RIVER OF STARS

RIVER OF STARS

Brad Goldpaint of Goldpaint Photography took this fantastic image of the Milky Way rising behind the Monument at Smith Rock State Park, located in Central Oregon, USA. It is a panorama of 12 images featuring the Crooked River, the popular Monument rock structure, and the rising Milky Way under the North Star, Polaris. The rock structures in the background are lit from small traces of light pollution from nearby housing.

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BIRTH OF A STAR

On a clear night if you look up at the sky, you will perhaps see something like this

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well, you don’t actually see those many stars unless you are lucky enough to be at a place far away from civilization and its light pollution, but anyway, gazing at a clear night sky is always going to be awesome for one reason – all those beautiful stars..

So, ever wondered how those stars are formed? What makes them shine so bright  that you can see them from millions of miles away?

here’s the answer

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Astronomers think that the birth of a star begins as a dense cloud of gas in the arms of spiral galaxies. Such clouds of dust and gas are called nebulae. Dense parts of these clouds undergo gravitational collapse and compress to form a rotating gas globule.

 

The globule is cooled by emitting radio waves and infrared radiation. It is compressed by gravitational forces and also by shock waves of pressure from supernova or the hot gas released from nearby bright stars. These forces cause the roughly-spherical globule to collapse and rotate. The process of collapse takes from between 10,000 to 1,000,000 years.

As the collapse proceeds, the temperature and pressure within the globule increases, as the atoms are in closer proximity. Also, the globule rotates faster and faster. This spinning action causes an increase in centrifugal forces (a radial force on spinning objects) that causes the globule to have a central core and a surrounding flattened disk of dust (called a protoplanetary disk or accretion disk). The central core becomes the star; the protoplanetary disk may eventually coalesce into orbiting planets, asteroids, etc.

The contracting star heats up due to friction and forms a glowing protostar. This stage lasts for roughly 50 million years. This is the basic process which every star undergoes before its formation. Further development of the star depends on its size and mass. The following chart sums it up for us.

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Stargazing is one of the best things about astronomy.

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Amazing Auroras

Aurorae Boraelis, more commonly known as Northern Lights, put on the most amazing light shows one can ever see from our planet. Pictures such as the following take my breath away everytime i look at them.

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Tommy Eliassen of Tommy Eliassen Photographycaptured this striking image of the Northern Lights and the Milky Way, as well as a meteor streaking through the sky above Ifjord, Finnmark, Norway on September 25, 2011

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While enjoying the spaceweather on a gorgeous summer evening in mid-July, astronomer Philippe Moussette captured this colorful looking north from the Observatoire Mont Cosmos, Quebec, Canada. In the foreground, lights along the northern horizon give an orange cast to the low clouds. But far above the clouds, at altitudes of 100 kilometers or more, are alluring green and purple hues of the  northern lights, a glow powered by energetic particles at the edge of space. In the background are familiar stars of the northern sky.

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The Aurora are formed from fast moving, electrically charged particles that emanate from the sun. These are driven towards the poles by the Earth’s magnetic field – their various colours are a result of the different gases in the upper atmosphere. Sounds pretty cool, huh? In the northern hemisphere they are called the Aurora Borealis and in the southern hemisphere they are called the Aurora Australis. The Aurora Borealis forms in an oval shaped halo, and is most common in the Arctic region. There being very little light pollution up there probably helps with spotting them too

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These heavenly beauties make me want to look at them forever. They fill in me a sense of wonder and astonishment. An aurora sighting is sure magical.

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