Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pathological image of a dead sun

Cold body of a dead sun
APOD 14 January 2012

A little white dwarf in the middle of this NASA image is all that is left of a once bright and warm sun. It is surrounded by a glowing cloud of the explosion that destroyed it. The cloud will soon evaporate and the sun is no more. any planets that may once have rotated it were utterly destroyed at the death cramps of the sun that ran out of hydrogen fuel.

Look into the future of our Sun?

Yes, this is according to current understanding of the life cycle of stars how our dear Sun will look in about five billion human years from now.

Astronomers call the object in the image Planetary nebula because the dust clouds left from the explosion surround it like planets surround a sun. The Little Ghost Nebula is officially registered as NGC 6369.

William Herschel (1732-1822)

Famed German-born British astronomer William Herschel discovered this beautiful nebula in the constellation of Ophiucus. The finding witnesses his extraordinarily accurate skills of observation concerning how dim the nebula is and the quality of telescopes he could use.

Ophiuchus is a large, obscure constellation hiding a number of gems. Typically depicted holding Serpens, the constellation represnts Esculapius [Asclepius], the Greek god of medicine. Son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis, Chiron, the centaur taught him. His skill at healing was legendary; he could even raise the dead. This last skill roused the anger of Zeus, who slew Esculapius with a thunderbolt. His sons carried on their father's medical tradition, serving the wounded of the Greek army before the walls of Troy.
Hawaiian Astronomical Society page

Sceptre of Asclepius is today
an internationally recognized symbol for
the medical profession and pharmacology

This little sun in the constellation of Ophiucus died a normal death and all that remains of it is a glowing ghost!

No comments:

Post a Comment