Beautiful Space Photos

Here are some beautiful space photos and videos that have been posted on the Internet recently. Enjoy!

Manatee Nebula
The Great Manatee Nebula

This is a new view of a 20,000-year old supernova remnant called the “Great Manatee Nebula,” named after the endangered Florida Manatee that this nebula resembles.  Also known as “W50,” this is one of the largest supernova remnants ever viewed by the the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). It is nearly 700 light years across and covers two degrees on the sky – that’s the span of four full Moons!  Click here to see a comparison of this nebula with an actual Florida Manatee.

Supernova Remnant
A supernova remnant in the Name A Star Live constellation Cassiopeia. Image Credit: X-ray – NASA, JPL-Caltech, NuSTAR; Optical – Ken Crawford (Rancho Del Sol Obs.)

The aftermath of a cosmic cataclysm, supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is a comfortable 11,000 light-years away. Light from the Cas A supernova, the death explosion of a massive star, first reached Earth just 330 years ago. Still expanding, the explosion’s debris cloud spans about 15 light-years near the center of this composite image. The scene combines color data of the starry field and fainter filaments of material at optical energies with image data from the orbiting NuSTAR X-ray telescope. Mapped to false colors, the X-ray data in blue hues trace the fragmented outer boundary of the expanding shock wave, glowing at energies up to 10,000 times the energy of the optical photons.

Asteroid flying by Earth
NASA image of an asteroid flying by Earth

On February 15 an asteroid about half the size of a football field will fly past Earth only 17,200 miles above our planet’s surface. There’s no danger of a collision, but the space rock, designated 2012 DA14, has NASA’s attention.

“This is a record-setting close approach,” says Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program at JPL. “Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, we’ve never seen an object this big get so close to Earth.”  Click here to see neat NASA video about this event + read more info.

Landscapes: Volume 3 from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

Landscapes has issued another one of their beautiful videos showing images of landscapes here on Earth and the nighttime sky: Be sure to check this video out!

Here is a touching video made in honor of a young Dutch designer who passed away last year from cancer.  The video is entitled “Stardust” and was directed by Mischa Rozema of Amsterdam-based media company PostPanic.  The film’s subject is the interstellar probe, Voyager 1. For more information, see PostPanic’s Vimeo page.

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