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   Undertoad  Thursday Apr 17 12:20 PM

4/17/2003: Dusty star

It's the last of the astro pics in the queue, another suggested by 'spode and another Hubble image.

And it looks like Hubble's broken again, sending along the kind of shot normally reserved for the amateur 35mm holiday pic-takers. How many billions of dollars spent on this thing, and it can't keep the camera still.

No, actually this is an aging star in the Egg Nebula, and it's shrugging off DUST. Fine carbon dust. Like a candle? Shrug, I don't know, but here this star is manufacturing dust from the fusion happening at its center. They think the dust might be good for building other things out in space - maybe dust like this gets pulled around new stars to help become planet-forming material.

The colors in the image are not natural; they applied different polarizing filters to different kinds of light, to try to figure out what light was getting reflected off the dust and why. Then they used color to show what light is seen from different filters. It's through studying that light that astronomers can *somehow* tell that the dust is carbon.

Griff  Thursday Apr 17 12:44 PM

More Dusty Star pics.

warch  Thursday Apr 17 01:28 PM

Heres your Dusty! (no polarizing filters used)

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Apr 17 05:09 PM

I've seen the same thing through my windshield, on the way home from a great party, in the wee hours.

warch  Thursday Apr 17 05:29 PM

Was she driving?

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Apr 17 06:32 PM

No, no. I meant UT's picture. Sorry, I should have been specific, but it was a great party.

warch  Friday Apr 18 10:17 AM

I was inferring the similarities between all visible dusties at the end of an evening such as you described.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Apr 18 04:30 PM

Duh.....yeah....what he said.

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