APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

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APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:08 am

Image The Dark Tower in Scorpius

Explanation: In silhouette against a crowded star field toward the constellation Scorpius, this dusty cosmic cloud evokes for some the image of an ominous dark tower. In fact, clumps of dust and molecular gas collapsing to form stars may well lurk within the dark nebula, a structure that spans almost 40 light-years across this gorgeous telescopic portrait. Known as a cometary globule, the swept-back cloud, extending from the lower right to the head (top of the tower) left and above center, is shaped by intense ultraviolet radiation from the OB association of very hot stars in NGC 6231, off the upper edge of the scene. That energetic ultraviolet light also powers the globule's bordering reddish glow of hydrogen gas. Hot stars embedded in the dust can be seen as bluish reflection nebulae. This dark tower, NGC 6231, and associated nebulae are about 5,000 light-years away.

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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by NoelC » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:41 am

Ooh, what a beautiful image, Don! Well done!

-Noel

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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by bystander » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:50 am

Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
His word was still 'Fie, foh, and fum
I smell the blood of a British man.

  • King Lear, Act 3, scene 4
Childe Rowland
English Fairy Tail
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by neufer » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:59 am

----------------------------­-----------------
  • ____ King Lear > Act III, scene IV
    .
    EDGAR: Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
    ___ His word was still,--Fie, foh, and fum,
    ___ I smell the blood of a British man
    .
-----------------------------------------------
  • <<"Childe Rowland (or Roland) is a hero of an old Scottish ballad.
    (The word "child" is used here with the force of a title. It is applied
    to a youth of good birth who has not yet attained knighthood.)
    From such references as are preserved, it would seem that the ballad
    tells of a young lad, guided by Merlin, seeking in Elf-land his kidnapped
    sister and gaining her through great peril. The actual ballad is lost and
    "Poor Tom"/Edgar may here be reciting the first line. If so, it's the
    only line that still exists. (Robert Browning wrote a Gothic poem
    entitled "Child Roland to the Dark Tower Came" inspired by this line
    in King Lear, but this poem has no connection with the old ballad.)
    From the heroic old ballad, "poor Tom" passes to the stock exclamation
    attributed to villainous giants on the track of a hiding hero.>>
    .
    -- p.36, Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare Part II.
----------------------------------------------------------
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by BMAONE23 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:25 am

This Child Roland also hastened to the Dark Tower
Image

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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by petsie » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:46 am

Hi,
I did not read the link to "OB association", sorry. Has it something in common with "Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now!" or in short: "OBAFGKMRN"? I remember that I read this some 25 years ago. Is OB meanwhile a new classification of stars (sth. between O and B)?

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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by Ann » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:20 pm

petsie wrote:Hi,
I did not read the link to "OB association", sorry. Has it something in common with "Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now!" or in short: "OBAFGKMRN"? I remember that I read this some 25 years ago. Is OB meanwhile a new classification of stars (sth. between O and B)?
It means O stars and B stars. In other words, it means the two hottest, brightest and most massive types of stars. An OB association always contains several B-type stars, and often it contains at least one O-type star, too. I'm not sure if O stars are absolutely required. But if there are not O-type stars present, there should at least be several stars of early class B (B0, B1, B2 and B3).

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by mexhunter » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:09 pm

Lovely image, deserved selection.
Congratulations amigo Don!!!
Greetings
César
I come to learn and to have fun.

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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by Ann » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:21 pm

Indeed, great image. This is a very fascinating structure. It is really interesting to see how the top of the structure seems to consist of several layers with the same general outline. It is like watching a cosmic structure wearing clothes.

I like how blue stars seem to cluster around a part of this dark tower, as if the blue stars were born there. Maybe they were, too.

Ann
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Hmmm

Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by Hmmm » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:11 am

Does anyone know the significance of the planets aligning on this date, April 27th, 2011?

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Re: APOD: The Dark Tower in Scorpius (2011 Apr 27)

Post by bystander » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:32 am

Coincidence?
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor