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Something Wonderful: Per aspera ad astra — Take a sightseeing trip through the Orion Nebula in NASA’s latest travel video

“This visualization explores the Orion Nebula using both visible and infrared light. The sequence begins with a wide-field view of the sky showing the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, then zooms down to the scale of the Orion Nebula. The visible light observation (from the Hubble Space Telescope) and the infrared light observation (from the Spitzer Space Telescope) are compared first in two-dimensional images, and then in three-dimensional models.

“As the camera flies into the star-forming region, the sequence cross-fades back and forth between the visible and infrared views. The glowing gaseous landscape has been illuminated and carved by the high energy radiation and strong stellar winds from the massive hot stars in the central cluster. The infrared observations generally show cooler temperature gas at a deeper layer of the nebula that extends well beyond the visible image. In addition, the infrared showcases many faint stars that shine primarily at longer wavelengths. The higher resolution visible observations show finer details including the wispy bow shocks and tadpole-shaped proplyds. In this manner, the movie illustrates the contrasting features uncovered by multi-wavelength astronomy.”

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  • John Venlet January 23, 2018, 7:18 AM

    While the imagery of this little video is beautiful, the issue I take with these little productions is that they are, simply, and nothing more, visualizations. Interpretations of some one individual(s) adept at keyboard manipulations and color schemes, utilizing a few objective facts, producing visual images for mass consumption in the promotion of space “science.” These visualizations are akin to making a sound, objective decision based on your feelings rather than facts.

  • John Venlet January 23, 2018, 7:19 AM

    Gerard, I apologize for not getting the html correct for the dictionary link to the definition of visualization. Maybe you can clean it up for me.

  • Vanderleun January 23, 2018, 9:19 AM

    Swiffer applied to HTML floor, Sir!

  • John Venlet January 23, 2018, 10:17 AM

    Excellent, Gerard, thank you.

  • Howard Nelson January 23, 2018, 5:48 PM

    Wonders beyond wondering, more wondering still
    Black holes feeding on star systems whole
    Swallowing all against their centrifugal will
    Death-dancing and densifying is the goal.

    But there is that, neither energy nor matter –7
    ‘Tis Mind of Man which can all things make and all things shatter
    And like wizard’s wand build from naught
    Wonder worlds that in all times are sought.

    So on we go, with all our might we gasp and grasp
    Feverish, famished, fearless — we bite then eat the asp.
    Curious, dissatisfied, driven, raging, we must explore
    Astonishing universe periphery to core,
    And fabulous Mind, so much more.

  • Janet January 23, 2018, 8:57 PM

    In the heart of God.

  • Ed January 24, 2018, 2:03 AM

    Crass comment warning.
    crass (krăs)
    adj. crass·er, crass·est
    So crude and unrefined as to be lacking in discrimination and sensibility.

    Reminds me of an old girlfriend with a yeast infection set to music.

    Y’all were warned. G’night.