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Cool Pic of the Day

v838 .jpg
Light Echos from V838 Monocerotis

Drudge had a thumbnail up, but his link did not have the picture or even a link to the picture. Then, every link I followed, had either no picture or misinformation. (or both) Since I recognized the picture, I figured I'd put an explainer up for anyone left curious after seeing it on Drudge. In addition to being eye candy, it is a cool phenomenon...

The picture is capturing light echoing just like sound does here on earth. The news here is that it is still being seen 3 years after it was first documented. You don't get the full effect from the single picture because you can't see an echo in only one picture. The original series was shot over a few months in 2002 and released in March 2003. But one picture does not an echo make... if you want the full effect, here is an animation. The full story on today's release is here.

If you wander thru that site, (or maybe jpl's) you can find highres pictures of all 4 images. Large enough to make good 8x10's for you science junkies. (I'll dig up the link, or I'll email the set to anyone interested.)


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Comments (12)

Animation doesn't animate f... (Below threshold)
JM Hanes:

Animation doesn't animate for me [sad sniff, sniff] I'm using IE - but maybe it knows I'm on a mac?

Dude... so if that's the ne... (Below threshold)

Dude... so if that's the new Santana album cover, where's the drawing of the naked woman???!?

check out the angryman clea... (Below threshold)

check out the angryman clearinghouse for a big bang


It's quite beautiful, isn't... (Below threshold)

It's quite beautiful, isn't it?

Wow. Thanks for the animati... (Below threshold)

Wow. Thanks for the animation. The cool thing is that the effect is not of the explosion itself, although that is what has happened. The views are of an existent, if still expanding, sphere of debris being illuminated from the inside out in successive layers as light, the "light echo", races out from the center. In other words we are watching an effect that is moving at the speed of light.
Beautiful and wondrous.

You can find many good pict... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

You can find many good pictures and links at the Astronomy Picture of the Day site.


Rodney beat me to it. A coo... (Below threshold)

Rodney beat me to it. A cool site where I get images for my rotating desktop image. I try to go every day.

Heh, look closely and tell ... (Below threshold)

Heh, look closely and tell me that's not my picture.

I'd much prefer if they wou... (Below threshold)

I'd much prefer if they would stop with the phony colors. The photo is touched up by an artist to enhance and replace the real colors with colors that make it look nice.

Any astronomy pic (except o... (Below threshold)

Any astronomy pic (except of planets within our own solar system) that has actual color is enhanced. You look at any of these objects through a telescope, no matter how strong it is, you're never going to see that much color.

The enhancement is ususally intended merely to enhance the colors that are already present but too washed out by distance to be seen otherwise.

Nancy Pellosi gives the Dem... (Below threshold)

Nancy Pellosi gives the Democratic Party's PLAN for fixing Social Security.

so that's a picture of the ... (Below threshold)
tee bee:

so that's a picture of the Democratic Party's plan for fixing Social Security? 'cause it looked like an awesome astronomy pic. but it explains a few things.






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