A hidden treasure in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Jan 17, 2013
Nearly 200 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. As the Milky Way’s gravity gently tugs on its neighbour’s gas clouds, they collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a kaleidoscope of colours, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA, ESA. Acknowledgement: Josh Lake

(Phys.org)—Nearly 200 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. Vast clouds of gas within it slowly collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a riot of colours, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The (LMC) is ablaze with star-forming regions. From the , the brightest stellar nursery in our cosmic neighbourhood, to LHA 120-N 11, part of which is featured in this Hubble image, the small and irregular galaxy is scattered with glowing nebulae, the most noticeable sign that new stars are being born.

The LMC is in an ideal position for astronomers to study the phenomena surrounding star formation. It lies in a fortuitous location in the sky, far enough from the plane of the Milky Way that it is neither outshone by too many nearby stars, nor obscured by the dust in the Milky Way's centre. It is also close enough to study in detail (less than a tenth of the distance of the , the closest ), and lies almost face-on to us, giving us a bird's eye view.

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Nearly 200 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. As the Milky Way’s gravity gently tugs on its neighbour’s gas clouds, they collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a kaleidoscope of colours. This video zooms in from a view of the night sky into the Large Magellanic Cloud, and focuses in on part of LHA 120-N11, a region of glowing dust and gas with ongoing star formation. Credit: NASA, ESA, Digitized Sky Survey 2

LHA 120-N 11 (known as N11 for short) is a particularly bright region of the LMC, consisting of several adjacent pockets of gas and star formation. NGC 1769 (in the centre of this image) and NGC 1763 (to the right) are among the brightest parts. 

In the centre of this image, a dark finger of dust blots out much of the light. While nebulae are mostly made of hydrogen, the simplest and most plentiful element in the Universe, dust clouds are home to heavier and more complex elements, which go on to form like the Earth. Much finer than household dust (it is more like smoke), this interstellar dust consists of material expelled from previous generations of stars as they died.

This wide field view of part of the Large Magellanic Cloud includes the location of the N11 star formation region. This image was created from digitised photographs through red and blue filters. The field of view is about three degrees across. Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin

The data in this image were identified by Josh Lake, an astronomy teacher at Pomfret School in Connecticut, USA, in the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition. The competition invited members of the public to dig out unreleased scientific data from Hubble's vast archive, and to process them into stunning images. 

Josh Lake won first prize in the competition with an image contrasting the light from glowing hydrogen and nitrogen in N11. The image above combines the data he identified with additional exposures taken in blue, green and near infrared light.

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User comments : 17

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cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2013
There's no gas, it's all plasma. But, why should we fuss over silly facts?
Q-Star
2 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2013
There's no gas, it's all plasma. But, why should we fuss over silly facts?


I don't know why, but since that is all ya ever do, maybe ya might suggest an answer to your own question?
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2013
Getting facts straight is never necessary in science, that's why faith is so valuable.
Q-Star
3 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2013
Getting facts straight is never necessary in science, that's why faith is so valuable.


That helps me understand your perspective, greatly. Thanks.
cantdrive85
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2013
Yep, that's why I don't listen to a word you utter. You rely on faith that someone who claims gas is the same as plasma knows their ass gas from the plasma they observe. I understand that plasma is FUNDAMENTALLY different and behaves in absolutely no way similarly to that of gas. Hence, I totally lack faith in these JA's that continuously speak of gas where there is none.
Q-Star
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2013
Hence, I totally lack faith in these JA's that continuously speak of gas where there is none.


Make up your mind (if ya have one) because that is not what ya said in your previous post.

Getting facts straight is never necessary in science, that's why faith is so valuable.


Which is it, "faith is so valuable"? Or "I totally lack faith"? Pick one and try to stick with it for at least two consecutive posts.
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2013
Faith is important for those who believe the standard theory, it must be since there is a complete dearth of facts. Faith is valuable for BBT, GR, and religion, none of which I choose to believe in. The fact that I lack faith doesn't change why it's so important for your beliefs.
Q-Star
3 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2013
Faith is important for those who believe the standard theory, it must be since there is a complete dearth of facts. Faith is valuable for BBT, GR, and religion, none of which I choose to believe in. The fact that I lack faith doesn't change why it's so important for your beliefs.


So tell me some facts. (I already know that 99.999% of the universe is one of your "facts", so ya can skip that one.)
robeph
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2013
It's interesting how he lays off the idea that it is faith that keeps people adherent to the sciences he denies; all while holding tightly with nothing less than pure faith to something that involves so very little empirics, spurious maths, and some pretty far out there assertions.

Cantdrive, you're the worst of the worst. Not even because you adhere to pure ridiculous pseudo science, but because you don't even see how foolish you look with your contradictory arguments.
jsdarkdestruction
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2013
cantdrive, even if your attacking the standard theory was successful/valid it will not make yours right. so you are wasting your time there. you should be out there working to improve yours instead of bothering everyone here. what do you hope to gain by attacking the standard theory on a website where you know your posts are looked on with disdain?
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (9) Jan 18, 2013
While nebulae are mostly made of hydrogen, the simplest and most plentiful element in the Universe, dust clouds are home to heavier and more complex elements, which go on to form rocky planets like the Earth.

To darkdestruction: I suspect that the reason cantdrive attacks the standard theory is simply that people are using language as I've quoted above - language that clearly indicates that they have seen these nebulae turn into stars and complex dust clouds turn into planets.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

So far, no one has any record of such events occurring.

No one has witnessed or recorded the collapsing of nebulae and its subsequent transformation into stars. No one has verified said observations either. NO ONE.
So people should stop telling lies. Because that is what it is when it's stated as in the above quote.

I think this is why cantdrive is attacking your precious theory.

Shinichi D_
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2013


I think this is why cantdrive is attacking your precious theory.



No. It's because he is almost as dumb as you.
barakn
5 / 5 (7) Jan 18, 2013
No one has seen a sequoia take 2000 years to grow from a seed into a 100 meter tree. By Kevin's logic, we can't just go into the forest and observe a sequence of sequoia, ranging from seedlings to saplings to mature trees. We can't measure the growth rates of a few individual trees for a couple of years. We can't apply knowledge gleaned from observations of other shorter-lived tree species or other plants. No, per Kevin, we have to ignore the preponderance of evidence and throw our brains out the window. No other alternative explanation, no matter how stupid, can be excluded. Perhaps fully formed sequoia of all sizes spring fully formed from the head of Zeus and fall screaming through the atmosphere to land like giant javelins root-first in the soil of California and Oregon. How could we ever know unless we set loose the Two Thousand Year Old Man to make scientific observations of a sequoia throughout its entire life?
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2013
Creationists shouldn't comment on science, it is hilarious and makes deconverts from religion, see Dawkin's Convert's Corner.

Star formation is not only astronomy 101, it is in everyone's encyclopedia. [ http://en.wikiped...ormation ]

"There's no gas, it's all plasma."

Any working physicist has to be able to do useful approximations. If it behaves like gas, i.e. rejects EU/PC ideas, it useful to label it "gas". It is also the astronomer and astrophysicist convention.

But why fuss over silly physics of nature, when we can totally make stuff up?
NMvoiceofreason
not rated yet Jan 19, 2013
As usual, the situation is neither one nor the other in a factual sense.

Some of the material is cold enough and not ionized, it is therefore a gas.

Some of the material is hotter and ionized, it is therefore a plasma.

All or nothing dichotomies don't illuminate science, they destroy it.

Majority gaseous, majority plasma, those are valid descriptions.

Please stick to the factual observations of verifiable data.
vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2013
stale and stagnant commentary- How do you expect Science to catch-up with nature and philosophy ? Search Heart- and heart of Universe!
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2013
philosophy isnt science. looking into your heart isnt going to tell us anything sbout cosmology despite your idiotic comment to the otherwise. why do you bother posting here? not a single person here takes your cosmology theory seriously because its not based on actual science.

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