Space Porn

Well, the moving thing and some insane workload at work have kept me from posting enough here lately–and may continue to do so until after we actually move.

However that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped seeing things that fascinate, challenge, or enrage me, and when I get a chance I’m going to keep posting about them here.

So let’s start with a quick one of something that pretty much always fascinates me: space porn.

No, not Barbarella. I mean the images of astounding astronomical things. I have a serious weakness for that stuff–I suspect it’s partly the fact that I’m a sensawunda junkie from the old days, and partly because I saw way too many covers by Vincent Di Fate and people like him during my formative years.

So I always check the Astronomy Picture Of The Day, and I keep my eyes out for other sources of the stuff.

I was pretty blown away by a recent APOD, showing one of the new Hubble images. Check it out:

The Butterfly Nebula

If that doesn’t give you a little thrill, you’re not doing it right.

And, of course, the WOW factor of the image only gets bigger the more you know about what it means–that it represents the death of a star, that it’s been going on for over 2000 years, and that those pretty wings are actually clouds of superheated gas tearing through space at over 600,000mph, lit from within by the radiation sent out of the dying star’s core.

Dude, that’s A SUN THAT’S BEEN EXPLODING FOR 2000 YEARS! Damn.

You can pop over to NASA to see some of the other recent Hubble images (and to get really big versions if you want them), or you can see them in a special presentation at the Sacramento Bee. Here’s a couple from that Bee presentation:

The Carina Nebula

Stephan’s Quintet

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2 Responses to “Space Porn”

  1. Lachlan O'Dea says:

    Awesome, space porn is the best! Time for a new desktop background :-)

  2. Mr. McLaren says:

    And you have the snazzy huge monitor, too, don’t you? You can use the full res ones!

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