Because I want to…

By DeusExMacintosh

There was an interesting article in The Australian today that the “Bright burning star at the birth of King Charles II was supernova, Cassiopeia A” but when I went looking for a better picture I found this one of centaurus instead.

NASA APOD, April 13th – Centaurus Radio Jets Rising
Credit: Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell & Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF); ATCA northern middle lobe pointing courtesy R. Morganti (ASTRON); Parkes data courtesy N. Junkes (MPIfR); ATCA & Moon photo: Shaun Amy, CSIRO

In this picture, radio telescopes from the Australian Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) near Narrabri, NSW, Australia, were captured in front of a full Moon, with a radio image of Cen A superposed at its real angular size in the background. The above picture includes the most detailed map yet of any galaxy-class radio jets in the universe, taking several years and over 1,000 hours exposure time to complete. Details in the photo may yield clues as to how radio jets interact with stars and intergalactic dust. The light dots in the image depict not stars, but typically other radio bright galaxies in the even more distant universe.

Eye candy, du jour.


  1. Posted April 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    APOD on this at – very pretty without that annoying inset, and probably sourced from Chandra

  2. Posted April 18, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Dave, I couldn’t find one without the inset and The Australian pic was too small to do it proper justice (to my eyes at least).

  3. Posted April 19, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    DEM: It’s always worth a wander around Chandra. The guys who do the color balance deserve to be recognized as artists, not just scientists, and could teach a thing or two in abstract art classes. I wonder how many such scientists get honorary degrees from arts schools, and whether they should seek funding from arts councils.

    (It’s not just astronomy, but also microscopy and some complex data visualizations, where the gifted artistic choices of scientists are on display.)

    I’d say something else about beauty, but xkcd has already done it better.

  4. Posted April 19, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Oh, yeah, and these sorts of photos are yet another instance of Babylon 5 giving you a much deeper *background* than Star Trek.

  5. Patrick
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I love that xkcd, one of my favourites.

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