Mushrooms, from The Golden Treasury of Natural History, by Bertha Morris Parker, copyright 1952.
The Boomerang Nebula
The Hubble Space Telescope has “caught” the Boomerang Nebula in these new images taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys. This reflecting cloud of dust and gas has two nearly symmetric lobes (or cones) of matter that are being ejected from a central star. Over the last 1,500 years, nearly one and a half times the mass of our Sun has been lost by the central star of the Boomerang Nebula in an ejection process known as a bipolar outflow. The nebula’s name is derived from its symmetric structure as seen from ground-based telescopes. Hubble’s sharp view is able to resolve patterns and ripples in the nebula very close to the central star that are not visible from the ground.
Astronomers are uncertain of the cause of bipolar outflow in this, and many other, young nebulae like the Boomerang. It may be that a disk of slow-moving material is situated around the equator of the star, thereby blocking more rapidly moving ejected material there, and allowing only matter closer to the poles to be ejected. Another consideration may be that magnetic fields are responsible for constraining the material and thus causing the double-lobed shape of the nebula.
Bipolar outflows are seen to occur both from very young stars (“protostars”) that are still in the process of collapsing and forming, and from old stars nearing the ends of their lives that have become bloated red giants. The Boomerang is believed to be the ejected outer layers from an old red giant. Each lobe of the Boomerang Nebula is nearly one light-year in length, making the total length of the nebula half as long as the distance from our Sun to our nearest neighbors- the Alpha Centauri stellar system, located roughly 4 light-years away.
Sea-born, revered goddess of generation, you like the night-long revel,
And you couple lovers at night, O scheming mother of Necessity.
Everything comes from you; you have yoked the world and you control all three realms.
You give birth to all, to everything in heaven, upon fruitful earth,
And in the depths of the sea, O venerable companion of Bacchos.
You delight in festivities, O bride-like mother of the Erotes,
O persuasion whose joy is in the bed of love, secretive giver of grace,
Visible and invisible, lovely-tressed daughter of a noble father.
Bridal feast companion of the gods, sceptered she-wolf,
Beloved and man-loving giver of birth and of life,
With your maddening love-charms you yoke mortals,
And the many races of beasts to unbridled passion.
Come, O goddess born in Cyprus, whether you are on Olympos, O queen,
Exulting in the beauty of your face, or you wander in Syria, country of fine frankincense,
Or, yet, driving your golden chariot in the plain,
You lord it over Egypt’s fertile river bed.
Come, whether you ride your swan-drawn chariot over the sea’s billows,
Joying in the creatures of the deep as they dance in circles,
Or you delight in the company of the dark-faced nymphs on land,
As light-footed, they frisk over the sandy beaches.
Come, lady, even if you are in Cyprus that cherishes you,
Where fair maidens and chaste nymphs throughout the year sing of you,
O blessed one, and of immortal, pure Adonis.
Come O beautiful and comely goddess.
I summon you with holy words and pious soul"
— Orphic Hymn #55 (via loveandseafoam)
(Source: , via morganna-pagan-raine)
Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out by NASA, J. Trauger (JPL), J. Westphal (Caltech)
You’re posting great stuff tonight!
— T.B. LaBerge // The Novel of Us (via thatkindofwoman)
— Joseph Cook (via her0inchic)