APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun May 01, 2011 4:11 am

Image Molecular Cloud Barnard 163

Explanation: It may look to some like a duck, but it lays stars instead of eggs. In the center of the above image lies Barnard 163, a nebula of molecular gas and dust so thick that visible light can't shine through it. With a wing span measured in light years, Barnard 163's insides are surely colder than its exterior, allowing conditions where gas can clump and eventually form stars. Barnard 163 lies about 3,000 light years from Earth toward the constellation of Cepheus the King. The red glow in the background results from IC 1396, a large emission nebula that houses the Elephant's Trunk Nebula. Finding Barnard 163 in an image of its greater emission nebula IC 1396 can be a challenge, but it's possible.

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Case
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Re: APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by Case » Sun May 01, 2011 12:52 pm

APOD Robot wrote:Barnard 163 lies about 3,000 light years from Earth toward the constellation of Cepheus the King.
Towards the king's nose, to be precise, in this constellation-art. :D (Although the various drawings of the constellation figures do rarely line up enough for this precision.)
Image
Cepheus rises higher in the sky during the night, until the glow of dawn hides it in the early morning, from MI latitudes, this time of year.
I, for one, like Roman numerals.

bachcole

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Post by bachcole » Sun May 01, 2011 6:16 pm

I have two suggestions for this wonderful website:

1. Make sure that in the explanation is the coordinates in the sky so that amateur astronomers can find it with their telescopes.

2. For the particular object being featured, if there is a particular object being featured, put a little legend or (whatever it is called) showing the distance across that object is, in lightyears, just like a map of terrain on Earth would have such a legend. Also, you could show how big the full moon would be from our perspective.

I realize that this might be a lot of work.

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Re: APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by NoelC » Sun May 01, 2011 8:14 pm

What a beautifully deep, sharp, clean high magnification image! VERY nice indeed!

To bachcole... Barnard 163 (or simply B163) is easily located in most any sky chart program. I use the freeware program Cartes du Ciel myself.
B163Location.jpg
The green square shows the APOD image field of view against a wider field:

Image

-Noel
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NoelC
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Re: APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by NoelC » Sun May 01, 2011 10:42 pm

Oh, and I really don't want to be a pain, but this is a clear case where the downsized image excerpt, posted on the main APOD page, has been improperly manipulated with regard to color space. It is not showing as the folks who prepared the image intended.

Specifically, the large, square submitted image, http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/ba ... n_2000.jpg, is published in the Adobe RGB 1998 color space (i.e., it's tagged with the Adobe RGB 1998 color profile). The downsized excerpt on the main APOD page, http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/ba ... yn_900.jpg, has had its color profile stripped out, which means that most browsers will interpret it impoperly as sRGB.
NoColorProfile.jpg
In past discussions it has been determined Robert Nemiroff is using an image editing tool (ImageReady) that is so old that perhaps it doesn't understand or maintain the color profile information.

Please note that now that Internet Explorer 9 has been released, and is now sensitive to the color profile in images, this leads to a disparity in the appearance of the small image and the actual submitted image in every major browser. You can clearly see that difference here:
DifferenceInColor.jpg
RJN, may I respectfully suggest moving up to a newer image editor that manages color profiles properly. Even the inexpensive program Photoshop Elements maintains the color profile. I'll be more than happy to help you set it up and understand how to manage color spaces, and we can even take up a collection to help raise the $99.99 if you like.

Thanks.

-Noel
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Re: APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by DavidLeodis » Mon May 02, 2011 11:07 am

The mention of the Elephant's Trunk Nebula is causing me confusion. Is it the obvious narrow dark area (there is a bright yellow star near to its lower end) to the left of Barnard 163 or is the Elephant's Trunk Nebula not in the image :?: I would be grateful if someone could help with my query. Thanks.

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Re: APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by Ann » Mon May 02, 2011 11:27 am

DavidLeodis wrote:The mention of the Elephant's Trunk Nebula is causing me confusion. Is it the obvious narrow dark area (there is a bright yellow star near to its lower end) to the left of Barnard 163 or is the Elephant's Trunk Nebula not in the image :?: I would be grateful if someone could help with my query. Thanks.
The Elephant Trunk is not in today's APOD, but the dark shape in today's APOD is in the same red emission nebula as the Elephant Trunk.

Take a look at the color picture of nebula IC 1396 in Noel C's first post. He has two posts here before yours, so make sure you look at the right one. There are two pictures in his first post, and you should look at the second picture.

You can see a big red nebula. In the bottom half of it, Noel C has put a green square, to show you the part of the nebula that is today's APOD. But that is not the Elephant Trunk.

To find the Elephant Trunk, start by locating the bright blue star in the middle of the nebula. To the right of the blue star is a dark (but not very dark) shape that is outlined in red. That is the Elephant Trunk.

Ann
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Re: APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by DavidLeodis » Mon May 02, 2011 1:10 pm

Thank you Ann for your reply, which is appreciated.

As the Elephant's Trunk Nebula is not in the image it is confusing that it gets such a strong mention in the explanation. I think it would have been best not to have mentioned it in the explanation. :?

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Re: APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by NoelC » Mon May 02, 2011 1:20 pm

I was hoping to help clear that up by posting that big image with the APOD field of view identified. Ah well.

-Noel

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Re: APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 (2011 May 01)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue May 03, 2011 12:25 pm

I believe that this nebula is like a duck! 8-) http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10587
Orin

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