Monday, April 20, 2009

I <3 Nebulae.

Ben is very into Astronomy....NOT Astrology, as I so eloquently call it. He is always showing me the latest pictures of gamma ray bursts or explaining that a comet's "tail" does not actually "follow" the comet as it appears to or discussing star nurseries, the Big Bang Theory (which is also our new favorite sitcom) or dwarf galaxies and how black holes are born (yes Ben I actually did retain all of this information). I really am fascinated with it all and even more fascinated at all he knows but in all honesty much of the science of it goes right over my head and sounds more like a twisted, cosmic, fairy tale than reality.

I do however always love the pictures. They are just absolutely stunning and so surreal. These photos look more like oil paintings to me than real life. They give me the sense of being very connected to this giant, infinite universe and being amazed that I belong to this, while at the same time making me feel so small and alone and insignificant. At times I feel as if I am swallowing the universe and other times that the universe is swallowing me.

Anyway, let's talk about Nebulae, which according to Wikipedia are "interstellar formations of dust, hydrogen gas and plasma." The way I understand it, nebulae are the beginning stages of stars and planets (Ben correct me if I am wrong). The dust, gasses and other matter start to bond creating larger and larger formations and eventually get large enough to create stars. The stars then have enough gravitational pull to attract more matter to them, creating plasma which forms the basis for other planetary objects. So there are many different types of nebulae which all have different characteristics. So here are a few of my favorites.

The Fox Fur Nebula:

Inside the Eagle Nebula:

The "Fairy" in the Eagle Nebula:

The Rosette Nebula:

The Keyhole Nebula:

And I don't care what anyone says, this is totally a unicorn:

1 comment:

Jen said...

great post amber! This has been my life growing up- hehe. Pictures of space are so beautiful! Hopefully we can have you guys over in the summer and my dad can set his telescope.
Hope your having a wonderful day!