APOD: The Ghosts of Cassiopeia (2019 Oct 25)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 3721
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: The Ghosts of Cassiopeia (2019 Oct 25)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:05 am

Image The Ghosts of Cassiopeia

Explanation: These bright rims and flowing shapes look ghostly on a cosmic scale. A telescopic view toward the constellation Cassiopeia, the colorful skyscape features swept-back, comet-shaped clouds IC 59 (left) and IC 63. About 600 light-years distant, the clouds aren't actually ghosts. They are slowly disappearing though, under the influence of energetic radiation from hot,luminous star gamma Cas. Gamma Cas is physically located only 3 to 4 light-years from the nebulae, the bright star just above and left in the frame. Slightly closer to gamma Cas, IC 63 is dominated by red H-alpha light emitted as hydrogen atoms ionized by the star's ultraviolet radiation recombine with electrons. Farther from the star, IC 59 shows proportionally less H-alpha emission but more of the characteristic blue tint of dust reflected star light. The field of view spans over 1 degree or 10 light-years at the estimated distance of gamma Cas and friends.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 9897
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: The Ghosts of Cassiopeia (2019 Oct 25)

Post by Ann » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:46 am

Gamma Cas with IC 63 (left) and IC 59 (right).
Photo: Thomas Henne.
IC 63. Photo: Dean C. Rowe.


















Gamma Cas is one of my favorite stars. As a type B0 star, it is hotter and bluer than all other stars except the extremely rare O-type stars. Also Gamma Cas is very bright for its class. Very few early B-type stars are as bright as Gamma Cas in visual light, more than 3,000 times solar according to its Hipparcos parallax. Of course there are B0-type stars that are brighter, such a magnificent Alnilam of Orion, but Alnilam is a supergiant star (type Ia) whereas Gamma Cas is a subgiant, belonging to brightness class IV. According to Jim Kaler, the total (bolometric) luminosity of Gamma Cas might be about 65,000 solar, and its mass might be 20 solar masses. That's a lot. Gamma Cas strikes me, at least, as a rare beast when it comes to temperature and brightness.

I posted Thomas Henne's picture of Gamma Cas with IC 63 and IC 59 because it shows off the different colors of IC 63 and IC 59 so well. And I posted Dean C Rowe's black and white picture of IC 63, because it really makes IC 63 look ghostlike! 👻

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Color Commentator

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 5101
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: The Ghosts of Cassiopeia (2019 Oct 25)

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:09 pm

Interesting picture; just in time for Halloween! :mrgreen:
IC59IC63TheGhostsOfCassiopeiaTommasoStella2019_1024.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16427
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

No one's gettin' fat except Gamma Cas

Post by neufer » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:29 pm

The Mamas & The Papas – Creeque Alley Lyrics
from album: The Mamas & The Papas Deliver (1967)

John and Mitchy were gettin' kind of itchy
Just to leave their folk music behind;
Zal and Denny workin' for a penny
Tryin' to get a fish on the line
In a coffee house Sebastian sat
And after every number they'd pass the hat
McGuinn and McGuire just a-gettin' higher in L.A.,
You know where that's at
And no one's gettin' fat except Gamma Cas

Zal he said, "Denny, you know there aren't many
Who can sing a song the way that you do; let's go south."
Denny said, "Zally, golly, don't you think that I wish
I could play guitar like you."
Zal, Denny, and Sebastian sat (at the Night Owl)
And after every number they'd pass the hat
McGuinn and McGuire still a-gettin higher in L.A.,
You know where that's at
And no one's gettin' fat except Gamma Cas

When Cass was a sophomore, planned to go to Swarthmore
But she changed her mind one day
Standin' on the turnpike, thumb out to hitchhike,
"Take me to New York right away."
When Denny met Cass he gave her love bumps;
Called John and Zal and that was the Mugwumps.
McGuinn and McGuire couldn't get no higher
But that's what they were aimin' at
And no one's gettin' fat except Gamma Cas

Mugwumps, high jumps, low slumps, big bumps---
Don't you work as hard as you play
Make up, break up, everything is shake up;
Guess it had to be that way
Sebastian and Zal formed the Spoonful;
Michelle, John, and Denny gettin' very tuneful
McGuinn and McGuire just a-catchin' fire in L.A.,
You know where that's at
And everybody's gettin' fat except Gamma Cas.

Broke, busted, disgusted, agents can't be trusted
And Mitchy wants to go to the sea.
Cass can't make it; she says we'll have to fake it---
We knew she'd come eventually
Greasin' on American Express cards;
Tents low rent, but keeping out the heat's hard
Duffy's good vibrations and our imaginations
Can't go on indefinitely
And California dreamin' is becomin' a reality...
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 9897
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: The Ghosts of Cassiopeia (2019 Oct 25)

Post by Ann » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:42 pm

Funny, Art! I guess Gamma Cas is kind of fat for a star! :D

And as for that song... Ah, those were the days, right? The sixties! Sigh! The innocence of the Mamas & the Papas, oh my!

Ann
Color Commentator


TheZuke!
Ensign
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: APOD: The Ghosts of Cassiopeia (2019 Oct 25)

Post by TheZuke! » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:58 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:09 pm
Interesting picture; just in time for Halloween! :mrgreen:

IC59IC63TheGhostsOfCassiopeiaTommasoStella2019_1024.jpg
I don't see "Ghosts",
I see a Phoenix rising from the flames...

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 5101
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: The Ghosts of Cassiopeia (2019 Oct 25)

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:42 pm

TheZuke! wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:58 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:09 pm
Interesting picture; just in time for Halloween! :mrgreen:

IC59IC63TheGhostsOfCassiopeiaTommasoStella2019_1024.jpg
I don't see "Ghosts",
I see a Phoenix rising from the flames...
I guess sometimes you have to take a cross eyed view of the universe! :shock:
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
Joe Stieber
Science Officer
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Maple Shade, NJ

Re: No one's gettin' fat except Gamma Cas

Post by Joe Stieber » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:57 pm

However, this picture shows Cunningham House in the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College, which predates the Sproul Observatory. The Sproul Observatory is where van de Kamp made his observations with the 24-inch refractor (I looked through that scope many decades ago), which has since been dismantled and moved. Currently, the main scope at Swarthmore is a 24-inch reflector in the Peter van de Camp Observatory atop the Science Center building.

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16427
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: No one's gettin' fat except Gamma Cas

Post by neufer » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:33 am

Joe Stieber wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:57 pm

However, this picture shows Cunningham House in the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College, which predates the Sproul Observatory. The Sproul Observatory is where van de Kamp made his observations with the 24-inch refractor (I looked through that scope many decades ago), which has since been dismantled and moved. Currently, the main scope at Swarthmore is a 24-inch reflector in the Peter van de Camp Observatory atop the Science Center building.
  • The dome did seem a tad small for a 24-inch refractor.
https://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/users/98/elizw/Swat.history/Cunningham.html wrote:
<<Susan Cunningham had been a Professor of Mathematics at the college since 1871, and had been involved with Swarthmore from its founding in 1864. Cunningham equiped her observatory with a 6-inch equatorial refracting telescope. In 1906, Cunningham persuaded William Cameron Sproul to fund research quality astronomical equipment for Swarthmore. This equipment included a 24-inch telescope and additional equipment housed in the new Sproul Observatory. In addition, Sproul provided a photographic telescope for Cunningham Observatory, installed in 1908. Stephen Loines donated a 6-inch equatorial telescope to Swarthmore in 1910, which Miller described as "a most convenient instrument ... used rather effectively by students who merely want to 'poke around the sky.'"

Cunningham equipped her observatory with a 6-inch equatorial refracting telescope, a sidereal clock, a meantime clock, and a chronometer, Miller wrote. Astronomy Professor Wulff Heintz said that this telescope was never used for research--it was of instructional quality, even in 1885. Cunningham Observatory continued to be used by astronomy-loving students for independent work after the construction of Sproul Observatory. However, the photographic telescope was soon outdated, and Miller loaned it to the Lowell Observatory of Arizona, where Lampland was looking for a 9th planet with photographic telescopes. The first photograph of the planet Pluto was taken with the Swarthmore telescope, although Lampland died before measuring that photographic plate. When Tombaugh later found evidence for the existence of Pluto in the 1930s, he located the earlier photographic plate taken with the Swarthmore telescope in the Lowell archives, and used it to help determine Pluto's orbit. The telescope was returned to Swarthmore upon Lampland's death.

Professor Heintz arrived at Swarthmore in the 1960s. By then, he said, the observatory portion of the building was totally dilapidated, though other portion of the building was still used as a residence. "I would bet that nobody had set foot in there for years," he said, though he had heard that the telescopes were occasionally used for watching meteors and comets in the 1950s. In 1972, the Cunningham building became the home of the Scott Arboretum. Professor Heintz wanted only the telescopes. So, the non-functional photographic telescope was mothballed in the basement of Sproul. Around 1985, Lowell Observatory asked if the telescope could be displayed in its lobby, and Heintz agreed to donate the telescope to them, "to get it out of the basement." The original refracting telescope which Susan Cunningham purchased in 1888 was taken by crane from Cunningham Observatory to the roof of the computer science wing of Sproul, where it remains today. Heintz said that this telescope may still be used by any student who has been taught how to use it properly--the key is available to such students from the department secretary.>>
Art Neuendorffer