #12 from the top, with the phenomenal number of stars) make me feel so wonderfully insignificant. And I like that.

    Surely there are others out there. I hope I live long enough to find out.

    Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul. -- Sam Mockbee ~~~For handmade silver jewelry, click here.~~~

    by Lorinda Pike on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:09:59 PM PST

  •  Many places have astronomy clubs that meet . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They will be happy to show visitors the sights like the moon and planets. Look them up. It's cheaper than buying your own scope.

    Thanks for the eye candy.

    Predicting is hard...especially the future. ~ Y. Berra

    by jim in IA on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:02:07 AM PST

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