Category: star

Detail of Westerhout 5: Generations of stars…

Detail of Westerhout 5: Generations of stars can be seen in this infrared portrait from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

IC1848 The Soul Nebulaby Roger Hutchinson

IC1848 The Soul Nebula


Roger Hutchinson

Combined image data from the massive, ground…

Combined image data from the massive, ground-based VISTA telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope was used to create this wide perspective of the interstellar landscape surrounding the famous Horsehead Nebula.

Composition and Processing: Robert Gendler
Image Data: ESO, VISTA, HLA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Messier 6: The Butterfly Cluster Credit :…

Messier 6: The Butterfly Cluster

Credit : Sergio Eguivar/Buenos Aires Skies

The Moon and stars of Taurus (with the Pleia…

The Moon and stars of Taurus (with the Pleiades) and Perseus accompany the spectacular view of Comet Hale-Bopp above the Great Pyramids of Giza in 1997.

Copyright: John Goldsmith via: ESA

cosmic microwave background The cosmic micr…

cosmic microwave background

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is electromagnetic radiation as a remnant from an early stage of the universe in Big Bang cosmology. In older literature, the CMB is also variously known as cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) or “relic radiation”. The CMB is a faint cosmic background radiation filling all space that is an important source of data on the early universe because it is the oldest electromagnetic radiation in the universe, dating to the epoch of recombination.

With a traditional optical telescope, the space between stars and galaxies (the background) is completely dark. However, a sufficiently sensitive radio telescope shows a faint background noise, or glow, almost isotropic, that is not associated with any star, galaxy, or other object. This glow is strongest in the microwave region of the radio spectrum. The accidental discovery of the CMB in 1964 by American radio astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson was the culmination of work initiated in the 1940s, and earned the discoverers the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics.


The discovery of CMB is landmark evidence of the Big Bang origin of the universe. When the universe was young, before the formation of stars and planets, it was denser, much hotter, and filled with a uniform glow from a white-hot fog of hydrogen plasma. As the universe expanded, both the plasma and the radiation filling it grew cooler. When the universe cooled enough, protons and electrons combined to form neutral hydrogen atoms. Unlike the uncombined protons and electrons, these newly conceived atoms could not absorb the thermal radiation, and so the universe became transparent instead of being an opaque fog. Cosmologists refer to the time period when neutral atoms first formed as the recombination epoch, and the event shortly afterwards when photons started to travel freely through space rather than constantly being scattered by electrons and protons in plasma is referred to as photon decoupling.


Basically, cosmic microwave background radiation is the fossil of light, resulting from a time when the Universe was hot and dense, only 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

Cosmic microwave background radiation is an electromagnetic radiation that fills the entire universe, whose spectrum is that of a blackbody at a temperature of 2.725 kelvin.


Cosmic microwave background radiation, along with the spacing from galaxies and the abundance of light elements, is one of the strongest observational evidences of the Big Bang model, which describes the evolution of the universe. Penzias and Wilson received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978 for this discovery

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images credit: 

Image credit: Institute of Astronomy / National Tsing Hua University/ NASA/ESA Hubble, wikipedia

Sunspot Sunspots are temporary phenomena …


Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the Sun’s photosphere that appear as spots darker than the surrounding areas. They are regions of reduced surface temperature caused by concentrations of magnetic field flux that inhibit convection. Sunspots usually appear in pairs of opposite magnetic polarity. Their number varies according to the approximately 11-year solar cycle.

Individual sunspots or groups of sunspots may last anywhere from a few days to a few months, but eventually decay. Sunspots expand and contract as they move across the surface of the Sun, with diameters ranging from 16 km (10 mi) to 160,000 km (100,000 mi). The larger variety are visible from Earth without the aid of a telescope. They may travel at relative speeds, or proper motions, of a few hundred meters per second when they first emerge.

Indicating intense magnetic activity, sunspots accompany secondary phenomena such as coronal loops, prominences, and reconnection events. Most solar flares and coronal mass ejections originate in magnetically active regions around visible sunspot groupings.

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  • images: NASA/SDO/SOHO/JAXA

Messier 100 Galaxy by Judy Schmidt

Messier 100 Galaxy by

Judy Schmidt

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image…

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures a galaxy named NGC 7250.

The bright object seen in this Hubble image is a single and little-studied star named TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard). The star is much closer than the much more distant galaxy.

Image credit: NASA/ESA Hubble

B72 Snake Nebula by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo

B72 Snake Nebula

by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo