For those wishing to take a little break, and to contemplate Nature… join me here for a brief exploration of the mysterious Eagle Nebula, which is thought to be a star nursery.
The Eagle Nebula is principally known for its marvelous stellar clouds made up of ionized gases in beautiful shapes, and the region originally was named due to its resemblance to an Eagle. Without more advanced equipment, one might never guess just how gloriously beautiful it is. Here is a picture without much in the way of enhancement, showing only the stars as one would see them with a small telescope or the naked eye, as Messier, the French astronomer who made an astronomical cataloging system in which this cluster is called M16, would have seen them in the early 1800s.
The more famous 1995 Hubble image of the Eagle Nebula, which is color enhanced so that one can see the different areas more clearly, is spectacular, but this region is not black and white either. The fact is that there IS color in the cloudy star forming region. Here is a picture which might be thought of as reproducing its true color more closely.
The star cluster associated with the Eagle Nebula has approximately 460 stars in it, the brightest and hottest of which has a luminosity a million times that of the Sun, so the stars you see here are tremendously hot, and it is thought that they are newly formed… hence the sobriquet it has earned, “The Pillars of Creation”.
In 1995, the Hubble telescope photographed a scene from the Eagle Nebula, a star forming region of intense radiation from young stars, stellar clusters, wild solar winds, cold dark hydrogen clouds, and dust. This became one of the most popular and most loved space images ever, if not the most popular.
Now using a newer camera, installed in 2009, new pictures have been taken of more or less exactly the same region, but with higher definition. The newer camera is better able to capture light from hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur, and the various other ionized gases that are present. In addition to this, infrared imaging has allowed us to peer through the dust and gas, and see the hot inner stars themselves…
And finally, just below, a comparison of the two main pictures, the one on the left taken in 1995, and the newer 2014 image on the right. In essence, they appear to be substantially similar, but apparently upon closer examination, some jets, which cut through the clouds of dust and gas, have lengthened in the 19 years since the first picture was taken, one to such an extent that it is estimated that it has travelled at speeds of 450,000 miles per hour and that it has extended 60 billion miles further. There have been suggestions that these jet formations occurred during the birth of protostars.
Now just imagine for a moment, what we could discover, and rediscover, if our race were not enslaved and used by foreign peoples… if we were no longer preyed upon and parasited by them financially and in every other way… if we said “no” and meant it.
Sometimes what may seem dark at first is actually brilliantly bright, luminous, and colorful… A dark region of space that seems to be dead can be alive. With the help of our Divine Ones, may we come back to life as a people again and soon earn the right to freedom, and autonomy. May we again be able to explore the wonders of the universe, and live as we were meant to.
And now, to help us envision the future we can make, some space themed music by Geodesium, who makes music for planetariums…