APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 17)

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APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 17)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:05 am

Image The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula

Explanation: It is the largest and most complex star forming region in the entire galactic neighborhood. Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy orbiting our Milky Way galaxy, the region's spidery appearance is responsible for its popular name, the Tarantula nebula. This tarantula, however, is about 1,000 light-years across. Were it placed at the distance of Milky Way's Orion Nebula, only 1,500 light-years distant and the nearest stellar nursery to Earth, it would appear to cover about 30 degrees (60 full moons) on the sky. Intriguing details of the nebula are visible in the above image shown in near true colors. The spindly arms of the Tarantula nebula surround NGC 2070, a star cluster that contains some of the brightest, most massive stars known, visible in blue in the image center. Since massive stars live fast and die young, it is not so surprising that the cosmic Tarantula also lies near the site of a close recent supernova.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Beyond » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:24 am

Helmets, Eagles, Spiders, the Cosmos is a very strange place :!: :yes:
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:10 am

It just doesn't look like a spider to me, let alone a tarantula. At least with an alternative name like 30 Doradus, I can remember where it is.

Similarly, I'm also pushing to rename the LMC as the Swordfish Roe Galaxy, and the SMC as the Toucan Guano Galaxy.

It is quite easy to confuse all these numbers, too, such as, for instance, the cluster R136 and its surrounding nebula NGC2070.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:16 am

Beyond wrote:Helmets, Eagles, Spiders, the Cosmos is a very strange place :!: :yes:
A good rule of thumb is that if you can easily see the named object in a deep image, the name is probably fairly recent, and was derived from images. If the image looks nothing like the name, that name probably is older, and comes from visual telescopic observation.
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Ann » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:32 am

APOD Robot wrote:
The spindly arms of the Tarantula nebula surround NGC 2070, a star cluster that contains some of the brightest, most massive stars known, visible in blue on the right.
The colors in this image are somewhat muted, and the blue channel has not been given a boost. NGC 2070 is located nearly dead center of the image. Anyone looking for blue stars on the right of this picture will look in vain.

This is a fine picture. It made me wonder about the "living conditions" in a galaxy like the Large Magellanic Cloud, where such a tremendous star cluster as NGC 2070 is located. Admittedly you wouldn't have to be close to the Tarantula Nebula and its fierce heart just because you were in the LMC. While much smaller than the Milky Way, the LMC is still a respectable-sized galaxy, where there should be places of peace and quiet, too, perhaps particularly in parts of the bar. Even so, the LMC looks like a "riskier place for life" than the Milky Way. (Or not.) :wink:

Still, I have to wonder if it is better for life to be inside a much, much quieter galaxy. How about NGC 205, one of the obvious satellite galaxies of the Andromeda Galaxy, here photographed by Adam Block? Would that galaxy offer living organisms more hospitable conditions than the Large Magellanic Cloud can do?

I know. I'm just speculating, and no one can give me a definite answer.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:49 am

Ann wrote:
APOD Robot wrote:
The spindly arms of the Tarantula nebula surround NGC 2070, a star cluster that contains some of the brightest, most massive stars known, visible in blue on the right.
The colors in this image are somewhat muted, and the blue channel has not been given a boost. NGC 2070 is located nearly dead center of the image. Anyone looking for blue stars on the right of this picture will look in vain.

This is a fine picture. It made me wonder about the "living conditions" in a galaxy like the Large Magellanic Cloud, where such a tremendous star cluster as NGC 2070 is located. Admittedly you wouldn't have to be close to the Tarantula Nebula and its fierce heart just because you were in the LMC. While much smaller than the Milky Way, the LMC is still a respectable-sized galaxy, where there should be places of peace and quiet, too, perhaps particularly in parts of the bar. Even so, the LMC looks like a "riskier place for life" than the Milky Way. (Or not.) :wink:

Still, I have to wonder if it is better for life to be inside a much, much quieter galaxy. How about NGC 205, one of the obvious satellite galaxies of the Andromeda Galaxy, here photographed by Adam Block? Would that galaxy offer living organisms more hospitable conditions than the Large Magellanic Cloud can do?

I know. I'm just speculating, and no one can give me a definite answer.

Ann
How hospitable do you want it to be? I imagine that if our world were much more hospitable to life, we might have been wiped out by a superior species of arthropod.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Ann » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:59 am

Nitpicker wrote:
I imagine that if our world were much more hospitable to life, we might have been wiped out by a superior species of arthropod.
Maybe that's what the hardy life forms are like near the Tarantula Nebula? (Warning to arachnophobiacs: The link will show you a spidery spectacle.)

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:10 am

We don't really know how "safe" the Milky Way "looks" to an outsider. But we do know that the LMC (sorry, Swordfish Roe Galaxy) is about 100 times less massive than the Milky Way. So, pound for pound, I would say it is about 100 times less conducive to life. Sheesh, these "life in the universe" questions are so easy! :ssmile:

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:20 am

I see a spooky smile and a face, near top center.....ooh....

Nice pic...

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:26 am

I would think, that as there is probably much star formation over there...and certainly Supernova, making more heavy elements and metals, and thus becoming more and more "Metal-Rich"...there should be a higher opportunity for systems like ours....eventually....over time, I think the odds improve.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:27 am

Helmets, Eagles, and Spiders.... OH MY!!!!

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by jsanchezjr » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:08 pm

Since massive stars live fast and die young, it is not so surprising that the cosmic Tarantula also lies near the site of a close recent supernova.
Thinking about that. We all know that when all the fuel is gone a star begin to die and at the final stage end like a white dwarf, neutron star, black hole etc. But if a star have a endless fuel to preserve a continous fusion on its core? Easy, the star never die. My point is that the most abundant element in the universe is precisely hydrogen, the fuel of the stars. So, if some how, some way, our star is continuously receiving hydrogen, well, it never die, we can call it everlasting. And in consequent our precios planet can have a everlasting live too. For me is not a crazy idea, is a logic one. We only need some one that can do that or teach us how to do it...

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:37 pm

jsanchezjr wrote:Thinking about that. We all know that when all the fuel is gone a star begin to die and at the final stage end like a white dwarf, neutron star, black hole etc. But if a star have a endless fuel to preserve a continous fusion on its core? Easy, the star never die. My point is that the most abundant element in the universe is precisely hydrogen, the fuel of the stars. So, if some how, some way, our star is continuously receiving hydrogen, well, it never die, we can call it everlasting. And in consequent our precios planet can have a everlasting live too. For me is not a crazy idea, is a logic one. We only need some one that can do that or teach us how to do it...
The problem is, there's no mechanism by which stars can continually receive hydrogen. Once fusion begins, the outward force created by stellar winds is far greater than the inward force of gravity. Once they form, stars rapidly clear a solar system sized bubble around them of nearly all gas and dust. The same thing that limits how big stars can get also prevents them from receiving additional fuel while they are still burning.
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by rgendler » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:38 pm

"The colors in this image are somewhat muted, and the blue channel has not been given a boost."

Strictly from an image processing perspective the entire image is shift towards red. Even the blue stars are shifted towards purple which confirms my suspicion. This was done I'm sure to maximally enhance the tendrils of emission nebulosity abundant throughout the field. I would bet that dropping the mid-level of the red channel using curves would improve the overall color balance tremendously.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:59 pm

jsanchezjr wrote:
apod robot wrote: Since massive stars live fast and die young, it is not so surprising that the cosmic Tarantula also lies near the site of a close recent supernova.
Thinking about that. We all know that when all the fuel is gone a star begin to die and at the final stage end like a white dwarf, neutron star, black hole etc. But if a star have a endless fuel to preserve a continous fusion on its core? Easy, the star never die. My point is that the most abundant element in the universe is precisely hydrogen, the fuel of the stars. So, if some how, some way, our star is continuously receiving hydrogen, well, it never die, we can call it everlasting. And in consequent our precios planet can have a everlasting live too. For me is not a crazy idea, is a logic one. We only need some one that can do that or teach us how to do it...
That's an interesting idea, Jose. Of course you would have to find massive quantities of hydrogen and transport them to the Sun. Since hydrogen fusion happens in the core of a star, under tremendous pressure and temperature, you would have to figure out how to get fresh hydrogen into the Sun's core, overcoming the great outward pressure generated by the energy released by the fusion that's already happening.

To my way of thinking, it is a fundamental truth that nothing lasts forever. Just ask any of the species diappearing during Earth's sixth mass extinction. I find a certain tragic beauty in the fact that the biggest, brightest stars lead the shortest lives, and die most spectacularly.
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:13 pm

rgendler wrote:I would bet that dropping the mid-level of the red channel using curves would improve the overall color balance tremendously.
That is, of course, an aesthetic viewpoint. Certainly, it would change the color balance. Since there's really no such thing as truly accurate color with objects like this (outside of the stars, perhaps), it becomes a matter of taste. Personally, I like more muted colors (but then, I generally prefer B&W astroimages to color, so that's not too surprising). What I tend to dislike the most is highly saturated colors. If I were processing this, I'd decrease the saturation still more, and bring up the brightness a little in the midtones.

So many ways of visualizing things. That's why we can keep viewing the same objects over and over again in forums like this, and always discover new ways of seeing them.
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:30 pm

The caption's comparison of the sizes of the Tarantula and Orion nebulas prompted me to look them up. According to sky safari 4:

Object .............. Distance ............... Diameter ........... Apparent size ........ Visual magnitude

Tarantula ..... 160,000 light years ..... 1833 light years ..... 40 x 25 arcminutes ..... 5

Orion ............. 1,400 light years ....... 35 light years ...... 85 x 60 arcminutes ..... 4
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by geckzilla » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:08 pm

Ann wrote:The colors in this image are somewhat muted, and the blue channel has not been given a boost.
Blue is actually quite overexposed in this image. To me, this picture is quite colorful--the opposite of muted. I'm not sure how you could say that it's muted.
rgendler wrote:Strictly from an image processing perspective the entire image is shift towards red. Even the blue stars are shifted towards purple which confirms my suspicion. This was done I'm sure to maximally enhance the tendrils of emission nebulosity abundant throughout the field. I would bet that dropping the mid-level of the red channel using curves would improve the overall color balance tremendously.
I agree, it's very red. I would suggest some changes to be made using Photoshop's channel mixer rather than the curves. We can take the purple out of the blues by changing the red output. Modifying its input to take +30% from the green channel and -30% from the blue channel is sufficient. This will avoid sacrificing brightness. To reduce the pinkness of the nebula we can then adjust the green output by modifying its input to +10% red channel and +90% green channel. The result should look like this.

I should note that I don't find any fault with Damian's original work, personally. Purple is my favorite color, anyway. I may have done it differently if I had done it but I enjoy Damian's version a lot. I recognize that even though the stars appear purple absolutely, relatively they are bluer than the nebula and that is sufficient for my brain to interpret the stars as being bluer.
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Spif » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:11 pm

Nitpicker wrote: How hospitable do you want it to be? I imagine that if our world were much more hospitable to life, we might have been wiped out by a superior species of arthropod.
Those damned arthropods, they seem to get everywhere.

Fortunately, we've recently been getting better at making really huge lasers.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Spif » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:24 pm

Ann wrote:
Still, I have to wonder if it is better for life to be inside a much, much quieter galaxy. How about NGC 205, one of the obvious satellite galaxies of the Andromeda Galaxy, here photographed by Adam Block? Would that galaxy offer living organisms more hospitable conditions than the Large Magellanic Cloud can do?
As I understand it, the LMC is an irregular galaxy because it is being gravitationally perturbed by proximity to our own galaxy. These perturbations are provoking compressions of the cold matter clouds inside the galaxy, giving rise to the huge star forming zones.

I believe those areas would not be good places for life to form for a while because all the new short-lived stars keep exploding throughout the region. Once the perturbations stop or the clouds dissipate, the huge blue stars will die off and leave a quiet zone with only the smaller, longer-lived stars behind (like our sun).

But I believe that being in close proximity to the Milky Way, the LMC is going to continue getting warped and twisted by gravitational tidal forces on each new orbit.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Beyond » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:32 pm

Spif wrote:
Nitpicker wrote: How hospitable do you want it to be? I imagine that if our world were much more hospitable to life, we might have been wiped out by a superior species of arthropod.
Those damned arthropods, they seem to get everywhere.

Fortunately, we've recently been getting better at making really huge lasers.
Now if they can just figure a way to get those arthropods to the focal point of that really big laser.
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by HunterofPhotons » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:37 pm

It would have been nice if he had fixed the blooms on the bright stars and backed off on the sharpening a bit as the brighter stars have the doughnut profile of over-sharpened stars.

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:38 pm

Spif wrote:Those damned arthropods, they seem to get everywhere.

Fortunately, we've recently been getting better at making really huge lasers.
The smart arthropods are just going to admonish us, "Be careful or you'll put your eyes out with that thing!" And they'll probably be right.
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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by Ann » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:59 pm

Geckzilla wrote:
Blue is actually quite overexposed in this image.
Really? You mean that blue is overexposed to the point that it looks whitish?

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Re: APOD: The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula (2014 Feb 1

Post by geckzilla » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:05 pm

Ann wrote:
Geckzilla wrote:
Blue is actually quite overexposed in this image.
Really? You mean that blue is overexposed to the point that it looks whitish?
Looking at the blue channel alone the stars are spread out much larger than the green and red and detail has been lost in the central nebula where it has become pure white.

Edit: This is not to say that this is somehow wrong. I think it's fairly typical and I've done it a lot myself.
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