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Orion Nebula Reveals An Infrared Rainbow

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Orion Nebula Reveals An Infrared Rainbow

Postby sunnyd » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:49 pm

Story :

The sparkles of hidden stars are revealed in a picture of the Orion Nebula that reveals the colors of the infrared rainbow.

Do you see those twinkling lights, strung along a line that starts at the top right corner of the image? Those are stars in the earliest stages of their evolution, swathed in clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers focused on those protostars with the infrared-sensitive cameras of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel space telescope.

This color-coded image shows the scene as observed by Spitzer in one set of infrared wavelengths (8.0 and 24 microns, shown here in shades of blue), and by Herschel in somewhat longer wavelengths (70 and 160 microns, shown in green and red, respectively). Herschel monitored the emissions from cold dust particles once a week for six weeks, while Spitzer kept track of the emissions from the warmer dust, filling out the infrared rainbow.

Astronomers found that the stars' brightness in infrared wavelengths varied by more than 20 percent during the observational time frame. That's surprising, because the astronomers expected variations in brightness to play out over a time frame measured in years or even centuries rather than weeks.

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Re: Orion Nebula Reveals An Infrared Rainbow

Postby bluebird » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:45 am

:D Beautiful
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
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