A light year is an incredible 9.5 trillion km! Bite-sized, mind blowing space facts about the Universe and the cosmos. Whether you're new to astronomy / astrophysics or not, check us out @ https://www.instagram.com/thespacekiosk/ Image: NASA
This planetary nebula, Mz3, is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun. The 1000-kilometer per second speed of the expelled gas, the light-year long length of the structure, and the magnetism of the star visible at the nebula's center, all imply Mz3 is hiding a second, dimmer star that orbits close in to the bright star. A competing hypothesis holds that the central star's own spin and magnetic field are channeling the gas. (ESA, NASA's Hubble, JPL-CalTech)
This Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image reveals a pair of one-half light-year long interstellar 'twisters' - eerie funnels and twisted-rope structures - in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8) which lies 5,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.
A dying star throws a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The star's dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core. This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light years away in the constellation of Aquarius
"There are so many chances, so many worlds, pouring down on us. Like most people I take no notice and let them flow away, aeons breaking back into the universes where they were made. We are universes dripping with worlds. All we have to do is choose. " - Jeanette Winterson. Photo: Newly discovered galaxy, SMM J2135-0102
Nebula N159 spans over 150 light-years and is located in the neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, about 170,000 light years away. Visible in the above picture are bright newborn stars, dark filaments of dust, and red-glowing hydrogen gas. Torrential stellar winds from hot, newborn, massive stars within the nebula sculpt ridges, arcs, and filaments in the vast cloud, which is over 150 light-years across.
Infrared view of the Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334) taken by VISTA. NGC 6334 is a vast region of star formation about 5500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius. The whole gas cloud is about 50 light-years across. NGC 6334 is one of the most active nurseries of young massive stars in our galaxy. - Credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA
Wide-field image showing the region of WR 25 and Tr16-244. This cluster is embedded within the Carina Nebula, an immense cauldron of gas and dust that lies approximately 7500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina, the Keel.
Planetary Nebula MyCn18. The Engraved Hourglass Nebula is a young planetary nebula in the constellation Musca about 8000 ly away from earth. It is thought that MyCn18's hourglass shape is produced by the expansion of a fast stellar wind within a slowly expanding cloud which is denser near its equator than its poles. Wikipedia
Zeta Ophiuchus, a massive star plowing through the gas and dust floating in space. Zeta Oph is a bruiser, with 20 times the Sun’s mass. It’s an incredibly luminous star, blasting out light at a rate 80,000 times higher than the Sun! Even at its distance of 400 light years or so, it should be one of the brightest stars in the sky … yet it actually appears relatively dim to the eye.
In August of 2007, astronomers located a gigantic hole in the universe. This empty space, stretching nearly a billion light-years across, is devoid of any matter such as galaxies, stars, and gas, and neither does it contain the strange and mysterious dark matter, which can be detected but not seen. The large void in the Constellation Eridanus appears to be improbable given current cosmological models. A radical and controversial theory proposes that it is a "universe-in-mass black hole"