Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Large Magellanic Cloud in Ultraviolet
Posted on 06/10/2013 4:09:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Where are the hottest stars in the nearest galaxies? To help find out, NASA commissioned its Earth-orbiting Swift satellite to compile a multi-image mosaic of the neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) galaxy in ultraviolet light. The above image shows where recently formed stars occur in the LMC, as the most massive of these young stars shine brightly in blue and ultraviolet. In contrast, visible in an image roll-over, a more familiar view of the LMC in visible light better highlights older stars. On the upper left is one of the largest star forming regions known in the entire Local Group of galaxies: the Tarantula Nebula. The Large Magellanic Cloud and its smaller companion the Small Magellanic Cloud are easily visible with the unaided eye to sky enthusiasts with a view of the southern sky. Detailed inspection of the above image is allowing a better galaxy-comprehensive picture for how star formation occurs.
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[Credit: UV: NASA, Swift, S. Immler (Goddard) & M. Siegel (Penn State); Optical: Axel Mellinger (CMU)]
The big one’s loading, looks pretty jumbo.
Great pic thanks SC! I can see the large quite easily here most nights and the small on a good dark night but they sure don’t look like that!
I got kinda interested in astro-photography at one time, to the point where I went to a local astronomy club to hear a talk on it. It was very interesting and the guy had some great photos taken with an 8” scope. After the meeting a lot of members set up their scopes and you could go from scope-to-scope looking at the night sky. However, I also learned that photos, like the one shown here, done with a small telescope required “layering” over 300 still photos taken over days of night viewing. I know myself well enough to know I don’t have the patience for that.
I have trouble getting it together for a 30 second exposure. I use my camera mounted on my telescope with a drive, but I get a lot of extraneous motion, as indicated by jittery star tracks. I think I need to clean up my mount.
With a digital SLR, 30 seconds will get you a very satsifying image of e.g. the Milky Way or the Orion Nebula, but of course nothing like what advanced amateurs get. It’s all made possible by the incredible technology, of course.
Cool! I work with some of the folks involved in this image.