Celestial Bauble

Hubble has another great capture. This one is being called a celestial bauble. And just in time for Christmas. What a crazy coincidence, I know. (SpaceDaily thought it prudent to dumb down the article title a bit.)

Celestial Bauble

This is called SNR 0509, which means it’s a supernova remnant. It’s located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, which looks a little something like this.

Large Magellanic Cloud

(None of this is here for or because of human existence, by the way.)

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Crab Nebula

When I choose Hubble images to put on FTSOS, I specifically try to avoid the Crab Nebula image. It’s just so common, so frequent. It’s almost a stereotype in a way, at least to me. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if I’ve slipped up actually posted it in the past. But I was just rethinking it. Stereotype, cliche, overused, too common, too frequent: none of that matter. It’s a frickin’ cool image. That’s all the justification I need.

Hubble

While my traffic has been way up since the Andreas Moritz incident, I know it isn’t going to stay that way. That’s why it’s especially disappointing that my Hubble contest post no longer shows up on Google images on the first page. It had been there for quite a long time, artificially boosting my stats, which in turn did raise the profile of FTSOS, if even only slightly. But since WordPress took me down for a couple days, that image has vanished from Google images. I suppose the best I can do is link back to it from time to time. More importantly, I suppose I can start making a few more posts about Hubble and Hubble news now.

But other than one of those slow news day stories, there doesn’t seem to be much out there. So in lieu of a real post, here is some eye candy.

1987 Supernova

Hubble captures Saturn’s aurorae

Two times every 30 years it is possible to view Saturn’s aurorae from where the Hubble telescope is positioned. Since the telescope will be out of commission 30 years from now, this is the only image it will ever take where each aurora can be viewed simultaneously.

The principle behind these aurorae is the same that’s behind the aurora borealis, or northern lights.

Hubble, giver of blog hits

Thanks to a spike in hits today on Hubble posts, I’ve gone and found that NASA released more Hubble images taken since the telescope’s recent upgrade. The first is one of the most recent images (and may as well just be a close-up of a past release). The second is older, but not blurry and generally ugly.

Update: I’m not sure if this one has just been released, but it’s the best I’ve seen so far.

Thank you, Hubble

So it hasn’t escaped my notice that my hit count has been treading absurdly high in the past couple of days. And it equally hasn’t been missed that most of the views are devoted to my Hubble contest post. Well, it turns out I’m a bit late, but the reason is that NASA has released new images since Hubble’s last repair.

“Hubble is back in action. Together, NASA and Hubble are opening new vistas on the universe,” astronomer and frequent Hubble user Heidi Hammel said.

With the obligatory quote out of the way, let’s get to what everyone wants: the photos.

NGC 6302, Butterfly Nebula

NGC 6302, Butterfly Nebula

 Hickson Compact Group 92, Stephan’s Quintet

Hickson Compact Group 92, Stephan’s Quintet

Abell 37

Abell 37

NGC 6217

NGC 6217