Wednesday, March 27, 2013

For You Night Runners

Nope, not a how-to on headlamps or flashlights or route-finding.

What that leaves, of course, is astronomy (one of my favs).  From where else but Bad Astronomy, we learn more about the constellation Orion.  First a macro view of the familiar constellation (in this view, turned on its side):

 Then a close up of the middle star of his dagger (the smaller 3-star-row pointing down to the right in image above:

The Orion Nebula (also called M42) is one of the most recognizable objects in the entire sky. The middle “star” in Orion’s dagger hanging below his belt, this cloud of gas and dust is so bright that even from more than 13 quadrillion kilometers (8 thousand trillion miles) away it’s easily visible to the naked eye.

It’s a vast sprawling complex of interstellar material, lit by the fierce energy of stars born within. It’s amazing through a small telescope, stunning through a big one, and gorgeous in pictures…but then adjectives seem a little dingy and small when trying to describe the view in the infrared....Jaw-dropping? Mind-blowing? I can’t come up with a hyphen-dashing word appropriate for this. It’s chillingly beautiful.

I've previously blogged about Orion here, and the fascination I have with the star Sirius.  Now I gotta check out the middle star of Orion's dagger.

So many things to check out and learn about, and so little time.


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