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Space

Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation 97

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-god-it's-full-of-stars dept.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in April, 1990. In 1995, it presented us with one of its most iconic images: a close-up of gas pillars in the Eagle Nebula, dubbed the "Pillars of Creation." Now, as HST approaches its 25th anniversary, astronomers have re-shot the pillars at a much higher resolution. Here are direct images links: visible light, comparison with old image, near-infrared light. "The infrared view transforms the pillars into eerie, wispy silhouettes seen against a background of myriad stars. That's because the infrared light penetrates much of the gas and dust, except for the densest regions of the pillars. Newborn stars can be seen hidden away inside the pillars."

That's not the only new image from Hubble today: NASA has also released the most high definition view of the Andromeda Galaxy that we've ever seen. Here's a web-friendly image, but that doesn't really do it justice. The full image is 69,536 px by 22,230 px. To see Andromeda in all its glory, visit the ESA's dedicated, zoomable site that contains all the image data. At the highest zoom levels, you can make out a mind-blowing number of individual stars. Andromeda is over 2 million light-years distant.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by scubamage (#48137425) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows
Not trying to throw my hat in behind the report, but it does say it's an interim report. So they may still be refining numbers. It's very possible that some director said "have a copy on my desk by tomorrow even if the numbers aren't completely ready, just give your best guess." That happens quite frequently in my job at least.

Comment: Re:not buying the report (Score 2) 610

by scubamage (#48137357) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows
Part time isn't really the issue that it is made out to be. The major problem it causes is that our current grid infrastructures aren't built to handle bursty loads. So, it means there is a ton of room here for innovation in energy storage (both batteries and capacitor banks). The disruption to wind patterns so far seems to be a non-issue. It may actually slightly lengthen growing seasons for farmers nearby because it appears to hinder the formation of frost. In fact, the only actual legitimate concern about wind that I've seen was that the disruption to wind flows from a substantial wind farm makes it difficult to place farms too near one another.

The subsidies, tax breaks, etc that you're talking about? That's in the US. This is for the entire EU. But if you want to put it in US terms, maybe you should also recognize tax subisides given for oil exploration, oil logistics (keystone pipeline XL anyone?), public health concerns from smog and carbon monoxide, military protection of oil and liquified natural gas trade routes, military campaign to protect oil pipelines (Georgia most recently), cleanup efforts when some idiot decides it's a good idea to drill somewhere that no submersibles can reach, etc. In fact, the actual price of a gallon of oil in the US is somewhere in the range of $16 when all ancillary costs are factored in.

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