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#91 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:38 PM

First photo of alien planet forming

March 1, 2013, 4:49 pm Clara Moskowitz SPACE.COM


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Astronomers have captured what may be the first-ever direct photograph of an alien planet in the process of forming around a nearby star.
The picture, which captured a giant alien planet as it is coming together, was snapped by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile.
It shows a faint blob embedded in a thick disk of gas and dust around the young star HD 100546. The object appears to be a baby gas giant planet, similar to Jupiter, forming from the disk's material, scientists say.
"So far, planet formation has mostly been a topic tackled by computer simulations," astronomer Sascha Quanz of ETH Zurich in Switzerland, leader of the research team, said in a statement. "If our discovery is indeed a forming planet, then for the first time scientists will be able to study the planet formation process and the interaction of a forming planet and its natal environment empirically at a very early stage."
The star HD 100546, which lies 335 light-years from Earth, was already thought to host another giant planet that orbits it about six times farther out than the Earth is from the sun. The new potential planet lies even farther, about 10 times the distance of its sibling, at roughly 70 times the stretch between the Earth and sun.
The possible planet seems to fit the picture scientists are building of how worlds form. Stars themselves are born in clouds of gas and dust, and after the form, a disk of leftover material often orbits them. From this disk, baby planets can take shape. That's what appears to be happening here.
For example, the new photo reveals structures in the disk surrounding the star that could be caused by interactions between its material and the forming planet. Furthermore, the data suggest the material around the planet-blob has been heated up, which is consistent with the planet-forming hypothesis.
The observations were made possible by the NACO adaptive optics instrument on the Very Large Telescope, which compensates for the blurring caused by Earth's atmosphere. The instrument also uses a special coronagraph that observes in near-infrared wavelengths to block out the bright light from the star, so as to see its surroundings better.
"Exoplanet research is one of the most exciting new frontiers in astronomy, and direct imaging of planets is still a new field, greatly benefiting from recent improvements in instruments and data analysis methods," said Adam Amara, another member of the team.
"In this research we used data analysis techniques developed for cosmological research, showing that cross-fertilization of ideas between fields can lead to extraordinary progress."
The findings are detailed in a paper to appear online in the Astrophysical Journal Letters

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#92 Tom-The-Great


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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:44 PM

^^ Thats awesome.. just think... it's entirely possible there was some alien race taking a picture of earth as it was forming almost 5 billion years ago just like this.. very cool.

#93 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:40 AM

Hunting Massive Stars with Herschel

Posted Image W3 is an enormous stellar nursery about 6,200 light-years away in the Perseus Arm, one of the Milky Way galaxy’s main spiral arms, which hosts both low- and high-mass star formation. Image credit: ESA/PACS & SPIRE consortia, A. Rivera-Ingraham & P.G. Martin, Univ. Toronto, HOBYS Key Programme (F. Motte) › Full image and caption

In this new view of a vast star-forming cloud called W3, the Herschel space observatory tells the story of how massive stars are born. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions. W3 is a giant gas cloud containing an enormous stellar nursery, some 6,200 light-years away in the Perseus Arm, one of our Milky Way galaxy's main spiral arms.
By studying regions of massive star formation in W3, scientists have made progress in solving one of the major conundrums in the birth of massive stars. That is, even during their formation, the radiation blasting away from these stars is so powerful that they should push away the very material from which they feed. If this is the case, how can massive stars form at all?
Observations of W3 point toward a possible solution: in these very dense regions, there appears to be a continuous process by which the raw material is moved around, compressed and confined, under the influence of clusters of young, massive stars called protostars.
Through their strong radiation and powerful winds, populations of young, high-mass stars may well be able to build and maintain localized clumps of material from which they can continue to feed during their earliest and most chaotic years, despite their incredible energy output.
The W3 star-formation complex is one of the largest in the outer Milky Way, hosting the formation of both low- and high-mass stars. The distinction between low- and high-mass stars is drawn at eight times the mass of our own sun: above this limit, stars end their lives as supernovas.
Dense, bright blue knots of hot dust marking massive star formation dominate the upper left of the image. Intense radiation streaming away from the stellar infants heats up the surrounding dust and gas, making it shine brightly in Herschel's infrared-sensitive eyes.
Older high-mass stars are also seen to be heating up dust in their environments, appearing as the blue regions, for example, lower down and to the left.
Extensive networks of much colder gas and dust weave through the scene in the form of red filaments and pillar-like structures. Several of these cold cores conceal low-mass star formation, hinted at by tiny yellow knots of emission.
Herschel is a European Space Agency mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
This study was led by Alana Rivera-Ingraham, a graduate student of Peter Martin at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, the University of Toronto, Canada

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#94 GodzillaDeuce


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Posted 04 April 2013 - 11:02 PM

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well I'm sorry that gd is soo perfect

#95 silverpig


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:54 PM

Thought I'd add this here:


“As the most precise measurement of the cosmic ray positron flux to date, these results show clearly the power and capabilities of the AMS detector,” said AMS spokesperson, Samuel Ting. “Over the coming months, AMS will be able to tell us conclusively whether these positrons are a signal for dark matter, or whether they have some other origin.”


#96 Mainly Mattias

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:22 PM

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the slo mo made it even more pedo creepy. lol
“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think you've lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” ― Asha Tyson

#97 Red Light Racicot

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:13 PM

In case anyone is interested, I have found a very cool space simulation program called Space Engine.



Unfortunately, there are fairly specific requirements. For example, I cant seem to get much of those exotic surface features.

System requirements


CPU 2 GHz/3 GHz
RAM 2 Gb/2 Gb
Video 512 Mb/1024 Mb
OpenGL 3.0/3.0
OS WindowsXP/Windows 7

Edited by Red Light Racicot, 05 April 2013 - 02:25 PM.

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