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APOD: Birthplace of massive stars August 29, 2008

Posted by Sarah in science.
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Today’s APOD image is very impressive – AND taken in the infrared with the excellent Spitzer Space Telescope. It shows one of our galaxy’s best-known regions where massive stars are being born, called W5. It lies about 6500 light years away and measures over 200 light years across.

Generations of Stars in W5 Credit Lori Allen, Xavier Koenig (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) et al., JPL-Caltech, NASA

Generations of Stars in W5 Credit Lori Allen, Xavier Koenig (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) et al., JPL-Caltech, NASA

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Great Spitzer image: Organic molecules in the Pinwheel Galaxy July 25, 2008

Posted by Sarah in science.
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This picture was on the BBC news website today. It’s a fab picture taken in the infrared with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which operates in the infrared. The press release is here. There’s also quite an entertaining -albeit a bit cringeworthy- video on the Spitzer website at Caltech. Well done, Karl!

It shows how polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, become quite suddenly depleted towards the outer rim of the galaxy.

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