Stories tagged nebula

Dec
02
2007

Er... Santa?: Well, he's looked better
Er... Santa?: Well, he's looked betterCourtesy AAAS/Science (ESA XMM-Newton and NASA Spitzer data)
That’s right, the real Santa, floating around the Orion nebula. Well, the real Santa as long as you believe that Santa lives in space, is thousands of miles tall, and is made of scorching hot gas.

I guess what we’re dealing with here may be something more along the lines of a giant gas cloud in space, the x-ray image of which resembles Santa Claus. Sort of. According to some scientist.

I don’t buy it. Sure, the astronomers might point out that its shape really isn’t the important thing here, and that the presence of the gas cloud may prove a hypothesized but previously unobserved origin for clouds of gas in space, but I say that it’s irresponsible science. This thing is supposed to look like Santa? Bad news for Santa if it’s true. It means that his head has been separated from his body, and that both pieces were then ground into ultra-fine particles before being blasted into space. And, were that the case, I wouldn’t expect the end result to be blue. I’d guess red. Sure, x-ray images don’t have color, and blue was probably picked out just to highlight the cloud’s shape, but these people are supposed to be scientists. They should know what a vaporized Santa would look like.

These astronomers just have their heads in the wrong places. Learn more, and judge them for yourself here.

Jan
13
2006


Orion Nebula: Image courtesy NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team


Orion Nebula 2: Image courtesy NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Personally, I think the Hubble Space Telescope is incredible — the images it captures fascinate me. These images of the Orion Nebula were just recently released, and if you're into images from space, or just think these are cool, visit the media site and look at the larger resolution and magnified images they have available there, as well as the detail images with description. The level of detail is amazing. Totally gets my imagination going. Here is the press release on the image as well.