APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

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APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:11 am

Image The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble

Explanation: How did a star create the Helix nebula? The shapes of planetary nebula like the Helix are important because they likely hold clues to how stars like the Sun end their lives. Observations by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and the 4-meter Blanco Telescope in Chile, however, have shown the Helix is not really a simple helix. Rather, it incorporates two nearly perpendicular disks as well as arcs, shocks, and even features not well understood. Even so, many strikingly geometric symmetries remain. How a single Sun-like star created such beautiful yet geometric complexity is a topic of research. The Helix Nebula is the nearest planetary nebula to Earth, lies only about 700 light years away toward the constellation of Aquarius, and spans about 3 light-years.

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Re: APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:18 pm

helix_blancoHubble_1080.jpg

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Re: APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by NCTom » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:45 pm

The links described the general shape as a rugby ball-type spheroid. If we could see the nebula after a 90 degree turn, would we lose the helix perspective and see a flattened sphere instead with its various ring extensions?

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neufer
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Re: APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by neufer » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:45 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slinky wrote:
<<A Slinky is a precompressed helical spring toy invented by Richard James in the early 1940s. It can perform a number of tricks, including travelling down a flight of steps end-over-end as it stretches and re-forms itself with the aid of gravity and its own momentum, or appear to levitate for a period of time after it has been dropped. In 1999, the United States Postal Service issued a Slinky postage stamp. The Slinky was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2000 in their Celebrate the Century stamp series. A bill to nominate the slinky as the state toy of Pennsylvania was introduced by Richard Geist in 2001 but not enacted. The same year, Betty James was inducted into the Toy Industry Association's Hall of Fame. In 2003, Slinky was named to the Toy Industry Association's "Century of Toys List", a roll call of the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the twentieth century.

Plastic Slinkys can be made in different colors. Many of them are made with the colors of the rainbow in rainbow order. They were marketed in the 1970s as a safer alternative to metal slinkys as they did not present a hazard when inserted into electrical sockets. The plastic spring toy, known as the Plastic Slinky was invented by Donald James Reum Sr. of Master Mark Plastics in Albany, Minnesota. Reum came up with the idea as he was playing with different techniques to produce a spiral hose for watering plants. However, as it came off the assembly line, according to his children, it looked more like a "Slinky." He worked at it until it came out perfectly and then went to Betty James with his prototype. Reum manufactured the Plastic Slinky for Betty James for several years. Eventually Betty James decided to manufacture the product exclusively through James manufacturing, effectively ending the production of the toy by the small Minnesota company. Reum's patent number, 4120929 was filed on Dec 28, 1976 and issued by the US Patent Office on Oct 17, 1978.

High school teachers and college professors have used Slinkys to simulate the properties of waves, and NASA has used them in zero-gravity physics experiments in the Space Shuttle. Slinkys and similar springs can be used to create a 'laser gun' like sound effect. This is done by holding up a slinky in the air and striking one end, resulting in a metallic tone which sharply lowers in pitch. The effect can be amplified by attaching a plastic cup to one end of the Slinky. In 1959, John Cage composed an avant garde work called Sounds of Venice scored for (among other things) a piano, a slab of marble and Venetian broom, a birdcage of canaries, and an amplified Slinky.

Metal Slinky can be used as an antenna - it resonates between 7 and 8 MHz. During Vietnam war it was used as a portable antenna for local HF communication. This setup had many advantages over a long wire shot from M79 grenade launcher: small dimensions, fast and quiet installation, reusability, good takeoff angle for local communication and good enough performance. It was also used to extend range of a handheld radio. Several online videos have shown the Slinky has been found to be act as an excellent squirrel deterrent for bird feeders when mounted on the pole of the bird feeder to prevent squirrels from climbing up the pole to reach the bird feeders.>>
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Re: APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by MoreInput » Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:54 pm

Hi,

I also flattened this Helix nebulae disk: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vAtvzp ... RDfq-/view
Here you see the symmetry of the northwest and sourtheast plume as two similar hills in this flatten view.
Every radial structure is now just plain vertical.
And you see wonderfully the evaporating globules propery aligned so you can compare them easily (dubbed "cometary knots" in a hubble picture from 1994 - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... hubble.jpg).

Regards,
Stefan

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Re: APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by johnnydeep » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:29 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:18 pm
helix_blancoHubble_1080.jpg


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<sigh> Nothing about this looks like a helix to me, unless we're looking end-on, in which case the helix nature would be obscured. An Eye? Sure! But no helix.
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Re: APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by johnnydeep » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:36 pm

MoreInput wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:54 pm
Hi,

I also flattened this Helix nebulae disk: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vAtvzp ... RDfq-/view
Here you see the symmetry of the northwest and sourtheast plume as two similar hills in this flatten view.
Every radial structure is now just plain vertical.
And you see wonderfully the evaporating globules propery aligned so you can compare them easily (dubbed "cometary knots" in a hubble picture from 1994 - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... hubble.jpg).

Regards,
Stefan
Nice! Fiery orange froth on cool blue cosmic waves is what the flattened/unwound "Helix" nebula looks like to me.

And, yes, those "little" stellar wind swept globules of dust(?) all around sure do look amazing: make sure to zoom in on the original image!
"To Boldly Go......Beyond The Fields We Know."

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Re: APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:13 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:29 pm
<sigh> Nothing about this looks like a helix to me, unless we're looking end-on, in which case the helix nature would be obscured. An Eye? Sure! But no helix.
I don't believe this object is named for its visual appearance, but rather, for its physical structure.
Chris

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johnnydeep
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Re: APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2020 Aug 23)

Post by johnnydeep » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:56 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:13 pm
johnnydeep wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:29 pm
<sigh> Nothing about this looks like a helix to me, unless we're looking end-on, in which case the helix nature would be obscured. An Eye? Sure! But no helix.
I don't believe this object is named for its visual appearance, but rather, for its physical structure.
Ok, but I haven't found anything that convincingly describes its structure as a helix. Some sort of twisting, yes, but mere twisting does not a helix make. The "Double Helix Nebula" in contrast really does look like a short segment of DNA:

Image
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