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November 29, 2010

NASA Captures Pictures of Planetary Nebula

It was published on November 18, 2010 by Nasa.

WISE, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, recently captured an
image of an object known as NGC 1514, which was discovered in 1970. Until
now, the object was thought of as a system of binary stars. We now know it
is actually a planetary nebulae, which formed when a dying star exploded
its material into space. The image captured shows two views of the
planetary nebula, by using both a visible-light telescope and an infrared
light. The pictures show the fluorescing gas and two unusual rings that
surround the nebula. This object is also referred to as the "Crystal Ball"


Pictures are on the page of the link

Posted by arieloz at November 29, 2010 09:23 PM


Sorry this isn't a comment but a post. This is the only way I could figure out how to do this.

"Cassini finds warm cracks on Saturn's moon Enceladus"

This article talks about Cassini's flyby of Enceladus in which scientists have used the spacecraft's infrared spectrometer to observe warm cracks in Enceladus's surface. These fissures spray water vapor and icy particles from Enceladus and Scientist's have began referring to them as "tiger stripes." By using the infrared spectrometer, scientists have been able to observe heat at different parts of these "tiger stripes" which scientists believe will give them more information about their life cycles.

Blog Post By: Michael Sapick

Posted by: msapick at December 1, 2010 09:32 PM

I have to say, I'm kind of confused by NGC 1514. It was discovered in 1714 by Sir William Herschel, but they're just talking about the rings now. Were the rings recently formed, or are we only able to see them with the aid of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)? I feel like it's the latter, but I'm not sure.

Either way, the pictures from this phenomenon are beautiful.

Posted by: lebeisma at December 2, 2010 12:23 AM

In this case, WISE was just able to see the rings for the first time, they have been there for a while. WISE looks in the infrared and is seeing the radiation from the heated dust in these disks. Since it is the heat that you are seeing, it is like a blackbody (remember Wien's Law?) The blue light (in the picture on the left) is emission from the hot elements of gas.

Posted by: christoq at December 2, 2010 10:12 AM

Firstly, I think it is fascinating how a change in lens can completely revamp a picture. Although this object has been studied for over 200 years, they were just able to categorize it as a planetary nebulae now. This shows how science is always changing and new things are always being discovered. However, I am confused about the significance that these newfound rings have. I know they were created by a burst of dust that collided with the walls of a cavity that was already cleared out by stellar winds, and that they do look beautiful, but do they pose any threat to us or our galaxy? What can they help us uncover?

Posted by: rahoro at December 7, 2010 02:09 PM

I don't know much about telescopes, but is this one of the first of its kind to detect this infared light? Or is this the first sighting of rings such as these because the dust material is being heated?

Either way the photos are splendid!

Posted by: devdrake at December 13, 2010 08:59 AM

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