The Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7635, is an emission nebula located 8,000 light years away in the Cassiopeia constellation. The bubble is created by stellar wind pushing out from a massive hot central star, visible here just left of the center of the image, a purple star partly obscured by blue gas clouds. The nebula is seven light years across—about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. This stunning image was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to celebrate its 26th year in space.
A sunset on Mars, taken by the Curiosity Rover. Sublimely beautiful.
Once in a while a piece of software comes along and just blows my mind – lately it’s been NASA’s World Wind software which has captured my imagination. This amazing software uses NASA Landsat 7 satellite images to let you zoom in to almost any place on the globe and view the surrounding area in 3D. It also allows you to play around with lots of scientific information for visualization of weather systems or temperature data.
The very best thing about this is that it’s totally free of charge to download and use. Be warned though – the data it needs will require several gigabytes of diskspace and you’ll need a decent internet connection (512kbps+)(or a lot of patience) to be able to download all the data for the high-resolution images. But it’s still worth it to be able to explore countless places around the globe from the comfort of your home!
Well, she might not blow just yet, but over the last weeks scientist have been watching the Mount St. Helens volcano in the US state Washington for signs of a possible violent eruption, which might happen in a a couple of days or weeks.
In the meantime, there’s the Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam at Johnston Ridge a few kilometers away, which offers an excellent view of the action at the volcano: