Thursday, July 8, 2010
NASA Spots "Puff the Magic Dragon" Cruising through Space
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has satellites way out in space. This "glimpse" of a dark cosmic cloud of what can be described as a "dragon" is spotted by the satellite Spitzer. The camera is capturing a snapshot of the formation and birth of a nebula, before major star formation. This dark cloud, M17SWex - a Bright Star-Forming Nebula continues to be a mystery.
How big is this 'dragon'? From "tail" to "snout" M17SWex stretches 160 light years. Is this something that scientists have just discovered? No. This ultra-right nebula was actually first discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier in the Summer of 1764. For astronomy buffs, this is known as the Omega or Swan Nebula.
JPL Scientist think that this cosmic phenomenon is an early stage of development, is the lack of O stars. O stars are the bluest, hottest and biggest of new stars. O stars are rare in the cosmos. There is a giant bubble in the area of the Dragon's Eye, that could be O stars. O stars are hotter than the Sun, and the nebula of these stars, is around a million years old.
From reading this blog post, it is obvious I am not an expert of Astronomy. As a geology student, we have learned to include the Earth's Core beneath us to the furthest reaches of Space as systems that have affected our universal development, and systems we need to consider when thinking about our part in Evolution/Creation.
Today, I intend to put a smile on your face, and perhaps some young person (under 100 is young) will be interested and join in the solving and observation of mysteries that surround us.
Thank you for all you do for the enhancement of our Environment. Thank you for your public service. Thank you for every "one thing" you do to make a difference.
"To Infinity, and Beyond" Buzz Lightyear - Toy Story