Kemajuan Iptek Banyak Ungkap Kebenaran Al Qur'an        



Ilmuwan Mesir, Prof Dr Zagloul Mohamed El-Naggar,mengatakan, semakin maju ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi (Iptek), semakinterungkap pula keajaiban kitab suci Al Quran. "Al Quran bukan buku ilmu pengetahuan,tetapi ayat-ayat mengenai alam semesta (kauniyah) kini terbukti dalampenemuan-penemuan ilmiah di abad modern ini," kata Prof Naggardalam ceramahnya di Aula Harun Nasution, Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) SyarifHidayatullah, Jakarta, pada Kamis 30/9/2010 silam.
Pakar ilmu bumi (geologi) tersebut mengupas beragampenemuan ilmiah mengenai alam semesta yang mengamini hakikat kebenaran AlQuran. Sebagai contoh, Ayat-6 Surat Al Thur, "Al Bahrul Masjur" (Demilaut yang—di dalam tanah bawah laut itu—ada api). Terbukti secara ilmiah olehpara ahli geologi dan ilmu kelautan bahwa dasar semua samudra dipanasi olehjutaan ton magma yang keluar dari perut bumi. Menurut peraih doktor geologi jebolan UniversitasWales, Inggris, pada tahun 1963 itu, magma tersebut keluar melalui jaringanrengkahan raksasa yang secara total merobek lapisan litosfir dan sampai kelapisan astenosfir. "Para ilmuwan yang jujur akan kagum melihatkepeloporan Al Quran dan hadis-hadis Nabi terkait petunjuk tentangfakta-fakta ilmiah bumi, yang baru dapat dibuktikan pada akhir abad ke-20seiring dengan kemajuan iptek," kata ilmuwan yang telah menghafal semua 30juz Al Quran saat berusia sepuluh tahun itu.
Fakta ilmiah lain, katanya, yaitu Ayat 15 dan 16 SuratAt Takwir: "Fala Uqsimu bil khunnas. Al Jawaril Kunnas" (Akubersumpah dengan bintang-bintang yang tak tampak. Yang bergerak sangat cepat).
Prof Naggar menjelaskan, para ulama dahulu menafsirkan ayat tersebut secarametaforis, namun para ahli astronomi pada akhir abad ke-20 menemukan faktailmiah, yaitu apa yang disebut black hole (lubang hitam).
Black hole adalah planet yang ditandaidengan densitas yang tinggi dan gravitasi yang kuat, tempat zat dan semuabentuk energi, termasuk cahaya, tidak mungkin lepas dari perangkapnya, katanya.Disebut lubang hitam karena ia sangat gelap tak terlihat, dengan kecepatangeraknya diperkirakan mencapai 300.000 km per detik. Black hole dianggap sebagai fase tua kehidupanbintang, yang didahului ledakan dan zatnya kembali menjadi nebula. "Faktaini baru terungkap pada akhir abad ke-20, yakni 14 abad setelah wafatnya NabiMuhammad SAW," kata Prof Naggar.
          azaleas / cloudsound / forest walker        
azaleas ~ sapphire (blank_tapes, 2016)

«Long-form new-age collages. First full-length from Azaleas». ~ blank_tapes

Two years ago I had a pleasure to share a split tape with Azaleas (duo of Kyle Wade & Alice Andres-Wade hailing from Denver) on Rainbow Pyramid label and started waiting patiently for their full-length debut. Hope was not lost, and here it is, spinning in my deck on repeat mode since December! And with the first winds of the spring this music seems to unfold even broader, carrying eternal bliss of best ambient genre developments. Shimmering layers of synth soundscapes, massive drones, new-agey melodies and organic hum of field recordings... Everything in its place, all corners rounded, every transition made with care. This tape has rare ability to became more and more interesting with every spin, telling the same stories differently each time you listen to it. You may get lost in all those layers, fades and vibes, travelling between dark thickets and wide open eyes of lakes, but don't worry – the hiss of blank tape in the end will leave you under charms of these marvelous tunes with joyful smile on your face and pleasant feeling in the heart. Highest recommendations!

listen ~ support

cloudsound ~ indigo appalachia (fluere tapes, 2017)

«Reverie over outer space air space tween canopy slopes of mauve ambrosial gazes to ribbonious unfurls later spooled» ~ fluere tapes

Less is more! I always admired the ability to create pleasant atmosphere with seemingly minimalist and truly lo-fi sound. What Fluere Tapes boss Lee Boyd did on this tape easily falls into category of lo-fi drone, but the less you care about labeling, the more you receive in impression value. Actually, this tape can be a marvelous post-rock or shoegaze epic, simply recorded hundred of times from one old dusty tape to another. Yet, it has this unexplainable charm that wraps you like a cozy blanket, carrying away as a good old magic flying carpet. Massive layers of sound are hidden behind the surface of pleasant sound - same as the incredible amount of water looks like beautiful cloud from the surface. As the the artwork itself, this music is fused by light, an enormous cosmic nebula sending its glorious radiance light years away... Also I must admit that this particular album brought a lot of nostalgic moments for me, remembering those early psych/drone tapes by Deep Magic or Sundrips, feeling the awe in presence of those energies, such pure and sincere, like they are directly radiating from the artist's heart. Maybe I'm just too sentimental, but there is nothing is this world like Cloudsound. Absolute bliss.

listen ~ support

forest walker ~ uv sea (constellation tatsu)

Sincerely – I have no words to describe this album. It's clear, that with such love for ambient music I possess, album like UV Sea would turn into breathtaking experience. Forest Walker puts everything in one canvas and manages to blend all treasures of ambient genre into a single whole thing. Thing in itself. Pulsation of synth lines, deepest drones, huge waves of reverberated noises... even dusty saturated beats do no harm to this never-ending stream of bliss, supporting its torrent thought your perception channels. Is that infinity of the Universe transcending by the aural medium or endlessness of sound, forging new universe inside ours – who knows? Depends on which interpretation of quantum mechanics you follow. One thing is clear here, this music exist in more than one dimension. It spans like endless wave and each track is just range of frequencies we able to perceive. It's easy to imagine UV Sea as short part of huge intergalactic transmission, captured by limited instruments of humankind and then interpreted by our even more limited sense organs. But the message is so powerful that we can get it if not consciously, but more subtly, just intuitively. And unable to verbally express... Yet, transmission continues, so tune in!

listen ~ support

          Getting India’s first space telescope working        
A moment of terror: During the first week of successful operation, there was an initial moment of terror when the engineers checking out Astrosat, India’s first space telescope, thought the spacecraft was unable to point at its target accurately. During the first orbit, there was a difficulty in detecting this Crab Nebula as the satellite happened to pass through the
          The Fly        
The Fly
author: Andrew Herd
name: Tankred
average rating: 5.00
book published: 2003
rating: 5
read at:
date added: 2012/06/08
shelves: fly-fishing
review:
1997 wurde mit Richard Hoffmanns Fischers' Craft and Lettered Art: Tracts on Fishing from the End of the Middle Ages ein Buch veröffentlicht, dessen zögerlich formulierte - in seiner Essenz aber gewagte These - die uns bis dahin übermittelte Geschichte des Fliegenfischens von Grund auf verändern würde. Hoffmanns Aussage: 'es existieren zwingende Fakten, Fliegenfischen sei bereits im 13. Jahrhundert in ganz Europa weit verbreitet praktiziert worden', beschäftigt Angelhistoriker seit damals.

Ebenfalls berührt von dieser Meinung wurde Andrew Herd, Betreiber der brillanten Website www.flyfishinghistory.com. In seinem vorliegenden Buch 'The Fly' verfolgt Herd somit, anhand akribischster Recherche die Anfänge des Fliegenfischens zurück bis in die Spätantike. Mazedonien, in viel späterer Folge Süddeutschland, die Schweiz und Spanien werden hierin als die Wiege des Sports bezeichnet, auch wenn ein überwiegender Großteil aller Entwicklungen tatsächlich ab dem 15. Jahrhundert aus England kamen.

Inhaltlich - analog mit der historischen Entwicklung Europas, nach dem Niedergang des römischen Reichs - klafft eine weite Lücke an schriftlich überliefertem Material, von der Spätantike bis in die Neuzeit zu Beginn des 15. Jahrhunderts. Das Dunkel des Mittelalters sorgte auch beim Thema Fliegenfischen für spärlich gesätes schriftliches Material, welches es dem Historiker erschwert, einen lückenlosen Übergang von der ersten Erwähnung Forellen mit der Fliege zu fangen, bis zu einer umfänglichen Auflistung von Fliegen (The Tegernsee Manuskript, Treatyse of Fishing with an Angle) zum Fang derselben darzustellen .

Ab diesem Moment an aber, strotzt 'The Fly' nur so von detailliertem, stets humorvoll erstellten Chronologien der Entwicklung aller Aspekte des Fliegenfischens. Herd gelingt die meisterhafte Leistung, alle Fortschritte und Erneuerungen der Flugangelei im historischen Kontext seiner Zeit zu erfassen. Entlang zweier parallel verlaufenden Stränge - zu einem die geschichtlichen, ökonomischen und gesellschaftlichen Ereignisse und deren Entwicklung, und zum anderen die Zusammenhänge und Verhältnisse dieser fortschrittlichen Errungenschaften auf den Sport sowie seine Protagonisten - erfasst Andrew Herd mit Witz und Enthusiasmus für Vollständigkeit, jeden kleinsten Aspekt der Weiterentwicklung von Material und Techniken und deren Bedeutung für den gesamten Sport.

Zurückgreifen kann Herd dabei glücklicherweise auf reichhaltige Literatur aus hauptsächlich dem angel-sächsischem Raum, welcher Fliegenfischen mit mehr Stoff versorgte als alle anderen Sprachräume gemeinsam. Musste sich Herd zur Zusammenstellung einer mittelalterlichen Historie noch auf rare klösterliche Sammlungen spanischer und bayrischer Provenienz verlassen, so kann er bei der Erfassung der Schriften ab Ende des 15. Jahrhunderts, auf weitläufige staatliche sowie private und somit leicht zugängliche Sammlungen zurückgreifen.

Herd's Vermögen gesellschaftliche, politische und ökonomische Zusammenhänge zu erstellen, wird an kaum anderem historischem Zeitpunkt deutlicher, als dem Moment nach der Erfindung des Buchdrucks. Und nicht ohne ein kleines Zwinkern in den Augen, erinnert uns Andrew Herd an die Veröffentlichung von neun Millionen Buchveröffentlichungen zwischen 1455 - 1500; zu einer Zeit als vier Fünftel der Bevölkerung des Lesens nicht mächtig waren.

Besonders eindringlich wird in 'The Fly' auch die Beharrlichkeit unserer fliegenfischenden Vorfahren in Erinnerung gerufen. Die Weiterentwicklung des Sports in seinen Ursprüngen, verdanken wir nur zu einem geringen Teil kommerziellen Interessen. Enthusiasten des Fangens von Fischen mit künstlichen Fliegen, griffen auf die sich in Umwälzung befindlichen und dabei stetig verbesserten Produktionsprozesse zurück, um Material- und Produktverbesserungen in kleinsten Segmenten des öffentlichen Handels herbeizuführen.

Herds aussergewöhnliche Gabe der Interpretation von überlieferten Texten, lässt ihn längst geglaubte Weisheiten unter anderen Gesichtspunkten betrachten. Somit stößt sein rastloser und erforschender Geist auf alternativere Betrachtungsweisen als andere Schreiber, denen es weniger gelingt ihre 21. Jahrhundertperspektive abzulegen, wenn es um die Betrachtung historischen Stoffes geht. Heute selbstverständliche Konzepte - z.B. false casting - entwickelten sich nebulös und deren ursprünglicher Zweck diente anderen Zielen, als ihr moderner Gebrauch.

'The Fly' ist ein ausführliches Werk von dem man behaupten kann, dass es sicherlich zu meinen Lebzeiten kein umfassenderes Buch zur historischen Entwicklung von Fliegenfischen geben wird. Seine Abhandlung reicht bis in die frühen Jahrzehnte des 20. Jahrhundert und widmet sich somit nicht den Fortschritten im Loch Style Fishing, Micro Pattern Fischerei sowie der letzten, sich in der Erschließung befindlichen Grenzen unseres Sports, dem Fliegenfischen an unseren Meeresküsten bzw. dem offenen Meer.

Andrew Herd's leidenschaftliche und äußerst unterhaltsame Annäherung an eine kohärente, analytische und zutiefst informative Aufarbeitung der Geschichte des Fliegenfischens, machen dieses Buch schon jetzt zu einem Klassiker, welches noch Lange der Maßstab für die geschichtliche Betrachtung der Entwicklung von Fliegenfischen sein wird.

Unbedingt lesen!




          Totally Nebular – Boat Boat        
Totally Nebular is a florida based three-piece that recently finished a wonderfully cohesive 8 song EP titled “Boat Boat”. sonically, i’m hearing a mish-mash of eclecticisms from a wide pallet of musical realms. most notably, the album takes off with some faction of what i will call “indie-prog”… though the longest track is a mere […]
          18.09.17 20:00 Uhr - Fürth - The Dark Blue Orchestra - Jazziger Blues mit theatralen Elementen und treibendem Schlagzeug        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung213443-tickets

Der Sohn eines Musik-Genies und einer Balletttänzerin, nach der Geburt ausgetauscht durch den Sohn eines Mafia-Bosses, Don DiMartino, formte “The Dark Blue Orchestra” mit einem eher ambitioniertem Ziel im Sinn: Musik zum Zweck der kriminellen Rehabilitation. Zusammengestellt aus Musikern, die die gleichen humanitären Ziele teilen, bewegt sich “The Dark Blue Orchestra” schon seit 2011 mit großer Resonanz in den Kreisen des Untergrund-Kabaretts. Donnie DiMartino, größenwahnsinniger Bariton, exzentrischer Autor und Komponist der Songs, wird dabei unterstützt von Gitarrist und Multi-Instrumentalist Salossin Freeman, Schlagzeuger Jeremy Laine und dem Pianisten Raphael Theodore de Banco, Söhnchen aus wohlhabendem rumänischen Elternhaus. Gemeinsam wandern die Jungs sicheren Fußes auf den nebulösen, dunklen Seitenpfaden des Cabaret Noir, des freien Jazz, der klassischen Film-und Theatermusik und eines vom traditionellen Rock geküssten Blues. Die Show, die sie dabei auf die Beine stellen, ist ein cineastisches Spektakel, das das Publikum in das Universum eines gequälten jungen Mannes auf der Suche nach Liebe und in die Genesis des “The Dark Blue Orchestra” entführt.
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 05-21-2015 with John Schaefer        
Playlist:

Fingathing- Themes From The Big Red - And The Big Red Nebula Band
Led Zeppelin- Kashmir - Physical Graffiti Remastered
Koushik- Battle Rhymes For Battle Times - Be With
Blend Crafters- Lola - Blend Crafters
- voicebreak -
United States Of America- Coming Down - The United States Of America
Brigitte Bardot- Contact - Pop A Paris More Rock N Roll And Mini Skirts Vol2
Luke Vibert- Sloth Gets Paid - Soul Crap
DJ Orion- The Undertow Instrumental - New York Tropical
Beastie Boys- Make Some Noise - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Cut Chemist- Beastie Boys Sure Shot - Def Beat Remixes Vol 7
TuneYards- Gangsta Cut Chemist Remix - Gangsta
Various Artists- Mexican Institute Of Sound Cumbia Deathface Remix - Beginners Guide To Cumbia
Manu Chao- Bongo Bong - Clandestino
Mary J Blige- Family Affair - No More Drama
Quantic- Step Into A World Raptures Delight - The Best Of Quantic
- voicebreak -
Mos Def- Fear Not Of Man - Black On Both Sides
Fela Kuti- Fear Not For Man - Fear Not For Man
The Slew- Southeast Soliloquy - 100
James Gang- The Bomber A Closet Queen B Bolero C Cast Your Fate To The Wind - Rides Again
Terry Callier- Youre Goin Miss Your Candyman - What Color Is Love
Shoes- Not Ready For School - Eccentric Breaks Beats
The Meters- Cardova - The Meters
- voicebreak -
Bonobo- Light Pattern - Dial M For Monkey
MC Honky- Only A Rose Pt 1 - I Am The Messiah
RJD2- Sell The World - The Horror Deluxe
Various Artists- Lootpack On Point - PEANUT BUTTER WOLFS JUKEBOX 45S
Nextmen- We Originate - Amongst The Madness
Hint- Plucker - Portakabin Fever
9 Lazy 9- Tumbleweed - Sweet Jones
- voicebreak -
The Jimi Hendrix Experience- Up From The Skies - Axis Bold As Love
Jimi Hendrix- Some Dreams You Never Forget Pt 1 - Some Dreams You Never Forget mixed By F Olding Munny
Wu Tang Jimi Hendrix- Kiss The Sky - Black Gold
Neotropic- Memories - La Prochaine Fois
Howie B- What It Is The Undisputed Truth - Another Late Night
The Soul Tornadoes- Boots Groove - Midwest Funk
- voicebreak -
Sun Ra- Island In The Sun Extended Version - Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra And His Arkestra In The Orbit Of Ra
Bob Marley The Wailers- Corner Stone - Soul Rebels
TP Orchestre PolyRythmo De Cotonou- Cherie Coco - Reminiscin In Tempo


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2015-05-21
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-28-2014 with Gavin Dahl        
Playlist:

The Lumineers- Flapper Girl - The Lumineers
Barbara Pittman- I Need A Man - The Greatest Women Of Classic Country
- voicebreak -
Mos Def- The Panther Remix - Soundwave Presents The Mos Def Collection
Jane Sapp Pete Seeger Si Kahn- Solidarity Forever - Carry It On
Bigg Jus- Eerie Silence - Poor Peoples Day
Invincible- State Of Emergency Intro - ShapeShifters
- voicebreak -
Manic Focus- Poor Mans Prayer - Distant Perspective
- War No Right - Studio One Women
Easy Star AllStars- Brain Damage Featuring Dr Israel - Dub Side Of The Moon A Reggae Version Of Pink Floyds Dark Side Of The Moon
- Divorce Papers - Spokompilation
Polka Dot Dot Dot- Tree Medley - Syzygy
Robert Johnson- When You Got A Good Friend - The Complete Recordings
Elephant Revival- The Obvious - These Changing Skies
Mara Hruby- Is This Love - From Her Eyes
Alice Russell- Twin Peaks - To Dust
Kristin Rand- Guys Say Things To You - Single
Council Of Word- Unglued - Thin Air Acclimation
Mara Wiles- Thelma From Scooby Doo Haircut - Single
DJ Cavem Moetavation- Wheatgrass - The Produce Section The Harvest
- voicebreak -
Various Artists- Thins A Come Up To Dub - Version Dread 18 Dub Hits From Studio One
Brownout- Tell Her Shes Lovely - Aguilas And Cobras
Bjork- Who Is It - Gilles Peterson Presents The Bbc Sessions Vol 1
Shigeto- So So Lovely - Full Circle
Om Unit- Dark Sunrise feat Tamara Blessa - SaintGermaindesPrs Caf Vol 14
Malcom Kipe- Mystery Child - Lit
The Xx- Islands Nosaj Thing Remix - Islands EP
El Ten Eleven- Yellow Bridges Slow Magic Remix - Transitions Remixed
Macklemore- White Privilege - The Language Of My World
- voicebreak -
- Dont Turn Away - Free Design The Now Sound Redesigned
Letherette- Blad - Brownswood Electric
The Goodies- Sophisticated Boom Boom - Boys Can Be Mean
Sublime- I Love My Dog - Sublime Deluxe Edition
Femi Kuti- Stop AIDS - Fight To Win
Blue Scholars- Life Debt - Blue Scholars
Tommy McCook The Supersonics- Persian Cat Ska Once In A Persian Market Place - Real Cool The Jamaican King Of The Saxophone 6677
Big Brother The Holding Company- Flower In The Sun - Cheap Thrills
Malo- Pana - Bill Graham Presents In San Francisco Fillmore The Last Days
- voicebreak -
Nathaniel Rateliff- How To Win - Falling Faster Than You Can Run
Finn Riggins- Shaky - Vs Wilderness
Paper Bird- Drekovsky Flovoski Remix By Flobots - Carry On Rmxd
STS9- Metameme Alex B Concepts Remix - Peaceblaster The New Orleans Make It Right Remixes
Ital Tek- Human Version - Nebula Dance
Air 2 A Bird- We Gon Get It - Crow Hill
GEANT Sounds- Voyager 1 2 Spacecraft Duet - Free Download
- voicebreak -
Sonny Rollins- You Are My Lucky Star - Our Man In Jazz Bonus Track Version
- voicebreak -
Liz McComb- Basin Street Blues - In The Brass Land
Daedelus- Tiptoes - Drown Out
Ocote Soul Sounds- STTP Speak Truth To Power - Taurus


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/20/playlistDate/2014-01-28
          Â¿Dónde está Wally?        
In Michel Butors „Der Zeitplan“ bemächtigt sich die Stadt ihres Protagonisten, langsam und schleichend, wie das Virus seines Wirts. Butor zeichnet ein düsteres, nebulöses Bild, das schwer zu durchschauen ist. Voller Gegensätze und Widersprüche ist die Großstadt im Allgemeinen. Einerseits … Weiterlesen
          Glam Polish - Indigo, Nebula, Eclipse, Evie, Lilas        

Here's some gorgeous polishes from Glam Polish.

The colours are so pretty, the formula is great, the glitter spreads easily and I really like these alot.

Follow Glam Polish on Facebook so you know when the next restock is and what polishes will be available and also for sneak peaks at new releases.






Glam Polish Indigo over Ulta3 Orchid





Glam Polish Nebula over Ulta3 Midnight (blackened purple)





Glam Polish Eclipse over China Glaze Bahamian Escape & BarryM Navy






Glam Polish Evie over Essence Grey-t to Be Here







Glam Polish Lilas over China Glaze Liquid Leather

Thanks for reading
Deb

          Ayers Rock        

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

I visited Uluru (also called Ayers Rock) with my parents last week. Uluru is a huge sandstone formation in the middle of Australia. It is one of Australia's popular and most recognisable tourist destinations. Uluru is a UNESCO world heritage site and it is of immense cultural significance to the Aboriginal people. Below are some pictures I took during the trip.

Uluru at sunset.

This picture was taken ~10 minutes before sunset. Uluru is famous for changing colour at different times of the day due to changing lighting conditions. It offers a spectular sight at sunset and sunrise. I saw the rock change colour from rusty brown ->bright orange -> bright red -> pink (just before sundown).


~5 minutes before sunset. Uluru in a beautiful pink-orang-reddish glow.

~2 minutes to sunset. Pink.


My parents.


Uluru at sunrise.

It was unfortunately a cloudy morning so we couldn't see the sunrise. There aren't many cloudy days at Uluru. Thankfully the clouds were only sparsely scattered, so we could see the skies lit up in the early morning light.


...and it was a COLD morning. REALLY cold. The guide told us it was 4 deg C when we reached sunrise viewing area - a secluded sand dune. I did dress accordingly, but did not bring any gloves. I couldn't feel my fingers.

Sunrise viewing area. Desert awakening.


The desert road.
The Aussie outback is known for its Red soil. No wonder Northern Territory is called the The Red Centre.




Ayers Rock
Strong winds. Shucks! I badly wanted to climb the rock. Next time!

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

The other attraction near Uluru is Kata Tjuta (known as The Olgas). Kata Tjuta is a collection of dome-like rock formations. Kata Tjuta means "many heads". It is 50kms to the west of Uluru. Kata Tjuta is also very sacred to the local aboriginal people. Some rock formations were out of bounds because they aren't supposed to be viewed or photographed by the public.

Walpa Gorge walk


Kata Tjuta

Sound of Silence - Stargazing

We did a tour called Sound of Silence. The tour started out with viewing the Uluru and Kata Tjuta at sunset from a great viewing spot, then we walked to the dinner area in the middle of the desert for a candle-lit three-course buffet (the main items were Kangaroo burgers, Crocodile meat, Barramundi Fish fry and Lamb Chops. Being vejjitarians, we had to settle for a onju pona pasta and salad. Hmph. The outback is not a good place to be a vegetarian). While we were getting ready to have desserts, suddenly all the lights were turned off. We were in the middle of nowhere and it was pitch dark. Just then, an astronomer introduced himself and gave us a tour of the southern night sky. In the darkness, the night sky was a breathtaking sight. Just...wow! We could see so many stars, I could clearly see the Milky way spread across the wide horizon.

The astronomer showed us the following:

a. Zodiac signs. Signs like Capricorn, Scorpio, Aries were easy to recognise. Certain zodiac signs required us to use extensive imagination to recognise them from cluster of stars.

b. Southern Cross. The astronomer told us how ancient explorers and native Aboriginal people used Southern Cross for navigation. He showed us how to determine which direction is south by applying simple trigonometry on Southern Cross. Very neat!

c. There were two telescopes from which we could see Saturn and the Butterfly cluster. I've never seen Butterfly cluster before. It was a beauty!

d. Nebulae, Venus & Mars.

It was a fantastic night. I'd do Sound of Silence again just to gaze at the stars in pitch darkness.

          Acustica Audio Nebula2 and Nebula3 promotional prices        
Acustica Audio is offering Nebula2 and Nebula3 for a special price. Nebula is a VST Plugin based on Volterra Kernels Series. It emulates different types of vintage gear: equalisers, filters, microphones, preamps, compressors, reverb and generic time-variant processors (chorus, flangers, phasers). Acustica Audio Nebula 3 Nebula2 + over 5 Gigabytes of libraries is 20 euro, […]
          ÐšÐ¾Ð½Ñ†ÐµÑ€Ñ‚ Nebulae Come Sweet        
15 вересня до Тернополя прибуде білоруська пост метал / дум метал команда Nebulae Come Sweet з дебютним альбомом "It's Not The Night That Covers You". Концерт відбудеться у арт-барі "Коза". Початок о 19.00. В кінці 2016 мінчани Nebulae Come Sweet випустили кращий альбом в білоруській важкій музиці за останні 10 років: емоційний, містичний і продуманий до деталей, до кожного рядка і кожної ноти. Приходь, відчуй на собі і залишайся в цих обіймах назавжди. Вхід - 60 грн.
          Federation Fleet        
I've finally finished my Federation fleet. A project I've been working on for quite some time now. This is the last fleet I needed to complete my project of the Dominion War, and now I have fleets for all powers involved in the conflict.

SAM_0770

The ships in this collection come from a couple sources. The defiant-class ships are Studio Bergstrom's, the first models I purchased for this fleet. The Galaxy-class, Akira-Class and Excelsior Class are Attack Wing's, while the Sovereign Class is actually a key ring accessory, a gift from a friend that happened to match the scale of the rest of the fleet perfectly!

Speaking of scale, this is the reason this fleet took so long to complete. My entire collection of star trek ships are in scale to each other. Exact scale in most cases, close enough in others. When it comes to the Federation, I had to wait for Wizkids to release some classes of ships that were in scale with the fleets I already had (something around 1/9000), particularly the Galaxy-class, which I definitely wanted in the fleet.

They had already released a Galaxy, the Enterprise itself, in the Starter Set, but I needed at least 3 or 4, and wasn't going to purchase that many starter sets, when the only thing I needed on each was a single ship. So I had to wait for Wizkids to make the Galaxy available by itself, and it happened recently, in the form of the USS Venture. Together with the Akiras and the Excelsiors, I then had enough variation of classes to come up with a proper fleet. (their Nebula-class is also in scale, but I figured 4-5 classes of ships was enough, without being too much).

Once I had all models I wanted to build the fleet, I gave them a paint job to make them look uniform enough, a proper fleet (even though in-universe, different classes of Federation ships have all kinds of shades of grey).

SAM_0771

SAM_0772

SAM_0774

The Peregrin-class attack ships above are an example of close-enough scale. They should actually be considerably smaller than the Defiants next to them, but there are no such models available for these ships that I'm aware of, so these will have to do. They're sufficiently small to represent the fact that they are tiny attack ships, so that's good enough, I suppose.

SAM_0775

SAM_0776

SAM_0777

SAM_0778


          A few follow ups        
I promised a photo of the finished purple-garnet shawl that I was spinning for three posts ago.

This is Tulippa by Kristina Vilimaite (aka AnimaKnits on Ravelry).
Tulippa for two

As always, it was a pleasure to test knit (my project link) for Kristina as I adore her designs.

I'm spinning and testing for another of her new designs at the moment.

This is some locally dyed Finn fibre that I picked up at a knitter's frolic. I am making this a 2-ply, DK weight yarn.

I also finished spinning the multi-coloured merino as a singles yarn.
As a fellow geek, I appreciate how Cloud9 Fibreworks names yarns and fibres - such as this Elephant Trunk Nebula merino.
I initially started spinning this merino for the sake of comparing it with a new fibre base, but for better accuracy in comparison I'm being sent some of the former superwash base fibre so that I'm comparing like with like. More updates to follow.
The real question is, what will I knit with this lovely yarn? I think I'm going to use a second solid yarn with it.
          Galaksi        
Galaksi adalah kumpulan bintang, planet, gas, debu, nebula dan benda-benda langit lainnya yang membentuk “pulau-pulau” di dalam ruang hampa jagat raya. Galaksi Hanya bisa dilihat dengan teleskop yang mampu mendeteksi 1000 juta galaksi dengan ukuran 100 tc-10 juta tc (1 tc (tahun cahaya)= 10.000.000.000.000 km/10.000 milyar km). Bentuk galaksi Spiral, Jumlahnya 60 %, mempunyai roda […]
          Trzy różne populacje gwiazd w jednej gromadzie        
Dzięki nowym obserwacjom przy pomocy należącego do ESO teleskopu VST, astronomowie odkryli trzy różne populacje niemowlęcych gwiazd w gromadzie w Mgławicy Oriona. To niespodziewane odkrycie dodaje nowy, bardzo ważny aspekt, do zrozumienia w jaki sposób formują się takie gromady. Odkrycie sugeruje, ze powstawanie gwiazd może zachodzić falami, z których każda zachodzi w znacznie szybszej skali czasowej niż do tej pory przypuszczano. OmegaCAM — kamera optyczna szerokiego pola na należącym do ESO teleskopie VLT Survey Telescope — uchwyciła spektakularną Wielką Mgławicę w Orionie i związaną z nią gromadę młodych gwiazd (Orion Nebula Cluster), uzyskując nowe, piękne i bardzo szczegółowe zdjęcie. Obiekt ten jest jednym z najbliższych …
          Rab Altus Insulated Jacket        
Rab Altus Insulated Jacket

Rab Altus Insulated Jacket

The Altus Jacket is a new lightweight Cirrus synthetic insulated jacket, designed for use in cold, damp and changeable environments. Rab says: With the introduction of Cirrus™ we have harnessed decades of down expertise to evolve a synthetic technology that offers a genuine alternative. Cirrus combines the warmth to weight benefits of down with the wet-weather performance of synthetics, including rapid dry times that allow the insulating fibres to recover quickly, creating the perfect option for warm layering in cold, damp, changeable conditions. Our new Altus jacket is the latest incarnation in our Cirrus range; lightweight with a slim fit, elasticated cuffs and a durable Pertex® Quantum fabric. The Altus is a streamlined alternative to the Nebula and Nimbus, and will withstand sleet, snow and sideways rain during the winter months. | Pertex Quantum Fabric - Light enough to enable down to loft better, comfortable enough for next-to-skin. Click Logo to read more... | Click here for more info on Rab, product updates and New Season information.


          Rab Nebula Insulated Jacket        
Rab Nebula Insulated Jacket

Rab Nebula Insulated Jacket

UOG TOP PICK - RAB's Nebula Synthetic Jacket - Tough no nonsense jacket - We've singled out RAB's Nebula synthetic jacket as one of our top recommendations because it has a Pertex Endurance outer and uses loose fill synthetic fibres to provide the insulation in the same way as a down jacket. Rab says: The Nebula Jacket is a quick drying, featherless synthetic insulated jacket, using Cirrus™ insulation by 3M, designed as a technical all-rounder perfect for climbing and winter walking. Cirrus™ is a new, breakthrough insulation which combines almost all the key benefits of natural down and synthetic fillings, whilst avoiding their limitations. Key technical features include a helmet compatible hood for climbing use, a Pertex® Endurance® outer fabric and YKK® zips throughout. The Nebula Jacket is designed as an all-round cold weather piece, yet the technical feature set offers the flexibility of using the jacket as a winter climbing and belay jacket. | Pertex Endurance Lightweight outer Fabric - with a 1,000mm Hydrostatic Head and high breathability rating Pertex Endurance is a super-lightweight fabric whilst still delivering good protection and abrasion resistance. Click Logo to read more... | Click here for more info on Rab, product updates and New Season information.


          35 صورة بديعة لسُدم لم تسمع عنها من قبل        
تأملوا معي كلمة سديم للحظات، لوّكوها في أفواهكم، ورددوها بين جدران آذانكم. أليست رائعة؟! السديم في اللغة العربية هو السحاب أو الضباب الرقيق، وهى مرادف رائع لكلمة Nebula اللاتينية التي تعني الغيمة. وعلى الأرجح سمعت بالكلمة الغامضة من قبل فاستحضرت صورًا مختلفة لتشكيلات نجمية أو كوكبية رأيتها من قبل في فترة ما؛ لكن ما هو السديم حقًا؟! السديم […]
          Poi malgrè tout è fine febbraio o marzo di Mario Luzi        
Maria en El Pardo
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida
 Poi malgré tout è fine febbraio o marzo:
la primavera non c’è ancora,
c’è, trepidante quella numinosa nebula,
quel fuoco bianco nell’aria,
quelle velature seta e argento,
tutto ciò che desidera il senso
ci sia
in questa piega dell’anno, tutto,
la prima barca, il primo verde dei salici,
la prima ruota d’acqua
alla virata dell’armo.
C’è tutto, tutto.
Tutto incredibilmente.
*
Da BRUCIATA LA MATERIA DEL RICORDO
          Open Source Clouds Comparison: Eucalyptus, OpeNebula and OpenStack        
(Author: Davide Galletti) OSSEval (formerly SOS Open Source) has been used to analyze three different open source cloud solutions, namely Eucalyptus, OpenNebula and OpenStack, respectively maintained by the homonymous US-based company Eucalyptus recently acquired by HP, the Spanish C12G Labs company and the North-American OpenStack Foundation. All these projects were created over 3 years ago, […]
          PDX Etsy's CYBER MONDAY SALE - Nov. 26        
Once again it is time for the PDX Etsy Cyber Monday Sale!  I am participating with 20% off in my shop.  Just enter coupon code PDXETSY2012 on Monday, November 26.

This same coupon code will be active in a whole bunch of other friendly local Portland Etsy shops.  Here's the full list (courtesy of The Cozy Project):





Agnes
 Herbivore - Vintage Dinosaur Brooch Necklace
20% off all baubles!

Allen Metal Arts
 Long Dangle Aluminum Earrings, Intersecting Orbits Collection
Free Shipping Coupon Code PDXETSY2012 
Plus, 15% off everything in shop.


Amelia and Brother
Fall Fashion Felt Hair Bow Set Felt Accessories
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Artisticsoul Designs
 iPhone Wallet Set, Retro Flowers Fabric, iPod case, Smartphone case
20% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


bama + ry
Fueled Copper Pendant Reads "Fueled by Caffeine & Dreams" on a Ball Chain Necklace
Free Shipping Black Friday through Cyber Monday with Code PDXETSY2012


BleuOiseau Photography
 Multnomah Falls, Oregon, waterfall photography, bridge, 8x12 print
20% off coupon code: PDXETSY2012


Bloom by Arissia
Simply chic collection .  red and white dots rosette headband
Free shipping! code PDXETSY2012


Buttonlandia
 Fia's Burger - Handsewn Felt Plush Hamburger - Perfect for Summer, Birthdays, Any Occassion
20% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Charms and Signs
 Aged Sterling Recycle Yourself Charm
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


cookoorikoo
 green jello earrings - vintage plastic
10% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012

Cool Jane 
  Go Out For Pancakes - Blank Recycled Greeting Card - I Love You Card - Thinking of You
25% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Ellie Creations
 Titanic Necklace- Freshwater Pearls and Green Onyx
25% off coupon PDXETSY2012


Envy Designs Jewelry
 Madeira Citrine earrings, handmade14k gold filled earrings- Here Comes the Sun OOAK
PDXETSY2012 for free shipping


Eye Pop Art
 Custom Mandala Room Divider made from 35 Painted Vinyl Records - Tribal Inspired Geometry
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012





Flavia Bennett Designs
 Tiny Infinity Studs in Sterling Silver
15% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


HHknits
 Hand Knit Christmas Stocking
10% off coupon PDXETSY2012


Historical Tidbits
Gift Wrap Hand-stamped Wrapping Paper with Gift Box Brown Kraft Paper Rustic Flower Pattern
Free domestic shipping with coupon code PDXETSY2012 - Friday through Monday


House of Moss
  Felted amanita mushroom magnet in an upcycled lid
15% off with coupon code PDXETSY2012


Hymowear
Baby blanket handmade from upcycled sweaters - great for tummy time
20% off coupon code PDXETSY2012


Inkstrand
 Set of Antique Inspired Silhouette Portrait Pendants - brass finish w/ 19" chains
20% Off with coupon code: PDXETSY2012
 

j richards designs
 Holey Pendant in anigre
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Jewelry by Mondaen
 Clay Poppies Yarn Necklace - Hand-knitted from Black Nylon Yarn with Black Glass Beads and a Bouquet of Clay Poppies
20% off coupon code PDXETSY2012


Joyful Studio
Original Art Painting Portrait of a Redhead pretty girl on Vintage Book Cover
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Julie Kujawa
Caldera Series: Hammered Sterling Silver with Oxblood Red Freshwater Pearls - made to order
15% off - Coupon Code pdxetsy2012


Karma Loompa beads
 1 strand Green Crackle Agate, 11mm faceted
10% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Kendra Binney
 5"x7"  limited edition fine art red bird print.  reproduction on wood with resin. bright red floral bird print
20% off Coupon code PDXETSY2012


Kenton Beadworks
 Woodgrain Silver Disc Necklace
20% Off and FREE Shipping With Coupon Code: PDXETSY2012 


KimBuilt
Enamelware Sauce Pots White with Red Trim Cottage Chic Cookware
10% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Knot-Cha-Cha!
 Mrs. Chaplin's Hat: Large Size Winter Cloche - Crochet in Chianti and Eggplant Wool - Item 1154
10% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Kusala Knitworks
FREE SHIPPING Royal Purple Braided Cable Cowl
www.etsy.com/shop/kusalaknitworks
15% off coupon code PDXETSY2012
Plus free shipping Black Friday through end of day Cyber Monday on all purchases, without a code!


leakarts
 Princess Leia, a Star Wars print from an original painting by Lea Keohane
30% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012 


Limon Merengue
 Everyday tote bag in black canvas and white suede leather
20%off coupon code: PDXETSY2012


MarshMueller
 Boppy Pillow Cover - Black & White Mod Dot
10% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


My Wife's Studio
 Turquoise and Red Coral Silver Earrings Handmade
15% off coupon code PDXETSY2012


Nettle & Rue
 Red Guinea Feather Earrings
15% off coupon code PDXETSY2012


Olive Chaos
 Medium Cherry zippered lined makeup bag clutch purse 50% recycled
25% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Oystercatcher Yarns
Felted Snowman, holiday decoration, Christmas centerpiece
10% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Photos By Chipperfield
 Fine Art Photography - Mysterious Red Oriental Poppies "Pretty Ladies" Dancing in the Moonlight, Festive, Chic, Wall Art, Floral Decor
Buy One Get One Free


Pillars of Creation
 Cat Space Galaxy Nebula Print Silk Square Scarf
15% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012

piper ewan 
 rodeo queen garter in turquoise and red
20% off coupon code: PDXETSY2012


pixelparty
nintendo controller cufflinks
Free Shipping with Code PDXETSY2012


PomLove
 Red Riding Hood ... 3 tissue paper poms // wedding decorations // birthdays // holidays // eco party decorations
25% off w/coupon code: PDXETSY2012


Porcuprints
 Heian Shrine, Japanese Style Woodcut  - Original, Handcarved & Printed, Limited Edition
Free shipping (Domestic only) Coupon Code - PDXETSY2012


Prunella Soap
Christmas Edition - 10 Assorted Wrapped Handmade Soap Favors - Vegan Cold Process Soap made with Organic Ingredients
10% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Puppenwerkstatt
 Waldorf Inspired Style Soft Cloth Doll "Hannah" with Reversible Dress
10% off coupon code PDXETSY2012


Raspberry Swirl
 Bee Scallop Tags- Set of 20
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Reverse Chronology
1971 red and cream vintage Mitsubishi pencil sharpener japanese 
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Scrumptious Suds
 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Glycerin Soap
20% off coupon PDXETSY2012


secondblush
 Pot Holder and Coaster Set
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Sesame Seed Designs
 Pattern - Felt Ornament Advent Calendar Pattern, PDF, Christmas Advent Wall Hanging
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Skinplicity
 Soap Travel Set - Bath and Body - Soap...Lotion...Lip Balm
10% off coupon code PDXETSY2012


Snappy Rockfish Soap
 Fiddlehead Mojito - Spearmint Lime Handmade Vegan Soap
15% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


The Cozy Project
 Coffee Cozy: 10 pack. Your choice For Coffee or Beer or mason jars by The Cozy Project
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


The Epoch Yeti
 Gold Colored Vintage Unicorn Bust
20% off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


The Little Canoe
 Canning Love 2013 Wall Calendar
20% Off Coupon Code PDXETSY2012


Treloar Couture
 Multicolored Bohemian Wrap Bracelet or Headpiece
Free pair of Persian Princess Earrings with every purchase placed on Cyber Monday!


Wasataylor
 Teacher Appreciation Gift Set  - Crayon Necklace and Stud Earrings, Hand Painted Wooden Jewelry
20% OFF Coupon: PDXETSY2012





          Sleepless Nights 03-22-2015 with Nat        
Playlist:

Single Gun Theory- Fall - Flow River Of My Soul
Pete Namlook- Asbendos - Silence V
KK Null- Cryptozoon Stereo Condensed Mix - Cryptozoon Stereo Condensed Mix
Shane Carruth- The Rays Which Stream Through The Shutter Will Be No Longer Remembered When The Shutter Is Wholly Removed - Upstream Color Original Motion Picture Score
Yagya Deepchord- DeepChord Redesigns 5 - Will I Dream During The Process DeepChord Redesigns
Murcof- Mir - Martes
Seefeel- Polyfusion - Quique
Speedy J- Patterns - Public Energy No1
Hecq- Flame II - Horror Vacui
Bitstream- Stream One - Crab Nebula 7
Boy Robot- We Accept All Our Parents Credit Cards - Rotten Cocktails
Booka Shade- Love Inc - Eve
The Black Dog- Streets In The Sky - Liber Dogma
Phil Western- Longform - Longform
The Black Dog- Mind Object - Tranklements
Booka Shade- Love Drug feat Fritz Helder - Eve
Claude VonStroke- Vocal Chords - Bird Brain
Christian Lffler- Mt Grace - Young Alaska
VNV Nation- Fragments Splinter - Burning Empires
Assemblage 23- Decades V2 - Meta
VNV Nation- Genesis - Futureperfect
Black Lung- Fucking The Monsterous Music - Profound And Sentimental Journey
The Young Gods- Speed Of Night - Only Heaven
Yellow Swans- Sovereign - Going Places
Architects Office- Soundtrack To Stan Brakhages Film Kindering - Soundtracks
Wolves In The Throne Room- Sleeping Golden Storm - Celestite
Alva Noto- Uni Iso - Univrs


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/91/playlistDate/2015-03-22
          Interview With BLUE YONDER Author Diane Dooley        


Incoming—a new science fiction romance release from author Diane Dooley called BLUE YONDER (Decadent Publishing)! I’ve read and enjoyed her first three books, BLUE GALAXY and BLUE NEBULA (both available through Carina Press) and MAKO'S BOUNTY (Decadent Publishing) and so I'm delighted to add her latest to my TBR pile.

Diane Dooley is aboard TGE so we can learn more about BLUE YONDER! But first, here’s the cover and blurb:




Earth is drowning, but Isabel Visconti won’t be going down with the planet. Her earnings as a factory drone and prostitute will soon fund her escape to the stars. All she’ll leave behind is her late husband’s best friend, Daniel Morneau, who has disappeared into the underbelly of the city’s criminal gangs. Until he shows up, pleading for Isabel’s help.

It’s the old Daniel, the kind, gentle one. The man who bought medicine for her dying husband then helped her through the grief. It’s the Daniel she couldn’t possibly refuse to help. But Isabel has already been given a choice by Daniel’s psychopath boss. Betray Daniel—or spend months travelling to a far-off colony, servicing a violent criminal gang along the way.

When Daniel is abducted, Isabel is his only hope. He may die without her, but is there time enough for love on the eve of the end of the world?
***

And now for my interview with Diane Dooley!

The Galaxy Express: What inspired you to tell the story of Isabel and Daniel?

Diane Dooley: It’s set in Athens, Greece, where I once spent a lot of time. A lot of people from various parts of the world wash up in Athens for some reason. It’s always been that kind of city, and I love using it as a setting. (Blue Galaxy also started in Athens.)

 I’ve spent a probably unhealthy amount of time thinking, reading, and writing about the end of the world. Isabel and Daniel are two ordinary people. They’re not rich or wealthy or powerful or famous. They’re just trying to survive. And that’s it, really. Weary survivors in an iconic city on a dying planet. How can they find hope? How can there be time for love?

TGE: Please share at least five tags that you feel are important for readers to know.

DD: Apocalyptic. Novella. Heroism. Survival. Hope.

TGE: What kind of futuristic technology can readers expect in this world?

DD: Very little, actually. In Blue Yonder, humanity has just about used up everything Earth has to offer. People have gathered in the surviving cities and are fleeing the planet via spaceports, heading out to the space colonies. So, though there is future tech in the form of space ferries, arc ships, space stations, etc, back on Earth it is fast reverting to the stone age. There’s no fuel for cars. There’s no ammo for guns. There’s no medicine for diseases.

TGE: Are there danger/action-adventure elements in BLUE YONDER or is it a more character-driven story?

DD: It’s a bit of both. Isabel and Daniel are both tough survivors, well equipped to do what they must do to get a place on a ship off Earth. But they also have their complexities. Neither seem like heroic material, and yet a situation arises in which they both have to dig deep into themselves to find the people they would have been in less apocalyptic circumstances. And then, of course, there’s the villain: Vangelis.  He’s a very dangerous man with a bunch of pretty vile minions. So, yes, there is danger and action and adventure :)


TGE: Name the last movie you watched. Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

DD: Last movie I watched was Mad Max: Fury Road. It was fantastic! I love really intense chase scenes and I’ve been missing seeing great stunt work, so I was a happy camper. I loved rooting for Furiosa and the gals, and was happy to see an action movie in which there were so many female characters with agency. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Thanks for having me, Heather! 

About the author

Diane Dooley was born in the Channel Islands, grew up in Scotland, and now resides in the United States. She lives with her best friend/husband and two obstreperous boy children in a falling-down farmhouse in the sticks.

She writes short stories and novellas in several genres and has been published in a variety of online and print publications, as well as by several digital-first publishing houses. She is also the Fiction Editor for Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly and a long time worker bee for the Science Fiction Romance Brigade.

You can find Diane on Facebook, Twitter and her blog.

* * *
Read an excerpt of BLUE YONDER.

For more information about where to obtain a copy, visit the author’s web site. If you’re a reviewer, contact the author for a review copy.

Add BLUE YONDER on Goodreads

***
Joyfully yours,
Heather


          The World Is So Full Of A Number Of Things...        
.


I'm working on the final draft of my novel, going up and down the pages looking for typos and infelicities of phrasing or thought. Which is why I have been so terribly remiss in keeping this blog updated.

Mea culpa, and I'll be done soon.

Meanwhile, life goes on. So I have a more than a week's worth  of news for you. As ensue:


1. The Liars Club Oddcast

I was interviewed by a group of merry pranksters from Philadelphia's own Liars Club (that most
admirable of all writers' organizations, one that doesn't distinguish between genres and mainstream) for their podcast -- or Oddcast, as they call it.

As a rule, I cannot bring myself to listen to listen to my own interviews. But Marianne and Sean say that it came out well. Certainly, there was a great deal of fun and laughter. Because -- and here's a dark secret that no one else will tell you -- most writers are fun-loving, upbeat people. Shh!

At the end of the interview, I was challenged to present my hosts with two truths and one lie and let them guess which was the untruth. Did I fool them? There's only one way to find out.

You can find the Liars Club Oddcast main page here, which let's you choose iTunes or Stitcher or iHeart Radio as options for listening.


2. The Iron Dragon's Daughter E-Book Sale

Amazon has selected The Iron Dragon's Daughter as a Kindle Monthly Deal throughout June. The ebook will be downpriced to 1.99 at Amazon.com for the entire month,  With so many ebook sales being one-day pop-ups, this is a surprisingly generous deal.

So... much praise to Open Road Media for arranging this.


3. I Am Returning to China!

I have been invited to the Fourth China International SF Conference in Chengdu, Sechuan Province, China this coming 10th-12th of November..

I accepted, of course. I love China, I love Chengdu, and this is a very exciting time for Chinese science fiction. Also, and best of all, I'll get to see some of my Chinese friends again. So this was an extremely easy decision to make.

I'll almost certainly be blogging from Chengdu when the time comes.


4. The Photo Above 

Not everything, mirabile dictu, is about me. When I was at the Nebula Awards Weekend in Pittsburgh, I snapped the above shot. 


This requires a little context. The guest speaker for the awards banquet was astronaut Dr. Kjell Lindgrin. During the signing event, I was standing by Joe Haldeman's table, talking with his wife Gay when Kjell came up with his phone in his hand and the above picture loaded into it. While he was waiting his turn to show the picture to Joe, he explained what it was and, very quickly, I asked if I could take a snap.

What you see above you is a copy of The Forever War afloat inside the International Space Station.

Wow.


And that's all for this week. There'll be more news soon. And, knock on wood, more often.


Above: See how casually that's held. What a wondrous time in which we live!


*

          And As Always...        
.
I'm on the road again!

This time I'm in Pittsburgh for the Nebula Awards. I'm not up myself, by a friend asked me to be the designated acceptor should the Work In Question win. If it does, I'll tell you all about it.

Meanwhile, I'm in Pittsburgh! I once ticked off a lot of fantasy readers by ending a novel with the heroine moving to Pittsburgh and becoming a chemist. That one baffled me. Chemistry is a great profession. And Pittsburgh is a great city. I'd rather be a chemist in Pittsburgh than rule in Narnia any day.

Today, I think I'll go to the Carnegie. Which is that most sensible of institutions, a world-class art museum which is also a world-class natural history museum. Or is it the other way around?

*

          Astronomy Camp - March 2011 at University of Colombo        
I'm now gonna blog about an event that we had in our University almost 2 months back. I'm really sorry guys for dragging this such longer due to the busy schedule I've been undergoing last few months due to various reasons. Hope you don't mind me sharing in so late. Anyway here it is..

This is the annual astronomy camp that we organize for undergraduates in the University itself, This is generally aimed at getting amateurs more interested in astronomy by working along with a practical observation related path while recruiting enthusiasts as members for the society at the same time. Of course just anyone in the University can take part here in various sessions of activities and talks. The astronomy camp 2011 was held on 11th of March 2011 from evening onwards at the University premises. I was in particular happy that a lot of my batch-mates took part here and enjoyed themselves all the way through to the end.
The participants waiting for the start of the program

It's true that we were surrounded by a great many light sources lit in the Colombo city. There were always flashes anywhere you looked, leaving us to skip more than 60 degrees of altitude from the horizon. Favorably it didn't rain and clouds were a less concern.
As an interesting talk was in progress....

There were talks by our senior members such as Mrs. Monika Madhavi as well as an interesting presentation about so-called "2012" by Dr. Chandana Jayaratne, our staff advisor.

There were observations sessions, where the participants got the chance to observe Moon- I'd say that the Moon was very clear that evening; and Jupiter and Saturn, as well as some other constellations plus Orion nebula. I wish we had repaired the Molesworth telescope somehow, as we would then have managed to do extensive observation with better optics.We've been having it in our possession for quite a time and I think we need to make it back functional.
Having fun with telescopes :)

It's the time for hands-on activity

Inside the dome with Molesworth Telescope

Dr. Jayaratne giving introductory remarks on the telescope.

Moreover there were interesting games, which were aimed at broadening the basic astronomy knowledge in various formats such as puzzles, etc. I must also mention that everybody got a change to visit the small dome where Molesworth telescope is currently housed. I've recorded a video of that segment and I will try to youtube it and post it here.

The video features Dr. Jayaratne giving a brief introduction about the scope to the attendees whilst inside the dome.

The puzzling game..

Enthusiasm + activity = Learning

and Done !

As I recall, I find this astronomy camp as a one where I more or less played the roles of both a participant and an organizer. It was a nice experience and excitement was there right from the start to the end of this
12-hour astronomy scenario. A big thanks should go out to our president Mrs. Chethya Vidanapathirana and other 3rd year students for putting together their efforts for such a successful astronomy camp as well as to contributors and participants alike.

Here is a group photograph of the participants posing in front of the dome housing Molesworth telescope.

          The Tadpoles of IC 410        
Image Credit & Copyright:  Martin Pugh Explanation:  This telescopic close-up shows off the otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410 in striking false-colors. It also features two remarkable inhabitants of the cosmic pond of gas and dust below and right of center, the tadpoles of IC 410. The picture is a composite of images taken through narrow band filters. The narrow band […]
          Horse Head Nebula        

This image of the Horse Head nebula is a blend of color and H-alpha captures.
H alpha image
2011-02-01 in backyard Victoria BC
Conditions - +2deg, clear with poor transmission and no wind.
Equipment - Orion ED80T CF refractor, 0.8x focal reducer/flattener, modified Canon T1i camera with Ha filter and Astrotrac Travel mount.
Exposures - 26 4 min lights, 11 darks and 8 flats.
Color image
Captured at Painted Rocks AZ on 2013-03-06.
Equipment - Orion ED80T CF refractor, 0.8x focal reducer/flattener, modified Canon T3i camera and Astrotrac Travel mount.
20 240s frames at ISO 1600 with darks and flats for calibration
Processing in Images Plus and Photoshop


          Laptops: Dell Alienware M17x Intel Core 2 Duo 17" Laptop with 4GB RAM and 250GB HDD- Nebula Red $1899        

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, 17" WXGA, 4GB DDR2, 250GB, Slot-Load Dual Layer DVD Burner, 802.11a/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth, Mouse Pointers, Nebula Red Special Edition, Anodized Aluminum!
Excellent Price Gaming Laptop
          Cowboy Cantor 286ª Emissão        
1. Juniper V – Top Notch Scum (Lisboa, Portugal) Bandcamp 2. Julianna Barwick – Nebula (Brooklyn, E.U.A.) Bandcamp, eMusic, iTunes, Loja oficial 3. Stone Cold Fox – Contagion (Brooklyn, E.U.A.) Bandcamp, eMusic, Google Play, iTunes 4. Aloha – Signal Drift (Cleveland, E.U.A.) Bandcamp, eMusic, Google Play, iTunes, Polyvinyl Records 5. Pleasure Beach – Magic Mountain (Belfast, […]
          2016 Awards Eligibility        
2016 has been a quieter year story quantity wise, but I feel my writing quality has taken a big step forward.

If you feel compelled to nominate any of my stories (thank you) for local (the SJVs) or international consideration (Tiptrees, Nebulas, Hugos, hey, a girl can dream), then here are what I believe are my best works of the 2016 calendar year:

"An Atlas in Sgraffito Style", Shimmer Magazine, May 2016. A lovely-strange piece about cities colliding, merging, and eating themselves, and the women who try to hold them together through paint and riot. Still immensely proud of this story.

"Splintr" At The Edge, edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts, Paper Road Press, June 2016. Another weird piece, all sharp edges and strange prose. Aliens evacuate a doomed Earth, leaving one person behind. Are the multiple narratives part of a fracturing personality under pressure, or is the strange apocalypse doing something to time on the quantum level?

"Shadow Cat's Apprentice, and the Wanderer's Almanac to Biliousness in All Its Forms" Andromeda Spaceways, Issue 64 September 2016. A fun story, the prequel to "Long's Confandabulous Circus" in ASM last year. Cats, magic, sewers, sinister shadow assassins, oh my.

Thanks for coming along on the ride this year.

Bow Tie Kitteh Got Game







          A Tale of Three Stellar Cities        
Using new observations from ESO's VLT Survey Telescope, astronomers have discovered three different populations of young stars within the Orion Nebula Cluster. This unexpected discovery adds very valuable new insights for the understanding of how such clusters form. It suggests that star formation might proceed in bursts, where each burst occurs on a much faster time-scale than previously thought. OmegaCAM - the wide-field optical camera on ESO's VLT Survey Telescope (VST) - has captured the ...
          Create a Deer Abstraction with Photoshop        
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a deer abstraction with Photoshop. You’ll’ learn how to combine abstract elements, work with textures and create lighting effect. The Final Image Required Resources: Deer     http://pixabay.com/en/deer-stag-antler-wildlife-animals-285149/ Abstract shape   http://jennyle88.deviantart.com/art/Abstract-Shapes-1-439476956 Render   http://fmdesigner.deviantart.com/art/Abstract-2-0037-358069033 Circles   http://mediamilitia.com/circular-design-pack-67-free-vectors/ Particles   http://mediamilitia.com/particles-pack-25-free-images/ Nebula 1   http://jennyle88.deviantart.com/art/Nebula-stock-24-466487355 Nebula 2  http://jennyle88.deviantart.com/art/Nebula-stock-11-466482345 Nebula 3   http://jennyle88.deviantart.com/art/Nebula-stock-17-466484004 Clouds brushes   […]
          Nebula Warriors        
Tactical ship placement game with multiplayer. Outsmart your opponent to gain control of the nebula. In-game tutorial available. You can use keys 1-0 to select and place ships.
          Lanitium ex Machina Merinot        
Syksyllä kehräsin Lanitium ex Machinan merinovilloja rukeillani. LeM:llä on uudet nettisivut ja siellä on kehruuvillaa pitkän tauon jälkeen. Mitään violettia tai vaaleanpunaista ei varmaan ole tarjolla, sillä olen ollut kärppänä paikalla päivitysten jälkeen, mutta saatte toki sellaisista haaveilla. :)


Vanhoista varastoistani kaivelin kesäksi kokoontaittuvalle matkarukilleni Majacraftin Little Gemille työn alle merinokaritsavillaa värissä Nebula. Jaoin letin kahtia ja kehräsin melko ohutta (lue: tosi ohutta) säiettä Lilyllä. Kylmän kesän kaikki parhaat terassikehruuhetket hyödynsin merenrannalla tarkkaan. Jälkikäteen ajateltuna olisi ollut viisasta kehrätä fraktaali eli jakaa toinen puoli letistä useaan osaan, jolloin topsin väritys olisi ollut toisessa säikeessä ja toinen olisi ollut eritavalla jaottelun vuoksi kirjavampi. Nyt langassa on selkeästi raitoja, mutta sehän voi olla ihan kivakin efekti.

Kuitu: Lanitium ex Machina merinolampaan karitsavillatopsi värissä Nebula
Väline: Majacraft Little Gem välityssuhteella 8,6:1
Kertaus: Majacraft Aura välitussuhteella 10:1
Lanka: Kaksisäikeinen 695 metriä / 140 grammaa (Ravelry)
WPI: 22
Fiilis: Tosi kiva, ohut huivilanka.

Lopputulos yllätti. En olisi ikinä uskonut, että 140 grammaa olisi mitenkään riittänyt liki 700 metriseen vyyhtiin ilman, että lanka on ompelulankaa tai pianovaijeria. Tämä on sopivan ohutta, lähempänä sukkalankavahvuutta kuin ompelulankaa. Se ei tunnu yhtään liki 700 metrin vyyhdiltä, mutta tarkistin laskelmani metrien osalta pariin kertaan ja pakko se oli uskoa. Pehmeyskin säilyä napakasta kierteestä huolimatta. Jos päättäisin tehdä juuri tällaista lankaa, niin en varmasti onnistuisi, mutta rennosti lomatunnelmissa kehräillessä tulee parasta laatua.


Tuskastuin ohuisiin lankoihin, joita ei tule juuri neulottua, joten päätin yrittää paksumpaa. Valitsin seuraavaksi hieman uudempaa varastoa Lanitium ex Machinan merino-firestar-topsin komeassa jäänsinisessä värissä. Firestar on ohutta kimaltavaa nylonia. Se on melko pehmeää, eikä juuri tunnu kehrätessä toisin kuin Angelina tai jotkut muut kimaltavat nylonit, joita kehruuvilloissa blinginä käytetään.

Kuitu: Lanitium ex Machina Merino-Firestar-topsi
Väline: Majacraft Aura välityssuhteella 7:1
Kertaus: Majacraft Aura välitussuhteella 5,4:1
Lanka: Ketjukerrattu 266 metriä / 110 grammaa (Ravelry)
WPI: 12
Fiilis: Jos rullia on monta, muista käyttää niitä!

Lopputulos on kivannäköinen, mutta harmittavasti epämuotoinen lanka. Tämä olisi ehdottomasti pitänyt kehrätä kolmessa osassa eri rullille. Ketjukertaaminen korostaa sitä, miten kehrääjä unohti jossain vaiheessa minkä paksuiseen tähtäsi ja toinen puoli langasta on selvästi paksumpaa kuin toinen. Aito kolmisäikeinen lanka olisi ollut käytettävämpi neulomisessa, mutta se on aivan liian myöhäistä valmiin langan kohdalla. Kerrattua lankaa ei voi purkaa. Tai siis varmasti joku jossain on niin tehnyt, mutta siinä ei tässä tapauksessa ole mitään järkeä. Ehkä tämä pipolankana menee, mutta tiheys muuttuu varmasti matkalla. Paksumman langan kehräämisen harjoitteleminen jatkuu,
          Carpe Diem #1224 dunes        

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and I hope I have inspired you with our "weekend-meditation". Today we will go on with our Summertime month full of classical and non-classical kigo (seasonwords).
There are a lot of classical and non-classical kigo for summer and today I love to share another nice one, a modern one this time extracted from Jane's "A Dictionary of Haiku". Today I love to challenge you with dunes.

the cry of a seagull
resonates through the dunes
waves pounding the beach
© Chèvrefeuille
As I was preparing this episode the first thing which came in mind had nothing to do with summer. I thought of the novel series by Frank Herbert, Dune. I remember that I read this complete series (6 volumes) as a teenager and I loved it, loved it dearly. It inspired me to write my own novel several years later.

Dune (part 1) Frank Herbert cover

Let me tell you a little bit more about this beautiful series of novels by Frank Herbert:

Dune is a 1965 epic science fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert, originally published as two separate serials in Analog magazine. It tied with Roger Zelazny's This Immortal for the Hugo Award in 1966, and it won the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. It is the first installment of the Dune saga, and in 2003 was cited as the world's best-selling science fiction novel.
Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which noble houses, in control of individual planets, owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose noble family accepts the stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis. As this planet is the only source of the "spice" melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe, control of Arrakis is a coveted—and dangerous—undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the forces of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its "spice".
Herbert wrote five sequels: Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune. In 1984 Dune The Movie was created. A great movie which followed (in my opinion) the novels in an awesome way.

Virginia Beach Dune
Okay ... back to our prompt for today, dunes, a modern summer kigo. Here are a few haiku by Jane Reichhold (1937-2016) to inspire you.
rain-wet dunes
scraped with yellow light
of sunset showers
noon shadows
following the contours
of desert dunes
living in desert dunes
the ups and downs
of curved sand
© Jane Reichhold

Three beauties ... Jane was really a great haiku poetess. Here is another one by her. I think this one is one of her best on dunes:

the shape of wind
writing in dunes
loneliness
© Jane Reichhold

It will not be an easy task to create haiku or tanka in the same brightness and beauty as the ones shared here by Jane, but  ... I had to try.

hot summer day
seeking for relief and shadow
between the dunes
exchanging body fluids with the one I love
while seagulls cry


© Chèvrefeuille

Hmm ... nice tanka I think. What is your opinion on this tanka?

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, cool, cool evening, cool wind (Suzushi,Ryofu), later on. For now .... have fun!

 
 


          RLP-Personenstandsurkunden        
Das 2011 gegründete zentrale Landespersonenstandsarchiv in Koblenz sammelt alle Sicherungsregister und Zweitbücher der Personenstandsunterlagen sowie die Belegakten (bis 1875) aus den Standesämtern und Kreisverwaltungen. Die Akten aus einigen Städten oder Kreisen sind bereits nutzbar, allerdings nur an einem Vormittag pro Woche, die Details findet man auf der Webseite des Archivs. Die Digitalisierung dieser Unterlagen ist aufgrund der Koalitionsvereinbarung der neuen Regierung eine Pflichtaufgabe der Archivverwaltung geworden, die freie Zugänglichkeit dazu ist ein Wunschtraum der Genealogen. Das Archiv selbst hat weder Personal noch Mittel zur aufwendigen Digitalisierung. Es gab sogar Vorschläge aus Familienforscherkreisen, die Unterlagen durch Freiwillige digitalisieren zu lassen. Die Archivverwaltung holt nun in einer Ausschreibung Angebote ein.

Bekannt ist, dass FamilySearch die Digitalisierungen kostenlos für die Archive vornimmt und den Online-Zugang dazu in Absprache mit den Archiven regelt. Wenn aber z.B. die Firma Ancestry Geld an die Landesarchivverwaltung zahlt, damit sie die heiß begehrten Personenstandsregister digitalisieren und anschließend den Zugang vermarkten darf, so ist ein solches Angebot scheinbar verlockend. Es verhindert aber nach den bisherigen Erfahrungen mit anderen Archiven, dass das Archiv frei über die Digitalisate verfügen kann und z.B. für eine bestimmte Zeit nicht online selbst veröffentlichen darf.

Auf eine Kleine Anfrage einer Abgeordneten des Landtags vom 12. Mai 2017 antwortete Prof. Dr. Konrad Wolf, Staatsminister für Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung und Kultur am 6. Juli 2017 (Landtag Rheinland-Pfalz 17.Wahlperiode Drucksache 17/3225 zu Drucksache 17/3043) etwas nebulös auf die Frage, wer möglicherweise die Digitalisierung vornehmen darf, und verwies auf die laufende Ausschreibung. „In welcher Form das ehrenamtliche Engagement der Familienforscher stärker eingebunden werden kann, wird im Kontext der Entwicklung der landeseigenen Digitalstrategie geprüft werden. Zur Prüfung aller datenschutzrechtlichen Sachverhalte wurden sämtliche Unterlagen dem Landesdatenschutzbeauftragten übergeben. Es liegt noch kein Prüfergebnis vor“.
           Spatial variation of the cooling lines in the reflection nebula NGC 7023         
Bernard-Salas, J. ; Habart, E.; Köhler, M.; Abergel, A.; Arab, H.; Lebouteiller, V.; Pinto, C.; van der Wiel, M. H. D.; White, G. J. and Hoffmann, M. (2015). Spatial variation of the cooling lines in the reflection nebula NGC 7023. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 574, article no. A97.
           Abundances of planetary nebulae NGC 3242 and NGC 6369         
Pottasch, S. R. and Bernard-Salas, J. (2008). Abundances of planetary nebulae NGC 3242 and NGC 6369. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 490(2) pp. 715–724.
           Abundances of planetary nebula NGC 2392         
Pottasch, S. R.; Bernard-Salas, J. and Roellig, T. L. (2008). Abundances of planetary nebula NGC 2392. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 481(2) pp. 393–400.
           Planetary nebulae abundances and stellar evolution II         
Pottasch, S. R. and Bernard-Salas, J. (2010). Planetary nebulae abundances and stellar evolution II. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 517, article no. A95.
           Abundances in planetary nebulae: NGC 2792         
Pottasch, S. R.; Surendiranath, R.; Bernard-Salas, J. and Roellig, T. L. (2009). Abundances in planetary nebulae: NGC 2792. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 502(1) pp. 189–197.
           Abundances in the planetary nebula NGC 6210         
Pottasch, S. R.; Bernard-Salas, J. and Roellig, T. L. (2009). Abundances in the planetary nebula NGC 6210. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 499(1) pp. 249–256.
           Abundances in planetary nebulae: NGC 1535, NGC 6629, He2-108, and Tc1         
Pottasch, S. T.; Surendiranath, R. and Bernard-Salas, J. (2011). Abundances in planetary nebulae: NGC 1535, NGC 6629, He2-108, and Tc1. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 531, article no. A23.
           The M 16 molecular complex under the influence of NGC6611: Herschel's perspective of the heating effect on the Eagle Nebula         
Hill, T.; Motte, F.; Didelon, P.; White, G. J. ; Marston, A. P.; Nguyen Luong, Q.; Bontemps, S.; Andre, Ph.; Schneider, N.; Hennemann, M.; Sauvage, M.; Di Francesco, J.; Minier, V.; Anderson, L. D.; Bernard, J. P.; Elia, D.; Griffin, M. J.; Li, J. Z.; Peretto, N.; Pezzuto, S.; Polychroni, D.; Roussel, H.; Rygl, K. L. J.; Schisano, E.; Sousbie, T.; Testi, L.; Ward Thompson, D. and Zavagno, A. (2012). The M 16 molecular complex under the influence of NGC6611: Herschel's perspective of the heating effect on the Eagle Nebula. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 542, article no. A114.
           The area around the Orion Nebula observed in the CO (J = 1- 0) transition         
Gillespie, A. R. and White, G. J. (1980). The area around the Orion Nebula observed in the CO (J = 1- 0) transition. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 91 pp. 257–258.
           A search for H2 emission in bipolar nebulae and regions of interstellar shock         
Phillips, J. P.; White, G. J. and Harten, R. (1985). A search for H2 emission in bipolar nebulae and regions of interstellar shock. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 145(1) pp. 118–126.
           Millimetre and submillimetre molecular line observations of the reflection nebula NGC 2023         
White, Glenn J. ; Sanderson, Carl; Monteiro, T. S.; Richardson, K. J. and Hayashi, S. S. (1990). Millimetre and submillimetre molecular line observations of the reflection nebula NGC 2023. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 227(1) pp. 200–206.
           The Pipe Nebula as seen with Herschel: formation of filamentary structures by large-scale compression?         
Peretto, N.; André, Ph.; Könyves, V.; Schneider, N.; Arzoumanian, D.; Palmeirim, P.; Didelon, P.; Attard, M.; Bernard, J. P.; Di Francesco, J.; Elia, D.; Hennemann, M.; Hill, T.; Kirk, J.; Men’shchikov, A.; Motte, F.; Nguyen Luong, Q.; Roussel, H.; Sousbie, T.; Testi, L.; Ward-Thompson, D.; White, G. J. and Zavagno, A. (2012). The Pipe Nebula as seen with Herschel: formation of filamentary structures by large-scale compression? Astronomy & Astrophysics, 541, article no. A63.
           A study of bipolar and compact nebulae at radio, submillimetre and infrared wavelengths         
White, Glenn J. and Gee, Graham (1986). A study of bipolar and compact nebulae at radio, submillimetre and infrared wavelengths. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 156(1-2) pp. 301–309.
           The Eagle Nebula's fingers - pointers to the earliest stages of star formation?         
White, G. J. ; Nelson, R. P.; Holland, W. S.; Robson, E. I.; Greaves, J. S.; McCaughrean, M. J.; Pilbratt, G. L.; Balser, D. S.; Oka, T.; Sakamoto, S.; Hasegawa, T.; McCutcheon, W. H.; Matthews, H. E.; Fridlund, C. V. M.; Tothill, N. F. H.; Huldtgren, M. and Deane, J. R. (1999). The Eagle Nebula's fingers - pointers to the earliest stages of star formation? Astronomy & Astrophysics, 342 pp. 233–256.
           High resolution molecular line observations of the Serpens Nebula         
White, Glenn J. ; Casali, Mark M. and Eiroa, Carlos (1995). High resolution molecular line observations of the Serpens Nebula. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 298 pp. 594–605.
           Intense molecular emission from the Lagoon nebula, M8         
White, Glenn J. ; Tothill, N. F. H.; Matthews, H. E.; McCutcheon, W. H.; Huldtgren, M. and McCaughrean, Mark J. (1997). Intense molecular emission from the Lagoon nebula, M8. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 323(2) pp. 529–533.
           An observational study of cometary globules near the Rosette nebula         
White, Glenn J. ; Lefloch, B.; Fridlund, C. V. M.; Aspin, C. A.; Dahmen, G.; Minchin, N. R. and Huldtgren, M. (1997). An observational study of cometary globules near the Rosette nebula. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 323 pp. 931–942.
           A spectral survey of the Orion Nebula from 455-507 GHz         
White, Glenn J. ; Araki, M.; Greaves, J. S.; Ohishi, M. and Higginbottom, N. S. (2003). A spectral survey of the Orion Nebula from 455-507 GHz. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 407(2) pp. 589–607.
           Dusty ring nebulae around new candidate Luminous Blue Variables         
Clark, J. S. ; Egan, M. P.; Crowther, P. A.; Mizuno, D. R.; Larionov, V. M. and Arkharov, A. (2003). Dusty ring nebulae around new candidate Luminous Blue Variables. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 412(1) pp. 185–198.
          APOD: The Cone Nebula from Hubble        
Explanation: Stars are forming in the gigantic dust pillar called the Cone Nebula. Cones, pillars, and majestic flowing shapes abound in stellar nurseries where natal clouds of gas and dust are buffeted by energetic winds from newborn stars. The Cone Nebula, a well-known example, lies within the bright galactic star-forming region NGC 2264. The Cone was captured in unprecedented detail in this close-up composite of several observations from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. While the Cone Nebula, about 2,500 light-years away in Monoceros, is around 7 light-years long, the region pictured here surrounding the cone's blunted head is a mere...
          What Is The Universe Expanding Into?        
In the 1910s, Vesto Slipher noticed that the spiral nebulae in the sky were redshifted, consistent with the interpretation that they were moving away from us. In the 1920s, Hubble discovered that these nebulae were in fact galaxies, and determined their distance from us. If you combined these two facts - that there were distant galaxies that rapidly moved away from us - you noticed an interesting trend: the farther away a galaxy was from us, the faster it appeared to be moving away!..... "But if it's expanding," almost everyone asks upon first learning about this, "then what is it...
          Intertwined Love: Chapter 4        

Disclaimer: I do not own Fairly OddParents.

Title: Intertwined Love

Author: unknown20troper

Rated: R or NC-17

Warnings: Male/male smut in later chapters, anal, infidelity, dub-con. Please tell me if there are any other warnings that need to be included, or any current warnings that should be adjusted.

This Chapter Includes: None.

Potentially Going to Include: smut involving minors (which will not be posted on LJ, since I’ve heard that it isn’t allowed there), male/female smut, oral, handjobs

Pairing(s): Timmy Turner/Remy Buxaplenty, Juandissimo/Cupid, Jorgen/Norm, Chip Skylark/Tooth Fairy

Summary: Remy Buxaplenty has fallen for Timmy Turner because of the dreams he’s been having ever since he lost his fairy. Cupid and Juandissimo are together. Jorgen has finally rubbed Norm’s lamp, and finds himself struggling with his feelings for the genie.

Notes: Constructive criticism welcomed – my current worry is that I’m not using enough description. In order to keep to canon, Jorgen thinks of Norm as a filthy genie at the start (“So I have to say, even though you’re a filthy genie, you’ve been doing a very good job in this competition.” Jorgen Von Strangle, Fairy Idol. Hartman, Butch. p. 28 of script, also said in actual episode), but his feelings do turn romantic. Norm will also take a while to fall for Jorgen, though he will eventually. Just letting you know so you don’t ask about where the heck the pairing is. The Chip Skylark/Tooth Fairy will take a while to begin, but I know that most of you don’t care how long it takes to start. This fanfic is set four years after canon, so CS/TF isn’t chan in this fanfic. In this fanfic, Timmy is fourteen, and Remy is fifteen, just so you know.


 

Intertwined Love

Intertwined Love - Link Index (note: there are two more chappies after this one, and this story has a prologue.)

Intertwined Love on FFN
 

 

Chapter 4:

Despite Jorgen’s confirmation of it, Wanda still wasn’t sure that Remy was in love with Timmy. After all, Timmy had many other enemies, and pretty much any of them could be manipulating him. She certainly wasn’t going to rule out that possibility, even though she was sure that if someone was trying to tempt Timmy, they’d choose to manipulate Trixie, or one of his friends, not Remy. Yet still, she wasn’t sure.

Wanda appeared at Cupid’s wonderfully pink house in a quick POOF. As every fairy knew, Cupid was the Fairy of Love, and she figured that he probably could answer her question.

She ringed Cupid’s doorbell, causing an old-times love song to play.

-

Cupid at first wasn’t aware of the visitor. He didn’t even register or recognize the love song that was the ring of his doorbell. Actually, he wasn’t aware of anything other than Juandissimo, and the sensations that the muscular fairy was causing. When he became aware of it, he first thought that it went well with their lovemaking. He then remembered that the love song was the result of someone ringing his doorbell.

“I have a visitor, my love,” said Cupid. “Sorry, but we will have to interrupt our lovemaking so I can great them.”

“My sexy muscles will ache for you till you come back,” replied Juandissimo.

Some people would reply that they were just going to the door, not on a quest to defeat or save something, but Cupid was not inclined to respond that way. He was the Fairy of Love after all, which meant that he liked dramatic presentations of love, even if they were a hundred times more dramatic than the situation. Juandissimo’s overdramatic plea also was a sign that he was developing feelings for Cupid, and that was something that the love fairy had desired for years. He knew it was entirely in his power to see how Juandissimo felt without the fairy having to tell him, but hearing of Juandissimo’s feelings from the fairy himself was still marvelous.

Cupid vanished in a light pink LOVE POOF and reappeared at the door. He opened it, and saw that the visitor was Wanda Venus Fairywinkle. He briefly wondered why she had come. Her relationship with Cosmo had been fixed years ago, so she obviously wasn’t concerned about that. He also didn’t think she had come simply on a social call, since he never recalled them socializing much with each other, or desiring to socialize much with each other. He didn’t think she had news either, since he’d know of most important events before she would. He also didn’t think she was inviting him anywhere, since he was the one with the fancy parties.

With all those options eliminated, the only option left was Timothy’s love life. He had shot many people with arrows to make them fall in love with Timothy, and had shot several arrows at Timothy, at different times, to make him fall for a few different people. Some of the choices were such that the wider world would eagerly accept them, some less so. Wanda had probably come because of one or a few of the people in the latter category.

When Wanda began to speak, his guess was confirmed.

“Remy Buxaplenty says that he’s in love with Timmy, and has been trying to get Timmy to date him. I know this isn’t one of his evil plans, since according to Jorgen, he has lost both his fairies and his memories. Is he in truly in love with Timmy or is someone manipulating him to get at Timmy?”

“Yes, Remy Buxaplenty is truly in love with Timothy,” replied Cupid. “He has been for a while; only a short while after he first dreamt of his fairy adventures.”

“I thought you wanted Timmy to be with Tootie,” replied Wanda, who seemed to be trying to hide anger with a reasonable tone.

“Well, she was my first choice,” replied Cupid. “However, Remington Buxaplenty, though he wasn’t my first choice, is in love with Timothy, and I will not disrupt their possible romance just because you are uncomfortable with it. He is in love with Timothy after all, and true love is not to be manipulated simply because of one fairy’s whims.”

Wanda left as soon as he finished his statement.

Cupid sighed. Love was such a mysterious force that no ordinary mortal or magical creature would be ever able to understand it fully, even if they believed they did. No wonder Wanda had trouble believing what he said about the matter, regardless of his credentials.

-

Remy paid more attention to Timothy than he did to the movie. The movie did interest him, but he had so much cash that he could probably see it every day if he so desired. However, Timothy couldn’t be bought with cash, and Remy wanted to savor every moment he had with him.

Unfortunately, Timothy paid more attention to the movie than to him. As soon as the movie came on, in Timothy’s eyes, he might as well not even have been there. Remy longed for Timothy to pay attention to him, and was quite frustrated when he didn’t.

However, Remy did use some of the movie’s most dramatic, intense moments as times to hold Timothy’s hand, or do other such things. Timothy wasn’t returning his affection, but this was as close as he could get to it, for now, at least.

When the movie finished, Remy sighed in relief, since he could now talk to Timothy, which was not something he could do while it was playing. However, most of Timothy’s conversation consisted of “It was so awesome when…” and “I can’t wait till the game comes out” and other such comments. Remy responded to those comments with interest, since he did like Crash Nebula, but they weren’t what he longed to hear.

-

A pink watch appeared on his arm with a POOF, and Timmy grinned. Wanda had returned from wherever she had mysteriously POOFed off to. He deduced from her expression that she did not have good news, and in fact, probably had the bad sort.

Various possibilities flitted through his mind. Did the Pixies buy Fairy World again? Did the Kindness revert back to its previous form, the Darkness? Were the Anti-Fairies out causing bad luck? Had Foop escaped prison? Did Remy have an evil plan?

“Is something up in Fairy World?” asked Timmy in a whisper.

“No, Fairy World is fine,” replied Wanda. “Its just that both Jorgen and Cupid have told me that Remy is truly in love with you.”

“What?”

He had trouble keeping his voice above a whisper. Remy, one of his many archenemies, was in love with him? What was Cupid on?

“Yes,” replied Wanda. “Apparently, Remy is in love with you.”

Timmy had trouble sorting this out. If it was true, instead of not falling in the trap of an evil plan, he was rejecting someone that never had much love to start with. Once again, the Flashlight of Guilt shone upon him.

“Remy,” said Timmy. “Dude, I’m sorry for how I behaved earlier. How about we go to the Gilded Lily, like you asked for yesterday?”

“Sure, Timothy,” replied Remy, seeming almost to kiss him but apparently deciding not to. “I’d be delighted to go there with you.”

 


          Intertwined Love: Chapter 3        
Disclaimer: I do not own Fairly OddParents.
 
Title: Intertwined Love
 
Author: unknown20troper
 
Rated: R or NC-17
 
Warnings: Male/male smut in later chapters, anal, oral, handjobs, infidelity, dub-con. Please tell me if there are any other warnings that need to be included, or any current warnings that should be adjusted.
This Chapter Includes: None. On AFF, I will include the warning codes for the current chapters when the first chapter is posted, and add the ones for the next chapters as I finish them.
Potentially Going to Include: smut involving minors (which will not be posted on LJ, since I’ve heard that it isn’t allowed there), male/female smut, oral
 
Pairing(s): Timmy Turner/Remy Buxaplenty, Juandissimo/Cupid, Jorgen/Norm, Chip Skylark/Tooth Fairy

Summary: Remy Buxaplenty has fallen for Timmy Turner because of the dreams he’s been having ever since he lost his fairy. Cupid and Juandissimo are together. Jorgen has finally rubbed Norm’s lamp, and finds himself struggling with his feelings for the genie.
 
Notes: Constructive criticism welcomed – my current worry is that I’m not using enough description. In order to keep to canon, Jorgen thinks of Norm as a filthy genie at the start (“So I have to say, even though you’re a filthy genie, you’ve been doing a very good job in this competition.” Jorgen Von Strangle, Fairy Idol. Hartman, Butch. p. 28 of script, also said in actual episode), but his feelings do turn romantic. Norm will also take a while to fall for Jorgen, though he will eventually. Just letting you know so you don’t ask about where the heck the pairing is. The Chip Skylark/Tooth Fairy will take a while to begin, but I know that most of you don’t care how long it takes to start. This fanfic is set four years after canon, so CS/TF isn’t chan in this fanfic. In this fanfic, Timmy is fourteen, and Remy is fifteen, just so you know.
 
Intertwined Love
 
Intertwined Love Link Index
 
 
Chapter 3:
 
Remy sighed, partly in disappointment and partly in happiness. Yes, Timothy had taken up his offer, but only half of it, and not even the half that he cared about. Crash Nebula was brilliant, but seeing the new movie was not all he wanted, and not what he wanted most. However, it seemed as though for Timothy, Crash Nebula was the priority, and he was just the price of admission. 
 
Remy was not about to give up though. He was sure that he still had a chance to win Timothy’s heart, if he made the right moves.
His limo arrived at the movie theater, and he sighed in relief. The movie would be a decent distraction from his disappointment about Timothy, and he was sure that it would be brilliant.
 
Once they reached the box office, Remy couldn’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu. He and Timothy had first met at the very same box office in his dreams, and he had given Timothy a negative first impression of himself, to say the least. He hoped that this wouldn’t remind him of that event.
 
He pulled a wad of cash out of his pocket. He had brought less this time than he had when he first met Timothy, since his parents were obsessive over money, and he was sure that if too much was missing, they would notice. He did not want to chance them finding out about his feelings for Timothy, and he was sure that stealing quite a bit of money so he could court him would definitely make his feelings obvious.
 
“Tickets, please,” said Remy, who couldn’t help but be disturbed by the fact that those were the same words that he’d said in his dream. Then he reminded himself that what he said next would not be much like anything that he had said in his dreams.
 
“How many?” asked the ticket person, who was female this time. Remy was relieved to know that there was something that wasn’t practically identical to his dream.
 
“Two tickets for Crash Nebula, please,” he replied.
 
The ticket person gave him the tickets. After getting both, Remy handed one of them to Timothy.
 
“No bags of money this time, Buxaplenty?” asked Timothy scathingly. “I thought you had millions of them.”
 
“I do have millions of money bags,” replied Remy, in a clipped, annoyed tone. “I am just not bringing them today. Today, I’m bringing you, and you are much better than money.”
 
“Well, that wasn’t what you thought when you bought all the seats so you could sit beside your money,” replied Timothy suspiciously.
 
“I would have chosen much differently if I had knew of your existence,” said Remy in reply.
 
“Yeah, right,” replied Timothy sarcastically, as he continued walking ahead of Remy.
 
Remy wasn’t sure how to respond, since had realized that his younger self may not have chosen differently if he had known of Timothy’s existence before deciding to go to the movie theater. To his younger self, Timothy was only an insolent commoner boy, nothing more than that. His younger self hadn’t seen Timothy in his dreams. When he was younger, he thought anyone with less money was not worthy of his regard, which he now found to be untrue.
 
He said instead, “I am smitten with you now. That’s what matters.”
 
“Don’t turn it into a date,” replied Timothy, glaring at Remy. “Even if you’re ‘smitten’ with me.”
 
Remy and Timothy entered the theater, and chose seats. Remy saw Timothy attempt to choose a seat faraway from him, and quickly bribed the one of the people sitting beside Timothy to give up his seat.
 
He settled into the comfortable red chair, and smiled. Timothy glared at him, and groped around as though he was looking for popcorn. 
 
Remy gulped, since he had been too accompanied with his sadness about Timothy’s lack of love for him to remember to get popcorn.
He got up, and chose a way to exit the theater without blocking Timothy’s way. He walked down the stairs carefully, trying not to make any sounds that would disrupt Timothy’s viewing experience.
 
He left the darkness of the theater, and entered the bright foyer. He went to the snack counter as fast as he could without running, and quickly bought popcorn for him and Timothy.
 
He quickly returned to his spot beside Timothy, and showed him the popcorn, then settled in to watch the movie.
 
_ _ _
 
Jorgen sighed in relief, now that Wanda was gone, and decided to resume what he was doing to Norm before. He BOOMed the genie, who was still in the form of a cat, there. He BOOMed the genie into his human form, since he wasn’t sexually attracted to cats.
 
“Lie down! Now! We’re going to continue what we were doing!”
 
“Uh, hey, Muscles,” replied Norm, standing unevenly on his new, unnaturally smooth legs. “Getting fucked into the floor, or the wall, hurts. If you must insist on making me do that, let me GONG up a mattress for me to lie on first.”
 
Jorgen growled, since pain was one of his favorite things, particularly when he caused it. Yet, he let the genie GONG up a mattress, since on second thought, he realized that he had no desire to destroy the genie’s beauty.
 
The genie lay down on it, giving Jorgen an even better view of his beauty. The genie GONGed Jorgen’s clothes off, and Jorgen wondered if the genie had figured that his looks had paralyzed him in place, which Jorgen actually thought was pretty accurate. As soon as he realized that, he broke from the metaphorical paralysis, and began to penetrate the genie.
 
- - -
 
Norm sighed in relief as he felt Jorgen enter him. Hr seemed to be trying his best to avoid causing pain now, though sometimes he seemed to forget and went back to his natural inclination to cause pain and lots of it. Still, at least the fairy did manage to stop when he realized that the genie didn’t like the pain. That was a relief.
 
Norm skimmed his fingers over Jorgen’s perfectly sculpted muscles, invoking sighs, moans and growls from him. Jorgen definitely deserved the nicknames of ‘Muscles’, since he was way more muscled than any other man that the genie had ever seen.
The length inside him felt harder than it had been a moment ago. Norm grinned, and continued skimming his fingers over the fairy general’s muscles. He sure was great in bed.
 
His egoistical pride was soon replaced with a tidal wave of bliss. The sounds that he had invoked from Jorgen now came from his mouth. His thoughts halted, since he felt no need to think in such an oasis of lustful bliss.
 
The feeling passed, and Norm groaned. Why did the best part of sex always end so quickly?
 
The fairy withdrew from the genie. Norm groaned as Jorgen rubbed his lamp, causing him to funnel back inside it. That always happened. According to everyone, his only function was their pleasure, and his only worth was his ability to cause it. Norm had always hated that, and after Jorgen’s care in making sure he wasn’t hurt while shagging – even if it only was to make sure that the Tooth Fairy didn’t find out – it felt worse than ever.
 
His gaze flicked over to his bookshelf, where he saw Da Rules, and it occurred to him that if he pursued Jorgen and won, which was what he now wanted, he could gain more than Jorgen. He could gain his freedom.
 

          Intertwined Love: Chapter 2        
 Disclaimer: I do not own Fairly OddParents.
 
Title: Intertwined Love
 
Author: unknown20troper
 
Rated: R or NC-17
 
Warnings: Male/male smut in later chapters, anal, oral, handjobs, infidelity, dub-con. Please tell me if there are any other warnings that need to be included, or any current warnings that should be adjusted.
 
This Chapter Includes: None. On AFF, I will include the warning codes for the current chapters when the first chapter is posted, and add the ones for the next chapters as I finish them.
 
Potentially Going to Include: smut involving minors (which will not be posted on LJ, since I’ve heard that it isn’t allowed there), male/female smut, oral
 
Pairing(s): Timmy Turner/Remy Buxaplenty, Juandissimo/Cupid, Jorgen/Norm, Chip Skylark/Tooth Fairy
 
Summary: Remy Buxaplenty has fallen for Timmy Turner because of the dreams he’s been having ever since he lost his fairy. Cupid and Juandissimo are together. Jorgen has finally rubbed Norm’s lamp, and finds himself struggling with his feelings for the genie.
 
Notes: Constructive criticism welcomed – my current worry is that I’m not using enough description. In order to keep to canon, Jorgen thinks of Norm as a filthy genie at the start (“So I have to say, even though you’re a filthy genie, you’ve been doing a very good job in this competition.” Jorgen Von Strangle, Fairy Idol. Hartman, Butch. p. 28 of script, also said in actual episode), but his feelings do turn romantic. Norm will also take a while to fall for Jorgen, though he will eventually. Just letting you know so you don’t ask about where the heck the pairing is. The Chip Skylark/Tooth Fairy will take a while to begin, but I know that most of you don’t care how long it takes to start. This fanfic is set four years after canon, so CS/TF isn’t chan in this fanfic. 
 
Intertwined Love

Intertwined Love - Link Index
 
 
Chapter 2
 
Timmy groaned when he saw Remy arrive at his house again, in a different car. How determined was Remy, anyway? Did he know that ‘no’ meant no, not maybe or yes?
 
“Timmy, you were really rude to Remy yesterday,” said Wanda. “If you refuse this time, be polite, whether you think this is an evil plan or not.”
 
“Yes, Wanda,” he replied, not in the mood to be advised about how to deal with Remy.
 
Remy went up to Timmy and pulled out two slips of paper – tickets perhaps – from his vest pocket. Timmy rolled his eyes, expecting them to be tickets to a boring romantic opera that rich people loved.
 
“Timothy Tiberius Turner,” Remy grandiosely. “I have two tickets to the new Crash Nebula movie.”
 
Even if Remy was tricking him, that was irresistible. His parents had refused to take him to the Crash Nebula movie, saying that it would be a waste of their time and money, and when he tried to go himself, he learned that all the tickets were sold out for three months.
 
“Awesome!” replied Timmy. “Sure. Just don’t turn it into a date, or a trick.”
 
Remy gestured to the driver, and the car door opened. Timmy got in as soon as the door opened. He was sure that the movie would be awesome, even if he had to look out for Remy’s tricks, even if he wasn’t sure if they were tricks.
 
- - -
 
There was something odd about this. Godchildren lost their memories when they lost their fairies, and Remy had definitely lost Juandissimo a long time ago. He could have regained the fairy, but Wanda didn’t think that was very likely.
 
Juandisssimo probably wouldn’t hang back if she was nearby. If Remy still had him, he would have engaged in a vain attempt to woo her, which of course would fail. Even if she assumed that he had realized that attempting to woo her would be a waste of his infinite time, it didn’t seem that likely that Remy would not bring him, and yet that was what he did, as far as she saw anyway.
 
If Remy didn’t remember his fairies, how did he remember Timmy? Was one of Timmy’s other enemies helping him? Did he regain his memories, yet not his fairy? 
 
Jorgen Von Strangle could probably answer at least some of her questions, she guessed. He had created the godparent system after all.
 
She appeared in Jorgen’s headquarters in a POOF. She looked around, hoping to see Jorgen, but he wasn’t there. That was odd. Sounds of the sort that Cosmo only/mostly made in bed echoed through the place, and she supposed that Jorgen was making love to the Tooth Fairy, though the Tooth Fairy certainly wasn’t sounding like the Tooth Fairy.
Wanda stopped that train of thought before it could go any further. Jorgen’s love life was not her business, even if it was interfering with his duties.
__ __ __
 
Jorgen’s body, including all his magnificent muscles, tightened. Apparently the sex schedule wasn’t a foolproof way to keep his affair secret. A fairy was nearby, as he could tell from the POOF. The fairy was probably here for him, and might go looking for him if he took too long. If they did…
 
The genie turned into a teal-blue cat, and Jorgen made all the visible evidence of the shag vanish, and BOOMed his clothes back on. He hoped that the fairy hadn’t heard the BOOMs or the GONG, though he knew that was like hoping not to find snow during winter in Nunavut. He had heard the BOOM himself, and he knew that it was nowhere near any definition of quiet.
 
He groaned. The fairy was Wanda, one of Turner’s fairies. Oh great. Turner had got himself into possibly rule-breaking trouble once again. What was it this time?
 
Wanda answered his unspoken query, “Remy Buxaplenty remembers Timmy, and I don’t believe he has Juandissimo. Remy says he loves Timmy, but I doubt that. He probably is trying to trick Timmy, and has somehow retained his memories. Please tell me whether he has Juandissimo or not, and if he doesn’t, check to see if his memories are still wiped.”
 
“Remy lost his fairy four years ago, for attempting to get revenge on Timmy, and possibly kill him with a life-threatening obstacle course,” boomed Jorgen, angry that anyone would dare doubt that he would leave a Rule-breaker unpunished.
 
Wanda quivered fearfully, yet as far as Jorgen could see, she stayed strong and didn’t give into her fear. Jorgen felt much better now that he had pain to savor. If he could bed the genie right now, he’d be absolutely content…
 
Jorgen convinced himself to stop daydreaming of the genie reluctantly. It was business time, not daydreaming time. It wasn’t shagging-the-genie time either, regardless of what the schedule said. Convincing himself not to follow the schedule right now was just as hard as convincing himself not to daydream about the genie, yet he managed to do both.
 
He quickly ran a check on his computer for Remy’s memories, and found that Remy had lost them, just as he had assumed, and never regained them. It was easy for him to ignore Wanda, who was watching the process anxiously.
 
“Remy lost his memories four years ago. He hasn’t regained them,” said Jorgen, answering Wanda’s second query.
 
- - -
 
That was not the answer that Wanda expected. Remy was one of the worst kids that she had ever met, and not someone that she thought had a chance of falling for Timmy. Apparently, she was wrong on the second point, and possibly the first. Somehow, Remy had fell for Timmy, even though he didn’t even remember anything about him, as far as she knew at least. Well, on the bright side, that did mean that Remy wouldn’t be trying to take them from Timmy. Still, she couldn’t help but find it odd, and improbable. Something was up, but Remy wasn’t scheming it, she was sure.
 
 

          Norm/Timmy "Any Way For Payback?" Chapter 7        
Title: Any Way For Payback? (Chapter 7)
Author: unknown20troper
Disclaimer: I do not own Fairly OddParents.
Fandom: Fairly OddParents
Rated: R, or NC-17
Warnings: M/M, foreplay, profanity, handjob, sexual terms 
Pairing: Norm/Timmy
Summary: Jorgen accidentally drops Norm's lamp at Timmy Turner's house when he takes Timmy's fairies on his 18th bday. Without Timmy's fairies and memories, he doesn't recognize Norm but Norm still wants revenge. It's just that he has no clue how to get it.
Notes:
 Concrit welcomed, particularly on characterization, and smut, though it can be on anything else that I’m doing wrong. Norm and Timmy will not fall in love immediately. If either of them doesn’t like the pairing, that is just an attempt to keep them in character. They both will probably like the pairing by the end of the fanfic. Thanks for all the wonderful reviews! I'm only posting the smut, and chapters with overtly sexual terms on Live Journal. I have a link index for this, and it's at the below link:

Any Way For Payback-Link Index

Chapter 7: Confusion
Tim literally could not believe that he was literally in bed with his genie, and had been figuratively in bed with him too. First off, he didn’t even fully believe in genies. And if one didn’t believe in the existence of something, how’d could they believe that they had given it a handjob, and foreplay? Exactly. One couldn’t.
Tim wondered how old the genie was. Was the genie twenty-nine, or as old as the universe? Anyway, he doubted that twenty-nine year-old genies usually wanted eighteen-year old boys to give them handjobs. Surely, there were lots of people their age that would appeal more to them.
Anyway, that all boiled down to:
He had just had sex with his totally hot genie! Wow, but WTF!
Norm glanced over at the now awake Turner. Apparently, their almost-shagging had wowed and confused him. Well, he wasn’t the only one. Norm had spent the entire night getting accidental foreplay from the guy, and wasn’t sure whether he felt more blissful, revolted, or confused. Turner was decent at it, Norm had to admit, even if Turner hadn’t got any girls yet, he clearly was good at touching him in the right places.
That was when Norm took a double take. Turner was his worst enemy. He was not supposed to be thinking about how good he was in bed. He couldn’t be thinking about that, he simply couldn’t be thinking about Turner’s proficiency in bed.
“Norm,” said Turner, interrupting Norm’s thoughts about his ability in bed. “Could you magic me to school?”
“Why?” asked Norm. “Did our nighttime antics disrupt your sleep? Are you late?”
“Yeah,” replied Turner. “And I’m naked.”
Norm wanted to reply that he’d noticed – a lot more than he should have – but he remembered his plan, and decided that hitting Turner with a sardonic remark wouldn’t help it.
“Alright,” replied Norm. “I’ll GONG you to school, and GONG your clothes on, though you look better without them.”
Turner smiled.
GONG!
Turner’s disappearance made the blue sheets ruffle, and Norm grinned. Now that Turner was gone, he could go through his stuff. However, he didn’t have to do it immediately. Right now, he just wanted to lie in bed, without Turner, or his cramped lamp. School took hours so he’d have time.
He laid on the bed, trying to get a bit of rest, but his tail touched something that was distinctly liquid. Oh great. One, or both of them had came during the night. He groaned, and GONGed the liquid away.
Despite the fact that the mess was gone, Norm no longer felt at ease in Turner’s bed. It reminded him too much of Turner, and Turner’s touch. Turner’s confusing touch, which Norm found could only be described with two antonyms that started with terri–. Which antonym described it best wasn’t something that he wanted to know, since he wasn’t interested in Turner’s shagging, and didn’t want to be interested in it, right? Right?
Right.
Norm got out of the bed, and floated above the light blue wooden floor. Now, that he was out of Turner’s bed – Turner’s infinitely comfortable bed – he’d be able to ignore the feelings that he had felt for the guy. Right?
He glanced around the room, looking for signs of what Tim was interested in. The blue walls were covered in posters of the Crimson Chin, Crash Nebula, and shagadelic human dames. There was a TV near the right wall, and he wondered if it was possible to get I Dream of Jeannie on it.
There was a disordlery stack of Crimson Chin comic books in one corner. Norm never was into superheroes, or comic books so he hadn’t read them before, but now he knew that Turner liked them, he figured that he should read them, to find out what Turner liked about them, and whether he had ever wished himself into them.
Norm chose the bottom one, and opened it. The Crimson Chin was lying in a fetal position, crying. Norm groaned. If comic books were like this, he completely saw why he had never got into them. He turned the page, and rolled his eyes. The next page also consisted of the Crimson Chin crying, however, a few pages later, the scene shifted, and Norm saw ten year-old Turner, in front of a building called The Daily Blabbity. There was a speech bubble coming out the kid’s mouth. Norm read it, and rolled his eyes. Turner was excitedly remarking about how cool it was to be in front of that building. Norm didn’t get what Turner was excited about, but he decided not to worry about it. Maybe the Daily Blabbity only had meaning to Crimson Chin fanatics.
Norm skimmed, and flipped the next page, since it only consisted of Turner going through the panels to go somewhere.
Turner was now in the hallway of the Daily Blabbity, and was standing in front of a door that said:
Charles Hampton INdigo – Ace Reporter
Before Norm read Turner’s comment explaining why the door was important, he understood. C-H-IN spelt Chin, so Charles Hampton Indigo was obviously the Crimson Chin.
Turner opened the door, and Norm saw a sobbing man, sitting behind a desk, in a swivel chair. The man inquired about what had just opened his door. He spun around, and his huge chin knocked some stuff off the desk. He produced a speech bubble, and Norm read it.
“You! You’re the ‘real’ boy who showed me I’m a big fat lie!”
He grinned. The Crimson Chin was Turner’s enemy too, was he? He read on eagerly. Turner told the Crimson Chin that he Was A Hero and Gotta Snap Out of This and Remember the Good Times. The Crimson Chin responded like an angsty, annoyed teenager, and Turner indicated another panel, which he said was a flashback.
Turner explained that the Crimson Chin had got his powers from a bite from a radioactive, handsome actor. Turner then showed the villain of the issue, trying to convince the Chin to fight it. The Chin didn’t, and went into a nighttime panel instead, and started crying again. Norm groaned.
The view switched to Turner, who said – in a speech bubble:
“Man, he’s depressed. He needs somebody at his side, to kick him into shape… What do they call those things? Oh yeah, sidekicks!”
Norm noted that the words, ‘SIDE’, and ‘KICK’ were floating in the air above Turner. No wonder Turner had figured it out. Turner ran into an alley, and ripped his clothes off, declaring, “This is a job for…”
Norm blushed. He never knew that the Crimson Chin comic contained child porn of his worst enemy. He shut the book, before his body reacted in ways that he didn’t want it to, or his mind went places that he didn’t want it to go. He wanted to get revenge on Turner, not get off of him, right? Right?
Norm wondered what to do now. He couldn’t read the Crimson Chin comics since Turner could be naked in all the issues, and he did not want to get off Turner, especially not young Turner.
He GONGed the TV remote to him, and turned on I Dream of Jeannie, something that he was more than OK about getting off of.
It was Tim’s first class of the day, and he just couldn’t focus. Lack of focus wasn’t unusual for him, but it was at a whole new level now. Why?
Norm. Norm the Genie. His flirting, his kissing, his smooth chest, his tail, his cock…
The teacher yelled his name, perhaps because he had noticed Tim’s lack of focus, but Tim still didn’t notice.
Tootie gazed at Tim. He looked so dreamy, and he seemed to be dreaming himself. He had the look that he had always had when Trixie was near. However, Tootie knew that Trixie was dating Remy Buxaplenty, so she hadn’t caused Tim’s dreaminess.
It occurred to Tootie that she could have caused it, but she doubted it. She had stopped outwardly chasing Tim a few years before, and became his friend instead.
Whoever caused it was lucky, and Tootie wasn’t going to wreck their happiness by going after Tim. Vicky, her mean sister, wrecked people’s happiness, and Tootie felt no desire to emulate her.
The class ended, and Tim had tons of homework, about the same amount that he used to get from Crocker when he was a kid. He groaned. He wanted to read his Crimson Chin comics, and date Norm once school was done, but he had so much homework that having time for anything else would be miracle in itself.
The next classes produced the same amount of homework, and Tim was in an amazingly bad mood by noon, a bad mood that increased exponentially every class.
Once he finally got home, he was completely enraged.
GONG!
Norm appeared in the living room of Turner’s house. He had looked at Turner’s timetable, and it had told him when Turner’s school day was done. Turner had been a little late, but Norm didn’t really care.
Norm saw Turner’s facial expression, and wondered if Turner would make a wish. He certainly seemed as though he wanted to.
Turner than launched into a rant about getting tons of homework, and not having any time. Norm wasn’t surprised. He seemed to be a combination of wish-granter, and lover, so it was no shock that Turner would expect him to magic his problems away. Still, after Turner was so nice to him in bed, he couldn’t help but admit that it was a slight letdown. Letdown? He should have expected Turner to act like this. It wasn’t a shock. Was it?
Norm longed to rant back at Turner, and tell him what he really felt about him, but he knew that if he did, his plan would crash down on him, and there was no way that he’d let that happen – ever.
          LHC: Feeding the nasty Rumor Mill        
1.18 Tera Electron Volts (TeV) today. Great. Just a few more..

* * *

It seems that people almost want to fear what the LHC may do to life in this reality, like creating a black hole that swallows up the earth and sun, or perhaps exploding into a mini big bang. My playful nature gets the better of me.

Here's a cool scenario that'll never happen. Or will it?!?! Think of this 'quantum event potential' peering over the horizon at CERN: if the photon background should "rupture", for lack of a better word, as it might, spilling a cascade of massive bosons into time and space, then technically the beam would continue accelerating into the same "place", since there is no dimensional space time reality beyond the photon background. In other words, no time and no place for the beam to travel. At that point it would be feeding itself until some quantum threshold is reached, then trading off in heat and cataclysmic reactions. Oh, no!

Think of it! Mankind might represent the only influence that meets entropy's definition of that Universal Tendency Toward Chaos, and humans might be solely responsible for nova and nebula and other such chaotic stellar events. Chalk it up to curiosity. Anyway, if there is an afterlife than all will be well. At least for we who don't work at CERN, because, of course, they will all be going to hell. If not, then we're not around to know any different anyway, so - c'est la vie.

          IaaS open source: OpenStack, Cloudstack, oVirt, Proxmox, OpenNebula..Où en est-on ? - Aderumier        

Bonjour,
Concernant Proxmox, si elle n'est pas considérée comme une solution de cloud, je pense que ovirt/rhev non plus. Les 2 sont +- identiques vs openstack,cloudstack,et opennebula.

On peut quand meme créer des cluster de +- 1000vms avec proxmox.


          Bañador Hurley: Phantom JJF III Nebula MC        
Bañador Hurley: Phantom JJF III Nebula MC

Bañador Hurley: Phantom JJF III Nebula MC


          Episode 21: Why the USS Enterprise Kicks Ass        
The USS Enterprise. It's the best thing to ever happen to space combat. Given her captains' tendencies to put her between them and a variety of not-effing-around threats, she has to be.

Transporter Room 3, Episode 21

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For Episode 21 of Transporter Room 3, we honor the best ship in the fleet by taking a very nerdtacular look at her finest space battles. From The Original Series to the films, from Romulans to products of late-20th century genetic engineering, Kirk's one true love never met an ass she couldn't kick, phaser or quantum torpedo. We list our favorites. When you're done here, go over to our Facebook page to list yours.

News-wise, apparently all you need to score a key role in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek is an iPhone audition and a name ending in "-enedict Cumberbatch." And yes, Bryans Fuller and Singer are still verbally panhandling for a new Trek TV series. Meanwhile, one of the few good things to come out of Star Trek: Nemesis gives us our weekly dose of Red Shirt and we boast without shame about how awesome it is to have seen Joss Whedon's The Avengers early.

 

So reset your prefix codes and listen to Episode 21, right now!

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Phil Pirrello: twitter.com/Phil_Pirrello

Check out Episode 21 of Transporter Room 3 right here:

Transporter Room 3, Episode 21

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          Creating a Reading Series For Your Town        
by Mark Niemann-Ross At the 2017 Nebulas, I presented what we’ve learned about running a reader series in Seattle and Portland with hopes of assisting anyone interested in running a series in their home town. I’m following up that presentation with this written summary; let me know if you find it useful or have any further questions.
          Mi opinión sobre A la deriva en el mar de las Lluvias y otros relatos, V.V.A.A.        
Páginas: 244
Año de publicación: 2015
Editorial: Sportula
Género: Ciencia ficción

Sinopsis
Premios Hugo 2010 y 2014, Nebula 2013, British Science Fiction 2012

En A la deriva en el Mar de las Lluvias y otros relatos el lector podrá encontrar emotivas historias acerca del último viaje espacial de una madura mujer astronauta, de las consecuencias de comercializar muñecas capaces de superar el test de Turing, del uso de la animación suspendida para la explotación comercial de cadáveres, del difícil camino hacia el entendimiento y el perdón, de la subjetividad en el terreno de la percepción, de relaciones familiares alternativas surgidas tras un desastre ecológico, bellísimas historias de amor en clave de poema y nuevas oportunidades para la humanidad tras la completa destrucción de la Tierra.

Piezas de ciencia ficción de futuro cercano en su mayoría, inquietantes, sorprendentes, narradas con gran sensibilidad y poseedoras de un fuerte componente filosófico, de la mano de escritores tan destacados como Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Liu, Will McIntosh, Mike Resnick, Ted Chiang, Rachel Swirsky, Carrie Vaughn e Ian Sales; cinco hombres y tres mujeres que evidencian la riqueza y solidez de la narrativa de ciencia ficción actual

Opinión
Cuando a finales de diciembre se puso de oferta esta antología creo que los que no nos habíamos decidido aún corrimos a por ella sin pensarlo, yo entre ellos, impulsada además de por las buenas críticas, por haber sido premiada con el Ignotus 2016 a mejor antología.

Este volumen lo componen ocho relatos de lo más variado dentro de la ciencia ficción pero todas son obras premiadas o finalistas de los más prestigiosos galardones del género. Estos son los títulos:


1.- La señora astronauta de Marte (The Lady Astronaut of Mars), de Mary Robinette Kowal. Premio Hugo 2014 de relato. Traducción de Pilar san Román. Finalista del premio Ignotus 2016 de Cuento Extranjero 

2.- Algoritmos para el amor (The Algorythms for Love), de Ken Liu. Finalista del premio Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire 2014. Traducción de Carlos Pavón. Finalista del premio Ignotus 2016 de Cuento Extranjero 

3.- Frigonovia (Bridesicle), de Will McIntosh. Premio Hugo 2010 de relato corto y Asimov’s Reader Poll, finalista del premio Nebula 2009. Traducción de Carlos Pavón 

4.- Regreso a casa (The Homecoming), de Mike Resnick. Finalista del premio Hugo 2012 de relato. Traducción de Manuel de los Reyes. Finalista del premio Ignotus 2016 de Cuento Extranjero 

5.- La verdad de los hechos, la verdad del corazón (The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling), de Ted Chiang. Finalista del premio Hugo 2014 de relato. Traducción de Manuel de los Reyes. Finalista del premio Ignotus 2016 de Cuento Extranjero 

6.- Si fueras un dinosario, amor mío (If You Were a Dinosaur, my love), de Rachel Swirsky. Premio Nebula 2013 de Relato corto y finalista del Hugo. Traducción de Pilar san Román 

7.- La Amaryllis (Amaryllis), de Carrie Vaughn. Premio WSFA Small Press 2011 y finalista del premio Hugo 2011. Traducción de Carlos Pavón 

8.- A la deriva en el mar de Lluvias (Adrift on the Sea of Rains), de Ian Sales. Novela corta, Premio British Science Fiction 2012 y finalista del Sidewise 2012. Traducción de Diego de los Santos. Finalista del premio Ignotus 2016 de Cuento Extranjero 

Mi favorito ha sido el primero de ellos, La señora astronauta de Marte, de Mary Robinette Kowal, en la que conoceremos a una astronauta jubilada de 63 años que añora las estrellas. No sé si es porque la leí en el momento adecuado pero me ha encantado. 

El relato más original es sin duda Si fueras un dinosario, amor mío, de Rachel Swirsky y tiene un giro final que lo ha convertido también en uno los que más me ha gustado.

Y el que menos me ha convencido es A la deriva en el mar de Lluvias, de Ian Sales. Es una muy buena historia pero quizás demasiado hard para mi, que sigo siendo una novata en ciencia ficción, y se me hizo un poco pesada.

He disfrutado mucho con esta antología y la calidad media me ha parecido muy alta así que, sí ¡os la voy a recomendar hasta que me hagáis caso!

Nota: 4/5

          Sand and Fog        
by Stan Moor The planet was a dead pile of sand with ruins millennia old that tourists came to deface as a stop along an interstellar cruise route. There were other layovers at alien beaches, colonial cities, and a space station observing three local nebulae. The ship dispatched automated tour pods to ferry passengers to […]
          New observations of Crab Nebula and Pulsar reveal polarized emissions        
New observations of polarised X-rays from the Crab Nebula and Pulsar may help explain sudden flares in the Crab’s X-ray intensity, as well as provide new data for modeling – and understanding – the nebula.
          POWER WEDNESDAY = The Convergence of Land and Clean Energy        
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          çµåˆé›²ç«¯ç®¡ç†å¹³è‡ºï¼Œåˆå‹¤æŽ¨å‡ºä¸€ç³»åˆ—網路設備與防火牆        
針對企業網路的快速部署與集中管理,Aruba、Ruckus等許多外商,陸續開始推出採用雲端網管平臺的解決方案,而在2016年底,國內廠商合勤科技也開始跟進,推出了Nebula Cloud Networking(以下簡稱Nebula),這個網路平臺包含了網路交換器、無線基地臺,以及防火牆等3種設備,算是同類型產品中,少數網路與安全設備都包含在其中的解決方案。 透過Nebula的雲端網管平臺,網管人員便能快速部署多個分點的有線與無線網路設備,並納入管理、監控網路的使用情形。這些網路設備建置方式也很容易,只要供電與連上網際網路即可。
          Altus Insulated Jacket        
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          The central Cygnus as a cinemascope format image set        

I have worked with a cinemascope format movie from my photos for a movie theatre presentation. This is an extra wide ~21:9 format used in theatres. The actual film is not ready yet but I have some of my images converted to this ultra wide format. I think they will look great at a large movie screen! I'll publish some of individual panoramic format photos here,


Central Cygnus image set
Be sure to click for a full resolution image, ~2600 x 1200 pixels

Image details can be seen HERE



Image details can be seen HERE



Image details can be seen HERE


Orientation in Cygnus
Please, click for a large image

Image details can be seen HERE



Previously published sets of my cinemascope format astro images













          B&W universe, part IV        

As I'm using a cooled Gray scale astronomical CCD camera, I have a Black and White images from all of my photos. (For a color image, colors are made by shooting each color channel trough a filter, in my case mostly a narrow band filters.)

I will publish few posts out of my B&W images. Sometimes I like them better as a color ones.
B&W universe part I can be found HERE, Part II  HERE and Part III from HERE


Nebulae of the Central Cygnus, a mosaic image project
Please, click for a large image

Eleven panels ( 2200 x 1000 pixels)

Photo shows the emission of hydrogen alone. (H-alpha) You'll find a color version and the technical details from HERE


Five panels ( 2200 x 1000 pixels)

You'll find a color version and the technical details from HERE


One panel

You'll find a color version and the technical details from HERE


For technical details and a color versions, please, use a link under the images above.



          B&W universe, part III        
As I'm using a cooled Gray scale astronomical CCD camera, I have a Black and White images from all of my photos. (For a color image, colors are made by shooting each color channel trough a filter, in my case mostly a narrow band filters.)

I will publish few posts out of my B&W images. Sometimes I like them better as a color ones.
B&W universe part I can be found HERE and Part II from HERE


Dark filaments of the Pelican nebula
Please, click for a large image

Photo shows the emission of hydrogen alone. (H-alpha) You'll find a color version and  the technical details from HERE


A two panel mosaic
Please, click for a large image

You'll find a color version and  the technical details from HERE


For technical details and a color versions, please, use a link under the images above.



          A new photo, Sharpless 188 (Sh2-188) in Cassiopeia        


Kind of difficult target due to dim outer parts at left in my photo. I collected lights for this object couple of nights between. and 21. January 2017. This photo is also a good sample of my new imaging method VARES (Variable Resolution imaging). More info in technical details bellow.


Sharpless 188, a Planetary Nebula in Cassiopeia
Please, click for a large image

Image is in mapped colours, from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulphur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.




Sh2-188 in visual colors
Please, click for a large image

Image is in Natural colour palette from the emission of ionized elements, 
R=Hydrogen + Sulphur, G=Oxygen and B=Oxygen + ~10% Hydrogen.



Sh2-188, H-alpha emission alone
Please, click for a large image



INFO

Sh2-188 (Sharpless2 188) a planetary nebula that is moving through the Inter Stellar Medium. The nebula is considered to be one of the most extreme examples of planetary nebula and ISM interaction. The bright parts of the filamentary rim is the shock front with a faint tail of material stretching away at opposite direction. (Source, http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/Nebulae/SH188/Sh2-188.htm)


Technical details
NOTE!

A new immaging technique of mine was used for this photo. I call it VARES (Variable Resolution imaging). The data is collected by using different binning levels from 1x1 down to 6x6. High signal/noise elements, like brighter stars and more luminous parts of the nebula, are from less binned exposures. Low signal/noise elements, like very dim and featureless outer parts, are from more binned exposures, this time all the way down to bin 6x6. (Apogee Alta U16 has a 4096 x 4096 pixels CCD. At bin 6 x 6, the output image has still 682 x 682 pixels in it)

Total exposure time for H-alpha is  12h but if the effects of binning is calculated in, the signal is practically the same as from 140 hours of exposures, if all are binned 1x1!
With this method, I can have high resolution details and good S/N for dimmer, less detailed, parts of the nebula with minimal exposure time.

In near future, I will write a tutorial about the VARES method. It might take some time though.

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f10 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x 2 and SXV-AOL

Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times
H-alpha, 6x 1200s, binned 1x1 = 2h
H-alpha, 21x 1200s, binned 2x2 = 7h
H-alpha, 9x 1200s, binned 6x6 = 3h
O-III, 3 x 1200s binned 6x6 = 1h 
S-II,  3 x 1200s binned 6x6 = 1h 
Total 14h

A single uncropped, calibrated and stretched 20 min. H-alpha frame as it comes from the camera








          B&W universe, part II        

As I'm using a cooled Gray scale astronomical CCD camera, I have a Black and White images from all of my photos. (For a color image, colors are made by shooting each color channel trough a filter, in my case mostly a narrow band filters.)

I will publish few posts out of my B&W images. Sometimes I like them better as a color ones.
B&W universe part I can be found HERE


Veil nebula, a supernova remnant in Cygnus
Please, click for a large image

Eastern veil, image was used as a luminance layer and it contains information from all narrowband channels, hydrogen, sulphur and oxygen (Ha, S-II and O-III) A color version can be seen HERE


Eastern Veil, as a two panel mosaic
Please, click for a large image

Eastern veil, image was used as a luminance layer and it contains information from all narrowband channels, hydrogen, sulphur and oxygen (Ha, S-II and O-III) A color version can be seen HERE


Eastern Veil, as a two panel mosaic, ionized oxygen alone
Please, click for a large image

Emission of ionized oxygen, O-III, alone. A color version can be seen HERE


Filaments of Veil
Please, click for a large image

A single frame of the central Veil nebula contains information from all narrowband channels, hydrogen, sulphur and oxygen (Ha, S-II and O-III) A color version can be seen HERE



Filaments of Veil as a two frame mosaic
Please, click for a large image

A two frame mosaic image of the central Veil nebula contains information from all narrowband channels, hydrogen, sulphur and oxygen (Ha, S-II and O-III) A color version can be seen HERE

A large mosaic of the central Veil nebula
Please, click for a large image

A four panel mosaic of the central Veil nebula, a color version can be seen HERE


The whole Veil nebula supernova remnant
Please, click for a large image

This older wide field photos shows the whole nebula.






          A quick one, Sharpless 140 in Cepheus        


I have worked with an imaging project and the target is kind of dim. Many nights are needed for final photo. Every night I need to wait couple of hours to have this dim target in good position.
This new image is shot during couple of mandatory waiting periods. Nothing spectacular but I kind of like the result.


Sharpless 140, (Sh2-140)
Please, click for a large image




A bicolor composition by the light of ionized elements, hydrogen and oxygen. (H-alpha and O-III)


H-alpha emission alone
Please, click for a large image



INFO

Sh2-140 is an HII emission nebula on the southwest edge of the Lynds 1204 darn nebula. It is also on the edge the Cephus Ring, a ring of molecular gas and dust. Invisible in this image, there are about fifty young stars deeply embedded in the dark gas in the lower-left corner of the image.
Source, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, NOAO

Orientation in Cepheus
Please, click for a large image (2900 x 1700 pixels)

location of the Sharpless 140 is marked as white rectangle at top middle right. I have shot this wide field mosaic image of Cepheus back in 2014, the original blog post with technical detail can be found HERE

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope
Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics (For S-II and O-III channels)
Mount
10-micron 1000
Meade LX200 GPS 12" (For S-II and O-III channels)

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
QHY9 (For S-II and O-III channels)

Astrodon filter, 5 nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3 nm O-III

Exposure times
H-alpha, 6 x 1200 s binned 2x2 
O-III, 2 x 1200 s binned 4x4 = 




          B&W universe, part I        

As I'm using a cooled Gray scale astronomical CCD camera, I have a Black and White images from all of my photos. (For a color image, colors are made by shooting each color channel trough a filter, in my case mostly a narrow band filters.)

I will publish few posts out of my B&W images. Sometimes I like them better as a color ones. 


North America Nebula, a detail
Please, click for a large image

Photo shows the emission of hydrogen alone. (H-alpha) You'll find a color version and  the technical details from HERE


A two frame mosaic
Please, click for a large image

You'll find a color version and  the technical details from HERE


Three frames stitched together
Please, click for a large image

You'll find a color version and  the technical details from HERE


For technical details and a color versions, please, use a link under the images above.



          Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus, eleven panel mosaic in visual spectrum        
My first photo session for the year 2017 was at January fourth. As a result, I was able to finalize my mosaic image of the central Cygnus. It has now eleven panels stitched together seamlessly.  I have made two versions, as usually. This one is in visual  colors and another version in mapped color can be seen HERE..

Mosaic images can be highly work intensive but the final resolution is great. They are very suitable for extreme large prints. Original resolution is around 20.000 x 9000 pixels.




Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus, eleven panels
Please, click for a large image, 2100 x 1000 pixels

The photo is in visual colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, 
R=Hydrogen + Sulphur, G=Oxygen and B=Oxygen + ~10% Hydrogen. A mosaic image with seven panels. Original image has a resolution of about 20.000 x 9000 pixels. Image spans about five degrees of sky horizontally.


Sub images taken for the mosaic in chronological order
Please, click for a large images


Three panels, January 7. 2016



One panel, December 27 2016



Five panels, January 1. 2017



Eight panels, January 1. 2017



The final four panels, January 4. 2017



Orientation
Please, click for a large image

An older wide field photo with  the Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera lens and Baader narrowband filters. Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle. 


Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope
Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics (For S-II and O-III channels)
Mount
10-micron 1000
Meade LX200 GPS 12" (For S-II and O-III channels)

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
QHY9 (For S-II and O-III channels)

Astrodon filter, 5 nm H-alpha
Baader filter, 8,5 nm O-III
Baader filter, 8 nm S-II

Exposure times for all seven panels
H-alpha, 39 x 1200 s binned 2x2 
O-III, 22 x 1200 s binned 4x4 = 
S-II,  22 x 1200 s binned 4x4 =






          The ghost of Christmas past, IC 63        

I have shot this target many times at this time of year. Every time I have a different result due to seeing conditions, exposure times used and different optical configurations. Naturally I am more experienced to process astronomical images now, that few years back.


IC 59 and IC 63


Please, click for a large image!

A bicolor composition by the light of ionized elements, hydrogen and oxygen. (H-alpha and O-III)
The blue color in the photo is not a reflection component but weak O-III emission.


Hydrogen emission only (H-alpha)
Please, click for a large image!

H-alpha emission only


INFO

IC 59 and IC 63 at the distance of about 600 light years in the constellation Cassiopeia.
Image spans about 0,8 degrees vertically, that's about ten light years at its estimated distance.
IC 59 is at left edge of the image and IC 63 at middle. Nebulae are ionized from the ultraviolet radiation of hot, luminous star gamma Cas at upper right it locates only three to four light years from the nebulae.

C 63 is a combination of emission and reflection nebulae. Since this is a narrow band image, reflection component is not get captured due to a broad band nature of it. Instead there is an ionized Oxygen, O-III, in this image and it can be seen as a Blue.
Nebula is next to the Gamma Cassiopeiae, a bright, mag. 2.47, star in middle of the "W" asterism in constellation Cassiopeia.


Orientation in Cassiopeia

The area of interest can be seen at the middle of the image. Click for a large image.

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope
Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics (For S-II and O-III channels)
Mount
10-micron 1000
Meade LX200 GPS 12" (For S-II and O-III channels)

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
QHY9 (For S-II and O-III channels)

Astrodon filter, 5 nm H-alpha
Baader filter, 8,5 nm O-III
Baader filter, 8 nm S-II

Exposure times
H-alpha, 21 x 1200 s binned 2x2 
O-III, 6 x 1200 s binned 4x4 = 


Variable Star of Mira Cet type, an animation
00 59 34.72 60 43 21.9

A variable star can be seen at center right, it's much brighter at 2010 image.
Click for a large image.

While I was combining data from 2010 to a new data, I noticed a difference between images.
There was a bright star in image from 02.10.2010, the same star in new image set from 24.12.2012 was much dimmer. I did use a Simbad astronomical database and it gave me a report of an variable star. 

V* AV Cas -- Variable Star of Mira Cet type
with radius arcmin
Distance to the center arcsec: 6.34
Other object types: Mi* () , V* (V*,AN,AAVSO) , * (CSI,[I81]) , IR (2MASS,MSX5C)
ICRS coord. (ep=J2000) : 00 59 34.00 +60 43 18.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
FK5 coord. (ep=J2000 eq=2000) : 00 59 34.00 +60 43 18.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
FK4 coord. (ep=B1950 eq=1950) : 00 56 30.55 +60 27 08.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
Gal coord. (ep=J2000) : 123.9263 -02.1343 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
Spectral type: M8 C ~
Fluxes (4) :
B 13.5 [~] E 2003AstL...29..468S
J 7.136 [0.020] C 2003yCat.2246....0C
H 6.170 [0.026] C 2003yCat.2246....0C
K 5.670 [0.020] C 2003yCat.2246....0C











          Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus, eleven panel mosaic finalized        

My first photo session for the year 2017 was at January fourth. As a result, I was able to finalize my mosaic image of the central Cygnus. It has now eleven panels stitched together seamlessly.  I have made two versions, as usually. This one is in mapped colors and another, yet unpublished, in visual spectrum.

Mosaic images can be highly work intensive but the final resolution is great. They are very suitable for extreme large prints. Original resolution is around 20.000 x 9000 pixels.


Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus, eleven panels
Please, click for a large image, 2100 x 1000 pixels

The photo is in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, 
red=sulphur, green=hydrogen and blue=oxygen. A mosaic image with seven panels. Original image has a resolution of about 20.000 x 9000 pixels. Image spans about five degrees of sky horizontally.

Sub images taken for the mosaic in chronological order
Please, click for a large images


Three panels, January 7. 2016




One panel, December 27 2016




Four panels combined, December 27 2016




Five panels, January 1. 2017




Eight panels, January 1. 2017




The final four panels, January 4. 2017




Orientation
Please, click for a large image

An older wide field photo with  the Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera lens and Baader narrowband filters. Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle. Part of the color data is taken from this wide field photo.

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope
Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics (For S-II and O-III channels)
Mount
10-micron 1000
Meade LX200 GPS 12" (For S-II and O-III channels)

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
QHY9 (For S-II and O-III channels)

Astrodon filter, 5 nm H-alpha
Baader filter, 8,5 nm O-III
Baader filter, 8 nm S-II

Exposure times for all seven panels
H-alpha, 39 x 1200 s binned 2x2 
O-III, 22 x 1200 s binned 4x4 = 
S-II,  22 x 1200 s binned 4x4 



          The Sky on Fire, Mosaic of the central Cygnus        


A three panel mosaic in visual palette, combined from narrowband channels, shows a three degrees patch of the central Cygnus gas formations. I have published a mapped color version few days ago, it can be seen HERE.


The Sky on Fire
Please, click for a large image, ~2200 x 1030 pixels

Image is in Natural colour palette from the emission of ionized elements, R=Hydrogen + Sulphur, G=Oxygen and B=Oxygen + 10% Hydrogen to compensate the missing H-beta emission..


Orientation in Cygnus
Please, click for a full size photo

Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle.
An older wide field photo with  the Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera lens and Baader narrowband filters. Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle. 


Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL

Astrodon filter, 5 nm H-alpha
Baader filter, 8,5 nm O-III
Baader filter, 8 nm S-II

Exposure times for all seven panels
H-alpha, 21 x 1200 s binned 2x2 
O-III, 18 x 1200 s binned 4x4
S-II,  18 x 1200 s binned 4x4



          Astro Anarchy, the year 2016        


HAPPY NEW YEAR
This post is about all of my astronomical photos from the Autumn season of  the year 2016

All my photos from the Spring and Autumn seasons of 2016 are taken with my new imaging setup. Celestron Edge HD 1100 with 0.7 reducer at 10-micron mount. Apogee Alta U16 camera with Astrodon filters and an active optics unit, SXV AO LF, from Starlight Xpress.

My humble thanks to the supporters, they made my work possible!
All companies are offering the first class products and service!



The Autumn season of the year 2016 as an image poster
Please, click for a large image, 1920 x 3000 pixels, ~5MB





Links to an individual photos, with the technical data and additional images
Please, click to image to see the information


Eastern part of the Veil Nebula supernova remnant



A detail from the North America nebula, part I



A detail from the North America nebula, part II



A detail from the North America nebula, part II



KjPn8 (PN G112.5-00.1)



Filaments of the Veil Nebula, part I




Filaments of the Veil Nebula, part II




Filaments of the Veil Nebula, part III



Dark clouds in Cygnus, part I




Dark clouds in Cygnus, part II




Dark filaments of Cygnus, part I




Dark filaments of Cygnus, part II




The Great Wall of Cygnus




Sharpless 224




Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus, part I




Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus, part II




Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus, part III





          Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus, a seven panel mosaic        


My last photo for the year 2016 is a seven panel mosaic of the central Cygnus. I shot last panels for this mosaic at 30.12. 2016. 


Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus
Please, click for a large image, 1800 x 1400 pixels

The photo is in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, 
red=sulfur, green=hydrogen and blue=oxygen. A mosaic image with seven panels. Original image has a resolution of 12.000 x 9000 pixels. Image spans about three degrees of sky horizontally.


Orientation


Please, click for a large image

An older wide field photo with  the Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera lens and Baader narrowband filters. Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle. Part of the color data is taken from this wide field photo.


Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope
Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics (For S-II and O-III channels)
Mount
10-micron 1000
Meade LX200 GPS 12" (For S-II and O-III channels)

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
QHY9 (For S-II and O-III channels)

Astrodon filter, 5 nm H-alpha
Baader filter, 8,5 nm O-III
Baader filter, 8 nm S-II

Exposure times for all seven panels
H-alpha, 27 x 1200 s binned 2x2 
O-III, 18 x 1200 s binned 4x4 = 
S-II,  18 x 1200 s binned 4x4 




          Bright nebulae of the central Cygnus        



I had about six hours of clear sky at night between 23.- 24.12. That was just enough to shoot this relatively bright emission area in constellation Cygnus.

Bright nebulae of Cygnus
Please, click for a large image

The photo is in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, 
red=sulfur, green=hydrogen and blue=oxygen.


An experimental starless view
Please, click for a large image

The actual nebula stands out well in this starless version


Mosaic
Please, click for a large image

This new image was partly overlapping with my older image from Spring season 2016.
Older image. with technical details, can be found HERE 


Nebulae in visual colors
Please, click for a large image

Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.


Orientation
Please, click for a large image

An older wide field photo with  the Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera lens and Baader narrowband filters. 


Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope
Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics (For S-II and O-III channels)
Mount
10-micron 1000
Meade LX200 GPS 12" (For S-II and O-III channels)

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
QHY9 (For S-II and O-III channels)

Astrodon filter, 5 nm H-alpha
Baader filter, 8,5 nm O-III
Baader filter, 8 nm S-II

Exposure times
H-alpha, 9 x 1200 s binned 2x2 
O-III, 4 x 1200 s binned 4x4 = 
S-II,  4 x 1200 s binned 4x4 







          Dark filaments in Cygnus, project finalized        



This winter season I have been shooting some well known and relatively bright objects in Cygnus, My purpose was show them little differently by selecting some less imaged details to show.

This time my target was an area in North America Nebula, NGC 7000. There are some interesting looking formations of dark nebulae.


Dark filaments of Cygnus
Please, click for a large image

Image is in mapped colours, from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulphur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. Image spans about two degrees of sky.


B&W image
Please, click for a large image

This photo shows the emission of hydrogen alpha (H-a) alone.


Orientation
Please, click for a large image

Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle.
This wide field photo of the North America and Pelican Nebulae was shot with Canon EF 200 mm f1.8 camera lens, QHY9 astrocam and Baader narrowband filters.

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f10 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times for both image panels
H-alpha, 30 x 1200 s = 10 h
S-II,  6 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 2 h
O-III,  6 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 2 h
Total 14 h

A single uncropped, calibrated and stretched 20 min. H-alpha frames used for the mosaic image

Left side of the mosaic image


Right side of the mosaic image



          Filaments of the Veil Nebula in visual spectrum        
I have published a mapped color version out of this photo few days ago. This new version shows a detail of Veil Nebula in natural colors. This composition is very close to a real colors. Ionized hydrogen (H-alpha) is emitting red light. Ionized Oxygen (O-III) can be seen as blue hues.

At this Autumn season I have shot several well known targets in constellation Cygnus. 
My purpose was show them little differently by selecting some less imaged details to show.
This new image is a four panel mosaic showing the complex, filament like, structures in Veil Nebula supernova remnant. Original full resolution photo is about 11.000 x 4000 pixels! Total exposure time is around 35 hours. The final photo looks like a giant alien space plant...


Filaments of Veil
Please, click for a large image


Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.


A closeup
Please, click for a large image




A horizontal version
Please, click for a large image




Orientation in Veil Nebula
Please, click for a large image

Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle 
This wide field photo of the Veil Nebula was shot with Canon EF 200 mm f1.8 camera lens, QHY9 astrocam and Baader narrowband filters.

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f10 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times for all three panels
H-alpha, 30 x 1200 s = 10 h
S-II,  24 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 8 h
O-III,  51 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 17 h
Total 35 h

Images used for this mosaic






          Filaments of the Veil Nebula        

At this Autumn season I have shot several well known targets in constellation Cygnus. 
My purpose was show them little differently by selecting some less imaged details to show.
This new image is a four panel mosaic showing the complex, filament like, structures in Veil Nebula supernova remnant. Original full resolution photo is about 11.000 x 4000 pixels! Total exposure time is around 35 hours. The final photo looks like a giant alien space plant...

Filaments of Veil
Please, click for a large image

Image is in mapped colours, from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulphur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. Image spans about three degrees vertically.


A closeup
Please, click for a large image




A horizontal version
Please, click for a large image




Orientation in Veil Nebula
Please, click for a large image

Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle 
This wide field photo of the Veil Nebula was shot with Canon EF 200 mm f1.8 camera lens, QHY9 astrocam and Baader narrowband filters.

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f10 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times for all three panels
H-alpha, 30 x 1200 s = 10 h
S-II,  24 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 8 h
O-III,  51 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 17 h
Total 35 h

Images used for this mosaic




          A panoramic view to the North america Nebula        
A New photo of the North America Nebula shows the area of "Mexican gulf". Also called as a Great Wall of Cygnus. This is a two frame mosaic and it spans about two degrees of sky horizontally.
Total exposure time is 9 hours for this relatively bright area.


Great Wall of Cygnus
Please, click for a large image

Image is in mapped colours, from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulphur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.

A closeup
Please, click for a large image



Image in visual spectrum
Please, click for a large image

Image is in Natural colour palette from the emission of ionized elements, 
R=Hydrogen + Sulphur, G=Oxygen and B=Oxygen + ~10% Hydrogen.
Hydrogen, glowing a red light, dominates the color scheme.

Orientation
Please, click for a large image

Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle 
This wide field photo of the North America and Pelican Nebulae was shot with Canon EF 200 mm f1.8 camera lens, QHY9 astrocam and Baader narrowband filters.

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f10 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times for both panels
H-alpha, 15 x 1200 s = 5 h
O-III, 6 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 2 h 
S-II,  6 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 2 h 
Total 9 h






          Dark filaments in Cygnus        


This winter season I have been shooting some well known and relatively bright objects in Cygnus, My purpose was show them little differently by selecting some less imaged details to show.


Dark filaments of Cygnus
Please, click for a large image

Image is in mapped colours, from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulphur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. Image shows about one square degrees of sky.


Visual colours
Please, click for a large image

Image is in Natural colour palette from the emission of ionized elements, 
R=Hydrogen + Sulphur, G=Oxygen and B=Oxygen + ~10% Hydrogen.


Orientation
Please, click for a large image

Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle 
This wide field photo of the North America and Pelican Nebulae was shot with Canon EF 200 mm f1.8 camera lens, QHY9 astrocam and Baader narrowband filters.


Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f10 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times
H-alpha, 9 x 1200 s = 3 h
S-II,  3 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 1 h
O-III,  3 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 1 h
Total 4 h



          Pelican Nebula, a two frame mosaic        

At November 30 I published a new photo about dark filaments between North America and Pelican Nebula. Later I found out, that my shot was overlapping with my older photo of the Pelican nebula. This image is combination out of those two images. 

Pelican Nebula
Please, click for a large image

Image is in mapped colours, from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulphur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen


Technical details

Can be found HERE, for the upper part of the image
And HERE, for the lower part of the mosaic image above






          A detail photo of the dark filaments in Pelican nebula        


I have shot lights for this image back in October 5 but found time to process them just now.
The complex cloud of dust and gas locates in front of the ionized gas clouds. Ionized gas, mainly oxygen in this photo, is emitting light and due to that we are able to see the dark formation,


Dark clouds in Cygnus
Click for a large image

Image is in mapped colours, from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulphur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.



An experimental starless version
Please, click for a large image

The actual gas formations stand out well in this starless version.



Orientation
Please, click for a large image

Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle 
This wide field photo of the North America and Pelican Nebulae was shot with Canon EF 200 mm f1.8 camera lens, QHY9 astrocam and Baader narrowband filters.


Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f10 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times for all three panels
H-alpha, 6 x 1200 s = 2 h
S-II,  6 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 2 h
O-III information is taken from an older the wide field shot seen above, ~2 h 
Total 6 h




          A little different view to the North America nebula, part III        

This photo is result from my mosaic project for this Autumn season. My purpose was to image the North America Nebula, NGC 7000, and show it little differently, than usually. This object is a popular target among astro photographers, I found some rarely imaged areas and made my composition out of them. There are three panels used for this mosaic, total exposure time for all three emission line is around 16 hours.


A detail from the North America nebula as a three panel mosaic
Please, click for a large image

Image is in mapped colours, from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulphur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.



An experimental starless version
Please, click for a large image

The actual gas formations stand out well in this starless version.



Image in natural colors
Please, click for a large image

Image is in Natural colour palette from the emission of ionized elements, 
R=Hydrogen + Sulphur, G=Oxygen and B=Oxygen + ~10% Hydrogen.




Couple of individual image panels
Please, click for a large image









Orientation
Please, click for a large image

Area of interest is marked as a white rectangle 
This wide field photo of the North America and Pelican Nebulae was shot with Canon EF 200 mm f1.8 camera lens, QHY9 astrocam and Baader narrowband filters.

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f10 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times for all three panels
H-alpha, 18 x 1200 s = 6 h
O-III, 18 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 5 h 
S-II,  18 x 1200 s binned 2x2 = 5 h 
Total 16 h



          Filaments of the Veil Nebula in natural colors        


This is a new version of the Filaments of Veil photo. It shows the nebula complex in visual spectrum. Most strong emission line is hydrogen alpha, H-a, it can be seen as a red color. Blue hues are from an ionized oxygen, O-III.

My latest image is a composition of  exposures from several nights, months and years. Couple of weeks ago, when we had some clear night last time, I took couple of shots from Veil Nebula. This time my purpose was to show some rarely imaged details and structures in this complex ball of expanding gas, leftovers from a massive explosion, the supernova.
I combined this new material to my older images of the area. Total exposure time for this five panel mosaic is around 37 h.

Filaments of the Veil in natural colors
Please, click for a full size image


Image is in Natural color palette from the emission of ionized elements, 
R=Hydrogen + Sulfur, G=Oxygen and B=Oxygen + Hydrogen.


Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL

Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times

New material from this Autumn season, total exposure time 15 h

H-alpha, 15 x 1200s = 5h
O-III, 15 x 1200s binned = 5h
S-II, 15 x 1200s binned = 5h

Older material used for this mosaic image





          Filaments of the Veil Nebula, Part II        

This is a new version of the Filaments of Veil photo. Composition is much better now, I think. I added one more panel to the mosaic image and now I have a vertical composition. It's somehow more dynamic and complexity of gas filaments stands out well.

My latest image is a composition of  exposures from several nights, months and years. Couple of weeks ago, when we had some clear night last time, I took couple of shots from Veil Nebula. This time my purpose was to show some rarely imaged details and structures in this complex ball of expanding gas, leftovers from a massive explosion, the supernova.
I combined this new material to my older images of the area. Total exposure time for this five panel mosaic is around 37 h.


Filaments of the Veil Nebula
Please, click for a full size image

Colors are from the ionized elements, Hydrogen, Sulphur and Oxygen.
S-II = Red, H-alpha = Green and O-III = Blue.


Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL

Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times

New material from this Autumn season, total exposure time 15 h

H-alpha, 15 x 1200s = 5h
O-III, 15 x 1200s binned = 5h
S-II, 15 x 1200s binned = 5h

Older material used for this mosaic image





          Quackcast 327 - Flashback heart-attack!        

LISTEN!
Art by Ozoneocean

\FLASHbacks… you have to do them right or they will screw up the flow of your story. That's the theme of the newspost by Tantz Aerine that we stole this podcast topic from. :)
Flashbacks can be expository, they can explain story elements and plot to you, they can push the narrative forward in a (seemingly) non-linear way, they can do all sorts of things, but one of the very worst is when they ruin the flow of your story and irritate your audience! That's what we're chatting about today, the poorly handled flashback and how to avoid it!
Now let me tell you about that time… JUST KIDDING!

Our music theme by Gunwallace this week was Galactic Nebula Race. This is all about speed! Racing, acceleration, hyper-velocity!! Watch those lights fly past faster and faster until they become just a single coloured blurred line… only to see your rival speed past as if you were standing still.

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Will Draw for Food - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2017/jun/06/featured-comic-will-draw-for-food/

LINKS:
From Tantz's Newspost - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2017/jun/02/flashbacks/
Our earlier take on Flashbacks - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-253-narrative-order-and-the-flashback

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
kawaiidaigakusei - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei
Ozoneocean - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean

Featured music:
Galactic Nebula Race - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/GNR_GalacticNebulaRace/, by piki_fu, rated M.

ONE day left to vote for the 2017 DD award design! - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/177684/


          Okultasi 18 September 2017: Ketika Bulan Menggerhanai Venus        
Okultasi Venus 22 April 2009. Kredit: Wes Stone
Info Astronomy - Melihat gerhana Bulan atau gerhana Matahari mungkin sudah biasa, tapi bagaimana dengan gerhana planet? Walaupun dalam astronomi lebih dikenal dengan istilah okultasi, peristiwa ini pada dasarnya mirip dengan gerhana. Dan pada 18 September 2017, Venus akan digerhanai Bulan.

Okultasi adalah peristiwa yang berlangsung ketika suatu objek yang berjarak lebih jauh ditutupi oleh objek lain yang lewat di antaran objek jauh yang ditutupi dan pengamat. Istilah ini biasanya digunakan untuk menyebut peristiwa ketika Bulan menutupi planet, bintang, nebula, hingga galaksi tetangga.

Sama seperti peristiwa gerhana, okultasi juga merupakan peristiwa langit yang terbilang langka. Tercatat, okultasi Venus terakhir kali teramati di Indonesia pada tahun 2010, atau sekitar tujuh tahun yang lalu. Okultasi selanjutnya pasca-18 September 2017 nanti tidak akan terjadi lagi hingga tahun 2022.

Okultasi Venus akan berlangsung mulai pukul 05.41 WIB hingga pukul 06.55 WIB. Jadi, bangunlah mulai dini hari pada tanggal 18 September 2017 mendatang, Anda akan melihat adanya Bulan dan Venus yang terang di langit timur.

Peta visibilitas okultasi Venus, wilayah di garis merah bisa mengamatinya. Kredit: NAO.ac.jp
Pada peta visibilitas di atas, kita dapat melihat adanya garis merah. Wilayah yang dilingkupi garis merah tersebut merupakan wilayah-wilayah yang dapat mengamati peristiwa okultasi Venus.

Okultasi Venus akan terjadi mulai dari Samudra Pasifik, melintasi Selandia Baru, Australia, Indonesia, dan berakhir di Samudra Hindia. Namun, tak seluruh wilayah Indonesia menjadi lokasi ideal untuk mengamati peristiwa ini.

Lokasi terbaik untuk mengamati okultasi Venus di Indonesia adalah di Pulau Sumatera, yakni mulai dari Sumatera Utara, hingga ke selatan sampai Lampung. Mengapa terbaik? Sebab, ketika okultasi Venus terjadi di sana, Matahari belum terbit sehingga Venus dan Bulan bisa terlihat jelas. Dengan begitu, semakin ke timur maka semakin sulit mengamatinya.

Peristiwa okultasi Venus ini dapat diamati dengan mata telanjang. Tapi, bila ingin melihat Venus lebih jelas, Anda bisa menggunakan teleskop saat pengamatan.

Nah, dalam rangka "menjemput bola" untuk mengamati okultasi Venus tahun ini, kami bersama komunitas astronomi Jejak Pengamat Langit mengadakan tur ke Pahawang, Lampung untuk berburu okultasi Venus. Mau ikut? Info lengkap terkait tur ini bisa dibaca di JejakLangit.com/tour


Sumber: EarthSky
          Menyambut Malam Langit Gelap 2017        
Kredit: Pexels.com, InfoAstronomy.org
Info Astronomy - Minggu, 6 Agustus 2017 ini, kita akan merayakan Malam Langit Gelap, yang merupakan bagian dari Hari Keantariksaan yang jatuh pada tanggal yang sama. Apa yang bisa diamati pada Malam Langit Gelap tahun ini?

Bagi Anda yang belum tahu, Malam Langit Gelap merupakan kampanye publik yang dicanangkan oleh Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional (LAPAN) pada 5 Agustus 2016 silam. Kampanye ini memiliki tujuan untuk mengajak masyarakat mematikan lampu ataupun sumber cahaya di luar rumah selama satu jam untuk mengurangi polusi cahaya.

Dengan kampanye Malam Langit Gelap, diharapkan masyarakat bisa mendapatkan langit malam yang bersih tanpa polusi cahaya sehingga lebih banyak bintang dan benda-benda langit yang bisa diamati.

Polusi cahaya sendiri merupakan salah satu jenis polusi juga layaknya polusi udara. Hewan, manusia, dan lingkungan mengalami dampak buruk dari polusi cahaya. Kebanyakan orang tidak pernah mendengar apa itu polusi cahaya, dan yang mengetahuinya biasanya tidak peduli atau tidak melakukan apa-apa untuk menanggulanginya. Polusi cahaya bahkan telah merugikan Amerika Serikat satu miliar dollar setiap tahun.

Atas: Langit bebas polusi cahaya, Bawah: Langit berpolusi cahaya. Kredit: Wikimedia Commons
Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) pernah menyatakan bahwa, polusi cahaya ini dapat memboroskan uang, merusak lingkungan, dan menyebabkan turunnya keindahan langit di waktu malam. Polusi cahaya juga membuat hewan-hewan malam tidak mampu beradaptasi.

Bagi astronom, polusi cahaya membuat langit menjadi terang sehingga pengamatan benda-benda langit menjadi terganggu. Penelitian alam semesta yang dilakukan di observatorium berbasis di darat pun akan sangat terganggu akibat polusi cahaya.

Dengan kampanye Malam Langit Gelap, masyarakat diajak untuk mau ikut berpartisipasi, setidaknya mau mematikan lampu yang berada di luar rumah atau ruangan selama satu jam saja. Ketika polusi cahaya berkurang, langit malam akan jauh lebih cantik.

Mengapa 6 Agustus 2017?

Pemilihan tanggal 6 Agustus 2017 sebagai Hari Keantariksaan dan sebagai Malam Langit Gelap bukan tanpa alasan. Di tanggal ini pada tahun 2013, pemerintah Republik Indonesia mengesahkan Undang-undang No.21 tahun 2013 tentang Keantariksaan, sebuah payung hukum bagi kegiatan keantariksaan Indonesia untuk pertama kalinya.

Di antara manfaatnya yang besar bagi bidang ekonomi, pertahanan, dan keamanan, kegiataan keantariksaan juga mengandung risiko seperti kegagalan peluncuran satelit dan roket, kemungkinan tabrakan akibat peluncuran, atau konflik antarnegara dalam penggunaan slot orbit dan sampah antariksa.

UU Keantariksaan menjadi wujud perlindungan bagi negara ini dalam berbagai kegiatan keantariksaan yang meliputi penelitian dan pengembangan di bidang sains antariksa, penginderaan jauh, penguasaan teknologi keantariksaan, dan peluncuran wahana antariksa seperti roket dan satelit.

UU Keantariksaan sangat penting bagi Indonesia karena secara geografis negara ini memiliki posisi yang strategis dan ideal untuk penyelenggaraan kegiatan keantariksaan.  Posisi ini mengakibatkan wilayah Indonesia diminati negara lain untuk kerja sama di bidang keantariksaan. UU ini akan menjadi pedoman dan aturan bagi pelaksanaan kerja sama tersebut untuk perlindungan terhadap kepentingan Indonesia.

Peristiwa Langit di Malam Langit Gelap 2017

Bila polusi cahaya bisa berkurang di Malam Langit Gelap 6 Agustus 2017 mendatang, kita bisa melihat benda-benda langit terang seperti Bulan, planet, gugus bintang, hingga galaksi. Karena Malam Langit Gelap dicanangkan pada pukul 20.00 sampai dengan 21.00 waktu setempat, maka mari kita lihat ada peristiwa langit apa saja di jam itu.

Langit arah selatan. Kredit: Stellarium/InfoAstronomy.org
Di bola langit selatan, ketika Malam Langit Gelap nanti, kita bisa melihat benda-benda langit pada gambar di atas. Bulan akan berada di fase hampir purnama yang berada di ketinggian 44 derajat dari cakrawala timur pukul 20.00 waktu setempat.

Pada jam yang sama, planet Saturnus akan tampak berada di ketinggian 74 derajat dari cakrawala selatan. Anda butuh teleskop untuk bisa melihat cincin Saturnus. Karena dalam pandangan mata telanjang, Saturnus hanya akan muncul bagaikan bintang kuning keemasan terang tak berkelap-kelip saja.

Sementara itu, planet Jupiter berada di ketinggian 30 derajat dari cakrawala barat. Gunakan teleskop juga untuk bisa melihat Jupiter lebih jelas lengkap dengan empat satelit alami terbesarnya; Io, Ganimede, Europa, dan Kalisto.

Langit utara. Kredit: Stellarium/InfoAstronomy.org
Pada momen Malam Langit Gelap pukul 20.00-21.00, bola langit utara tidak ada benda-benda langit khusus yang bisa diamati. Namun, bila Anda menunggu hingga tengah malam, Anda bisa melihat terbitnya galaksi Andromeda yang berada di ketinggian 22 derajat dari cakrawala timur laut. Ada pula Segitiga Musim Panas yang terbentuk dari bintang Altair, Vega, dan Deneb.

Anda harus berada di lokasi yang bebas polusi cahaya untuk bisa mengamati galaksi Andromeda. Gunakan teleskop juga agar pengamatan Andromeda menjadi jauh lebih jelas dan lebih menyenangkan.

Langit timur-tenggara. Kredit: Stellarium/InfoAstronomy.org
Bila tak ingin menunggu sampai larut malam, Anda bisa tidur dulu lalu bangun satu jam sebelum Matahari terbit. Ketika menengok ke langit timur, Anda akan menemukan banyak benda-benda langit yang cantik. Mulai dari planet Venus yang sangat terang, rasi bintang dan nebula Orion, bintang Sirius, gugus bintang Pleiades, dan di langit tenggara ada galaksi kerdil Awan Magellan Besar.

Nah, itulah benda-benda langit yang bisa kita amati pada Malam Langit Gelap. Mari ikut kampanye mematikan lampu di luar ruangan untuk meminimalisir polusi cahaya agar bisa mengamati seluruh benda langit ini.

Selamat menyambut Malam Langit Gelap!

          6 Teleskop dengan Harga Terjangkau Bagi Pemula        
Dokumen: InfoAstronomy.org
Info Astronomy - Ketika mengamati langit malam, rasanya akan kurang seru tanpa adanya teleskop. Sayangnya, harga teleskop yang bagus dan berkualitas cukup menguras kantong. Tapi jangan khawatir, berikut ini kami berikan 6 rekomendasi teleskop dengan harga terjangkau untuk pemula.

Oh iya, sebelum Anda membeli teleskop, ada baiknya ketahui dulu tips untuk membeli teleskop pertama yang bisa dibaca di sini. Penting untuk memastikan Anda membeli produk teleskop yang berkualitas, bukan yang akan mengecewakan Anda ketika mencoba mengamati planet tapi justru yang terlihat hanya titik kecil saja.

Teleskop terbaik memiliki dua aspek penting: optik berkualitas tinggi dan stabil serta mounting atau dudukan yang kokoh dan luwes. Anda juga mungkin ingin teleskop yang besar dan mudah dalam hal pemasangannya ketika Anda ingin mengamati benda langit.

Nah, inilah enam teleskop yang kami rekomendasikan:

Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ

Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ. Kredit: Celestron
Bila Anda mencari teleskop yang cocok pemula, teleskop Celestron seri PowerSeeker 50AZ adalah solusi yang ideal. Teleskop ini stabil dan cukup mudah dibongkar-pasang. Selain mudah diatur, teleskop ini juga dilengkapi dengan berbagai macam aksesoris yang memudahkan Anda menjelajahi langit malam dengan anak-anak Anda.

Teleskop dengan jenis refraktor yang mengandalkan lensa ini hadir dengan tiga lensa okuler 20mm, 12mm, dan 4 mm, dipadu dengan focal length 600mm sehingga memiliki pembesaran yang cukup baik. Lensa objektif teleskop ini juga terlapisi sepenuhnya sehingga Anda akan mendapatkan pandangan benda-benda langit yang jernih dan tajam.

Di pasaran, teleskop ini dibanderol dengan harga mulai Rp1,4 juta hingga Rp1,7 juta.

Beli Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ di tautan ini.


Celestron PowerSeeker 60EQ

Celestron PowerSeeker 60EQ. Kredit: Celestron
Teleskop berjenis refraktor dengan dudukan ekuatorial ini merupakan pilihan tepat bagi astronom pemula yang ingin santai dalam melihat pemandangan benda-benda langit malam. Menggunakan tipe optis akromatik, teleskop ini mampu melakukan pengamatan Bulan, planet, bintang biner, gugusan bintang, nebula, dan bahkan beberapa galaksi tetangga Bimasakti.

Dengan sistem optik yang cukup baik, PowerSeeker 60EQ dapat menghasilkan kecerahan dan kejernihan pandangan saat digunakan. Teleskop ini 73 kali lebih sensitif dari mata manusia, yang membuat Anda dapat melihat banyak benda-benda langit yang tidak dapat terlihat oleh mata telanjang.

Di pasaran, teleskop ini dibanderol mulai Rp2,6 juta hingga Rp2,9 juta.

Beli Celestron PowerSeeker 60EQ di tautan ini.


Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ

Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ. Kredit: Celestron
Teleskop Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ merupakan pilihan tepat bagi astronom pemula yang ingin menggunakan teleskop bagi pengamatan langit maupun pengamatan alam. Sistem optik refraktor memberikan pengalaman yang seru untuk pengamatan objek-objek jauh.

AstroMaster 70AZ memiliki kemampuan sensitivitas 100 kali lipat lebih tajam dari mata manusia. Dengan dua lensa okuler 20mm dan 10mm, Anda akan mendapatkan pembesaran masing-masing 45 kali dan 90 kali.

Teleskop ini dibanderol mulai Rp3,6 juta hingga Rp4,2 juta di pasaran.

Beli Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ di tautan ini.

Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ

Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ. Kredit: Celestron
Teleskop Celestron seri ini adalah pilihan tepat bagi seorang astronom pemula yang ingin melakukan sesuatu yang lebih daripada sekadar melihat langit, namun dengan harga yang cukup terjangkau. Celestron PowerSeeker 80 EQ ini memiliki optik refraktor akromatik 80mm.

Rancangan sistem optik yang baik merupakan prioritas utama pada teleskop ini. Teleskop PowerSeeker 80EQ memiliki kemampuan 131 kali lebih sensitif dari mata manusia dalam pengamatan langit malam. Teleskop ini bisa diandalkan untuk mengamati Bulan, planet, hingga benda-benda langit jauh.

Dibanderol dengan harga mulai Rp3,7 juta hingga Rp3,8 juta di pasaran, Anda akan mendapatkan lebih dari yang Anda bayarkan.

Beli Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ di tautan ini.


Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ

Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ. Kredit: Celestron
Berbeda dengan empat teleskop sebelumnya yang merupakan jenis teleskop refraktor, PowerSeeker 127EQ merupakan teleskop reflektor yang menggunakan cermin dengan dudukan ekuatorial yang kokoh. Dengan aperture yang besar (127mm), teleskop ini mampu memberikan pandangan yang jelas dari planet, gugus bintang, nebula, hingga galaksi tetangga dengan tampilan yang lebih terang.

Optik reflektor newtonian akan membuat Anda mendapatkan pengalaman mengamati benda-benda langit secara detail, tajam, dan tanpa aberasi ungu yang biasanya mengelilingi setiap benda langit saat melakukan pengamatan.

Di pasaran, teleskop ini dibanderol seharga mulai Rp4,2 juta hingga Rp4,7 juta.

Beli Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ di tautan ini.

Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ

Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ. Kredit: Celestron
Dengan aperture 130mm, teleskop jenis reflektor ini dirancang terutama untuk memberikan pengalaman pengamatan benda-benda langit dengan sudut pandang yang luar biasa. Anda dapat mengamati objek langit jauh seperti komet, nebula, galaksi, gugus bintang, dan banyak lagi dengan teleskop ini.

Dilengkapi dengan tripod jenis CG-3 yang kokh dan stabil, teleskop ini memiliki kemampuan kontrol gerak yang mudah digunakan. Teleskop ini memungkinkan Anda dengan mudah menemukan benda-benda angkasa dengan melacaknya secara manual maupun otomatis dengan tambahan motor drive. Dengan begitu, teleksop ini sangat cocok bagi Anda yang berminat dalam astrofotografi!

Di pasaran, teleskop ini dibanderol mulai Rp6,5 juta hingga Rp7,1 juta.

Beli Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ di tautan ini.

Nah, itulah enam teleskop dengan harga yang cukup terjangkau bila Anda mencari teleskop berkualitas tinggi bagi pemula. Selamat menabung untuk mendapatkan teleskop pertama Anda!

          Wim.jongman.remainsoftware.com: /* Hudson */        

‎Hudson

← Older revision Revision as of 13:13, 28 February 2017
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These jobs are set up to run on if the repository has changed
 
These jobs are set up to run on if the repository has changed
  
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https://hudson.eclipse.org/nebula/job/nebula.release/
  
 
https://hudson.eclipse.org/nebula/job/nebula.incubation/
 
https://hudson.eclipse.org/nebula/job/nebula.incubation/

          Wim.jongman.remainsoftware.com: /* Builds */        

‎Builds

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Note: adding the '''integration-test''' parameter runs tests from test-bundles which might fail when running outside of the hudson build environment.
 
Note: adding the '''integration-test''' parameter runs tests from test-bundles which might fail when running outside of the hudson build environment.
  
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Building an individual widget only requires that Nebula is installed in the local maven repo and a single command to be ran in the widgets main directory:  
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Building an individual widget requires that '''Nebula is installed in the local maven repo'''. Then run the build in the widget main directory. E.g:  
  
 
  cd widgets/geomap
 
  cd widgets/geomap

          Wim.jongman.remainsoftware.com: /* Hudson */        

‎Hudson

← Older revision Revision as of 12:56, 28 February 2017
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From this page, you can see build results, download jars and view java doc.  
 
From this page, you can see build results, download jars and view java doc.  
  
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All successful builds are uploaded immediately to the snapshot location.  
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All successful builds are uploaded immediately to the snapshot location.
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Email notifications : Every Nebula committer has write access to builds configuration on Hudson. Most settings do not need to be changed but email addresses can be added for build event notifications (failures, return to normal)
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== Downloads ==
 
== Downloads ==

          Wim.jongman.remainsoftware.com: /* Builds */        

‎Builds

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== Builds ==
 
== Builds ==
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Nebula has 2 separate projects : '''Release''' for stable widgets and '''Incubation''' (org.eclipse.nebula.nebula-incubation) for widget which are work in progress or unmaintained.
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Nebula has 2 separate projects : '''Release''' for stable widgets and '''Incubation''' for widgets which are work in progress or unmaintained.
  
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Running these build requires to check-out the full nebula repository, to go into the selected build folder and run. For example:  
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Running these build requires to check-out the full Nebula repository, to go into the selected build folder and run. For example:  
  
 
   cd releng/org.eclipse.nebula.nebula-release
 
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jar files are then available in the target folder.
 
jar files are then available in the target folder.
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== Hudson ==
 
== Hudson ==

          Wim.jongman.remainsoftware.com at 12:54, 28 February 2017        

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Nebula uses Maven Tycho to run its build  
 
Nebula uses Maven Tycho to run its build  
  
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== Maven / Tycho ==
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== Builds ==
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Building with Maven and Tycho requires Java and Maven3 to be installed on your computer and a POM file (pom.xml).
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Nebula has 2 separate projects : '''Release''' for stable widgets and '''Incubation''' (org.eclipse.nebula.nebula-incubation) for widget which are work in progress or unmaintained.
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A POM file is a project definition and must be located at the root of each module. This file contains everything maven needs to build, package, test, run reports, ... the project.
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Each Nebula widget needs this file, but in order to reduce the amount of configuration required, we use a parent POM which contains all common configuration.
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Running these build requires to check-out the full nebula repository, to go into the selected build folder and run. For example:
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This special project must be installed locally before building a widget.
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checkout org.eclipse.nebula.nebula-parent and run maven in this project's folder :
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  cd releng/org.eclipse.nebula.nebula-release
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  mvn verify (or ''install'' to install in the local maven repo)
  
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Note: adding the '''integration-test''' parameter runs tests from test-bundles which might fail when running outside of the hudson build environment.
  
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Building an individual widget only requires that Nebula is installed in the local maven repo and a single command to be ran in the widgets main directory:
  
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xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
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== Hudson ==
 
== Hudson ==
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These jobs are set up to run on Hudson every 5 hours if the repository has changed
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These jobs are set up to run on if the repository has changed
  
 
https://hudson.eclipse.org/nebula/job/nebula.nebula/
 
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All successful builds are uploaded immediately to the snapshot location.
  
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http://download.eclipse.org/technology/nebula/snapshot
 
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http://download.eclipse.org/technology/nebula/incubation/snapshot
 
  
 
Email notifications : Every Nebula committer has write access to builds configuration on Hudson. Most settings do not need to be changed but email addresses can be added for build event notifications (failures, return to normal)
 
Email notifications : Every Nebula committer has write access to builds configuration on Hudson. Most settings do not need to be changed but email addresses can be added for build event notifications (failures, return to normal)
  
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== Sonar ==
 
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Nebula:
 
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* Job that triggers Sonar analysis: https://hudson.eclipse.org/nebula/job/Nebula-Sonar/
 
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* Sonar reports: https://dev.eclipse.org/sonar/dashboard/index/org.eclipse.nebula:nebula-release
 
  
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Nebula-Incubation:
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* Job: https://hudson.eclipse.org/nebula/job/Nebula.incubation-Sonar/
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== Downloads ==
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* Sonar reports: https://dev.eclipse.org/sonar/dashboard/index/791
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The latest snapshot and release locations can be found here.
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[https://www.eclipse.org/nebula/downloads.php https://www.eclipse.org/nebula/downloads.php]
  
 
[[Category:Nebula|Build]]
 
[[Category:Nebula|Build]]

          Wim.jongman.remainsoftware.com: /* Sonar */        

‎Sonar

← Older revision Revision as of 21:14, 5 November 2013
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Nebula-Incubation:
 
Nebula-Incubation:
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* Job: https://hudson.eclipse.org/sandbox/job/Nebula.incubation-Sonar/
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* Job: https://hudson.eclipse.org/nebula/job/Nebula.incubation-Sonar/
 
* Sonar reports: https://dev.eclipse.org/sonar/dashboard/index/791
 
* Sonar reports: https://dev.eclipse.org/sonar/dashboard/index/791
  
 
[[Category:Nebula|Build]]
 
[[Category:Nebula|Build]]

          Wim.jongman.remainsoftware.com: /* Sonar */        

‎Sonar

← Older revision Revision as of 21:13, 5 November 2013
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== Sonar ==  
 
== Sonar ==  
 
Nebula:
 
Nebula:
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* Job that triggers Sonar analysis: https://hudson.eclipse.org/sandbox/job/Nebula-Sonar/
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* Job that triggers Sonar analysis: https://hudson.eclipse.org/nebula/job/Nebula-Sonar/
 
* Sonar reports: https://dev.eclipse.org/sonar/dashboard/index/org.eclipse.nebula:nebula-release
 
* Sonar reports: https://dev.eclipse.org/sonar/dashboard/index/org.eclipse.nebula:nebula-release
  

          Wim.jongman.remainsoftware.com: /* Hudson */        

‎Hudson

← Older revision Revision as of 21:13, 5 November 2013
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From this page, you can see build results, download jars and view java doc.  
 
From this page, you can see build results, download jars and view java doc.  
  
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Lastest jars are available at these url
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Lastest jars are available at these urls
  
 
http://download.eclipse.org/technology/nebula/snapshot
 
http://download.eclipse.org/technology/nebula/snapshot

          We Love Roleplay Turns Four!        
This month is the anniversary round for We Love Roleplay and that means presents for us! Let me show you some of the items these designers have graciously left in their booths. Don't forget to shop while you're there! New items are 25% off until May 31st.



~We <3 Roleplay Gifts~
Group is free to join, not required for all gifts

Hair ~ Calico ~ Aislinn (5 color hud and male/unisex style included) ~ 0L
Circlet ~ [Jangka] ~ Ophelia Crown Winter ~ 0L
Eyes ~ .:Soul:. ~ Nebula Eyes - Ochre ~ 0L (pay 1L, it refunds 1L)
(system, mesh and appliers included!)
Eyeshadow ~ !Musa! ~ Leda warm tone Omega applier (free tester) ~ 0L
Blush ~ !Musa! ~ Drank blush Omega applier (4 pink tones included) ~ 0L
Collar ~ Meva ~ Yudor Ruff ~ 0L
Necklace ~ *LightStar ~ Cherry Blossom (bracelet included) ~ 0L
Top ~ Les Encantades ~ Daphne Top ~ 0L
Tattoo ~ [Stargazer Creations] ~ Tattoo Applier - Glitz Purple (2 other colors included) ~ 0L


Skin ~ .:Soul:. ~ Gen2 F - Gyouko - [SE TorMel]  ~ Group Lucky Chair (250L join fee)
(system skins and appliers included, Omega appliers shown, male version also available)

~Other Stuff~
Avatar Complexity ~ 47,615
Head ~ Altamura
Body, hands & feet ~ Tonic
Ears & tail ~ .:Soul:.
Particles ~ Cole's Corner
Pose & orb ~ Dimma
Location ~ Tirion Forest


          2016 World Fantasy Award Adayları Belli Oldu        
Fantastik edebiyatın en prestijli ödüllerinden World Fantasy Awards’ın bu yılki adayları arasında da tanıdık isimler göze çarpıyor. Nebula, Hugo, Locus derken ödül sezonunda sıra World Fantasy Awards’a geldi. Ödülün kazananları 27-30 Ekimde Ohio’da yapılacak olan Dünya Fantazya Kongresi’nde açıklanacak. Kongrenin bu yılki teması ise “fantastik uçuşlar” olarak belirlenmiş. Adaylara yakından baktığımızda dikkatimizi ilk çeken isim, […]
          Para leer: Boneshaker, de Cherie Priest        

No os voy a mentir, cuando se publicó Boneshaker, hace cosa de dos años, le eché el ojo enseguida. La portada es muy llamativa y en la sinopsis aparecen las palabras “muertos vivientes” (¿Quién necesita más?). Suerte la mía que encontré un ejemplar en la Feria del Libro Antiguo por el nada despreciable precio de 5€. Como podéis imaginar me lancé cual piraña sobre el puesto y me traje la novela a casa (junto con una pila de libros). Creo, si mi memoria no falla, que ha sido mi primera lectura de una novela Steampunk. Es un género que, sin llegar a disgustarme, no me llama especialmente la atención. Boneshaker, además de los elementos propios del Steampunk, también está aderezada con hordas de zombis; a eso sí que no me pude resistir. Aparte, el título tiene en su haber un premio Locus, también fue finalista del Nebula y estuvo nominada al Hugo. Se puede decir que Boneshaker tiene una buena carta de presentación. La verdad es que es un libro interesante y entretenido, asequible, por otro lado, para cualquier tipo de lectores, incluso para los paganos en el género CiFi. Hay más acción que desarrollo tecnológico, por ejemplo, y las descripciones, nada espesas, dan vida al particular escenario que rodea a los personajes.

La novela transcurre a finales del siglo XIX, durante la guerra civil de Estados Unidos, más concretamente en Seattle. O debería decir en los restos de Seattle, pues dieciséis años atrás una máquina creada para perforar el hielo más duro arrasó la ciudad, liberando un extraño gas que al que no mataba lo convertía en zombi. El gas amarillo, conocido como la Plaga, avanzaba muy lentamente y tuvieron tiempo de construir un muro alrededor de Seattle para atraparlo (¿para siempre?) en las ruinas. Algunos de los que sobrevivieron a la catástrofe se marcharon, otros tantos se asentaron en las Afueras, alrededor del muro.

Ahora imagina que un buen día un chiflado destruye no solo tu casa, sino la ciudad donde vives, y que encima provoca un desastre medioambiental que mata casi al instante a todos tus vecinos. Para más inri, algunos de los difuntos vuelven a la vida con el hambre propia de un caníbal en ayuno. Llegados a este punto, ¿no os encantaría colgar al culpable? Esta es la cruz que llevan soportando Briar y su hijo Ezequiel durante más de diez años. Haber sido esposa del ingeniero que provocó el declive de Seattle la condenó a ella y a su hijo al rechazo, por no mencionar la situación económica tan precaria en la que se encuentran. Briar, por fuerza mayor, oculta muchos secretos del que fuera su marido. Cuestión que disgusta profundamente a su hijo, un joven adolescente que está dispuesto a todo para limpiar el nombre de su padre. Tanto es así que, ni corto ni perezoso, cruza el muro para internarse en las ruinas, donde le espera una ciudad saturada hasta los topes de gas venenoso y un ejército de muertos vivientes (estos jóvenes…). Su madre, una mujer valiente y decidida, va en su busca.

A partir de ahí la novela se convierte en una doble Odisea: por un lado Briar y su incansable búsqueda, y por otro las aventuras del pequeño Zeque. Aunque no son los únicos personajes. El elenco de secundarios es bastante amplio (hay hasta un villano) ya que el subsuelo de la ciudad está habitado por desertores, piratas y contrabandistas. Es trepidante hasta que pierde fuelle pasada la mitad. Quizás, ese bache intermedio se habría subsanado de haber aprovechado más la maquinaria propia del Steampunk o la plaga zombi, pues ambos elementos se van convirtiendo en meros adornos conforme avanza la historia.

Un gran punto a su favor es la ambientación. La atmósfera que recrea es agobiante, decadente y sombría, propia de una ciudad fantasmagórica donde la muerte acecha detrás de cada esquina. Quizás esto les sepa a poco a los amantes del Hard, pero sea como sea Boneshaker es una novela curiosa por su vertiente steampunk, trepidante por las dosis de terror, interesante por las pinceladas de ciencia ficción y peculiar por la reinterpretación de la historia norteamericana.

Pese a que Boneshaker tiene un final cerrado, pertenece a una serie de cuatro libros titulada El siglo mecánico: Boneshaker, Clementine, Dreadnought y Ganymede. De los cuales solo están publicados en España los dos primeros.

El gatito Baldomero dice:
¡Qué Heavy!

          Glitterfied Nails | The Galaxy Collection        
Press Sample

Long time no post, Lacquerbeanz! Sorry about that. I have still been polishing, but just haven't had time to edit photos and put together blog posts. Grad school is tough!

Today I have Glitterfied Nails' Galaxy Collection for you. Let's check it out...



Nebula is a clear base with loaded with sparkly iridescent flakes. I layered it over a deep blue to really make the glitters pop. I love the way it looks this way!




Deep Space is a deep gunmetal metallic polish with color shifts to purple and dark green with some flakies sprinkled in. I used 2 coats here.




Supernova is a beautiful, sparkly glitter topper with micro-fine and ultra-fine silver holographic glitters in a clear base. I layered it on top of Deep Space for the swatches below.




Milky Way is a pearly white based polish with subtle flashes of iridescent flakes and holographic sparkle.




Andromeda is another holographic glitter topper with micro-fine iridescent flakes and silver holographic glitters, accented with silver holographic stars. SOOOOO sparkly! I layered it over royal blue for the swatches below. The formula was a little bit thick for this one, but that did help keep the stars suspended in the base so that I didn't have to fish for any of them.




Last up we have Black Hole, a squishy black jelly polish with black and silver holographic glitters. Two coats did it for this one!




You can purchase the full collection here for $51 USD to get a deal on all 6 polishes, or you can purchase each one individually for $8.75/bottle.

Follow Glitterfied Nails:
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          Book review: Perdido Street Station        
Perdido Street Station

By China Miéville

(Pan Macmillan, 2000)

China Miéville has been winning numerous awards for his novel The City and the City, but his ability to attract awards like a magnet attracts iron filings is nothing new: his second novel, the sprawling Perdido Street Station, also won plenty of plaudits, including the Arthur C. Clarke award and British Fantasy August Derleth award (among others; it was also nominated for the Nebula and Hugo). Aside from the hugely positive critical response it received, Perdido Street Station is notable for being both the first book in Miéville's Bas-Lag sequence of novels, and also one of the major works of the 'stillborn' New Weird genre. The second Bas-Lag novel, The Scar, totally redefined the landscape of secondary world fantasy for me; it really opened my eyes, and I've never looked at the genre quite the same ever since. I figured therefore that it was time I delved into Perdido Street Station, to see whether it would have a similar effect on me.

I mentioned that Perdido is a sprawling novel, however I don't mean that purely in terms of size (although at 867 pages it certainly is that too). No, I mean more in terms of subject matter: there's a lot going on in this book, with the story merging romance, action and tragedy together in a heady mix, whilst also riffing on politics, science and artificial intelligence. All of this plays out against the industrial backdrop of New Crobuzon, a teeming industrial metropolis where trains shudder along skyrails above the sluggish Tar river, and where numerous bizarre races co-exist with humans in the crumbling buildings that cower beneath smog-tinged skies.

New Crobuzon will probably go down as Miéville's greatest creation, and rightly so: it's a stunningly well-realised setting, and can comfortably stand alongside other great cities and urban settings of secondary world fantasy such as Viriconium and Gormenghast (tellingly, Miéville name checks both Harrison and Peake in the acknowledgements). Miéville really does imbue New Crobuzon with a character all of its own; it feels more like a sentient creature than a mere passive setting - though it works perfectly well as the latter. It really is a fascinating place, and often evokes interest just as easily as the unfolding story does.

Speaking of the story, it intrigues from the very first few words:

Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth. It has been night for a long time. The hovels that encrust the river's edge have grown like mushrooms around me in the dark. 
We pitch. We rock in a deep current. 
Behind me the man tugs uneasily at his rudder and the barge corrects. Light lurches as the lantern swings. The man is afraid of me

I'll gladly go on record and say that I've read few more effective opening lines than those above. The bulk of the novel is written in third person, however the prologue and occasional interludes are written in first person from the perspective of one of the major characters. It's a neat ploy that enables Miéville to really get under the skin of the city and its people in these first person segments, demonstrating what an alien place it is to an outsider.

The outsider in this case is Yagharek, a garuda who has come to New Crobuzon with an impossible request, and it's this request that inadvertently sets into motion a terrifying chain of events that have dire implications for the entire city.

Except that before these events unfold, we have a couple of hundred pages of build-up. We're introduced to the gruff, affable character of  Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin and his lover Lin, an insect-like Khepri, as well as a host of other colourful characters, such as the shady Lemuel Pigeon and the horrifying gangster Mr Motley. Miéville takes his time to develop the complex relationship between Isaac and Lin, as well as the setting of New Crobuzon, while simultaneously laying the foundations for the story to come. He manages this balance extremely well, though at the cost of pacing: it's only after 200 pages that the story really kicks into gear and momentum starts to build. And then after a series of events that crank up the tension and excitement, the electric pace suddenly winds down again and the story meanders along for another 100 pages before once again sparking into life. Such unpredictable pacing may prove a negative point for many readers, though for others - and I include myself here - it gives the novel a more organic, lifelike feel. Because life, of course, doesn't happen at a steady pace.

The story itself is equally unpredictable. As mentioned above, Miéville spends a lot of time laying a lot of foundations: there's the romance between Isaac and Lin, played out while Isaac undertakes a demanding research project and Lin takes on the artistic commission of her career, there's the underground newspaper that's trying to take on the government, and this is before we even get on to the political strikes or the strands being woven by the mysterious, enigmatic Weaver. Yet just when you think these various strands are being merged into some deep, multi-faceted story, they're all suddenly condensed into one major storyline: that of a hunt for some terrifying creatures that pose a threat to the entire city. It's a strange transformation, one that perhaps indicates that Miéville didn't quite know what he was initially shooting for with this novel. It could be argued that the simplicity of the novel's eventual premise isn't deserving of the pages of careful build-up that precede it, but ultimately it doesn't matter - the simple fact is that this is one exhilarating monster hunt.

The subjects of said hunt - the slake moths - are a wonderful creation: terrifying, yet strangely beguiling at the same time. The menace they exude dominates every scene they appear in, and fortunately there are plenty of those. But the moths are not the only strange creatures to make an appearance - the Weaver is another intriguing creation who lends a degree of unpredictability to proceedings, while the Construct Council is quite simply a brilliant idea that I will say nothing more about for fear of spoiling it. Of course, this being Miéville, there's some utterly bizarre stuff in here - not all of which works, yet there's rarely a dull moment.

Despite the weird and wonderful creations that Miéville cooks up in Perdido, the novel remains human-centric. The overriding premise may be that of the monster hunt and the bid to save the city, yet the love story between Isaac and Lin plays a huge role, and it is this element that really ignites the novel's emotional fires. Miéville really nails the characterisation of these two figures, and carefully builds their complex relationship before giving it a firm shunt in the direction of tragedy. The end result is emotionally powerful and leaves a lingering impression long after you've put the book down.

Verdict: Having already read The Scar, I had a rough idea of what to expect from Perdido Street Station, so the fact that it still managed to surprise and enthrall me speaks volumes. It undoubtedly has issues, most clearly with pacing and length (caused largely by Miéville's tendency to sometimes get too self-absorbed in his own world) but this is forgivable when you take into account what Miéville has achieved here. He's created a striking, memorable setting, and has then told a story worthy of this grim, industrial city: a story that combines love, beauty, horror and tragedy, told in the wonderfully evocative, baroque prose that Miéville has become famous for. In short, it's an excellent novel that showcases both the New Weird genre and Miéville's own individual talents. Compulsory reading for those who wish to see what secondary world fantasy can do when the pseudo-medieval shackles are well and truly cast off.
          Battle of the 2015 Books, Bracket One, Championship Round :: The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu vs. The Just City by Jo Walton        

We have arrived at the championship round of our current bracket of the Battle of the Books. In one corner we have The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu. In the other corner we have The Just City by Jo Walton. Two fine novels!  I (Aaron) have read through page 200 of both these books, and the one I most want to continue reading to the end will be the champion of Bracket One of the Fantastic Reviews Battle of the 2015 Books.

The Grace of Kings:   Saga, April 2015, 618 pages, cover art by Sam Weber. The Grace of Kings is Book One of the Dandelion Dynasty series. The second volume, The Wall of Storms, is just out. Ken Liu is a two-time Hugo Award winner for his short fiction, as well as accounting for two more Hugos by translating Chinese SF. The Grace of Kings is his first novel.

The Grace of Kings overwhelmed Infinity Lost by S. Harrison in the first round. Next The Grace of Kings conquered Fortune’s Blight by Evie Manieri in the second round. Then The Grace of Kings won out over The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro in the semifinals to reach here, the championship match.

The Grace of Kings is set on the Islands of Dara, an archipelago with a culture similar to ancient China. Dara has recently been unified under the rule of a single emperor, originating from the island of Xana. That emperor has just died, however, and his contemptible administrators have passed the crown to his younger, weaker son. Rebellions are breaking out throughout the empire in the resulting power vacuum. Our main characters, the clever but mischievous Kuni Garu and the massive Mata Zyndu, whose family was all but wiped out by the emperor, have become leaders of two of the rebellions. The turmoil is worsened by the fact that the gods in this universe play an active, if indirect, role in what is transpiring.

The Just City:   Tor, January 2015, 364 pages, cover art by Raphael. Jo Walton won a Hugo and Nebula for her novel Among Others, and has also won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, and a Tiptree Award. The Just City is also the first book in a series. The second volume, The Philosopher Kings, was published in June 2015, and the third book, Necessity, is just out.

The Just City overpowered Towers Fall by Karina Sumner-Smith in the first round. Next The Just City got by Letters to Zell by Camille Griep in the second round. Then The Just City defeated Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz in the semifinals to reach here, the championship match.

The eponymous setting of The Just City is a city created by the goddess Pallas Athene, modeled on Plato's Republic, to see if it could be done. She has recruited a group of 300 scholars to run the place, including one of our heroines, Maia, a young woman who felt limited by her options in 19th Century England and prayed to Athene for a way out. Maia and the other city "masters" snatch 10,000 children out of ancient history to be the founding citizens of the city. Among these is Simmea, a young woman rescued from slavery, and a dynamic young man named Pytheas. As the young citizens mature, Simmea becomes more and more fascinated with Pytheas, unaware that he is actually an incarnation of the god Apollo. A recent arrival to the city is Socrates, the Socrates, who is of course asking a lot of questions that may throw the city's future in doubt, such as whether the robots who do all the labor would rather be doing something else.

The Battle: I am not supposed to pre-judge these battles before I finish reading. But I'm only human, and I can't help anticipating where a battle is headed. For this championship round, I didn't think I even needed to do the reading. Based on the first 100 pages of both books I had already read for the semifinals, I was sure I knew the inevitable winner. And I thought so as I was reading through 200 pages of both. Then I finished, and realized I had been wrong the whole time.

These are two quite different but each well-written and original fantasy novels, certainly both worth your time. But through 100 pages and then some, it seemed to me that the focus of The Just City was philosophical musings about Plato, which I was finding interesting but hardly compelling, while the focus of The Grace of Kings was on the storytelling, which is usually the best way to pull me into a novel.

But a funny thing happened by the time I got to page 200 in both books. Even though there's a lot more plotting in The Grace of Kings, I came to realize that The Just City would be the harder book for me to put down, for two reasons.

First, I feel more connected to the characters in The Just City. While I continue to enjoy The Grace of Kings, the main characters have not developed much since the early pages. Instead, we've visited a host of minor characters with tangential roles in the rebellion against the empire. Some of these sub-plots are nicely spun out; for example, here a young man named Jizu, recruited by self-serving ministers to lead a small kingdom joining the rebellions, saves his people from slaughter by the imperial army by offering himself instead. When the empire's representative, General Namen, accepts his proposal, Jizu promptly sets himself on fire:
General Namen shook his head. The smell of burned flesh nauseated him, and he felt very old and tired at this moment. He had liked Jizu's pale face, his curled hair and thin nose. He had admired the way the boy held his back straight, and the way he looked at him, the conqueror, with no fear in his calm gray eyes. He would have liked to sit and have a long talk with the young man, a man he thought very brave.

He wished again that Kindo Marana had not sought him out. He wished he were sitting in front of the fire in his house, his hand stroking a contented Tozy. But he loved Xana, and love required sacrifices.
This is a nice scene, especially when Jizu's sleazy ministers get their comeuppance, but it has already played out and so doesn't much pull me into the larger story arc. Overall, the book has something of an episodic feel through 200 pages, and I haven't gotten to know the key characters Kuni Garu and Mata Zyndu as well as I would have liked.

In contrast, while the first 200 pages of The Just City tell a quieter story, they gradually combine to develop the main characters into people I feel I know and care about. For instance, here is a passage from the point of view of Pytheas, aka Apollo:
Being a mortal was strange. It was sensually intense, and it had the intensity of everything evanescent—like spring blossoms or autumn leaves or early cherries. It was also hugely involving. Detachment was really difficult to achieve. Everything mattered immediately—every pain, every sensation, every emotion. There wasn't time to think about things properly—no possibility of withdrawal for proper contemplation, then returning to the same instant with a calm and reasonable plan. Everything had to be done in time, immediately. Paradoxically, there was also too much time. I constantly had to wait through moments and hours and nights. I had to wait for spring to see blossom, wait for Simmea to be free to walk with me, wait for morning. Then when it came, everything would be hurtling forward in immediate necessity again, pierced through with emotion and immediacy and a speeding pulse. Time was inexorable and unstoppable. I had always known that, but it had taken me fifteen years as a mortal to understand what it meant.
On initial reading, this is an interesting thought about an immortal's perspective. But it comes back later, as Simmea is developing a teenage crush for Pytheas, and the reader realizes how impossible it is that things will work out for them on a romantic level.

The entire system that Athena and the masters have created seems at once admirable yet hopelessly unstable. The masters pride themselves on having rescued the young citizens from slavery, but they dictate to these adolescents where to live, what to eat, what work to do, even (as they get older) their sexual partners, all to conform to Plato's directions. At the same time, they're training their young citizens to be independent thinkers. Sooner or later, these youngsters are bound to have the independent thought, "Why are we putting up with all this shit?"

There are many such aspects of this tale that didn't grab me immediately, but have developed into storylines that I care about. How will the idealistic Simmea handle learning that people in this city are not what she believes? Which masters will be corrupted by the power they've been handed? Who will join in the inevitable rebellion? How will Maia (who won't rebel) handle being torn between the other masters and the youngsters with whom she identifies? How will the system adjust when the young citizens start having children of their own? What happens if Socrates prompts the robots to stop working for the masters? I want to keep reading to find all this out, even if some of the answers may not come until later volumes in the series.

The second reason I find it harder to put down The Just City is the story is so unique. Of all the countless people to read The Republic in the past 2,400 years, if it has ever occurred to anyone else to render Plato's thought experiment literal, I missed it. And I'm enjoying the return to a more philosophical style of science fiction, the kind the field used to get from authors like Ursula LeGuin and Joanna Russ. I am intrigued to see where Jo Walton plans to take this story and setting.

Meanwhile, the sprawling, secondary-world epic fantasy has been done a whole lot recently. The most distinctive aspect of Liu's approach to the subgenre is his Eastern setting and mood, but even this has already been done very effectively in the past few years, for example by Guy Gavriel Kay in Under Heaven and River of Stars and by Elizabeth Bear in her Eternal Sky series. (Hopefully this won't hurt Ken Liu's feelings overmuch. I know I'd be delighted to have someone criticize my writing for being similar to Guy Gavriel Kay and Elizabeth Bear!)

Much to my own surprise, after 200 pages, The Just City is the book I most want to keep reading to the end.

THE WINNER: The Just City by Jo Walton

The Just City wins Bracket One of the Fantastic Reviews Battle of the 2015 Books. Congratulations to our newest Battle of the Books champion!

To see the completed bracket, click here.

We've crowned a winner for this bracket, but soon we'll announce a whole new bracket of sixteen books. Aaron will judging the next bracket which will be full of 2016 books. Stay tuned for more book battles to come!
          Battle of the 2015 Books, Bracket One, Second Semifinal :: Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz vs. The Just City by Jo Walton        


Our second semifinal match in Bracket One of the Battle of the 2015 Books features Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz going against The Just City by Jo Walton. In the semifinal round, the books are judged after reading 100 pages. The winner, the book I (Aaron) most want to continue reading after 100 pages, will advance to the championship round.

Flex:  Angry Robot, March 2015, 423 pages, cover art by Stephen Meyer-Rassow. Flex is the first book in the 'Mancer trilogy. The second book, The Flux, appeared last October, and the third book, Fix, is just out this month. Steinmetz was a Nebula Award nominee for his novelette "Sauerkraut Station."

Flex overpowered Human Monsters by Gregory Lamberson in the first round, then Flex edged by Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson in the second round to reach here, the semifinals.

In Flex, it seems the key to doing magic is to be sufficiently obsessive about something. Our protagonist Paul Tsabo is that weird guy in the office who actually enjoys doing paperwork. In the first 50 pages of Flex, Paul discovered that he could do bureaucromancy, magic performed with paper. Unfortunately, when a 'mancer does magic, there is always a dangerous backlash called "the Flux." So Paul's first experiments with bureaucromancy led to a fire that severely injured his six-year-old daughter. The insurance company Paul works for has declined coverage for her reconstructive surgery, because they can tell the injuries resulted from magic, which is excluded. Paul realizes he will need to use magic to help his daughter obtain the treatment she needs. So in the second 50 pages, he tracks down another 'mancer operating illegally, in hopes that she can help him learn how to do magic while deflecting the Flux. The other 'mancer is Valentine, who performs magic by compulsively playing video games. She has been using her magic to destructive ends, but now seems suspiciously willing to help Paul.

The Just City:   Tor, January 2015, 364 pages, cover art by Raphael. Jo Walton won a Hugo and Nebula for her novel Among Others, and has also won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, and a Tiptree Award. The Just City is the first book in a series. The second volume, The Philosopher Kings was published in June 2015. The third book, Necessity, is just out.

The Just City overpowered Towers Fall by Karina Sumner-Smith in the first round, then The Just City got by Letters to Zell by Camille Griep in the second round to reach here, the semifinals.

In the opening 50 pages of The Just City, the goddess Pallas Athene decided to create a city modeled on Plato's Republic, apparently just to see if it could be done. A group of 300 scholars were designated to run the place, including Maia, a young woman who felt limited by her options in 19th Century England and prayed to Athene for a way out. Maia's viewpoint chapters take place as the city is first founded. Unfortunately, in the second 50 pages, Maia discovers that applying platonic ideals is easier said than done, a point made very clear when one of the other scholars rapes her. The other chapters take place later on, from the viewpoints of Simmea, a young woman rescued from slavery, and a dynamic young man named Pytheas. Simmea and Pytheas are among the 10,000 young people brought in by Maia and the other leaders to be educated Plato-fashion. Simmea befriends Pytheas, unaware that he is actually an incarnation of the god Apollo.

The Battle:  We have an urban fantasy and a mythical historical fantasy battling it out to make it into the finals. As in the previous semifinal, it's a difficult contest to call, because both books are nicely written and display obvious strengths.

Flex begins with a sympathetic protagonist, wracked with concerns about his daughter, concerns that understandably make him feel compelled to step outside the bounds of the law. (Although why he initially started using magic is less understandable, since he knew very well the nature of the Flux.) Steinmetz set himself a fun writing challenge in the 'Mancer series by creating a form of magic based on bureaucracy and a central conflict that turns on obtaining insurance coverage. These are not the usual tools of genre fantasy, but Steinmetz makes them work quite nicely.

The Just City offers two very sympathetic young female protagonists and a third protagonist, the god Apollo, who seems to mean well but is liable to mess things up for those around him, as gods do. The concept of setting up a city based on Plato's Republic is an interesting philosophical challenge, but was not necessarily making for a compelling storyline through the opening 50 pages. But the second 50 pages successfully tied the larger issues about how to create and run the city with the personal aspects of the story for Maia and Simmea.

So how to choose which of two well-written, original, interesting novels to keep reading? I suspect if these books had met in the second round after only 50 pages (which they didn't, because I was especially looking forward to both of them and so designated them as seeds in the bracket), Flex would have won, because The Just City was a bit slow to get going. But after 100 pages, I feel fully engaged in both stories.

The deciding factor in this battle: ambition. The characters in The Just City are engaged in a great, ambitious project, the outcome of which I am very interested to see. While the protagonist of Flex is just trying to dig his way out of a hole, which he himself foolishly dug. It's okay to tell a story of a guy trying to redeem a dumb mistake, but to me it's a bit less compelling than the characters' goals in The Just City. Similarly, I admire Jo Walton's ambition in trying to tell a utopian story in The Just City, at a time when the concept of utopia is generally regarded as passé. Another urban fantasy series isn't quite as distinctive in the present market, although I give Ferrett Steinmetz credit for putting some interesting twists on the subgenre in Flex.

I also respect Walton having the nerve to include a disturbing scene where one of her two primary protagonists is raped. The scene is key to her development while simultaneously demonstrating the potential flaws in creating a utopia—how do you deal with a member of the society who genuinely does not understand why what he's doing is wrong? Rape scenes are overused in media SF/F, but this book illustrates why it's wrong-headed to tell authors in the written genre never to write such a scene.

The Just City is broad concept fantasy, something Samuel Delany or Joanna Russ might have written during the New Wave, the kind of thing we don't see often enough any longer. I want to know where Jo Walton is going with the concept. While I'm enjoying Flex very much, The Just City is the novel I can't bring myself to put down.

THE WINNER: The Just City by Jo Walton

The Just City advances to the championship round to face The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu.

To see the whole bracket, click here.
          Battle of the 2015 Books, Bracket One, Second Round :: Letters to Zell by Camille Griep vs. The Just City by Jo Walton        

The fourth and final match-up in the second round of Bracket One of the Battle of the 2015 Books features Letters to Zell by Camille Griep going up against The Just City by Jo Walton. The winner will be the book I (Aaron) most want to continue reading after 50 pages.

Letters to Zell: 47North, July 2015, 326 pages. Letters to Zell is an epistolary chick-lit fantasy novel, consisting of letters written to Rapunzel ("Zell") from her good friends CeCi (don't call her Cinderella!), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty). Letters to Zell outfought Originator by Joel Shepherd to get into the second round.

Through 50 pages, CeCi has gotten excited about studying cooking Outside (in our world), but she has to hide her activities from her husband, who doesn't think a princess should be doing the servants' work. Meanwhile, Rory finds she has about nothing in common with her rescuer prince. And Bianca is making her wedding plans and getting chummy with Maro, the princess from The Princess and the Pea in Zell's absence. ("Maro" is a type of pea. The title character is never named in The Princess and the Pea.) This friendship could get even more chummy, since Bianca confides she is attracted to both men and women, but there is a complicating factor: Rory detests Maro.

The Just City: Tor, January 2015, 364 pages, cover art by Raphael. Jo Walton won a Hugo and Nebula for her novel Among Others, and has also won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, and a Tiptree Award. The Just City is the first book in a series. The second volume, The Philosopher Kings was published in June 2015. The third book, Necessity is just out. The Just City overpowered Towers Fall by Karina Sumner-Smith to get into the second round.

In the opening 50 pages of The Just City, the goddess Pallas Athene determines to create a city modeled on Plato's Republic, apparently just to see if it can be done. A group of 300 scholars are designated to run the place, including Maia, a young woman who felt limited by her options in 19th Century England and prayed to Athene for a way out. Maia and the other leaders bring in some 10,000 young people to be educated in Plato's fashion, heavy on the philosophy and naked calisthenics. Among these students is Simmea, a young girl rescued from slavery in the distant past.

The Battle: This match-up, featuring a chick-lit reworking of fairy tale mythology and a philosophical fantasy leaning heavily on the classics, underscores what the Battle of the Books is all about. The winner in Battle of the Books is not always the book I'm enjoying the most. It's the book I most want to keep reading.

Through 50 pages, Letters to Zell is a fun, easy read. I'm enjoying all three princesses' voices, especially Snow White's:
Yes, I flirted with a Human. Big fucking deal. I mean, I know what I used to say. But I can change my mind, just like the rest of you, can't I? Humans can't all be assholes, right? Head of Soufflés herself can't be responsible for techno music, Chia Pets, and pies in a jar.

Besides, here I am, back where that nonsense exists safely between the covers of Cosmo. So yeah, maybe I'd like one of those cell phones. But who wouldn't? They're a lot more pleasant than pigeons (sorry, Cliff) but only because they don't shit all over the floor.
The theme about the characters wishing they could break out of the roles and storylines assigned to them is clearly meant also to apply to women who aren't in fairy tales.

In comparison, The Just City has a bit of a ponderous opening. Most of the opening 50 pages consist of Simmea, the naïve former slave girl, looking around in wonder at her beautiful city. If I had to pick which book I've enjoyed more through 50 pages, I think I would have to pick Letters to Zell.

But here's the thing: Letters to Zell is made up of repeated variations on the same joke: fairy tale princesses kvetching in the voices of modern women. It's a funny joke, yet I'm not especially excited about reading almost 300 more pages of the same gag. I can't help wondering if the story wouldn't have worked better as a novella or novelette.

Meanwhile, The Just City is building slowly, but it's developing some intriguing possibilities. How will all these beautiful people get along, now that they have the chance to put Plato's theories into practice? The leaders are fond of breaking into committees and seeking consensus. It seems unlikely the City will function well under this approach indefinitely. It also seems not to have occurred to the scholars in charge that all the former slaves in their City may eventually balk at being told what to do by those scholars, whom they may regard as merely a new set of masters. I want to see how these complications play out.

In particular, I want to see how things work out on a personal level for Maia and Simmea, who come into the Just City with so much hope. Here, for example, Simmea describes her excitement at all the new experiences:
How could I not have been happy? I was in the Just City, and I was there to become my best self. . . . Ikaros, one of the youngest men among the masters, set us to read provacotive books, and asked fascinating questions about them. Sometimes he and Ficino would debate a question in front of us. I could almost feel my mind growing and developing as I listened to them. I was twelve years old. I still missed my parents and my brothers, sometimes, when something recalled them to me. But little did. My life was so different now. Sometimes it truly felt as if I had slept beneath the soil until I awakened in the City.
Maia and Simmea may not come up with as many wisecracks as the princesses in Letters to Zell, but I think they have more potential to develop into complex characters about whom I want to keep reading.

THE WINNER: The Just City by Jo Walton

The Just City advances to the semifinals to take on Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz.

To see the whole bracket, click here.
          Battle of the 2015 Books, Bracket One, Second Round :: Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz vs. Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson        

For our third match-up in the second round we have Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz doing battle with Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson. The winner will be the book I (Aaron) most want to continue reading after 50 pages.

Flex: Angry Robot, March 2015, 423 pages, cover art by Stephen Meyer-Rassow. Flex is the first book in the 'Mancer trilogy. The second volume, The Flux, appeared last October. Steinmetz was a Nebula Award nominee for his novelette "Sauerkraut Station." Flex overpowered Human Monsters by Gregory Lamberson to get into the second round.

In the universe of Flex, 'mancers can perform impressive magic (and anyone can do it with the help of a drug called "Flex"), but there is always a backlash (called "the Flux"), so dangerous that use of this magic is illegal in the United States. In the first 25 pages, our protagonist Paul Tsabo, a former cop turned insurance company bureaucrat, was surprised to find he could do "bureaucromancy," magic performed with paper. But the first time he did it a fire ensued, severely injuring his six-year-old daughter. In the second 25 pages, Paul learns that the insurance company he works for has declined to pay for his daughter's reconstructive surgery, because it has determined the fire was deliberately caused by another 'mancer. (The fire was a backlash not only from Paul's use of magic but also from magic done by a young man in the same apartment building who was intentionally given an overdose of Flex, bad luck for Paul and his daughter, but just the kind of bad luck that tends to happen with the Flux.) Paul is afraid of his magic, but it appears he will have to use it in order to track down the offending magician (the one who gave that kid his overdose) and get his daughter the surgery she needs.

Hexed: Pyr Books, May 2015, 278 pages, cover art by Larry Rostant. Hexed is the opening volume in the Sisters of Witchdown series, which is based on Michael Alan Nelson's Hexed comic books. Hexed beat Blood Will Follow by Snorri Kristjansson to get into the second round.

In the opening 25 pages of Hexed, a teenage girl named Gina went with friends to a haunted house called the Worcester House. A creepy old woman she saw in the mirror there followed her home and later pulled her into a mirror right in front of Gina's bewildered father. The father then begged our young protagonist, Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves (Lucifer, for short), to use her knowledge of the occult to help. In the next 25 pages, Lucifer visits the Worcester House with Gina's boyfriend, David. He tells her one of Gina's girlfriends got hold of an old book they used for a summoning in the Worcester House. Gina visits the friend, who needs immediate help with the demon who has possessed her.

The Battle: Doing battle in this match-up are two urban fantasies with an "X" in the title. I admit urban fantasy is generally not my preferred subgenre of SF/F, but so far these are both well written and fun to read.

Hexed moves along a nice pace, making it easy to keep turning pages. Lucifer is an interesting character, a teenager leading a lonely life as an outsider, who feels resentful at times but doesn't let that prevent her from helping other people. The strength of the book is the wry humor, which comes through both in the narrative voice and in Lucifer's snarky dialogue. Lucifer tells David she is a thief and when he asks her why she decided to become a thief, she says, "The brochure said I'd get to do a lot of traveling." I'm not in the target audience for a book about a teenaged girl battling demons and witches, but I'd be happy to keep reading this one.

The opening chapters of Flex are also nicely written, engaging the reader in the story very effectively. The opening passages have quickly gotten me into Paul's skin, as he is nearly overwhelmed by everything happening to him: pain and dread from his daughter's injuries, confusion when confronted by his ex-wife, fear but also excitement over his new-found magical abilities. By the end of 50 pages, he decides his only way to help his daughter is to find the magician out there using Flex to destructive ends and compel that person to help Paul learn how to use his powers safely. It's a dubious plan, but I want to see how it plays out for him.

So how to choose between two books that I'm enjoying through the opening 50 pages? Since I'm not usually an urban fantasy reader, the key is for a book to convince me that it's got more going on than the run-of-the-mill urban fantasy. While I'm enjoying Hexed, so far it feels like it could have been a script for an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That's not a bad thing, but it doesn't make me feel especially compelled to keep reading.

Meanwhile, Flex feels more original and unusual to me. It introduces a non-standard magical system — I especially like Paul's emerging ability to do magic by paperwork. Also, I very much appreciate how Steinmetz has quickly painted his protagonist into a corner. The first time Paul uses magic, his daughter ends up severely injured. That's an awful thing for a parent, and would naturally make him want to disavow ever using 'mancy again. Except it seems Paul won't be able to help his daughter recover without using it. That's the kind of dilemma that does indeed make me feel compelled to keep reading.

THE WINNER: Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz

Flex advances to the semifinals to take on either Letters to Zell by Camille Griep or The Just City by Jo Walton.

To see the whole bracket, click here.
          Battle of the 2015 Books, Bracket One, First Round :: Towers Fall by Karina Sumner-Smith vs. The Just City by Jo Walton        

The eighth and last first round match in Bracket One of the Battle of the 2015 Books features Towers Fall by Karina Sumner-Smith taking on The Just City by Jo Walton. The winner will be the book I (Aaron) most want to continue reading after 25 pages.

Towers Fall: Talos Press, November 2015, 386 pages, cover images by Thinkstock. Karina Sumner-Smith was nominated for a Nebula Award in 2007 for her short story "An End to All Things." Towers Fall is the third volume in the Towers Trilogy, after Radiant and Defiant.

The Towers Trilogy is set in a world of extreme social stratification. The elites live in floating towers clustered around a "Central Spire," while the downtrodden live on the ground in the Lower City. Among the poor folks in the Lower City is our young heroine Xhea, who has various magical abilities including the power to talk to ghosts, particularly her ghost companion Shai. Through her magical senses, Xhea has realized that a supernatural being has come to life underneath the Lower City. It seems in the prior books, there was a failed attempt to lift a new tower into the sky. When the tower came crashing down, Xhea persuaded the living Lower City to catch it and prevent utter disaster. This has alerted the Central Spire to the presence of the being under the Lower City and to Xhea. In the opening 25 pages of Towers Fall, the Central Spire orders all the inhabitants of the Lower City to leave, presumably so they can find this supernatural entity, and they send a ghost to place a spell on Xhea that seems designed to strip away her powers.

The Just City: Tor, January 2015, 364 pages, cover art by Raphael. Jo Walton won a Hugo and Nebula for her novel Among Others, and has also won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, and a Tiptree Award. The Just City is the first book in a series. The second volume, The Philosopher Kings was published in June 2015. The third book, Necessity is due out in July 2016.

The Just City is set in a shining city created by the goddess Pallas Athene, modeled after Plato's Republic. Having no difficulty jumping about time, she decides to locate the city near Atlantis before its fall (which we learn will be triggered by a volcanic eruption). The first 25 pages consist of first-person chapters from the point of view of Apollo, who decides to become mortal to experience this city; a young girl named Simmea who was rescued from slavery in the distant past and brought to the city; and another girl Maia, who wants to be a scholar but finds no such opportunity in 19th Century England, so prays to Athene for the chance to live in Plato's Republic, and ta-da!

The Battle: We have two fantasy novels doing battle, each with a very different tone. Towers Fall arguably fits in the current dystopian subgenre, while The Just City is more of a utopian story.

Towers Fall starts with the disadvantage of being the third book in a trilogy. But Karina Sumner-Smith does a nice job of catching us up in the story without letting the summaries slow down the pace of the narrative. I feel like I have gotten a good sense of the story so far, and yet things have already happened, including the shocking announcement that everyone must evacuate the Lower City and an attack on Xhea and her magical abilities. It's actually The Just City which has the slower pace so far. We've met some of the characters and learned their backgrounds, but have yet to get much sense of Pallas Athene's eponymous city.

But as I've noted before in the Battle of the Books, it isn't always action that pulls me into the opening passages of a novel. While Sumner-Smith opens Towers Fall capably enough, the story has yet to grab me. After 25 pages, I don't feel like I've gotten much sense of the main characters Xhea and Shai. I like the notion that the entity under the Lower City was created as an unintended byproduct of dark magic being dumped by the towers. And yet the blatant social stratification in the story feels heavy-handed to me, especially since the motif is getting overused lately:
It was clear that the Spire cared little for the people on the ground, nor for how those people might suffer as a result of the dark magic poured down upon them, night after night. The Spire did not care that Lower City dwellers' own magic was thin and weak; that they died young, or sickened frequently, or were poisoned by the very walls around them, the ground beneath their feet.
Star Trek gave this same scenario, with the privileged living in the clouds, a more even-handed treatment fifty years ago.

Meanwhile, I already feel a connection to the three viewpoint characters in The Just City, each of whom has a distinctive voice. Jo Walton's dry wit is on display. And while the story tells of the attempt to create a utopian society, Walton has already signaled from the first page of Simmea's narrative that such lofty goals can generate unintended consequences:
When I came to the Just City I was eleven years old. I came there from the slave market of Smyrna, where I was purchased for that purpose by some of the masters. It is hard to say for sure whether this event was fortunate or unfortunate. Certainly having my chains struck off and being taken to the Just City to be educated in music and gymnastics and philosophy was by far the best fate I might have hoped for once I stood in that slave market. But I had heard the men who raided our village saying they were especially seeking children of about ten years of age. The masters visited the market at the same time every year to buy children, and they had created a demand. Without that demand I might have grown up in the Delta and lived the life the gods had laid out before me.
After reading only 25 pages into The Just City, I am already absorbed and anxious to read more.

THE WINNER: The Just City by Jo Walton

The Just City advances to the second round to face Letters to Zell by Camille Griep.

To see the whole bracket, click here.
          Battle of the 2015 Books, Bracket One, First Round :: Human Monsters by Gregory Lamberson vs. Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz        

We continue the first round of Bracket One of the Battle of the 2015 Books. The bottom half of the draw begins with Human Monsters by Gregory Lamberson going up against Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz. The winner will be the book I (Aaron) most want to continue reading after 25 pages.

Human Monsters: Medallion Press, March 2015, 400 pages. Human Monsters is the sixth and concluding volume of the Jake Helman Files, which began in Personal Demons. One of the Jake Helman books, Cosmic Forces, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel, one of three Stoker nominations Lamberson has received.

Jake Helman is a private eye specializing in supernatural forces, to which most of the world remains oblivious. As Human Monsters opens, New York City has been devastated by a storm summoned by the storm demon Lilith, just before Jake killed her in the last book. Jake's girlfriend Maria Vasquez is a detective with the NYPD. She has been assigned to investigate a series of deaths attributed to a serial killer taking advantage of the storm, but which she knows to be collateral damage from Jake's last misadventure. Meanwhile, Jake is anxious to locate his missing assistant Carrie, who seems to have run off with all his files.

Flex: Angry Robot, March 2015, 423 pages, cover art by Stephen Meyer-Rassow. Flex is the first book in the 'Mancer trilogy. The second volume, The Flux appeared last October. Steinmetz was a Nebula Award nominee for his novelette "Sauerkraut Station."

Flex is set in an alternate version of our world where 'mancers can perform various kinds of magic, although it's been illegal in the U.S. since magic devastated Europe. And 'mancers can distill their magic into a crystal drug called "Flex," which anyone can take and become temporarily magical. Flex essentially allows you to bend random events to your favor, so you can have nearly anything you want, by apparent good fortune. But there is a backlash, called "the Flux," in which you will suffer from bad luck in proportion to how much you relied on Flex.

In the prologue, a young man uses Flex to win over a beautiful woman, whose boyfriend just happens to call at that moment to confess he's been cheating, which makes her want some angry revenge sex. That's pushing Flex a bit too far, and so after some amazing lovemaking, the gas main underneath them explodes. Then in the first two chapters, we meet Paul Tsabo, a former policeman filled with guilt from shooting a young 'mancer. His marriage has ended and he has gone to work for an insurance company, where he has discovered he has a talent for "bureaucromancy," performing magic with paper. His six-year-old daughter is staying with him when the gas main bursts. He uses his magic to tunnel through the flames separating him from his daughter, only to have the Flux from his bureaucromancy set her on fire.

The Battle: If you like labels, you can say we have two urban fantasies doing battle here, although I think both authors are trying to step outside the usual conventions of the sub-genre.

Human Monsters starts out at a slight disadvantage, because it's the sixth in a series. Lamberson spends most of the first 25 pages filling in background information that regular readers of the series surely already know. Meanwhile, Flex introduces us for the first time to the type of magic in Steinmetz's universe, effectively illustrating just how dangerous it can be.

So there's a lot more drama to the opening 25 pages of Flex. And, as always with Steinmetz, the prose is first rate. Even though Paul, the main character of Flex, doesn't appear until thirteen pages in, I feel like I've already gotten a pretty good sense of his personality. The guy was having a tough go of things even before his daughter caught fire, and my sympathy for him makes me want to keep reading.

I don't yet feel that kind of connection to the characters in Human Monsters. In the opening 25 pages, Maria Vasquez describes some of the bizarre experiences she's had hanging out with Jake, including battling "zonbies" (dunno yet how they differ from zombies) and demons in Central America and back home in New York, but in a dispassionate way that hasn't much drawn me into the story so far. Perhaps reading further would have pulled me in, but the Battle of the Books is cruel that way.

THE WINNER: Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz

Flex advances to the second round to face either Blood Will Follow by Snorri Kristjansson or Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson.

To see the whole bracket, click here.
          Mathematician Earns NSF CAREER Award        

Image of Ian Tice

Ian Tice, an assistant professor of mathematical sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, was awarded a five-year National Science Foundation Faculty Career Award. He is working to develop mathematical tools and techniques for studying partial differential equations associated with moving interfaces in several models of viscous fluid flow, such as blood flowing through arteries, ripples on the surface of a cup of coffee and solar plasma meeting the vacuum of space.

"Moving interfaces in fluids can be complex, but understanding them can have important implications across a wide variety of scientific and industrial fields," Tice said.

One component of Tice's work aims to understand how moving interfaces can destabilize the surrounding fluid. These instabilities help explain the origin of the beautiful swirling patterns observed in Jupiter's red spot as well as the finger-like tendrils in supernova remnants such as the Crab Nebula. On Earth the same instabilities play a role in weather prediction and fusion reactor design.

Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) awards recognize and support junior faculty for their outstanding research and teaching.

"It's a great honor to receive the CAREER award. I'm particularly excited about the resources it provides for me to support undergraduate research in mathematics here at CMU," Tice said.

Under the grant, Tice also will develop an undergraduate collaborative reading and research program focused on fluid flow, assist with course development and mentor graduate student researchers.


          Rap Beats Producer uses beat making machines        
DJ Premier is one of the best producers in the history of hip hop music. The Source magazine along with about.com each voted him the number producer of all time. Chris Martin was born in Brooklyn, New York but also spent time in Houston, Texas while he was growing up. He attended school at Prairie View A&M outside of Houston and studied computer science. As a young DJ he was known as ??oeWaxmaster C??? and along with managing record store could play a variety of different instruments. Since the 90???s there have been no more then three producers that could test the skills of DJ Premiers status including Dr. Dre, Prince Paul and RZA. He has produced ??oeNew York State of Mind??? for Nas ??oeTen Crack Commandments??? for the Notorious B.I.G. along with several other songs by top artists. His most known production work is with Gangstarr, he produced nearly every single song that they had.





The thing that set DJ Premier apart from all the other DJ???s at the time was the fact that he combined the small vocal portions from multiple artists to make one hook on a track. His name represents being the first and that is what he wanted to be the first and best in his style of producing beats. He had a scratched chorus and two-bar break that made up the rhythms of his tracks. He also began to use ominous atonal samples on the work he did with Jeru???s ??oeThe Sun Rises In The East??? album in 1994. Another interesting thing he does is for the clean albums that he releases, he personally edits out any language and fills it with a sound effect to make it more enjoyable to listen to.





DJ Premier isn???t finished producing beats, he currently owns two record label. Founded in 2002 Year-Round Records has released numerous mixtapes along with singles for the NYG???z along with Blaq Poet.


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          Rap Beats Get You Noticedbeat making machine make beats online make beats on the internet        
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You have the talent. You even have a small fan base. Your family friends and supporters are asking when you plan to take the next step. The question is: Do you have what producers are looking for from a new artist? Do you sound professional? Do you have a catchy beat?





The first thing you need to do is to take a good, hard look at what you do have. Be a professional, it is what you have to be if you want to make it. Be unbiased and highly critical. Analyze it. In particular, listen to the strength of the beats. Are they hot? Do they create a good buzz? Remember, the beat sells music these days both to the audience and the producers.





What you need, and what producers want from any new artist they plan to sign may vary from label to label. There are, however, certain main characteristics they need to see or, rather hear, in their latest single or group artist. It begins with sound and ends in quality. It involves talent, but does not ignore originality.





The first thing you need to do is to grab the attention of your audience, This requires something different a fresh approach, a new voice. Listen to you music. Does it simply go over old ground? Is what you are saying or playing the same-old, same-old? Do you have a mundane beat? Does your musical beat reach way down inside your audiences guts and pull at them? Is it impossible for anyone listening to you to forget the beat, the rhythm of the music, when it stops? Does your beat rock them hot or leave them cold?





If you and your crew are exactly like a half-dozen other groups on the market, you might as well stick to playing covers. A producer wants fresh voices, new hot beats, not carbon copies of something already out there. Try to adapt a novel approach to your music. Add some new beats, great lyrics, shake up your rhythmic concepts.





Go online and see what there is to offer to punch up your style. Look at the possibilities. Hip hop beats or instrumental tracks, rhythm and blues and pop. Add jazz beats or reggae if it highlights your skills and achieves the intended purpose. Mix and match with your vocals or instruments and see what you have. There are many different ways of changing the sound of your music. While it should always relate to your lyrics and intent, the beat is crucial in todays pop and underground world. Create a unique sound, use a great beat, one that fits your style and make it totally yours. As a result, it will help a producers and fans notice you.





Realize, being unique does not mean going out so far on a limb nobody understands you. Do not ignore your core audience, but use the beats and take the talent you have, combining it with something that relates to your lyrics or vocal style. In a competition to get attention, lyrics are important, but if you dont have the right beat the right kind of attention will pass you by.





Yet, no matter how good you sound, how talented you are or how unique you may be do not ever forget the production quality of your demo. It is no good to you or your group, if you sound good, live, but fail to capture it on tape. The same applies if you are inconsistent in what you do. On tape, in the studio or live, you must deliver the same high quality performance if you want to be noticed, taken seriously and signed. Your performance demo must be sharp. The sound needs to be clear. You need to convince the producer you have an identity, quality, consistency and craftsmanship.


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          I'm Renée        
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          2014 Nebula Awards Winners        
The 2014 Nebula Awards were presented June 6, 2015 in a ceremony at  SFWA’s 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, held in Chicago, IL. Larry Niven was honored with the 2014 Damon Knight Grand Master Award for his lifetime contributions and achievements in the field. Novel Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada) The Goblin […]
          2013 Asimov’s Readers’ and Analog AnLab Awards        
The 2013 Analog AnLab Awards and the Asimov’s Readers’ Awards were presented at a breakfast celebration during the Nebula Awards Weekend, May 16 – 18, 2014  in San Jose CA. The Analog AnLab Awards winners are: Best Novella “The Chaplain’s Legacy”, Brad R. Torgersen (7-8/13) Best Novelette “Buddha Nature”, Amy Thomson (1-2/13) Best Short Story “The […]
          Frank M. Robinson Receives Nebula Special Honoree Award        
Frank M. Robinson was slated to receive the Special Honoree award during the Nebula Awards banquet, held May 16-18, 2014 in San Jose CA at the Nebula Awards Weekend. However, “due to a combination of unintentional missteps” the Special Honoree award was not included on the ceremony list. SFWA president Steven Gould has posted an […]
          EXILES, Uplift and a message to any lurking aliens out there        

Exiles, an omnibus edition of the Uplift Storm Trilogy containing Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore and Heaven's Reach by the Hugo, Locus, Nebula and Campbell award-winning science fiction author David BrinToday Orbit UK is proud to release EXILES (UK | ANZ), an omnibus edition of the critically acclaimed science fiction trilogy, the Uplift Storm series by David Brin. It contains BRIGHTNESS REEF, INFINITY’S SHORE and HEAVEN’S REACH.

These …

The post EXILES, Uplift and a message to any lurking aliens out there appeared first on Orbit Books | Science Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy.


          How an 1892 'Trip to the Moon' Changed How We Think About Space        
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Most days in 1892, ticketholders at Manhattan's Carnegie Music Hall enjoyed programs of standard entertainment: the New York Philharmonic; a famous speaker; a ragtime show. But starting in February, every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, they got something a little different. As soon as the theater's lights went down, the sun came up again, rising over an onstage lake that rippled just like the real thing. Next, the moon began to rise next to the sun, and gradually, dramatically obscured it. This was Scene #1 of A Trip to the Moon—a perfect rendition of the total solar eclipse of 1887, yanked through time and space and reconstructed inside the theater.

"Audiences had, in a sense, seen it all," writes the media scholar Artemis Willis. But when curtain lifted on A Trip to the Moon's first scene, "their cynicism yielded to wonder." Over the next 90 minutes, viewers were treated to a number of rare and, at the time, impossible sights: lunar landscapes, cosmic nebulae, the earth as viewed from the moon, and more, all produced through an alchemy of stagecraft, lighting, and special effects. By the time they rose from their seats, Willis argues, they had absorbed not only facts and figures, but a whole new way of looking at space.

As Willis details in a recent paper about the show, A Trip to the Moon was first dreamed up in 1889, at the Urania Institute in Berlin. Unlike most observatories at the time, which had their hands full catering to experts, the Institute focused on curious laypeople—what one admirer, the astronomer Edward Holden, described as "that very large and intelligent section of the public which is intensely interested in the results of astronomical observation… but does not care at all for the small details which the special student must attend to."

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As part of these efforts, the Institute put together a number of stage presentations, which taught attendees about everything from the geological birth of Earth to the tides and currents of the Arctic Ocean. The shows proved extremely popular, and when word of them reached Andrew Carnegie, he decided to bring one or two over to New York City and stage them in his brand new Music Hall. "Mr. Carnegie's idea is to discover whether there is real demand for such institutes in America, and to assist in founding them, if there is," wrote Holden.

The Berlin version of the show was already a multimedia marvel, but for its own trip to the Music Hall—about seven times the size of the theater at the Urania Institute—A Trip to the Moon got even more gussied up. Larger versions of the set pieces were painted in Berlin and shipped over, and the staging took full advantage of the Music Hall's recent renovations, during which the venue had been outfitted with electrical wiring and lighting.

Every scene involved what Willis calls an "electro-mechanical-theatrical tableau," in which stage lights waxed, waned, and changed colors, magic lanterns projected scenes onto set pieces, and backstage crew members put various props through complex paces. Plus, it was all accurate: "Each move of the moon was charted to accurately reflect the phenomena, and then choreographed behind the scenes," says Willis. "It would be really difficult to pull off such a performance today."

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For example, the climactic "Scene #6: Solar Eclipse as Seen from the Moon," involved three celestial bodies, each differently positioned, and all interacting with one another. As illustrated at the top of this article, the moon—the scene's vantage point—was represented by a painted canvas, lit from underneath by electric footlights. The sun was a lightbox sewn into a black drop cloth (which also had holes pricked in, for stars), and the earth was a phosphorescent disk with a ring of red gelatin around it. In the scene, the sun slowly crosses behind the earth, backlighting the gelatin and suffusing the stage with a red glow. The footlights below the canvas then gradually change to red, "transferring" the light of the eclipse to the moon's surface.

A Trip to the Moon premiered on February 10, 1892, to an intrigued audience. But after a week and a half of lukewarm reviews, the production took the step that, in Willis's view, really put it over the top: it went in for a script rewrite. The original narration, written by the Urania Institute's Max Wilhelm Meyer and performed by a wide-eyed actor, "was sort of clunky and romantic," Willis says. "The New York press picked up on that right away."

As one New York Times critic wrote, the "Wagnerian drama" didn't play well with this particular audience: "The lecture is heralded as gravely as if it were a new religion just discovered," they wrote. "The audience is edified so gradually that there is more awe than comfort in it."

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The producers went out looking for a script doctor, and settled on Garrett P. Serviss, an astronomy columnist for the New York Sun. Over the course of nine days, Serviss rewrote the narration completely; when the show re-opened, he had taken on hosting duties as well. The result was a Trip to the Moon that, a happier Times critic wrote, was led "by someone who knew the way." Where Meyer had spun grandiose tales, Serviss provided plainspoken explanations, grounded in facts. For example, during Scene #6, Serviss laid out exactly what was going on:

"Such an eclipse would present phenomena far different from those which we behold during a solar eclipse upon the earth. The most remarkable difference would be that arising from the fact that the earth is enveloped in air. The atmosphere of the earth, owing to its refractive property, acts like a lens surrounding the terrestrial globe, and bends the sunlight around its edge.

So, when the sun disappears behind the earth as seen from the moon, a brilliant circle of light girds the earth, and this light… produces a considerable illumination on the moon. The color of the luminous ring encircling the earth, under these circumstances, will be that of the sunrise and sunset sky, because the light has to penetrate the dust and vapor floating in the air, and the red rays most easily accomplish the passage."

Compare this, Willis says, to Meyer's version of the scene, in which the Earth is referred to as "the moon's astral mother," and its light as "the only agency of communication that is still left to her," sent through space "a last greeting to her only daughter, lost so early in death."

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A hobbyist astronomer himself, Serviss also made sure to foreground the concerns of actual experts. "He would try to find ways to help his audiences imagine our relation to the cosmos as investigators of it," says Willis. "[He was] encouraging a kind of mind travel, [as with the] 'Spaceship of the Imagination'"—a device Carl Sagan used, in his seminal television show Cosmos, to represent the possibilities of scientific inquiry.

A Trip to the Moon played at the Music Hall for just over two years, and then did a short tour of the East Coast. Its creators went on to successful careers: Serviss began lecturing full-time (and later established himself as a prolific science fiction author), and the show's lighting designer, J. Carl Mayrhofer, started his own company.

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But in Willis's reading, the show left another legacy: the ability for ordinary people to look at the heavens with something more than slack-jawed awe. Where earlier astronomical entertainments, including Meyer's original A Trip to the Moon, leaned into astronomy's reputation as "the sublime science"—full of proof of God's limitless power, and humanity's infinite smallness—A Trip to the Moon replaced some of that void-staring with curiosity. "It didn't just say, 'This is God's great work, be afraid of it,'" says Willis. "It described the phenomena in terms that produced wonder."

"The information was as new as possible, and the technology was as new as possible," she says. "That's where I think wonder was produced: in the space between the actual lunar phenomena, and the enactment of them." As with an eclipse, in which the juxtaposition of the sun and the moon makes each more magnificent, A Trip to the Moon made knowledge and its representation dance around each other, equal at last.


          Nebula Kit        
Nebula Kit

Nebula Kit

Vaporesso Nebula Kit Key Features Easy Top fill and adjustable Top Airflow OMNI-Board Capabilities Ergonomic design Output Wattage: 5w to 80w Temperature Range: 100C-315C (200F - 600F) 510 threaded Bright 0.69" OLED Display 2ml e-liquid Uses EUC Coil Dimensions: 82x48x32mm Uses one 18650 or 26650 battery (not included)   About the Vaporesso Nebula Kit Designed to a resemble a spaceship like contraption, even the name of the Nebula Kit is a nod to the out of this world vaping experience it gives its users, producing spacey, mesmerising lagoon nebula like clouds. Vaporesso are ones for innovation and pushing the boundaries of design, and they’ve done it again with the Nebula box mod kit. A high performance, tightly knit, flexible device, the Nebula Kit has an extensive range of modes, making it suitable for every vaper because it’s fully customisable. It features a highly advanced Veco Plus tank, with a top airflow design that minimises leakage, along with EUC sub ohm coils. These combined expertly engineered pieces work together to create an unrivalled vaping experience, with huge, hazy, expansive clouds and acute, precise e-liquid flavours. The Nebula Kit features the specially crafted, futuristic OMNI Board operating system inside, which Vaporesso guarantee will deliver a consistently fantastic performance from any of their premium mods which all contain this operating system. It’s ideal for both beginners and pros.  The Omni board will supply you with 6 output modes: Smart VW/CCW/VT(Ni200/SS/Ti)/CCT/TCR/Bypass. These modes cater for almost any kind of coil that you may be using. It also features a range of safety features to give you peace of mind when indulging in the other worldly clouds the Nebula Kit produces, as well as features that extend the battery life to allow for an uninterrupted vaping experience. The Vaporesso EUC coils are specifically designed so that the outer metal casing stays intact while only the inside coil head is replaced, making EUC coils an economical and environmentally friendly option, while not compromising on quality.  The Vaporesso Nubula requires one 18650 (or 26550) battery which is sold separately. You will be presented with our range of batteries when you click "Add To Bag". Alternatively, click here to view our range.  


          C-Lite2 700C Mudguard Set - For Nebula Carbon Forks        
C-Lite2 700C Mudguard Set - For Nebula Carbon Forks

C-Lite2 700C Mudguard Set - For Nebula Carbon Forks


          Jean Chiar – studying the origins of everything        

jean chiarNot everyone is aware that the space between the stars isn’t exactly empty. These vast interstellar tracts are filled with a fog of ice and dust particles that is scarcely perceptible. Understanding how this thin particle soup affects the formation of stars and their accompanying planets is the work of astrophysicist Dr. Jean Chiar.

To study these small, dark particles, Dr. Chiar uses infrared telescopes both on the ground and in orbit (including NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope) to search for the absorption lines that are characteristic of ices, simple organic hydrocarbons, and silicates. While tiny ice-coated particles floating in space may seem like an esoteric field of study, Jean points out that it is exactly these small particles that can aggregate to form water-covered worlds such as Jupiter’s moon Europa. The main ingredient of life – water – eventually comes from the cold mists that waft between the stars.

Very briefly, describe your research projects.
I use optical telescopes equipped with infrared detectors to study molecules in space. I look at very small submicron-size particles, 1/1000 the size of a grain of sand, located in the more diffuse regions of space where stars aren’t forming. In these regions, these small mineral grains abound. They are made of materials similar to grains of sand on a beach – silicate minerals and carbon-bearing, or carbonaceous, dust particles. Deep within the denser colder regions, called “dark clouds,” stars are forming or will eventually form. The thousand-fold increase in density and extremely cold conditions in the dark clouds encourage the formation of ice coatings, known as mantles, which form on the particles. Water-ice is the most abundant of the ice molecules. Since water is equated with life, that’s when things really get interesting! Picture an M&M -- the chocolate is the mineral and the candy coating is the ice. The ratio of the ice is about right in terms of the thickness, so the mantle layers are very thin. Most of my research is based on targets outside our solar system but within our own galaxy.

Why should the general public care about your research?
My research involves learning about the building blocks, or origins, of everything! Our Earth, the Sun, the entire Solar System, and even we humans are essentially made of this minute particle “stardust.”  The process of tracking and learning how the stars and planets come into being is extremely relevant not only to our understanding of our Solar System and the entire universe, but to the advancement of science in general.

 

pipe nebula
The Pipe Nebula is a well-known star-formation region. The dark patches are where starlight is blocked by large amounts of dust in the dense "dark cloud." It is in these regions where we see the fingerprints of ice mantles. Ice in dark clouds is not actually in the form of cubes, but rather forms a coating around the particles. The brighter regions are where the more diffuse distribution of dust allows the starlight to shine through. No ice exists in these regions.

 

What tools do you use to study these ultra-small grains and determine their composition?
We use ground-based observatories located on high mountaintops and observatories in space as well as in air space, such as NASA’s SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy). The most recent space mission was NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope Mission. It’s still in orbit but its cryogen has run out so it can no longer measure spectra, but can still take images with precision that would rival a 30-meter telescope on Earth.

Once we locate a diffuse or dark cloud region, we then choose stars beyond the region. The starlight gets absorbed by the particles in front if it, which is what we’re really interested in. We point our telescope toward the region and take an absorption fingerprint or “spectrum.” We then relay the data back to computers on Earth so we can examine and analyze the chemical fingerprints of the ice and mineral molecules. 

What is the coolest thing about your project?
As our instrumentation gets more sensitive, we’re able to see deeper into these obscured and distant regions. It’s like seeing further back in time, which allows us to actually witness our Solar System’s evolutionary process. For some time now, we’ve been able to observe stars that are much more massive that our Sun forming because they are fairly bright and illuminate everything around them. Today, we can actually see into regions forming Solar-mass stars and those not yet forming a star, allowing us to look further back into the genesis of the star formation process. Imagine being able to see the birth of a star! 

Have you had any unique discoveries so far?
I’ve been fortunate in that my research has allowed me to solve some ongoing problems that scientists have been talking about for decades. It was commonly believed that the constant cycling back and forth between where stars form and where they do not turned the crunchy ice coating around the mineral grains into organic “goo” outside the star-formation regions. Through my observations, I determined the organic “goo” material is actually its own separate entity in a separate particle, similar to what is observed in the atmospheres of stars. This detail is important in terms of the study of dust grains because it more directly links the dust we observe in diffuse regions to that output from dying stars.

What first sparked your interest in science?
Neither of my parents are scientists but my mom was particularly good about taking us to museums. Even when traveling, she would find the local science museums for us to visit. The hands-on museums were fairly new when I was a kid and I found them the most interesting. I always wanted to go back, even if the exhibits were the same.

In high school, I attended an all-girls school that didn’t offer much science or math. After my second year, I switched to our public high school, which had physics and calculus. I took those courses in my junior year and really loved physics. I had an excellent teacher, and he’s the one who got me thinking that I could do this forever.

What attracted you to apply your physics background to the study of interstellar dust?
As a sophomore in college, I became involved in research right away. I asked my professor if he had some work for me and his projects involved spectroscopy. I thought, “Oh no!” because I hated chemistry and it just seemed like a lot of memorization. To my surprise, applying chemistry towards something I liked was a lot more interesting and understandable, and it turned out to be a good fit for me. My professor’s specialty was applying spectroscopy to the study of interstellar medium (the space between the stars) and I’ve been doing it ever since. I continued at Rensselaer Polytechic Institute to work on my Ph.D.

What do you currently consider your biggest challenge?
I tend to be on the quiet side so I don’t always voice my ideas to the external world. A second challenge is funding. My work relies 100% on grants. I need several grants funded annually to support my research and fund meeting attendance, equipment and so forth.

How did you come to join the SETI Institute?
I joined the Institute in 1999. I started at NASA-Ames in a Post-Doc position. When it came to an end after two years, I applied for NASA’s Long-Term Space Astrophysics grant. It was a rare bird in the grants world because the grant was for five years and paid nearly all my salary. It was the first grant I ever wrote and I was successful. I practically fell over! I knew the SETI Institute had great administrative support and the scientists covered a broad spectrum of research. I thought it would be a great fit -- and I was right!

How do you manage to balance your work and home lives?
My husband, also a scientist with the SETI Institute, and I help each other as much as possible so we can cover the various activities. I also work in the evenings after my four-year old goes to sleep. It’s difficult but doable.

jean on horse backHow do you spend your time outside of work?
My family members are all animal lovers. We have two horses; so much of my free time is spent with my daughter and the horses. I used to show my horse before my daughter was born. Now it’s mostly trail riding. That’s always been my first love outside of astronomy. We also have four cats that we’ve adopted from animal shelters. I didn’t have pets growing up so I’m now making up for all that lost time.

I also teach astronomy at San Jose City College. I started an evening lab course for them in 2005, which has been very popular. I really enjoy it, but it can be extremely challenging. My classes are comprised of mostly low-income, minority adults who are working full time, so they are pretty tired when they come to class. The students have a lab-science requirement so they take astronomy lecture and lab, thinking astronomy involves looking at pretty pictures. But it does involve more than that.

What is your philosophy of life?
Work hard toward your goals, no matter what obstacles get in your way. Even if you think you can’t do it, just be disciplined, put your mind to it, and then do your best.

What types of people do you admire?
In general, I admire the average person who is working hard to reach his or her goals, especially those who are overcoming odds, whether they be ethnic, gender, or economic stresses. I have a lot of respect for people like my students who are working really hard to balance school, family, and a full-time job. 

What is your favorite vacation destination?
Hawaii. I used to go quite often for observing. Unfortunately, most observing is now done remotely because it saves costs. Yet the Hawaiian Islands remain one of my favorite places to visit. I particularly enjoy the Big Island on the east side where there is less tourism and it’s easier to connect with the culture. After I got married and received my grant, my husband and I moved there for four months. I worked as a visiting scientist at the Joint Astronomy Center in Hilo. I became totally immersed in the Hawaiian culture. I felt so sad when it came time to leave.

What is your favorite movie and why?
I enjoyed the Spiderman movie series, starring Tobey Maguire, who, coincidentally, plays the jockey in the horseracing movie, Seabiscuit. Both are stories that involve unlikely heroes. I resonate with the great quote in the first Spiderman movie, in which Spiderman’s uncle said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I think that can be applied to anyone. Each of us is in a position to help others less fortunate, and I like that aspect of the movie.

If you could have a month to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?
I’d like to go to a training barn where I could learn more about horses and work with young horses. I’d love the area to be in a remote area where I could ride the horses during the day and then sit out under the dark sky at night gazing at all the stars.


          Cinver “Nebula [ep]” (2016)        
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Format: mp3 | CBR320kbps Country: USA Size: 38 Mb Tracklist: 01. A 02:19 02. Fallen 07:16 03. B 02:19 04. Cold Tears 04:32 Download: if you like the album please buy it, you must delete it after you have listened to it after review
          Observatories Combine to Crack Open the Crab Nebula        

Colorful New Portrait Shows Energetic Details Embedded in Supernova Remnant
In the summer of the year 1054 AD, Chinese astronomers saw a new "guest star," that appeared six times brighter than Venus. So bright in fact, it could be seen during the daytime for several months. Halfway around the world, Native Americans made pictographs of a crescent moon with the bright star nearby that some think may also have been a record of the supernova.

This "guest star" was forgotten about until 700 years later with the advent of telescopes. Astronomers saw a tentacle-like nebula in the place of the vanished star and called it the Crab Nebula. Today we know it as the expanding gaseous remnant from a star that self-detonated as a supernova, briefly shining as brightly as 400 million suns. The explosion took place 6,500 light-years away. If the blast had instead happened 50 light-years away it would have irradiated Earth, wiping out most life forms.

In the late 1960s astronomers discovered the crushed heart of the doomed star, an ultra-dense neutron star that is a dynamo of intense magnetic field and radiation energizing the nebula. Astronomers therefore need to study the Crab Nebula across a broad range of electromagnetic radiation, from X-rays to radio waves. This composite picture from five observatories captures the complexity of this tortured-looking supernova remnant.


          Hubble Discovery of Runaway Star Yields Clues to Breakup of Multiple-Star System        

Star Is Missing Link to a System that Flew Apart Over 500 Years Ago
In the 1400s, two power struggles were taking place quadrillions of miles apart. In England, two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet were battling each other for control of the country's throne. And, in a nebula far, far away, a cluster of stars was waging a real-life star wars, with the stellar members battling each other for supremacy in the Orion Nebula. The gravitational tussle ended with the system breaking apart and at least three stars being ejected in different directions.

Astronomers spotted two of the speedy, wayward stars over the past few decades. They traced both stars back 540 years to the same location and suggested they were part of a now-defunct multiple-star system. But the duo's combined energy, which is propelling them outward, didn't add up. The researchers reasoned there must be at least one other culprit that robbed energy from the stellar toss-up. Now NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers find the final piece of the puzzle by nabbing a third runaway star, which was a member of the same system as the two previously known stars. The stars reside in a small region of young stars called the Kleinmann-Low Nebula, near the center of the vast Orion Nebula complex, located 1,300 light-years from Earth.


          Festive Nebulas Light Up Milky Way Galaxy Satellite        

Two glowing nebulas in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy that is a satellite of our Milky Way galaxy, have been observed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Young, brilliant stars at the center of each nebula are heating hydrogen, causing these clouds of gas and dust to glow red. The image is part of a study called Small Magellanic Cloud Investigation of Dust and Gas Evolution (SMIDGE). Astronomers are using Hubble to probe the Milky Way satellite to understand how dust is different in galaxies that have a far lower supply of heavy elements needed to create dust.


          A Death Star's Ghostly Glow        

In writer Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," a killer confesses his crime after he thinks he hears the beating of his victim's heart. The heartbeat turns out to be an illusion. Astronomers, however, discovered a real "tell-tale heart" in space, 6,500 light-years from Earth. The "heart" is the crushed core of a long-dead star, called a neutron star, which exploded as a supernova and is now still beating with rhythmic precision. Evidence of its heartbeat are rapid-fire, lighthouse-like pulses of energy from the fast-spinning neutron star. The stellar relic is embedded in the center of the Crab Nebula, the expanding, tattered remains of the doomed star.

The nebula was first identified in 1731 and named in 1844. In 1928, Edwin Hubble linked the nebula to a supernova first witnessed in the spring of 1054 A.D. Now, the eerie glow of the burned-out star reveals itself in this new Hubble Space Telescope snapshot of the heart of the Crab Nebula. The green hue, representative of the broad color range of the camera filter used, gives the nebula a Halloween theme.


          Hubble Detects Giant 'Cannonballs' Shooting from Star        

Great balls of fire! The Hubble Space Telescope has detected superhot blobs of gas, each twice as massive as the planet Mars, being ejected near a dying star. The plasma balls are zooming so fast through space that they would travel from Earth to the moon in 30 minutes. This stellar "cannon fire" has continued once every 8.5 years for at least the past 400 years, astronomers estimate. The fireballs present a puzzle to astronomers because the ejected material could not have been shot out by the host star, called V Hydrae. The star is a bloated red giant, residing 1,200 light-years away, which has probably shed at least half of its mass into space during its death throes.

The current best explanation is that the plasma balls were launched by an unseen companion star in an elliptical orbit around the red giant. The elongated orbit carries the companion every 8.5 years to within the puffed-up atmosphere of V Hydrae, where it gobbles up material from the bloated star. This material then settles into a disk around the companion, and serves as the launching pad for blobs of plasma, which travel at roughly a half-million miles per hour. This star system could explain a dazzling variety of glowing shapes uncovered by Hubble that are seen around dying stars, called planetary nebulae, researchers say.


          Hubble Captures the Beating Heart of the Crab Nebula        

At the center of the Crab Nebula, located in the constellation Taurus, lies a celestial "beating heart" that is an example of extreme physics in space. The tiny object blasts out blistering pulses of radiation 30 times a second with unbelievable clock-like precision. Astronomers soon figured out that it was the crushed core of an exploded star, called a neutron star, which wildly spins like a blender on puree. The burned-out stellar core can do this without flying apart because it is 10 billion times stronger than steel. This incredible density means that the mass of 1.4 suns has been crushed into a solid ball of neutrons no bigger than the width of a large city. This Hubble image captures the region around the neutron star. It is unleashing copious amounts of energy that are pushing on the expanding cloud of debris from the supernova explosion — like an animal rattling its cage. This includes wave-like tsunamis of charged particles embedded in deadly magnetic fields.

On July 4, 1054, Chinese astronomers recorded the supernova that formed the Crab Nebula. The ultimate celestial firework, this "guest star" was visible during the daytime for 23 days, shining six times brighter than the planet Venus. The supernova was also recorded by Japanese, Arabic, and Native American stargazers. While searching for a comet that was predicted to return in 1758, French astronomer Charles Messier discovered a hazy nebula in the direction of the long-vanished supernova. He would later add it to his celestial catalog as "Messier 1." Because M1 didn't move across the sky like a comet, Messier simply ignored it other than just marking it as a "fake comet." Nearly a century later the British astronomer William Parsons sketched the nebula. Its resemblance to a crustacean led to M1's other name, the Crab Nebula. In 1928 Edwin Hubble first proposed associating the Crab Nebula to the Chinese "guest star" of 1054.


          Hubble Sees a Star 'Inflating' a Giant Bubble        

Twenty-six candles grace NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's birthday cake this year, and now one giant space "balloon" will add to the festivities. Just in time for the 26th anniversary of Hubble's launch on April 24, 1990, the telescope has photographed an enormous, balloon-like bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. Astronomers trained the iconic telescope on this colorful feature, called the Bubble Nebula, or NGC 7635. The bubble is 7 light-years across – about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. The Bubble Nebula lies 7,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.


          Hubble Unveils Monster Stars        

An international team of astronomers using the ultraviolet capabilities of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has identified nine monster stars with masses over 100 times the mass of the sun in the star cluster R136. This makes for the largest sample of very massive stars identified to date. The results, which will be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, raise many new questions about the formation of massive stars. R136 is only a few light-years across and is located in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 170,000 light-years away from Earth. The young cluster hosts many extremely massive, hot, and luminous stars whose energy is mostly radiated in the ultraviolet.

For more information about this study, visit:
http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1605 .


          Hubble Unveils a Tapestry of Dazzling Diamond-Like Stars        

Some of the Milky Way's "celebrity stars" — opulent, attention-getting, and short-lived — can be found in this Hubble Space Telescope image of the glittering star cluster called Trumpler 14. It is located 8,000 light-years away in the Carina Nebula, a huge star-formation region in our galaxy. Because the cluster is only 500,000 years old, it has one of the highest concentrations of massive, luminous stars in the entire Milky Way. Like some Hollywood celebrities, the stars will go out in a flash. Within just a few million years they will burn out and explode as supernovae. But the story's not over. The blast waves will trigger the formation of a new generation of stars inside the nebula in an ongoing cycle of star birth and death.


          Hubble Zooms in on Shrapnel from an Exploded Star        

Not long before the dawn of recorded human history, our distant ancestors would have witnessed what appeared to be a bright new star briefly blazing in the northern sky, rivaling the glow of our moon. In fact, it was the titanic detonation of a bloated star much more massive than our sun. Now, thousands of years later, the expanding remnant of that blast can be seen as the Cygnus Loop, a donut-shaped nebula that is six times the apparent diameter of the full moon. The Hubble Space Telescope was used to zoom into a small portion of that remnant, called the Veil Nebula. Hubble resolves tangled rope-like filaments of glowing gases. Supernovae enrich space with heavier elements used in the formation of future stars and planets – and possibly life.

Learn even more about the Veil Nebula in a discussion with Hubble Heritage Team scientists during the live Hubble Hangout at 3pm EDT on Thurs., Sept. 24 at http://hbbl.us/z7f .


          Hubble Gets Best View of a Circumstellar Debris Disk Distorted by a Planet        

Over a decade before planets were found orbiting normal stars, the astronomy world was intrigued by the discovery of a vast, edge-on, pancake-flat disk of dust and gas encircling the newborn star Beta Pictoris. It appeared to validate the hypothesis by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, 230 years ago, that our solar system was born when planets condensed from nebular material in the plane of such a disk. (This model was independently proposed by French scholar Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1796.) Kant regarded the coplanar obits of the planets a fossil skeleton of the long-ago disintegrated disk. Though nearly two dozen circumstellar debris disks have been viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope to date, Beta Pictoris is the first and best example of what a forming young planetary system looks like. That's because it can be seen edge on, and it is the only disk to date where a planet has also been imaged. Hubble has been used to intensively study the disk for the past two decades and this latest picture – when compared to previous observations – shows that the disk particles appear to smoothly revolve around the star like a majestic carousel. Ground-based telescopes found a Jupiter-sized world embedded in the disk in 2009, and future observations may yield more planetary objects.

To learn more about Hubble and Beta Pictoris, join the live Hubble Hangout event at 3:00 pm (EST) on Thursday, February 19. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuaQEOTqm0c .


          Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation'        

Although NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken many breathtaking images of the universe, one snapshot stands out from the rest: the iconic view of the so-called "Pillars of Creation." The jaw-dropping photo, taken in 1995, revealed never-before-seen details of three giant columns of cold gas bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light from a cluster of young, massive stars in a small region of the Eagle Nebula, or M16.

Though such butte-like features are common in star-forming regions, the M16 structures are by far the most photogenic and evocative. The Hubble image is so popular that it has appeared in movies and television shows, on tee-shirts and pillows, and even on a postage stamp. And now, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, Hubble has revisited the famous pillars, providing astronomers with a sharper and wider view, shown in the right-hand image. For comparison, the original 1995 Hubble image of the gaseous towers appears in the left-hand view. Streamers of gas can be seen bleeding off pillars as the intense radiation heats and evaporates it into space. Stars are being born deep inside the pillars.


          NASA Telescopes Help Uncover Early Construction Phase of Giant Galaxy        

The birth of massive galaxies, according to galaxy formation theories, begins with the buildup of a dense, compact core that is ablaze with the glow of millions of newly formed stars. Evidence of this early construction phase, however, has eluded astronomers until now. Astronomers identified a dense galactic core, dubbed "Sparky," using a combination of data from Hubble and Spitzer, other space telescopes, and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Hubble photographed the emerging galaxy as it looked 11 billion years ago, just 3 billion years after the birth of our universe in the big bang.

This illustration reveals the celestial fireworks deep inside the crowded core of a developing galaxy, as seen from a hypothetical planetary system. The sky is ablaze with the glow from nebulae, fledgling star clusters, and stars exploding as supernovae. The rapidly forming core may eventually become the heart of a mammoth galaxy similar to one of the giant elliptical galaxies seen today.


          Hubble Celebrates Its 24th Anniversary with an Infrared Look at a Nearby Star Factory        

This colorful Hubble Space Telescope mosaic of a small portion of the Monkey Head Nebula unveils a collection of carved knots of gas and dust silhouetted against glowing gas. The cloud is sculpted by ultraviolet light eating into the cool hydrogen gas. As the interstellar dust particles are warmed from the radiation from the stars in the center of the nebula, they heat up and begin to glow at infrared wavelengths, as captured by Hubble. The space photo superficially resembles the "The Great Wave" print by 19th century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.


          Hubble Views Stellar Genesis in the Southern Pinwheel        

The vibrant magentas and blues in this Hubble image of the barred spiral galaxy M83 reveal that the galaxy is ablaze with star formation. The galactic panorama unveils a tapestry of the drama of stellar birth and death. The galaxy, also known as the Southern Pinwheel, lies 15 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra.

This image is being used to support a citizen science project titled STAR DATE: M83. The primary goal is to estimate ages for approximately 3,000 star clusters. Amateur scientists will use the presence or absence of the pink hydrogen emission, the sharpness of the individual stars, and the color of the clusters to estimate ages. Participants will measure the sizes of the star clusters and any associated emission nebulae. Finally, the citizen scientists will "explore" the image, identifying a variety of objects ranging from background galaxies to supernova remnants to foreground stars. STAR DATE: M83 is a joint collaborative effort between the Space Telescope Science Institute and Zooniverse, creators of several citizen science projects including Galaxy Zoo, Planet Hunters, and the Andromeda Project (go to www.zooniverse.org to see the full list). The M83 project is scheduled to launch on Monday, January 13, 2014. People interested in exploring this remarkable image in more detail, and in directly participating in a science project, can visit http://www.projectstardate.org.


          Electronic Book for Students with Visual Impairments Reaches for the Stars        

This huge Hubble Space Telescope mosaic, spanning a width of 600 light-years, shows a star factory of more the 800,000 stars being born. The stars are embedded inside the Tarantula Nebula, a vibrant region of star birth that resides 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small, satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. Hubble's near-infrared sensitivity allows astronomers to see behind clouds of dust in the nebula to unveil where the newborn stars are clustered.


          Hubble Watches Super Star Create Holiday Light Show        

This festive NASA Hubble Space Telescope image resembles a holiday wreath made of sparkling lights. The bright southern hemisphere star RS Puppis, at the center of the image, is swaddled in a gossamer cocoon of reflective dust illuminated by the glittering star. RS Puppis rhythmically brightens and dims over a six-week cycle. It is one of the most luminous in the class of so-called Cepheid variable stars. The nebula flickers in brightness as pulses of light from the Cepheid propagate outwards. Hubble took a series of photos of light flashes rippling across the nebula in a phenomenon known as a "light echo."


          Some Planetary Nebulae Have Bizarre Alignment to Our Galaxy        

Hubble astronomers have found an unexpected surprise while surveying more than 100 planetary nebulae in the central bulge of our Milky Way galaxy. Those nebulae that are butterfly-shaped or hourglass-shaped tend to be mysteriously aligned such that their rotation axis is perpendicular to the plane of our galaxy.

Planetary nebulae are the expanding gaseous shrouds encircling dying stars. A subset of this population has bipolar outflows that align to the star's rotation axis. Such nebulae formed in different places and have different characteristics and so it is a puzzle why they should always point on the same sky direction, like bowling pins set up in an alley.

Researchers suggest that there is something bizarre about star systems within the central hub of our galaxy. They would all have to be rotating perpendicular to the interstellar clouds from which they formed. At present, the best guess is that the alignment is caused by strong magnetic fields that were present when the galactic bulge formed billions of years ago.

For more information, visit http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1316/


          NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Reveals the Ring Nebula's True Shape        

The distinctive shape of the Ring Nebula, the glowing shroud around a dying Sun-like star, makes it a popular celestial object that appears in many astronomy books. New observations of the Ring Nebula by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, however, reveal a new twist on an iconic nebula.

The Hubble images offer the best view yet of the nebula, revealing a complex structure. The observations have allowed astronomers to construct the most precise three-dimensional model of the glowing gas shroud, called a planetary nebula. Based on the new observations, the Hubble research team suggests that the ring wraps around a blue football-shaped structure that protrudes out of opposite sides of the ring. The nebula is tilted toward Earth so that astronomers see the ring face-on.


          Hubble Sees a Horsehead of a Different Color        

Unlike other celestial objects there is no question how the Horsehead Nebula got its name. This iconic silhouette of a horse's head and neck pokes up mysteriously from what look like whitecaps of interstellar foam. The nebula has graced astronomy books ever since its discovery over a century ago. But Hubble's infrared vision shows the horse in a new light. The nebula, shadowy in optical light, appears transparent and ethereal when seen at infrared wavelengths. This pillar of tenuous hydrogen gas laced with dust is resisting being eroded away by the radiation from a nearby star. The nebula is a small part of a vast star-forming complex in the constellation Orion. The Horsehead will disintegrate in about 5 million years.

As part of Hubble's 23rd anniversary Horsehead Nebula release, amateur astronomers around the world were invited to send in their Horsehead Nebula photos. Visit the Hubble Heritage Horsehead Image Release (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2013/12/supplemental.html) to view the contributions via Flickr and Tumblr and to send us your own image.


          A Cosmic Holiday Ornament, Hubble-Style        

'Tis the season for holiday decorating and tree-trimming. Not to be left out, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have photographed a festive-looking nearby planetary nebula called NGC 5189. The intricate structure of this bright gaseous nebula resembles a glass-blown holiday ornament with a glowing ribbon entwined.


          Hubble Sees a Galaxy Hit a Bull's-Eye        

Bright pink nebulae almost completely encircle a spiral galaxy in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 922. The ring structure and the galaxy's distorted spiral shape result from a smaller galaxy scoring a cosmic bull's-eye, hitting the center of NGC 922 some 330 million years ago. Hubble's image of NGC 922 consists of a series of exposures taken in visible light with the Wide Field Camera 3, and in visible and near-infrared light with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.

For images and more information about NGC 922, visit: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1218/


          Hubble Watches Star Clusters on a Collision Course        

Astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have caught two clusters full of massive stars that may be in the early stages of merging. The 30 Doradus Nebula is 170,000 light-years from Earth. What at first was thought to be only one cluster in the core of the massive star-forming region 30 Doradus has been found to be a composite of two clusters that differ in age by about one million years.

The entire 30 Doradus complex has been an active star-forming region for 25 million years, and it is currently unknown how much longer this region can continue creating new stars. Smaller systems that merge into larger ones could help to explain the origin of some of the largest known star clusters. The Hubble observations, made with the Wide Field Camera 3, were taken Oct. 20-27, 2009. The blue color is light from the hottest, most massive stars; the green from the glow of oxygen; and the red from fluorescing hydrogen.


          Hubble's 22nd Anniversary Image Shows Turbulent Star-making Region        

Several million young stars are vying for attention in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of a raucous stellar breeding ground in 30 Doradus, located in the heart of the Tarantula Nebula. 30 Doradus is the brightest star-forming region visible in a neighboring galaxy and home to the most massive stars ever seen. The nebula resides 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small, satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. No known star-forming region that is inside our Milky Way is as large or as prolific as 30 Doradus.

The image comprises one of the largest mosaics ever assembled from Hubble photos and includes observations taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. Hubble made the observations in October 2011. NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute are releasing the image to celebrate Hubble's 22nd anniversary.


          Hubble Serves Up a Holiday Snow Angel        

The bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106, or S106 for short, looks like a soaring, celestial snow angel. The outstretched "wings" of the nebula record the contrasting imprint of heat and motion against the backdrop of a colder medium. Twin lobes of super-hot gas, glowing blue in this image, stretch outward from the central star. This hot gas creates the "wings" of our angel. A ring of dust and gas orbiting the star acts like a belt, cinching the expanding nebula into an "hourglass" shape.


          NASA's Hubble Finds Stellar Life and Death in a Globular Cluster        

A new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows globular cluster NGC 1846, a spherical collection of hundreds of thousands of stars in the outer halo of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way that can be seen from the southern hemisphere. The most intriguing object, however, doesn't seem to belong in the cluster. It is a faint green bubble in the white box near the bottom center of the image. This so-called "planetary nebula" is the aftermath of the death of a star.


          Hubble Offers a Dazzling View of the 'Necklace' Nebula        

A giant cosmic necklace glows brightly in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image. The object, aptly named the Necklace Nebula, is a recently discovered planetary nebula, the glowing remains of an ordinary, Sun-like star. The nebula consists of a bright ring, measuring 12 trillion miles across, dotted with dense, bright knots of gas that resemble diamonds in a necklace. The knots glow brightly due to absorption of ultraviolet light from the central stars.

The Necklace Nebula is located 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagitta (the Arrow). In this composite image, taken on July 2, 2011, Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 captured the glow of hydrogen (blue), oxygen (green), and nitrogen (red).


          Hubble Views the Star that Changed the Universe        

Though the universe is filled with billions upon billions of stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been trained on a single variable star that in 1923 altered the course of modern astronomy. And, at least one famous astronomer of the time lamented that the discovery had shattered his world view. The star goes by the inauspicious name of Hubble variable number one, or V1, and resides two million light-years away in the outer regions of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, or M31. V1 is a special class of pulsating star called a Cepheid variable that can be used to make reliable measurements of large cosmic distances. The star helped Edwin Hubble show that Andromeda lies beyond our galaxy. Prior to the discovery of V1 many astronomers, including Harlow Shapley, thought spiral nebulae, such as Andromeda, were part of our Milky Way galaxy. Others weren't so sure. In fact, Shapley and Heber Curtis held a public debate in 1920 over the nature of these nebulae. But it took Edwin Hubble's discovery just a few years later to settle the debate. Hubble sent a letter, along with a light curve of V1, to Shapley telling him of his discovery. After reading the note, Shapley reportedly told a colleague, "here is the letter that destroyed my universe." The universe became a much bigger place after Edwin Hubble's discovery.

In commemoration of this landmark observation, astronomers with the Space Telescope Science Institute's Hubble Heritage Project partnered with the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) to study the star. AAVSO observers followed V1 for six months, producing a plot, or light curve, of the rhythmic rise and fall of the star's light. Based on this data, the Hubble Heritage team scheduled Hubble telescope time to capture Wide Field Camera 3 images of the star at its dimmest and brightest light levels. The observations are being presented on May 23 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Boston, Mass. Copies of the photograph Edwin Hubble made in 1923 flew onboard space shuttle Discovery in 1990 on the mission that deployed Hubble. Two of the remaining five copies were part of space shuttle Atlantis's cargo in 2009 for NASA's fifth servicing mission to Hubble. Edwin Hubble's observations of V1 became the critical first step in uncovering a larger, grander universe. He went on to measure the distances to many galaxies beyond the Milky Way by finding Cepheid variables within them. The velocities of those galaxies, in turn, allowed him to determine that the universe is expanding. The space telescope that bears his namesake continues using Cepheids to refine the expansion rate of the universe and probe galaxies far beyond Edwin Hubble's reach.


          Cosmic Ice Sculptures: Dust Pillars in the Carina Nebula        

Enjoying a frozen treat on a hot summer day can leave a sticky mess as it melts in the Sun and deforms. In the cold vacuum of space, there is no edible ice cream, but there is radiation from massive stars that is carving away at cold molecular clouds, creating bizarre, fantasy-like structures. These one-light-year-tall pillars of cold hydrogen and dust, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope, are located in the Carina Nebula.

This image is a composite of Hubble observations taken of the Carina Nebula region in 2005 in hydrogen light (light emitted by hydrogen atoms) along with observations taken in oxygen light (light emitted by oxygen atoms) in 2010, both times with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The immense Carina Nebula is an estimated 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina.


          Starburst Cluster Shows Celestial Fireworks        

Like a July 4 fireworks display, a young, glittering collection of stars looks like an aerial burst. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust—the raw material for new star formation. The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains a central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603. Star clusters like NGC 3603 provide important clues to understanding the origin of massive star formation in the early, distant universe.

This Hubble Space Telescope image was captured in August 2009 and December 2009 with the Wide Field Camera 3 in both visible and infrared light, which trace the glow of sulfur, hydrogen, and iron.


          Hubble Catches Heavyweight Runaway Star Speeding from 30 Doradus        

A blue-hot star, 90 times more massive than our Sun, is hurtling across space fast enough to make a round trip from Earth to the Moon in merely two hours. Though the speed is not a record-breaker, it is unique to find a homeless star that has traveled so far from its nest. The only way the star could have been ejected from the star cluster where it was born is through a tussle with a rogue star that entered the binary system where the star lived, which ejected the star through a dynamical game of stellar pinball. This is strong circumstantial evidence for stars as massive as 150 times our Sun's mass living in the cluster. Only a very massive star would have the gravitational energy to eject something weighing 90 solar masses. The runaway star is on the outskirts of the 30 Doradus nebula, a raucous stellar breeding ground in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud. The finding bolsters evidence that the most massive stars in the local universe reside in 30 Doradus, making it a unique laboratory for studying heavyweight stars. 30 Doradus, also called the Tarantula Nebula, is roughly 170,000 light-years from Earth.


          Starry-Eyed Hubble Celebrates 20 Years of Awe and Discovery        

NASA's best-recognized, longest-lived, and most prolific space observatory zooms past a threshold of 20 years of operation this month. On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle and crew of STS-31 were launched to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope into a low Earth orbit. What followed was one of the most remarkable sagas of the space age. Hubble's unprecedented capabilities made it one of the most powerful science instruments ever conceived by humans, and certainly the one most embraced by the public. Hubble discoveries revolutionized nearly all areas of current astronomical research, from planetary science to cosmology. And, its pictures were unmistakably out of this world. This brand new Hubble photo is of a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. The scene is reminiscent of Hubble's classic "Pillars of Creation" photo from 1995, but is even more striking in appearance. The image captures the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.

NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) are celebrating Hubble's journey of exploration with this stunning new picture, online educational activities, an opportunity for people to explore galaxies as armchair scientists, and an opportunity for astronomy enthusiasts to send in their own personal greetings to Hubble for posterity.


          Exploring the Carina Nebula By Touch        

The Hubble Space Telescope's dramatic glimpse of the Carina Nebula, a gigantic cloud of dust and gas bustling with star-making activity, is a glorious feast for the eyes. Energetic young stars are sculpting a fantasy landscape of bubbles, valleys, mountains, and pillars. Now this celestial fantasyland has been brought into view for people who cannot explore the image by sight. Max Mutchler, a research and instrument scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, and Noreen Grice, president of You Can Do Astronomy LLC and author of several tactile astronomy books, have created a touchable image of the Carina Nebula that is engaging for everyone, regardless of their visual ability.

The 17-by-11-inch color image is embossed with lines, slashes, and other markings that correspond to objects in the giant cloud, allowing visually impaired people to feel what they cannot see and form a picture of the nebula in their minds. The image's design is also useful and intriguing for sighted people who have different learning styles.


          Experience Hubble's Universe in 3-D        

Take an exhilarating ride through the Orion Nebula, a vast star-making factory 1,500 light-years away. Swoop through Orion's giant canyon of gas and dust. Fly past behemoth stars whose brilliant light illuminates and energizes the entire cloudy region. Zoom by dusty tadpole-shaped objects that are fledgling solar systems. This virtual space journey isn't the latest video game but one of several groundbreaking astronomy visualizations created by specialists at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, the science operations center for NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The cinematic space odysseys are part of the new Imax film "Hubble 3D," which opens today at select Imax theaters worldwide. The 43-minute movie chronicles the 20-year life of Hubble and includes highlights from the May 2009 servicing mission to the Earth-orbiting observatory, with footage taken by the astronauts. The giant-screen film showcases some of Hubble's breathtaking iconic pictures, such as the Eagle Nebula's "Pillars of Creation," as well as stunning views taken by the newly installed Wide Field Camera 3.


          Hubble's Festive View of a Grand Star-Forming Region        

Just in time for the holidays: a Hubble Space Telescope picture postcard of hundreds of brilliant blue stars wreathed by warm, glowing clouds. The festive portrait is the most detailed view of the largest stellar nursery in our local galactic neighborhood. The massive, young stellar grouping, called R136, is only a few million years old and resides in the 30 Doradus Nebula, a turbulent star-birth region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. There is no known star-forming region in our galaxy as large or as prolific as 30 Doradus. Many of the diamond-like icy blue stars are among the most massive stars known. Several of them are over 100 times more massive than our Sun. These hefty stars are destined to pop off, like a string of firecrackers, as supernovas in a few million years.

The image, taken in ultraviolet, visible, and red light by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, spans about 100 light-years. The nebula is close enough to Earth that Hubble can resolve individual stars, giving astronomers important information about the birth and evolution of stars in the universe. The Hubble observations were taken Oct. 20-27, 2009. The blue color is light from the hottest, most massive stars; the green from the glow of oxygen; and the red from fluorescing hydrogen.


          Hubble Opens New Eyes on the Universe        

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in business, ready to uncover new worlds, peer ever deeper into space, and even map the invisible backbone of the universe. The first snapshots from the refurbished Hubble showcase the 19-year-old telescope's new vision. Topping the list of exciting new views are colorful multi-wavelength pictures of far-flung galaxies, a densely packed star cluster, an eerie "pillar of creation," and a "butterfly" nebula. With its new imaging camera, Hubble can view galaxies, star clusters, and other objects across a wide swath of the electromagnetic spectrum, from ultraviolet to near-infrared light. A new spectrograph slices across billions of light-years to map the filamentary structure of the universe and trace the distribution of elements that are fundamental to life. The telescope's new instruments also are more sensitive to light and can observe in ways that are significantly more efficient and require less observing time than previous generations of Hubble instruments. NASA astronauts installed the new instruments during the space shuttle servicing mission in May 2009. Besides adding the instruments, the astronauts also completed a dizzying list of other chores that included performing unprecedented repairs on two other science instruments.

Now that Hubble has reopened for business, it will tackle a whole range of observations. Looking closer to Earth, such observations will include taking a census of the population of Kuiper Belt objects residing at the fringe of our solar system, witnessing the birth of planets around other stars, and probing the composition and structure of the atmospheres of other worlds. Peering much farther away, astronomers have ambitious plans to use Hubble to make the deepest-ever portrait of the universe in near-infrared light. The resulting picture may reveal never-before-seen infant galaxies that existed when the universe was less than 500 million years old. Hubble also is now significantly more well-equipped to probe and further characterize the behavior of dark energy, a mysterious and little-understood repulsive force that is pushing the universe apart at an ever-faster rate.


          Hubble Photographs a Planetary Nebula to Commemorate Decommissioning of Super Camera        

The Hubble community bids farewell to the soon-to-be decommissioned Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. In tribute to Hubble's longest-running optical camera, planetary nebula K 4-55 has been imaged as WFPC2's final "pretty picture."


          Hubble Snaps a Splendid Planetary Nebula        

The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged striking details of the famed planetary nebula designated NGC 2818, which lies in the southern constellation of Pyxis (the Compass). The spectacular structure of the planetary nebula contains the outer layers of a star that were expelled into interstellar space. The glowing gaseous shrouds in the nebula were shed by the central star after it ran out of fuel to sustain the nuclear reactions in its core.

This Hubble image was taken in November 2008 with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The colors in the image represent a range of emissions coming from the clouds of the nebula: red represents nitrogen, green represents hydrogen, and blue represents oxygen.


          Hubble Unveils Colorful and Turbulent Star-Birth Region on 100,000th Orbit Milestone         

In commemoration of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., have aimed Hubble to take a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal. Hubble peered into a small portion of the nebula near the star cluster NGC 2074 (upper, left). The region is a firestorm of raw stellar creation, perhaps triggered by a nearby supernova explosion. It lies about 170,000 light-years away near the Tarantula nebula, one of the most active star-forming regions in our Local Group of galaxies. This representative color image was taken on August 10, 2008, with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Red shows emission from sulfur atoms, green from glowing hydrogen, and blue from glowing oxygen.


          White Dwarf Lost in Planetary Nebula        

Call it the case of the missing dwarf. A team of stellar astronomers is engaged in an interstellar CSI (crime scene investigation). They have two suspects, traces of assault and battery, but no corpse. The southern planetary nebula SuWt 2 is the scene of the crime, some 6,500 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Centaurus. SuWt 2 consists of a bright, nearly edge-on glowing ring of gas. Faint lobes extend perpendicularly to the ring, giving the faintest parts of the nebula an hourglass shape. These glowing ejecta are suspected to have been energized by a star that has now burned out and collapsed to a white dwarf. But the white dwarf is nowhere to be found. This color image was taken on Jan. 31, 1995 at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. These results are being presented today at the 212th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, Mo.


          The Last Confessions of a Dying Star        

Probing a glowing bubble of gas and dust encircling a dying Sun-like star, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals a wealth of previously unseen structures in planetary nebula NGC 2371. The remnant star visible at the center of NGC 2371 is the super-hot core of the former red giant, now stripped of its outer layers. Its surface temperature is a scorching 240,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Prominent pink clouds of cool, dense gas lie on opposite sides of the central star. Also striking are the numerous, very small pink dots, marking relatively dense and small knots of gas, which also lie on diametrically opposite sides of the star. NGC 2371 lies about 4,300 light-years away in the constellation Gemini. The Hubble Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 images were taken in November 2007.


          NASA Unveils Cosmic Images Book in Braille for Blind Readers         

At a ceremony today at the National Federation of the Blind, NASA unveiled a new book that brings majestic images taken by its Great Observatories to the fingertips of the blind. "Touch the Invisible Sky" is a 60-page book with color images of nebulae, stars, galaxies and some of the telescopes that captured the original pictures. Braille and large-print descriptions accompany each of the book's 28 photographs, making the book's design accessible to readers of all visual abilities.The book contains spectacular images from the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope and powerful ground-based telescopes. The celestial objects are presented as they appear through visible-light telescopes and different spectral regions invisible to the naked eye, from radio to infrared, visible, ultraviolet and X-ray light.


          Star Cluster Bursts into Life in New Hubble Image        

Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603. This stellar "jewel box" is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 3603 is a prominent star-forming region in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20,000 light-years away. This latest image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows a young star cluster surrounded by a vast region of dust and gas. The image reveals stages in the life cycle of stars.


          Hubble Captures Stars Going Out in Style        

The colorful, intricate shapes in these NASA Hubble Space Telescope images reveal how the glowing gas ejected by dying Sun-like stars evolves dramatically over time. These gaseous clouds, called planetary nebulae, are created when stars in the last stages of life cast off their outer layers of material into space. The snapshots of He 2-47, NGC 5315, IC 4593, and NGC 5307 were taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in February 2007.


          Uncovering the Veil Nebula        

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope photographed three magnificent sections of the Veil Nebula -- the shattered remains of a supernova that exploded thousands of years ago. This series of images provides beautifully detailed views of the delicate, wispy structure resulting from this cosmic explosion. The Veil Nebula is one of the most spectacular supernova remnants in the sky. The entire shell spans about 3 degrees on the sky, corresponding to about 6 full moons.


          The Carina Nebula: Star Birth in the Extreme        

In celebration of the 17th anniversary of the launch and deployment of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers is releasing one of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble's cameras. It is a 50-light-year-wide view of the central region of the Carina Nebula where a maelstrom of star birth - and death - is taking place. This image is a mosaic of the Carina Nebula assembled from 48 frames taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The Hubble images were taken in the light of neutral hydrogen during March and July 2005. Color information was added with data taken in December 2001 and March 2003 at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Red corresponds to sulfur, green to hydrogen, and blue to oxygen emission.


          The Colorful Demise of a Sun-like Star        

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the colorful "last hurrah" of a star like our Sun. The star is ending its life by casting off its outer layers of gas, which formed a cocoon around the star's remaining core. Ultraviolet light from the dying star then makes the material glow. The burned-out star, called a white dwarf, appears as a white dot in the center. Our Milky Way Galaxy is littered with these stellar relics, called planetary nebulae. Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 captured this image of planetary nebula NGC 2440 on Feb. 6, 2007.


          Heavyweight Stars Light Up Nebula NGC 6357        

The small open star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357 in Scorpius, about 8,000 light-years away from Earth. Some of the stars in this cluster are extremely massive and emit intense ultraviolet radiation. The brightest object in the picture is designated Pismis 24-1. It was once thought to weigh as much as 200 to 300 solar masses. This would not only have made it by far the most massive known star in the galaxy, but would have put it considerably above the currently believed upper mass limit of about 150 solar masses for individual stars. However, high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope images of the star show that it is really two stars orbiting one another (inset pictures at top right and bottom right). They are estimated to each be 100 solar masses. The Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys images were taken in April 2006.


          Nearby Dust Clouds in the Milky Way        

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed dense knots of dust and gas in our Milky Way Galaxy. This cosmic dust is a concentration of elements that are responsible for the formation of stars in our galaxy and throughout the universe. These dark, opaque knots of gas and dust are called "Bok globules," and they are absorbing light in the center of the nearby emission nebula and star-forming region, NGC 281. These images were taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in October 2005. NGC 281 is located nearly 9,500 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Cassiopeia.


          Hubble Panoramic View of Orion Nebula Reveals Thousands of Stars        

In one of the most detailed astronomical images ever produced, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured an unprecedented look at the Orion Nebula. This turbulent star formation region is one of astronomy's most dramatic and photogenic celestial objects. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. Some of them have never been seen in visible light. These stars reside in a dramatic dust-and-gas landscape of plateaus, mountains, and valleys that are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon. The Orion Nebula is a picture book of star formation, from the massive, young stars that are shaping the nebula to the pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars.


          A Giant Hubble Mosaic of the Crab Nebula        

The Crab Nebula is a six-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a star's supernova explosion. Japanese and Chinese astronomers recorded this violent event nearly 1,000 years ago in 1054, as did, almost certainly, Native Americans. This composite image was assembled from 24 individual exposures taken with the NASA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in October 1999, January 2000, and December 2000. It is one of the largest images taken by Hubble and is the highest resolution image ever made of the entire Crab Nebula.


          Hubble Catches Scattered Light from the Boomerang Nebula        

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope caught the Boomerang Nebula in images taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys in early 2005. This reflecting cloud of dust and gas has two nearly symmetric lobes of matter that are being ejected from a central star. Each lobe of the 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. The Boomerang Nebula resides 5,000 light-years from Earth. 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.


          Hubble Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Spectacular New Images        

During the 15 years NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has orbited the Earth, it has taken more than 700,000 photos of the cosmos; images that have awed, astounded and even confounded astronomers and the public.

NASA released new views today of two of the most well-known objects Hubble has ever observed: the Whirlpool Galaxy (spiral galaxy M51) [left] and the Eagle Nebula [right]. These new images are among the largest and sharpest Hubble has ever taken. They were made with Hubble's newest camera, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The images are so incredibly sharp, they could be enlarged to billboard size and still retain stunning details.

For the 15th anniversary, scientists used the ACS to record a new region of the eerie-looking Eagle Nebula. The Eagle Nebula image reveals a tall, dense tower of gas being sculpted by ultraviolet light from a group of massive, hot stars. The new Whirlpool Galaxy image showcases the spiral galaxy's classic features, from its curving arms, where newborn stars reside, to its yellowish central core that serves as home for older stars. A feature of considerable interest is the companion galaxy located at the end of one of the spiral arms.


          Hubble Finds Infant Stars in Neighboring Galaxy        

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered for the first time a population of embryonic stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a companion galaxy of our Milky Way. Hubble's exquisite sharpness plucked out an underlying population of embryonic stars embedded in the nebula NGC 346 that are still forming from gravitationally collapsing gas clouds. They have not yet ignited their hydrogen fuel to sustain nuclear fusion. The smallest of these infant stars is only half the mass of our Sun.


          A New Twist on an Old Nebula        

Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to celestial objects like galaxies and nebulas. These objects are so far away that astronomers cannot see their three-dimensional structure. The Helix Nebula, for example, resembles a doughnut in colorful images. Earlier images of this complex object -- the gaseous envelope ejected by a dying, sun-like star -- did not allow astronomers to precisely interpret its structure. One possible interpretation was that the Helix's form resembled a snake-like coil. Now, a team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has established that the Helix's structure is even more perplexing. Their evidence suggests that the Helix consists of two disks nearly perpendicular to each other.


          Dying Star Creates Fantasy-like Sculpture of Gas and Dust        

In this detailed view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the so-called Cat's Eye Nebula looks like the penetrating eye of the disembodied sorcerer Sauron from the film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings." The nebula, formally cataloged NGC 6543, is every bit as inscrutable as the J.R.R. Tolkien phantom character. Though the Cat's Eye Nebula was one of the first planetary nebulae to be discovered, it is one of the most complex such nebulae seen in space.


          New Hubble Image Reveals Details in the Heart of the Trifid Nebula        

Three huge intersecting dark lanes of interstellar dust make the Trifid Nebula one of the most recognizable and striking star birth regions in the night sky. The dust, silhouetted against glowing gas and illuminated by starlight, cradles the bright stars at the heart of the Trifid Nebula. This nebula, also known as Messier 20 and NGC 6514, lies within our own Milky Way Galaxy about 9,000 light-years (2,700 parsecs) from Earth, in the constellation Sagittarius. This new image from the Hubble Space Telescope offers a close-up view of the center of the Trifid Nebula, near the intersection of the dust bands, where a group of recently formed, massive, bright stars is easily visible.


          Dying Star Sculpts Rungs of Gas and Dust        

Astronomers may not have observed the fabled "Stairway to Heaven," but they have photographed something almost as intriguing: ladder-like structures surrounding a dying star. A new image, taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals startling new details of one of the most unusual nebulae known in our Milky Way. Cataloged as HD 44179, this nebula is more commonly called the "Red Rectangle" because of its unique shape and color as seen with ground-based telescopes.


          Demise in Fire and Ice        

The Bug Nebula, NGC 6302, is one of the brightest and most extreme planetary nebulae known. The fiery, dying star at its center is shrouded by a blanket of icy hailstones. This NASA Hubble Wide Field Camera 2 image shows impressive walls of compressed gas, laced with trailing strands and bubbling outflows.


          Firestorm of Star Birth Seen in a Local Galaxy        

This festively colorful nebula, called NGC 604, is one of the largest known seething cauldrons of star birth seen in a nearby galaxy. NGC 604 is similar to familiar star-birth regions in our Milky Way galaxy, such as the Orion Nebula, but it is vastly larger in extent and contains many more recently formed stars. This monstrous star-birth region contains more than 200 brilliant blue stars within a cloud of glowing gases some 1,300 light-years across, nearly 100 times the size of the Orion Nebula.


          Hubble Photographs Turbulent Neighborhood Near Eruptive Star        

Dramatic dark dust knots and complex structures are sculpted by the high-velocity stellar winds and high-energy radiation from the ultra-luminous variable star called Eta Carinae. This image shows a region in the Carina Nebula between two large clusters of some of the most massive and hottest known stars. This NASA Hubble Space Telescope close-up view shows only a three light-year-wide portion of the entire Carina Nebula, which has a diameter of over 200 light-years. Taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in July 2002, this color image is a composite of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared filters that have been assigned the colors blue, green, and red, respectively.


          Megastar-Birth Cluster is Biggest, Brightest and Hottest Ever Seen        

A mysterious arc of light found behind a distant cluster of galaxies has turned out to be the biggest, brightest, and hottest star-forming region ever seen in space. The so-called Lynx arc is 1 million times brighter than the well-known Orion Nebula, a nearby prototypical star-birth region visible with small telescopes. The newly identified super-cluster contains a million blue-white stars that are twice as hot as similar stars in our Milky Way galaxy. It is a rarely seen example of the early days of the universe where furious firestorms of star birth blazed across the skies. The spectacular cluster's opulence is dimmed when seen from Earth only because it is 12 billion light-years away.


          Supernova Shock Wave Paints Cosmic Portrait        

Remnants from a star that exploded thousands of years ago created a celestial abstract portrait, as captured in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Pencil Nebula. Officially known as NGC 2736, the Pencil Nebula is part of the huge Vela supernova remnant, located in the southern constellation Vela. Discovered by Sir John Herschel in the 1840s, the nebula's linear appearance triggered its popular name. The nebula's shape suggests that it is part of the supernova shock wave that recently encountered a region of dense gas. It is this interaction that causes the nebula to glow, appearing like a rippled sheet.


          Iridescent Glory of Nearby Planetary Nebula Showcased on Astronomy Day        

This photograph of the coil-shaped Helix Nebula is one of the largest and most detailed celestial images ever made. The composite picture is a seamless blend of ultra-sharp images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope combined with the wide view of the Mosaic Camera on the National Science Foundation's 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz. The image shows a fine web of filamentary "bicycle-spoke" features embedded in the colorful red and blue ring of gas. At 650 light-years away, the Helix is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to Earth. A planetary nebula is the glowing gas around a dying, Sun-like star.


          Hubble Captures a Perfect Storm of Turbulent Gases        

Resembling the fury of a raging sea, this image actually shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen gas and small amounts of other elements such as oxygen and sulfur. The photograph, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, captures a small region within M17, a hotbed of star formation. M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5,500 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius. The image is being released to commemorate the thirteenth anniversary of Hubble's launch on April 24, 1990.


          Rainbow Image of a Dusty Star        

Resembling a rippling pool illuminated by underwater lights, the Egg Nebula offers astronomers a special look at the normally invisible dust shells swaddling an aging star. These dust layers, extending over one-tenth of a light-year from the star, have an onionskin structure that forms concentric rings around the star. A thicker dust belt, running almost vertically through the image, blocks off light from the central star. Twin beams of light radiate from the hidden star and illuminate the pitch-black dust, like a flashlight shining in a smoky room.


          Close-up of M27, the Dumbbell Nebula        

An aging star's last hurrah is creating a flurry of glowing knots of gas that appear to be streaking through space in this close-up image of the Dumbbell Nebula, taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The Dumbbell, a nearby planetary nebula residing more than 1,200 light-years away, is the result of an old star that has shed its outer layers in a unique display of color.


          Hubble Photographs 'Double Bubble' in Neighboring Galaxy         

A unique peanut-shaped cocoon of dust, called a reflection nebula, surrounds a cluster of young, hot stars in this view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The "double bubble," called N30B, is inside a larger nebula, named DEM L 106. The larger nebula is embedded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way located 160,000 light-years away. The wispy filaments of DEM L 106 fill much of the image.


          Hands-On Book of Hubble Images Allows the Visually Impaired to "Touch the Universe"        

A new book of majestic images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope brings the wonders of our universe to the fingertips of the blind. Called "Touch the Universe: A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy," the 64-page book presents color images of planets, nebulae, stars, and galaxies. Each image is embossed with lines, bumps, and other textures. The raised patterns translate colors, shapes, and other intricate details of the cosmic objects, allowing visually impaired people to feel what they cannot see. Braille and large-print descriptions accompany each of the book's 14 photographs, making the design of this book accessible to readers of all visual abilities.


          An Old Star Gives Up the Ghost        

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has caught a glimpse of a colorful cosmic ghost, the glowing remains of a dying star called NGC 6369. The glowing apparition is known to amateur astronomers as the "Little Ghost Nebula," because it appears as a small, ghostly cloud surrounding the faint, dying central star.


          Hubble Astronomers Feast on an Interstellar Hamburger        

Hold the pickles; hold the lettuce. Space is serving up giant hamburgers. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a photograph of a strange object that bears an uncanny resemblance to a hamburger. The object, nicknamed Gomez's Hamburger, is a sun-like star nearing the end of its life. It already has expelled large amounts of gas and dust and is on its way to becoming a colorful, glowing planetary nebula. The ingredients for the giant celestial hamburger are dust and light. The hamburger buns are light reflecting off dust and the patty is the dark band of dust in the middle.


          Beauty in the Eye of Hubble        

The Hubble telescope reveals a rainbow of colors in this dying star, called IC 4406. Like many other so-called planetary nebulae, IC 4406 exhibits a high degree of symmetry. The nebula's left and right halves are nearly mirror images of the other. If we could fly around IC 4406 in a spaceship, we would see that the gas and dust form a vast donut of material streaming outward from the dying star. We don't see the donut shape in this photograph because we are viewing IC 4406 from the Earth-orbiting Hubble telescope. From this vantage point, we are seeing the side of the donut. This side view allows us to see the intricate tendrils of material that have been compared to the eye's retina. In fact, IC 4406 is dubbed the "Retina Nebula."


          Hubble's Infrared Camera is Back in Business – New Images Released         

After more than three years of inactivity, the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) has reopened its "near-infrared eyes" on the universe, snapping several breathtaking views, from the craggy interior of a star-forming cloud to a revealing look at the heart of an edge-on galaxy. Peering into our stellar backyard, NICMOS peeled back the outer layers of the Cone Nebula [above, left] to see the underlying dusty "bedrock" in this stellar "pillar of creation." The camera's penetrating vision also sliced through the edge-on dusty disk of a galaxy, NGC 4013 [above, center], like our Milky Way to peer all the way into the galaxy's core. Astronomers were surprised to see what appears to be an edge-on ring of stars, 720 light-years across, encircling the nucleus. Though such star-rings are not uncommon in barred spiral galaxies, only NICMOS has the resolution to see the ring buried deep inside an edge-on galaxy. The camera then peered far across the universe to witness a galactic car wreck between four galaxies, which is creating a torrent of new stars. The colliding system of galaxies, called IRAS 19297-0406 [above, right], glows fiercely in infrared light because the flocks of new stars are generating a large amount of dust.


          Gaseous Streamers Flutter in Stellar Breeze         

N44C is the designation for a region of ionized hydrogen gas surrounding an association of young stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a nearby, small companion galaxy to the Milky Way visible from the Southern Hemisphere. N44C is part of the larger N44 complex, which includes young, hot, massive stars, nebulae, and a "superbubble" blown out by multiple supernova explosions.


          Hubble's New Camera Delivers Breathtaking Views of the Universe        

Jubilant astronomers unveiled humankind's most spectacular views of the universe, courtesy of the newly installed Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Among the suite of four ACS photographs to demonstrate the camera's capabilities is a stunning view of a colliding galaxy dubbed the "Tadpole" (UGC10214). Set against a rich tapestry of 6,000 galaxies, the Tadpole, with its long tail of stars, looks like a runaway pinwheel firework. Another picture depicts a spectacular collision between two spiral galaxies -- dubbed "The Mice" -- that presages what may happen to our own Milky Way several billion years from now when it collides with the neighboring galaxy in the constellation Andromeda. Looking closer to home, ACS imaged the "Cone Nebula," a craggy-looking mountaintop of cold gas and dust that is a cousin to Hubble's iconic "pillars of creation" in the Eagle Nebula, photographed in 1995. Peering into a celestial maternity ward called the Omega Nebula or M17, ACS revealed a watercolor fantasy-world of glowing gases, where stars and perhaps embryonic planetary systems are forming.


          A Bow Shock Near a Young Star         

The Hubble Space Telescope continues to reveal various stunning and intricate treasures that reside within the nearby, intense star-forming region known as the Great Nebula in Orion. One such jewel is the bow shock around the very young star, LL Ori, featured in this Hubble Heritage image.


          Hubble Sends Season's Greetings from the Cosmos to Earth        

Looking like a colorful holiday card, this image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals a vibrant green and red nebula far from Earth, where nature seems to have put on the traditional colors of the season. These colors, produced by the light emitted by oxygen and hydrogen, help astronomers investigate the star-forming processes in nebulas such as NGC 2080. Nicknamed the "Ghost Head Nebula," NGC 2080 is one of a chain of star-forming regions lying south of the 30 Doradus nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud that have attracted special attention. These regions have been studied in detail with Hubble and have long been identified as unique star-forming sites. 30 Doradus is the largest star-forming complex in the whole local group of galaxies.


          A Giant Star Factory in Neighboring Galaxy NGC 6822        

Resembling curling flames from a campfire, this magnificent nebula in a neighboring galaxy is giving astronomers new insight into the fierce birth of stars, which may have been more a typical occurrence in the early universe. The glowing gas cloud, called Hubble-V, has a diameter of about 200 light-years. A faint tail of gas trailing off the top of this Hubble Space Telescope image sits opposite a dense cluster of bright stars at the bottom of the irregularly shaped nebula.


          Hubble's Panoramic Portrait of a Vast Star-Forming Region        

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a panoramic portrait of a vast, sculpted landscape of gas and dust where thousands of stars are being born. This fertile star-forming region, called the 30 Doradus Nebula, has a sparkling stellar centerpiece: the most spectacular cluster of massive stars in our cosmic neighborhood of about 25 galaxies. The mosaic picture shows that ultraviolet radiation and high-speed material unleashed by the stars in the cluster, called R136 [the large blue blob left of center], are weaving a tapestry of creation and destruction, triggering the collapse of looming gas and dust clouds and forming pillar-like structures that are incubators for nascent stars.


          'Survivor' Planets: Astronomers Witness First Steps of Planet Growth - and Destruction        

Planet formation is a hazardous process. New pictures from the Hubble telescope are giving astronomers the first direct visual evidence for the growth of planetary "building blocks" inside the dusty disks of young stars in the Orion Nebula, a giant "star factory" near Earth. But these snapshots also reveal that the disks are being "blowtorched" by a blistering flood of ultraviolet radiation from the region's brightest star, making planet formation extremely difficult.


          By Popular Demand: Hubble Observes the Horsehead Nebula        

Rising from a sea of dust and gas like a giant seahorse, the Horsehead nebula is one of the most photographed objects in the sky. The Hubble telescope took a close-up look at this heavenly icon, revealing the cloud's intricate structure. This detailed view of the horse's head is being released to celebrate the orbiting observatory's eleventh anniversary. Hubble was launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990 and deployed into a 360-mile-high Earth orbit on April 25. Produced by the Hubble Heritage Project, this picture is a testament to the Horsehead's popularity. Internet voters selected this object for the orbiting telescope to view.


          Massive Infant Stars Rock their Cradle        

Extremely intense radiation from newly born, ultra-bright stars has blown a glowing spherical bubble in the nebula N83B, also known as NGC 1748. A new Hubble telescope image has helped to decipher the complex interplay of gas and radiation of a star-forming region in the nearby galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. The image graphically illustrates just how these massive stars sculpt their environment by generating powerful winds that alter the shape of the parent gaseous nebula. These processes are also seen in our Milky Way in regions like the Orion Nebula.


          Astro-Entomology? Ant-like Space Structure Previews Death of Our Sun        

From ground-based telescopes, this cosmic object -- the glowing remains of a dying, Sun-like star -- resembles the head and thorax of a garden-variety ant. But this dramatic Hubble telescope image of the so-called "ant nebula" (Menzel 3, or Mz 3) shows even more detail, revealing the "ant's" body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from the dying star.


          "X" Marks the Spot: Hubble Sees the Glow of Star Formation in a Neighbor Galaxy        

The saying "X" marks the spot holds true in this Hubble telescope image. In this case, X marks the location of Hubble-X, a glowing gas cloud in one of the most active star-forming regions in galaxy NGC 6822. The galaxy lies 1.6 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius, one of the Milky Way's closest neighbors. This hotbed of star birth is similar to the fertile regions in the Orion Nebula in our Milky Way Galaxy, but on a vastly greater scale. The intense star birth in Hubble-X occurred about 4 million years ago, a small fraction of the approximate 10-billion-year age of the universe.


          Ghostly Reflections in the Pleiades        

This ghostly apparition is actually an interstellar cloud caught in the process of destruction by strong radiation from a nearby hot star. This haunting picture, snapped by the Hubble telescope, shows a cloud illuminated by light from the bright star Merope. Located in the Pleiades star cluster, the cloud is called IC 349 or Barnard's Merope Nebula.


          Hubble Peeks into a Stellar Nursery in a Nearby Galaxy         

The Hubble telescope has peered deep into a neighboring galaxy to reveal details of the formation of new stars. Hubble's target was a newborn star cluster within the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. The picture shows young, brilliant stars cradled within a nebula, or glowing cloud of gas, cataloged as N 81.


          IC 418: The "Spirograph" Nebula         

Glowing like a multi-faceted jewel, the planetary nebula IC 418 lies about 2,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lepus. In this picture, the Hubble telescope reveals some remarkable textures weaving through the nebula. Their origin, however, is still uncertain.


          He 2-90's Appearance Deceives Astronomers        

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have stumbled upon a mysterious object that is grudgingly yielding clues to its identity. A quick glance at the Hubble picture at top shows that this celestial body, called He 2-90, looks like a young, dust-enshrouded star with narrow jets of material streaming from each side. But it's not. The object is classified as a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a dying, lightweight star. But the Hubble observations suggest that it may not fit that classification, either. The Hubble astronomers now suspect that this enigmatic object may actually be a pair of aging stars masquerading as a single youngster. One member of the duo is a bloated red giant star shedding matter from its outer layers. This matter is then gravitationally captured in a rotating, pancake-shaped accretion disk around a compact partner, which is most likely a young white dwarf (the collapsed remnant of a sun-like star). The stars cannot be seen in the Hubble images because a lane of dust obscures them.


          Hubble Spies Brown Dwarfs in Nearby Stellar Nursery        

Probing deep within a neighborhood stellar nursery, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope uncovered a swarm of newborn brown dwarfs. The orbiting observatory's near-infrared camera revealed about 50 of these objects throughout the Orion Nebula's Trapezium cluster [image at right], about 1,500 light-years from Earth. Appearing like glistening precious stones surrounding a setting of sparkling diamonds, more than 300 fledgling stars and brown dwarfs surround the brightest, most massive stars [center of picture] in Hubble's view of the Trapezium cluster's central region. The brown dwarfs are too dim to be seen in an image taken by the Hubble telescope's visible-light camera [picture at left].


          Hubble Watches Star Tear Apart its Neighborhood        

The Hubble telescope has snapped a view of a stellar demolition zone in our Milky Way Galaxy: a massive star, nearing the end of its life, tearing apart the shell of surrounding material it blew off 250,000 years ago with its strong stellar wind. The shell of material, dubbed the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888), surrounds the "hefty," aging star WR 136, an extremely rare and short-lived class of super-hot star called a Wolf-Rayet. Hubble's multicolored picture reveals with unprecedented clarity that the shell of matter is a network of filaments and dense knots, all enshrouded in a thin "skin" of gas [seen in blue]. The whole structure looks like oatmeal trapped inside a balloon. The skin is glowing because it is being blasted by ultraviolet light from WR 136.


          Peering into the Heart of the Crab Nebula        

In the year 1054 A.D., Chinese astronomers were startled by the appearance of a new star, so bright that it was visible in broad daylight for several weeks. Today, the Crab Nebula is visible at the site of that bright star. Located about 6,500 light-years from Earth, the Crab Nebula is the remnant of a star that began its life with about 10 times the mass of our Sun. Its life ended on July 4, 1054 when it exploded as a supernova. In this image, the Hubble telescope has zoomed in on the center of the Crab to reveal its structure with unprecedented detail.


          The Glowing Eye of NGC 6751        

The Hubble telescope has spied a giant celestial "eye," known as planetary nebula NGC 6751. The Hubble Heritage Project is releasing this picture to commemorate the Hubble telescope's tenth anniversary. Glowing in the constellation Aquila, the nebula is a cloud of gas ejected several thousand years ago from the hot star visible in its center. Planetary nebulae have nothing to do with planets. They are shells of gas thrown off by Sun-like stars nearing the ends of their lives. The star's loss of its outer, gaseous layers exposes the hot stellar core, whose strong ultraviolet radiation then causes the ejected gas to fluoresce as the planetary nebula.


          Hubble Takes a Close-up View of a Reflection Nebula in Orion        

Just weeks after NASA astronauts repaired the Hubble Space Telescope in December 1999, the Hubble Heritage Project snapped this picture of NGC 1999, a nebula in the constellation Orion. The Heritage astronomers, in collaboration with scientists in Texas and Ireland, used Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) to obtain the color image.


          Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula        

When 19th century astronomer Sir John Herschel spied a swirling cloud of gas with a hole punched through it, he dubbed it the Keyhole Nebula. Now the Hubble telescope has taken a peek at this region, and the resulting image reveals previously unseen details of the Keyhole's mysterious, complex structure. The Keyhole is part of a larger region called the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), about 8,000 light-years from Earth.


          Hubble Reopens Its Eye on the Universe         

The Hubble telescope reopened its "eye" on the universe following a successful December 1999 servicing mission by imaging a Sun-like star, dubbed the "Eskimo Nebula" (NGC 2392 and a hefty cluster of galaxies, Abell 2218.


          An Expanding Bubble in Space        

A star 40 times more massive than the Sun is blowing a giant bubble of material into space. In this colorful picture, the Hubble telescope has captured a glimpse of the expanding bubble, dubbed the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). The beefy star [lower center] is embedded in the bright blue bubble. The stellar powerhouse is so hot that it is quickly shedding material into space. The dense gas surrounding the star is shaping the castoff material into a bubble. The bubble's surface is not smooth like a soap bubble's. Its rippled appearance is due to encounters with gases of different thickness. The nebula is 6 light-years wide and is expanding at 4 million miles per hour (7 million kilometers per hour). The nebula is 7,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.


          The Trifid Nebula: Stellar Sibling Rivalry        

This Hubble telescope image of the Trifid Nebula reveals a stellar nursery being torn apart by radiation from a nearby, massive star. The picture also provides a peek at embryonic stars forming within an ill-fated cloud of dust and gas, which is destined to be eaten away by the glare from the massive neighbor. This stellar activity is a beautiful example of how the life cycles of stars like our Sun are intimately connected with their more powerful siblings.


          The "Rotten Egg" Nebula: A Planetary Nebula in the Making        

This oddly shaped object is an aging, Sun-like star near the end of its life. The Hubble telescope's infrared camera, called the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer, captured a fleeting phase in the death march of this star. In these pictures, a red giant star is transformed into a planetary nebula, the glowing remnants of a dying star. The star is shrouded in dust and gas in the center of these pictures. The "wings" of material, called a nebula, are dust and gas cast off by the declining star.


          Hubble Heritage Project's First Anniversary         

To mark the first anniversary of the Hubble Heritage Project, we present four Hubble telescope images of nebulae surrounding stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Two of these visible-light pictures show interstellar gas and dust around young stars at the beginning of their lives, and two more show gas ejected from old stars that are nearing the end of theirs. Remarkably, in spite of the completely different evolutionary stages, the nebulae have more striking features in common, including evidence of diametrically opposed gas ejections from both the young and old stars.


          Hubble Captures a Grand View of the Birth of "Hefty" Stars        

Pictures taken in infrared and visible light by the Hubble telescope recount a vivid story of the turbulent birthing process of massive stars.

The images show that powerful radiation and high-speed material unleashed by "hefty" adult stars residing in the hub of the 30 Doradus Nebula are triggering a new burst of star birth in the surrounding suburbs. Like their adult relatives, the fledgling stars are creating all sorts of havoc in their environment. Nascent stars embedded in columns of gas and dust, for example, are blowing away the tops of their nurseries, like a volcano blasting material into the sky. Jets of material streaming from another developing star are slamming into surrounding dust and gas in opposite directions, causing it to glow in moving patterns. These views [the top panel taken in visible light, the bottom in infrared] represent part of the highly active region of star birth.


          Symbiotic Star Blows Bubbles into Space        

A tempestuous relationship between an unlikely pair of stars may have created an oddly shaped gaseous nebula that resembles nesting hourglasses.

Images taken with Earth-based telescopes have shown the larger, hourglass-shaped nebula. But this picture, taken with the Hubble telescope, reveals a small, bright nebula embedded in the center of the larger one [close-up of nebula in inset]. Astronomers have dubbed the entire nebula the "Southern Crab Nebula" (He2-104), because, from ground-based telescopes, it looks like the body and legs of a crab. The nebula is several light-years long. The possible creators of these shapes cannot be seen in this visible-light picture. It's a pair of aging stars buried in the glow of the tiny, central nebula. One of them is a red giant, a bloated star that is exhausting its nuclear fuel and is shedding its outer layers in a powerful stellar wind. Its companion is a hot, white dwarf, a stellar zombie of a burned-out star.


          A Butterfly-Shaped "Papillon" Nebula Yields Secrets of Massive Star Birth        

Here is a Hubble telescope view of a turbulent cauldron of star birth called N159, which is taking place 170,000 light-years away in our satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. 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.

A rare type of compact, illuminated "blob" is resolved for the first time to be a butterfly-shaped or "Papillon" (French for "butterfly") Nebula, buried in the center of the maelstrom of glowing gases and dark dust. The unprecedented details of the structure of the Papillon, itself less than 2 light-years in size, are seen in the inset picture.


          Hubble Snapshot Captures Life Cycle of Stars        

In this stunning picture of the giant galactic nebula NGC 3603, the Hubble telescope's crisp resolution captures various stages of the life cycle of stars in one single view.

This picture nicely illustrates the entire stellar life cycle of stars, starting with the Bok globules and giant gaseous pillars (evidence of embryonic stars), followed by circumstellar disks around young stars, and progressing to aging, massive stars in a young starburst cluster. The blue super-giant with its ring and bipolar outflow [upper left of center] marks the end of the life cycle.


          Multiple Generations of Stars in the Tarantula Nebula        

In the most active starburst region in the local universe resides a cluster of brilliant, massive stars, known to astronomers as Hodge 301.

Hodge 301, seen in the lower right hand corner of this image, lives inside the Tarantula Nebula, which resides in our galactic neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Many of the stars in Hodge 301 are so old that they have exploded as supernovae. These exploded stars are blasting material into the surrounding region at speeds of almost 200 miles per second. The high-speed matter is plowing into the surrounding Tarantula Nebula, shocking and compressing the gas into a multitude of sheets and filaments, seen in the upper left portion of the picture.


          Looking Down a Barrel of Gas at a Doomed Star        

Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have obtained the sharpest view yet of a glowing loop of gas called the Ring Nebula (M57), first cataloged more than 200 years ago by French astronomer Charles Messier.

The pictures reveal that the "Ring" is actually a cylinder of gas seen almost end-on. Such elongated shapes are common among other planetary nebulae, because thick disks of gas and dust form a waist around a dying star. This "waist" slows down the expansion of material ejected by the doomed object. The easiest escape route for this cast-off material is above and below the star. This photo reveals dark, elongated clumps of material embedded in the gas at the edge of the nebula; the dying central star is floating in a blue haze of hot gas.


          A Glowing Pool of Light        

NGC 3132 is a striking example of a planetary nebula. This expanding cloud of gas surrounding a dying star is known to amateur astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere as the "Eight-Burst" or the "Southern Ring" Nebula.

The name "planetary nebula" refers only to the round shape that many of these objects show when examined through a small telescope. In reality, these nebulae have little or nothing to do with planets, but are instead huge shells of gas ejected by stars as they near the ends of their lifetimes. NGC 3132 is nearly half a light year in diameter, and at a distance of about 2,000 light-years is one of the nearest known planetary nebulae. The gases are expanding away from the central star at a speed of 9 miles per second.


          Great Balls of Fire! Hubble Sees Bright Knots Ejected From Brilliant Star        

Resembling an aerial fireworks explosion, this dramatic Hubble telescope picture of the energetic star WR124 reveals that it is surrounded by hot clumps of gas being ejected into space at speeds of over 100,000 mph.

Also remarkable are vast arcs of glowing gas around the star, which are resolved into clumps, yet with no overall global shell structure. Though the existence of clumps in the winds of hot stars has been deduced through spectroscopic observations, Hubble resolves them directly in the nebula M1-67 around WR124 as 100-billion-mile-wide glowing gas blobs.


          Turtle in Space Describes New Hubble Image        

The Hubble telescope has shown us that the shrouds of gas surrounding dying, Sun-like stars (called planetary nebulae) come in a variety of strange shapes, from an "hourglass" to a "butterfly" to a "stingray."

With this image of NGC 6210, the Hubble telescope has added another bizarre form to the rogues' gallery of planetary nebulae: a turtle swallowing a seashell. Giving this dying star such a weird name is less of a challenge than trying to figure out how dying stars create those unusual shapes. The larger image shows the entire nebula; the inset picture captures the complicated structure surrounding the dying star.


          Astronomers Unveil Colorful Hubble Photo Gallery        

A vibrant celestial photo album of some of NASA Hubble Space Telescope's most stunning views of the universe is being unveiled today on the Internet. Called the Hubble Heritage Program, this technicolor gallery is being assembled by a team of astronomers at Hubble's science operations center, the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. The four images released today are (top row, left to right) spiral galaxy NGC 7742, Saturn, and (bottom row, left to right) the Sagittarius Star Cloud and the Bubble Nebula.


          Nearby Massive Star Cluster Yields Insights into Early Universe        

The Hubble telescope has taken a "family portrait" of young, ultra-bright stars nested in their embryonic cloud of glowing gases. The celestial maternity ward, called N81, is located 200,000 light-years from Earth in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small, irregular satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. These are probably the youngest massive stars ever seen in the magellanic cloud.

The nebula offers a unique opportunity for a close-up glimpse of the "firestorm" accompanying the birth of extremely massive stars, each blazing with the brilliance of 300,000 suns. Such galactic fireworks were much more common billions of years ago in the early universe, when most star formation took place.


          Hubble Reveals Details of a Newly Born Planetary Nebula         

Astronomers have caught a peek at a rare moment in the final stages of a star's life: a ballooning shroud of gas cast off by a dying star flicking on its stellar light bulb. The Hubble telescope has captured the unveiling of the Stingray nebula (Hen-1357), the youngest known planetary nebula.

Twenty years ago, the nebulous gas entombing the dying star wasn't hot enough to glow. The Stingray nebula (Hen-1357) is so named because its shape resembles a stingray fish. Images of a planetary nebula in its formative years can yield new insights into the last gasps of ordinary stars like our Sun.


          Hubble Captures the Shrouds of Dying Stars        

The Hubble telescope continues to capture stunning, colorful snapshots of stellar burnout. These images reveal the beauty and complexity of planetary nebulae, the glowing relics of Sun-like stars.

This image of NGC 7027, for example, is one of the first infrared views of planetary nebulae taken with Hubble's infrared camera. In this picture, Hubble peers through the dusty core of a young planetary nebula to reveal the bright, central star. This picture also captures a young planetary nebula in a state of rapid transition.


          Hubble Witnesses the Final Blaze of Glory of Sun-Like Stars         

The end of a Sun-like star's life was once thought to be simple: the star gracefully casts off a shell of glowing gas and then settles into a long retirement as a burned-out white dwarf.

Now, a dazzling collection of detailed views from the Hubble telescope reveals surprisingly intricate, glowing patterns spun into space by aging stars: pinwheels, lawn sprinkler-style jets, elegant goblet shapes, and even some that look like a rocket engine's exhaust. In this picture of M2-9, twin lobes of material emanate from a central, dying star. Astronomers have dubbed this object the "Twin Jet Nebula" because of the shape of the lobes. If the nebula is sliced across the star, each side appears much like a pair of exhausts from jet engines. Indeed, because of the nebula's shape and the measured velocity of the gas, in excess of 200 miles per second, astronomers believe that the description as a super-super-sonic jet exhaust is quite apt.


          Hubble Identifies What May Be the Most Luminous Star Known         

Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have identified what may be the most luminous star known ? a celestial mammoth that releases up to 10 million times the power of the Sun and is big enough to fill the diameter of Earth's orbit. The star [center of image] unleashes as much energy in six seconds as our Sun does in one year.

The image, taken in infrared light, also reveals a bright nebula [magenta-colored material], created by extremely massive stellar eruptions. The nebula is so big (4 light-years) that it would nearly span the distance from the Sun to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to Earth's solar system.


          Hubble Snaps "Family Portrait"        

The Hubble telescope's infrared camera has peered into the Cone Nebula, revealing a stunning picture of six babies, Sun-like stars surrounding their mother, a bright, massive star. Known as NGC 2264 IRS, the massive star triggered the creation of these baby stars by releasing high-speed particles of dust and gas during its formative years.

The image on the left, taken in visible light by a terrestrial telescope, shows the Cone Nebula, located 2,500 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros. The white box pinpoints the location of the star nursery, which cannot be seen in this image because dust and gas obscure it. The infrared image on the right shows the massive star ? the brightest source in the region ? and the stars formed by its outflow.


          Hubble Captures the Heart of the Orion Nebula        

The Hubble telescope's infrared vision is providing a dramatic new look at the beautiful Orion Nebula, which contains the nearest nursery for massive stars.

For comparison, Hubble's visible-light view of the nebula is on the left. The heart of the giant Orion molecular cloud, OMC-1, is included in the relatively dim and featureless area inside the blue outline near the top of the image. Light from a few foreground stars provides only a hint of the many other stars embedded in this dense cloud. Hubble's infrared camera reveals a chaotic, active star birth region [as seen in the right-hand picture]. Here, stars and glowing interstellar dust, heated by and scattering the intense starlight, appear yellow-orange.


          Hubble Peers into Heart of Dying Star         

The Egg Nebula, also known as CRL 2688, is shown on the left as it appears in visible light and on the right as it looks in infrared light. Both Hubble views recount the last gasps of a dying, Sun-like star.

Objects like the Egg Nebula are helping astronomers understand how stars like our Sun expel carbon and nitrogen ? elements crucial for life ? into space. Studies on the Egg Nebula show that these dying stars eject matter at high speeds along a preferred axis and may even have multiple jet-like outflows. The signature of the collision between this fast-moving material and the slower, out-flowing shells is the glow of hydrogen molecules [the red material] captured in the right-hand image.


          Hubble Camera Resumes Science Operation with Picture of "Butterfly" in Space         

The Hubble telescope is back at work, capturing this view of the butterfly-wing-shaped nebula, NGC 2346.

The nebula is about 2,000 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Monoceros. It represents the spectacular "last gasp" of a double-star system at the nebula's center. The image was taken March 6, 1997 as part of the re-commissioning of Hubble's previously installed scientific instruments following a successful servicing mission.


          Giant "Twisters" and Star Wisps in the Lagoon Nebula         

This Hubble telescope snapshot unveils a pair of one-half, light-year-long interstellar "twisters" – eerie funnels and twisted-rope structures [upper left] – in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (M8) which lies 5,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.

The hot, central star, O Herschel 36 [upper left], is the primary source of the illuminating light for the brightest region in the nebula, called the Hourglass. The glare from this hot star is eroding the clouds by heating the hydrogen gas in them [seen as a blue "mist" at the right of the image]. This activity drives away violent stellar winds that are tearing into the cool clouds.


          Giant Star Birth Region in Neighboring Galaxy        

The colorful picture on the right is a Hubble telescope snapshot of a vast nebula of dust and gas called NGC 604, which lies in the neighboring spiral galaxy M33.

This region, located in the galaxy's spiral arm, is fertile ground for star birth. Though such nebulae are common in galaxies, this one is particularly large, nearly 1,500 light-years across. The image on the left, taken by a ground-based telescope, illustrates the vastness of this nebula. The galaxy resides 2.7 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Triangulum.


          Hubble Astronomers Unveil "Crab Nebula - The Movie"        

Probing the mysterious heart of the Crab Nebula, the tattered remains of an exploding star, astronomers have found this object to be even more dynamic than previously understood. These findings are based on a cosmic "movie" assembled from a series of Hubble telescope observations.

The sequence of pictures is giving astronomers a remarkable look at the dynamic relationship between the tiny Crab pulsar - the collapsed core of the exploding star - and the vast nebula of dust and gas that it powers. This picture, which reveals the inner parts of the Crab, represents one frame from the movie. The Crab pulsar is the star on the left [white dot] near the center of the frame. Surrounding the pulsar is a complex of sharp knots and wisp-like features.


          Hubble Finds Thousands of Gaseous Fragments Surrounding a Dying Star        

Resembling a bizarre setting from a science fiction movie, dramatic images sent back by the Hubble telescope have surprised astronomers by uncovering thousands of gigantic, tadpole-shaped objects surrounding a dying star.

Dubbed "cometary knots" because their glowing heads and gossamer tails superficially resemble comets, they are probably the result of a dying star's final outbursts. Though ground-based telescopic observations have hinted at such objects, they have not previously been seen in such abundance, say researchers. Hubble captured thousands of these knots from a doomed star in the Helix Nebula, the closest planetary nebula to Earth - 450 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius.


          Hubble Telescope Photo Reveals Stellar Death Process        

This Hubble telescope picture of planetary nebula NGC 7027 reveals remarkable new details of the process by which a star like the Sun dies. The nebula is a glowing record of the star's final death throes.

New features include faint, blue, concentric shells surrounding the nebula; an extensive network of red dust clouds throughout the bright inner region; and the hot, central white dwarf, visible as a white dot at the center.


          Hubble Finds an Hourglass Nebula around a Dying Star        

This Hubble telescope snapshot of MyCn18, a young planetary nebula, reveals that the object has an hourglass shape with an intricate pattern of "etchings" in its walls. A planetary nebula is the glowing relic of a dying, Sun-like star.

The results are of great interest because they shed new light on the poorly understood ejection of stellar matter that accompanies the slow death of Sun-like stars. According to one theory on the formation of planetary nebulae, the hourglass shape is produced by the expansion of a fast stellar wind within a slowly expanding cloud, which is denser near its equator than near its poles.


          Hubble Finds Searchlight Beams and Multiple Arcs around a Dying Star        

This Hubble telescope picture of the Egg Nebula, also known as CRL2688, shows a pair of mysterious "searchlight" beams emerging from a hidden star and criss-crossed by numerous bright arcs. This image sheds new light on the poorly understood ejection of stellar matter that accompanies the slow death of Sun-like stars. The nebula is really a large cloud of dust and gas ejected by the star, expanding at a speed of 115,000 mph (20 km/s).

A dense cocoon of dust [the dark band in the center] enshrouds the star and hides it from our view. Starlight escapes more easily in directions where the cocoon is thinner and is reflected towards us by dust particles in the cloud, giving it its overall appearance. Objects like CRL2688 are rare because they are in a very short evolutionary phase. However, they may hold the key to our understanding of how red giant stars transform themselves into planetary nebulae, the glowing remnants of dying stars.


          Panoramic Hubble Picture Surveys Star Birth, Proto-Planetary Systems in the Great Orion Nebula        

This spectacular color panorama of the center of the Orion Nebula is one of the largest pictures ever assembled from individual images taken with the Hubble telescope.

The seemingly infinite tapestry of rich detail revealed by Hubble shows a churning, turbulent star factory set within a maelstrom of flowing, luminescent gas. Though this 2.5-light-year-wide view is a small portion of the entire nebula, it includes a star cluster and almost all of the light from the bright glowing clouds of gas that make up the nebula.


          Embryonic Stars Emerge from Interstellar "Eggs"        

Eerie, dramatic pictures from the Hubble telescope show newborn stars emerging from "eggs" - not the barnyard variety - but rather, dense, compact pockets of interstellar gas called evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs). Hubble found the "EGGs," appropriately enough, in the Eagle nebula, a nearby star-forming region 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens.

These striking pictures resolve the EGGs at the tip of finger-like features protruding from monstrous columns of cold gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula (also called M16). The columns - dubbed "elephant trunks" - protrude from the wall of a vast cloud of molecular hydrogen, like stalagmites rising above the floor of a cavern. Inside the gaseous towers, which are light-years long, the interstellar gas is dense enough to collapse under its own weight, forming young stars that continue to grow as they accumulate more and more mass from their surroundings.


          Hubble's Close-Up View of a Shock Wave from a Stellar Explosion         

This Hubble telescope image shows a small portion of a nebula called the "Cygnus Loop." This nebula is an expanding blast wave from a stellar cataclysm, a supernova explosion, which occurred about 15,000 years ago.

The supernova blast wave, which is moving from left to right across the picture, has recently hit a cloud of denser-than-average interstellar gas. This collision drives shock waves into the cloud that heats interstellar gas, causing it to glow.


          Hubble Probes the Complex History of a Dying Star         

This Hubble telescope image shows one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen, NGC 6543, nicknamed the "Cat's Eye Nebula." Hubble reveals surprisingly intricate structures including concentric gas shells, jets of high-speed gas, and unusual shock-induced knots of gas. Estimated to be 1,000 years old, the nebula is a visual "fossil record" of the dynamics and late evolution of a dying star.

A preliminary interpretation suggests that the object might be a double-star system. The dynamical effects of two stars orbiting one another most easily explains the intricate structures, which are much more complicated than features seen in most planetary nebulae. The two stars are too close together to be individually resolved by Hubble and instead appear as a single point of light at the center of the nebula.


          Hubble Confirms Abundance of Protoplanetary Disks around Newborn Stars        

Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have uncovered the strongest evidence yet that the planet-making process is common in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Observations clearly reveal that great disks of dust – the raw material for planet formation – are swirling around at least half and probably many more of the stars in the Orion Nebula, a star-forming region only 1,500 light-years from Earth.


          Hubble Probes the Great Orion Nebula        

A NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of a region of the Great Nebula in Orion, as imaged by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

This is one of the nearest regions of very recent star formation (300,000 years ago). The nebula is a giant gas cloud illuminated by the brightest of the young hot stars at the top of the picture. Many of the fainter young stars are surrounded by disks of dust and gas, that are slightly more than twice the diameter of the solar system (or 100 Astronomical Units in diameter).


          Hubble's Improved Optics Reveal Incredible Detail in Giant Cloud of Gas and Dust        

An image of a star-forming region in the 30 Doradus nebula, surrounding the dense star cluster R136. The image was obtained using the second generation Wide Filed and Planetary Camera (WFPC-2), installed in the Hubble Space Telescope during the STS-61 Servicing Mission. The WFPC-2 contains modified optics to correct for the aberration of the Hubble's primary mirror. The new optics will allow the telescope to tackle many of the most important scientific programs for which the it was built, but had to be temporarily shelved with the discovery of the spherical aberration in 1990.


          Hubble Finds a Young Planetary Nebula        

This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope picture of a recently-formed "planetary nebula," known as Hen 1357. This expanding cloud of gas was ejected from the aging star in the center. Much of the gas is concentrated in a ring which appears tilted 35 degrees. Besides the big clumps in the ring, HST's detailed images reveal many smaller clumps and wisps of gas, indicating turbulent motions and other activity in the nebula. Two bubbles of gas seen above and below the ring have burst open at their ends, allowing gas from inside to escape.


          NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Protoplanetary Disks Around Newly Formed Stars        

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the strongest evidence yet that many stars form planetary systems. Dr. C. Robert O'Dell of Rice University, Houston, Texas and colleagues have used Hubble to discover extended disks of dust around 15 newly formed stars in the Orion Nebula, a starbirth region 1,500 light-years away. Such disks are a prerequisite for the formation of solar Systems like our own. "These images provide the best evidence for planetary systems," said O'Dell.


          NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Resolves a Planetary Nebula in the Large Magellanic Could        

The NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has imaged N66, a planetary nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud (a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way galaxy). The image was obtained at 10:41 p.m. EDT on June 26, 1991, using the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera.


          One of Hottest Known Stars Captured in Hubble Photograph        

This photograph from the NASA Hubble Space Telescope presents the first clear view of one of the hottest known stars, the central star of nebula NGC 2440 in our Milky Way galaxy. The superhot star, called "the NGC 2440 nucleus" is the bright white dot in the center of this photograph.


          NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Resolves Eruption of a Massive Star        

Observations of a massive, unstable star called Eta Carinae, made with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WF/PC) aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope HST, reveal surprising and complex new structure in a dusty nebula surrounding the star. New details include a jet of material flowing away from the star and a regularly spaced set of wave-like features. The results are being reported on May 17, 1991 at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Writer's Workshop in Baltimore Md.


          "Window-Curtain" Structure of the Orion Nebula Revealed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope        

Recent images made with the Wide Field Camera on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the structure of a thin sheet of gas located at the edge of the famous "Great Nebula" in Orion, an estimated 1500 light years from Earth. Astronomers, who compare the appearance of this sheet of gas with that of a rippled window curtain, report that this emission traces the boundary between the hot, diffuse interior of the nebula and an adjacent dense cool cloud. The sheet is seen in light emitted by atoms of gaseous sulfur (shown in red in the photograph). This emission is strongest under conditions which are intermediate between those in the interior of nebula and those in the dense cloud.


          Orion Nebula: Comparing Hubble Space Telescope to Ground Images        

This composite image shows the location of a one-light-year square region in the Orion Nebula which was imaged by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The area is near the edge of a cavity of ionized hydrogen, which is heated by ultraviolet radiation from a star cluster at the center of the nebula.


          NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Jet Structure In The Orion Nebula        

This photograph, made with the Wide Field/Planetary Camera on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals the detailed structure of a newly discovered jet of material streaming away from a young star in the Orion Nebula.


          Rogue Trader Ep 12: Ancient Perfection part 2 of 2        

Deep within an hostile nebula, the crew of the Shadow Labyrinth comes upon an ancient structure. Will the crew find profit, or will its inhabitants make short work of the invaders?

The post Rogue Trader Ep 12: Ancient Perfection part 2 of 2 appeared first on Fandible Actual Play Podcast.


          Notes from the Meat Cage, by Fran Wilde        

“It turns out that what I wanted wasn’t the story of a young woman coming to terms with her brace or her body … what I wanted was something to love.”

Invisible 3 CoverFran Wilde is one of the contributors to Invisible 3, which comes out on June 27 and includes 18 essays and poems about representation in science fiction and fantasy. You can preorder the collection at:

Amazon | Kobo | Smashwords | Google Play

(It will be available for Nook and iBooks as well, but we don’t have those links yet.)

Any profits from the sale of the collection go to Con or Bust, helping fans of color to attend SF/F conventions.

As with Invisible and Invisible 2, the contributors to this third volume have shared work that’s heartfelt, eye-opening, honest, thoughtful, and important…not to mention relevant to so much of what we see happening in the genre today.

I hope you find Wilde’s essay as powerful as I did.

#

At twelve, I perfected the baggy clothes drape. I stood and leaned against walls rather than sitting. Leaning kept the bottom edge of the hard, white fiberglass brace from digging into my thighs and the top edge from pinching under my arms. Either or both would drag my clothes funny and ruin the effect. I was pretty careful, but one pat on the back or a joking poke at my ribs and thunk. Hip to collarbone, my identity was wrapped in a hard shell.

Other braces, before and since, were easier to hide if I wanted to hide them. Foot braces, worn at night, turned my feet in the right direction, and no one was the wiser. Their ugly cousins, the orthopedic shoes, went away by third grade. The current knee and wrist braces and all the bracing tape? Those disappear under sleeves and skirts. And they’re mostly soft, not hard.

But I’ve always identified with that thunk. Part of me has always been a brain rolling around in a cage—both the skin and bones cage that doesn’t behave, and the shells that try to help fix that.

Growing up, this sucked.

Worse, the available books I could identify with sucked too. Deenie? Once was fine, but everyone gave me Deenie as if there was nothing else. And there really wasn’t. I started leaving annotated pages of Deenie secreted around my doctors’ offices in protest.

The year before I was cast for that second brace, I found science fiction.

I realized early that I identified more with the ships I was reading about than their captains. Especially the brain ships. (I’m still incredibly partial to liveships like Farscape’s Moya, Bear & Monette’s The Lavinia Whateley (“Boojum”), and Aliette de Bodard’s mindships.)

It turns out that what I wanted wasn’t the story of a young woman coming to terms with her brace or her body (seriously it’s a fine story, but it didn’t fit me at all—or, rather, it fit me like a brace, constraining and awkward). What I wanted was something to love. I was listening for that familiar thunk on the hull; I just didn’t know it. That recognition that there was a mind inside a cage of muscle, bone, pain, fiberglass, and metal. The acknowledgement that a mind could do things—heroic things! Cool things!—even if the body rebelled.

The first time I read Anne McCaffrey’s short story “The Ship Who Sang,” I read that painful first line—”She was born a thing,” and the ensuing replacement of Helva’s body with something better, a brainship shell—and felt guilty that I had it easy in comparison, while being thrilled that the main character was female. At twelve, I didn’t quite grasp some problematic aspects of the story.* What I knew immediately was that “The Ship Who Sang” delighted me.

That delight stemmed from recognizing a part of myself in the story—a singer, an artist, a perfectionist, a twisted form, triumphant inside a hard, albeit fiberglass, shell.

I fell in love with Helva from the start, and never really let her go. She’s mine. My ship.

She was so much better than freaking Deenie.

Later, another story caught me up in similar ways, though, again, I didn’t realize why until a lot later. William Gibson’s “Winter Market” (Burning Chrome), features Max, a recording engineer, and Lise, a wunderkind artist about to go viral. Lise’s genetic disorder requires her to wear a full-body brace in order to survive, but this is faulty equipment too, so much so that the brace once trapped her starving and unable to move in a pile of garbage. Told from Max’s point of view, “Winter Market” opens with Lise’s escape to immortality: “It was like that the day her agents phoned to tell me she’d merged with the net, crossed over for good.”

In “Winter Market,” Lise creates something astoundingly beautiful and Max sees her for who she is when no one else does. I love the story. I thought I loved it because of what it said about art and dedication and rage; because of the connection between two people; because of how angry Lise was whenever anyone looked at her with anything approaching pity.

Lise is better than Deenie too.

But, as I said above, Lise is already gone by the time “Winter Market” begins, and my love for Gibson’s story has grown more complex and layered.

Lately, I’ve been arguing with Gibson in my head about Lise. (And, to a lesser extent, with McCaffrey about Helva.) Because Lise is a prop for “Winter Market.” She’s gone, and what she’s left behind and what she’s become are not Lise any more, in the narrator’s eyes especially. Because her tech cage failed her, maybe. Because her meat cage failed her too, probably. Because her mind needed to escape all that she was in order to fulfill what she was capable of.

I’m arguing about that now for a lot of reasons. First, because I can’t get out of my cage—none of us can—and second because I do not want to be gone. I want a world that lets me live, and love, and create, and be me, with whatever braces or tech I need. One that doesn’t stand in my way or expect me to disappear in one flaming act of creation. Gibson’s and McCaffrey’s stories helped me understand this, in their own ways.

So when I write characters like Djonn in Cloudbound and Horizon, or Lane in “Happenstance,” a short story coming out this summer in the FutureScapes anthology, I write them uncaged, even as I give them braces and tech to help support them. The cage I’m talking about is the story’s definition of who they are—where Lise is at one point garbage and the hole she leaves in the story, where Helva cannot be at all, unless her parents make her a ship. Djonn and Lane and others aren’t defined by their bodies and limitations; they have the tools to do their jobs and live their lives.

Sometimes people don’t notice my characters have disabilities because these characters are too busy living their lives.

I’m really very fine with that. I’m busy living my life too.

Even when the meatcage goes thunk.

_____
*And has been beautifully explored by readers and academics including Dr. Ria Cheyne, in “She was born a Thing, Disability, The Cyborg, and the Posthuman (Journal of Mondern Literature 36.3)”

***

Fran Wilde is the author of the Andre Norton- and Compton Crook Award-winning, Nebula-nominated novel UPDRAFT (Tor 2015), its sequels, CLOUDBOUND (2016) and HORIZON (2017), and the Nebula- and Hugo-nominated novelette “The Jewel and Her Lapidary” (Tor.com Publishing 2016). Her short stories appear in Asimov’s, Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature, and the 2017 Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. She writes for publications including The Washington Post, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, iO9.com, and GeekMom.com. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and at franwilde.net.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



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          M42, Great Orion Nebula        


          The Baby Eagle nebula, Barnard 207        


Selline lahe kotkapoeg lendleb seal taevas, näha on seda äärmiselt tuhmi udu vaid tänu pildistamisele. Asukohaks Taurus, Plejaadide külje all! Säriaeg läbi kõigi filtrite oli 15 tundi, pildistamisele kulus 4 ööd!

          The Heart nebula        

Südamekujuline udukogu Kassiopeias. Säriaeg üle 7 tunni läbi kõigi värvifiltrite.

          Jak zrobić kulkę z koralików? Modne kolczyki z chwostami        
jak zrobić kulkę z koralików

Razem z Edytą Rogowską zapraszamy Was na kurs tworzenia biżuterii, w którym pokażemy jak zrobić kulkę z koralików i modne kolczyki z chwostami. Kulki wypleciemy z trochę większych koralików niż maleńkie TOHO, ale one też się w kursie pojawią. W prosty sposób stworzymy naprawdę modne i efektowne kolczyki. Do dzieła! Materiały potrzebne do wykonania kolczyków: Koraliki TOHO – w rozmiarze 15/0 (Opaque-Lustered / Pale Blue) i 11/0 (Frosted Metallic / Nebula) Koraliki – u nas są to koraliki Seastar Satin w rozmiarze 4mm (16 sztuk) i 6mm (8sztuk) w kolorze lodowego błękitu. Chwosty – 2 chwosty wielkości 70mm. W niebieskich

Dalej

Artykuł Jak zrobić kulkę z koralików? Modne kolczyki z chwostami pochodzi z serwisu Pasart Blog.


          Comment on Totally Nebular – Boat Boat by The Dollar Casual        
Having given this FreEP a couple good listen-throughs, I will admit I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I would hesitate to put it in its own category. Although they pull off their performance with a considerable amount of compositional virtuosity, they seem to be drawing a lot on the upbeat, eccentric indie-pop sound of groups like Architecture in Helsinki and (sometimes) Animal Collective. If there is one criticism to be made against Totally Nebular, surely it's a lack of originality. A fun listen, for sure, and well-done for that matter, but I doubt I'll be spending money on any of their albums until they come out with something I haven't already heard before.
          YSO FAQ        

Here we hope to answer some of the questions observers ask about YSOs. If there is anything that isn't covered in the points below, why not drop me an email?

What is the T Tauri Wind?

Comparisons are often made between how stars grow and how humans grow. Thinking of YSOs as baby stars, it's tempting to say that stars suffer from wind as well! But it's nothing to do with flatulence. It seems that it's an integral part of the star formation process. What happens is that as the star draws down gas from the accretion disc it grows to a point where pressure causes the star to 'turn on' by fusing Hydrogen. The radiation pressure blows a great deal of the star's mass out of its poles (the points of least resistance) and this is the T Tauri wind. These jets escape in the form of 3-dimensional fans (right) which is why many YSOs appear to be attended by fan-shaped nebulae; the nebula is not actually that shape, it's just that parts of it are being illuminated by the 'T Tauri fans' which take various forms depending on how they are presented to us. T Tauri winds lead nicely into the next question...

What's a Herbig-Haro Object?

The polar jets aren't content to rest on their laurels - they have interesting effects on the surrounding environment as well. The energetic material, and the radiation, blasts into the gas cloud from which the star formed, and can actually set off more star formation. These jets can be several light-years in length and many are visible to us. These are called Herbig-Haro Objects after the astronomers who first called attention to them. Sometimes we can see the whole thing - the dark disc (no longer hot enough to shine but still opaque enough to hide the actual star) the polar jets and an illuminated nebula. The picture here is the environment of DG Tau (we have a chart for it!) and the scale at bottom right is 200 AU, which gives you some idea of the size of the disc. Note how the brightness of the 'fans' falls off with distance. Here we are looking practically equator-on to the system. A google search for images of H-H objects will quickly demonstrate that they come in all shapes and sizes, since nearby stars - which may themselves be forming - can affect the shape of the jets.

Why should I observe them?

Lots of reasons:
They are interesting, and even exciting! Some show extremely rapid variations, every bit as rapid as U Gem stars, sometimes even more so.
Professional astronomers are interested in them. YSOs can provide most of the information about how planetary systems form, which naturally has implications for the search for exoplanets, life in the universe, and so on.

But aren't they faint and obscure? I've only got a 6" newtonian!

Some are, of course. But with your 6" scope you could observe some really interesting and active stars like CQ tau, RW Aur, YZ Cep and many others. AB Aurigae is visible with binoculars at all times!

 

 


          The YSO Zoo        

...and welcome to the Zoo!

Part of the reason why a YSO section is needed is to try and make some sense of how the different types of variable star fit into some sort of scheme. Should we view the various types as distinct, or should we look at behaviour instead? Pursuing the zoo theme for a while, how do the various types of YSO fit into the interstellar ecosystem?

Even today, there is no one single way of even categorising these stars. The GCVS continues to adopt a rather confusing arrangement for its "I" stars, with a variety of modifying suffixes (IN, INB, INAS etc) which do not seem to be based on physical criteria, though to be fair, the GCVS is just that - a catalogue, not an astrophysical treatise. Any taxonomical system, whether it deals with stars or plants or anything else, should be a guide to what things are, not what they look like. Previously these stars were lumped together as 'Nebular Variables' which were then divided into T Orionis, RW Aurigae and T Tauri stars. This rather older system may be closer to what we are looking for, as it does seem to be based on physical processes, as well as introducing a threefold classification which we will adopt here, even though it isn't the same threefold classification. In fact you've already met it in the "what and why" pages. It's the I-II-III system which is being increasingly used in the professional community, and was devised by our very own Prof. Bill Herbst! It's a good system for AAVSO observers, as it is, to a large extent, relevant to the actual light variations that we observe.
to add to the taxonomic confusion, there is a different I-II-III system (actually a 0-I-II-III system!) which works in an inverse way to Bill's. Whilst this system may in some ways adhere closer to the physical processes going on in each type, we shall use the Herbst system here for reasons of straightforwardness (and flattery).
Type I, as we saw, is given over to stars where there is no circumstellar disc and the variations are usually quite small and show some periodicity due to the bright and dark spots on their surfaces reappearing as the star rotates. Type II stars have a disc present and show greater amplitudes as well as increased irregularity. Both these types are included under the T Tauri banner. Type III show occasional dips in brightness due to obscuration by mass concentrations in the disc. There may be traces of a period visible here, such as the recently-discovered interesting star V730 Cep. These stars are called UX Orionis stars, or UXORs.

So far, we have been considering stars whose masses are broadly similar to the Sun's. There is a good reason for this, in that most stars have masses of roughly the same size, between 0.1 and 10 times solar. However, there are of course more massive stars out there, and these are represented by the Herbig A and B stars. Since these objects have prominent emission lines in their spectra, they are usually called HAEBE stars, and they are the higher-mass counterparts of their more modest T Tauri cousins. A well-known HAEBE star is R Mon (right) which was incidentally the first object photographed with the famous 200-inch telescope on Mount Palomar. Many of these stars illuminate small fan-shaped nebulae. That's not because there happen to be a lot of nebulae of this shape; the real reason is more interesting. To find out why, go to the YSOFAQ page! 
HAEBE stars, like the UXORs, are surrounded by gas shells or discs and so are very important from the point of view of the formation of planetary systems. Many, such as R Mon, are observationally difficult to estimate because they are still swathed in nebulae, which they often illuminate. Sometimes - as in the case of R Mon - the nebulae appear to vary along with the star.

Occasionally, the circumstellar disc can initiate a more drastic, but also more gradual, change in the brightness of the system. In the FU Orionis and EX Lupi stars (FUORs and EXORs - EXORs are FUORs writ smaller) it is thought that this surge may be due to the system drawing in gas from the surrounding cloud and igniting it, either in the disc itself or on the surface of the star. The central stars of FUOR systems seem to be 'regular' T Tauri stars - indeed the FUOR V1057 Cyg (in the North America Nebula) used to be classed as a T Tauri star. It is likely that FUORs represent a stage in the star formation process, and it is believed that the brightness surges may be periodic. It's just that we haven't been around long enough to witness more than one eruption on the same star! This may go some way to explaining why these stars are so rare; although another good reason is that until recently, we haven't been watching out for them. It is quite telling that even over the past year, two or three new stars of this type have been discovered. In fact, we are shortly going to begin a campaign ourselves to try and find an erupting FUOR. If you'll pardon the pun, watch this space!

 

 

 


          Principal Research Scientist Herman Marshal, MIT Kavli Institute: "The Future of X-ray Polarimetry in Astronomy"        

I will present several projects to measure the X-ray polarizations of astronomical sources over the next 5-10 years. Previous observations were obtained in the 1970s for bright Galactic sources such as X-ray binaries and the Crab Nebula using a Bragg reflection from graphite crystals, limiting the measurements to 2.6 and 5.2 keV. Recently, a few detections have been reported using Compton scattering at hard X-rays. A newly approved NASA mission is the Imaging X-ray Polarization Explorer (IXPE). It would operate in the 2-8 keV range and is expected to launch in late 2020. It has an imaging capability, with a resolution of about a half arc-minute, and should detect X-ray polarizations as low as 1-5 percent for a dozen or more active galaxies, supernova remnants, neutron stars, and X-ray binaries during a mission lifetime of a few years. I will describe the instrument and a few of the science goals. I will also describe a design for a sounding rocket based polarimeter to work in the 0.2-0.6 keV band. The method uses gratings developed at MIT and multilayer coated mirrors. Potential targets include active galaxies, isolated neutron stars, and nearby black hole binaries in outburst. The configuration is extensible to orbital use, possibly to be combined with other instruments to provide a bandpass from 0.2 to 50 keV.


          Estiramiento. Tercer Finalista XXIX Concurso Fotográfico Dia Mundial del Medio Ambiente.        
Fotografía premiada como tercer finalista del XXIX Concurso fotográfico del "Dia Mundial del Medio Ambiente", Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Andalucía.

Archibebe Claro (Tringa nebularia).


Espero que os guste.
          NEUROMANCER by William Gibson        
One of the rare books to wear the coveted triple-crown of science-fiction, winning all three major prizes in the genre (the Hugo, Phillip K. Dick, Nebula awards), as well as being included on Time Magazine’s 1995 list, “All TIME 100 Best Novels," it isn’t hyperbolic to claim that William Gibson’s 1983 classic, NEUROMANCER, is a must-read in our world of ubiquitous WI-FI, 24-hour connectedness, and the Blue Brain reverse engineering project, a world in which a recent Time magazine cover claimed The Singularity would be upon is in less than 40 years.
          My Romance with Sun        
With a great new year fun and celebration behind us the focus pretty much shifted to the great eclipse of 2010.Everything about this was unknown considering these facts:

• Last viewed in 1965, among India’s sizable population most of the generations may not even had seen or heard about a concept of annular eclipse.
• Predicted to be millennium’s longest eclipse, in short; once in 1000 years, how lucky our mankind is!
• You will see a ring of fire and not diamond ring, which you are typically taught in school.

Quite a few common interest groups, started putting up plans for what was billed as a biggest spectacle of our generation (at least for crazy amateur astronomers like us).We got head start form travel perspective when i had my close friend/Astro guru Naveen, offering to hitch a drive to Rameshwaram or Kanyakumari.

Naveen’s brand new innova

The only reason Naveen used his new Toyota Innova more prior to our journey, was to make sure his new car clocks at least first 1000Kms, so that he can get his car a first service and then hit the long highway to the tip of India. He pretty much succeeded in doing so and was told by service center that hitting top speed was no issue for his kind of Car . With a service done and a brand new car we were set for our date with sun.

Rameshwaram or Kanyakumari

Few members from BAS who had gone to rameshwaram to carry out some ground work sounded an alert that because of an impending visit of Governor and Maha Amavasya the whole town would be flooded with devotees and hence no accommodation was possible, besides our expensive equipments would probably be run over. The scare put off the Rameshwaram trip and altered our plan to target Kanyakumari.We took a last minute decision on 13th night that we will go to Kanyakumari.

Driving down to Madurai enroot Kanyakumari (450+KMS)

With Naveen assuring the other six(Me and my wife Viji,Sunil and his wife Punita, Astro Sunil and Kiran) of us that he would drive safely during night, even if everyone was asleep, we started our journey. We picked up the remaining friends at silk board and hit the highway at 11.00PM towards Madurai, with some of us sleeping on and off we continued our night journey at a decent phase. Naveen let me drive only the last 120 kms when he felt sleepy, its only after he gave me his car to drive, I told him i was driving Innova for the first time and also another important fact that, this was my first night drive on a highway. It pretty much scared all of the members in the car, but slowly as they gain confidence each one of them slept off again one by one. When Naveen fell off to sleep I broke the promise of 80kms speed limit and hit the pedal to 110 to 120kms per hour speed. It was personally fun for me and a very responsible drive considering 6 more lives were in my hand, also the beautiful night sky, I felt all alone that night, but enjoyed every moment. With quick drive we reached outskirts of Madurai at about 5.00 AM. I found a nearest petrol station we parked and put up some sleep before we could wake up an uncle in Madurai who was to host us.

We woke up the uncle and reached his house at 8:30AM, everyone freshened up and we discussed our plans to Kanyakumari, settled with a nice breakfast quickly followed by a lunch we were again set for a further 250 Kms drive to Kanyakumari.

Evening, Sunset, Night & UFO @ Kanyakumari

We reached Kanyakumari just in time to make sure that we don’t miss out the famous sunset .Having reached the famous sun set point we settled down on few rocks to unwind ourselves setting up our equipments ranging from telescope to camera.

Eclipse Hunters Group (Me, Astro Sunil, Kiran, Naveen (BAS VP), Sunil G R, Punita, Viji)

My first thought when I looked at the sea was an emotional one ,having travelled 750+kms here I was looking at a place where 3 seas meet ,a horizon that gives a sense of earth’s shape ,a tall Swami Vivekanda, and Mary. One place where you see nature, history and religion meet, it shows a unique cultural diversity of this wonderful nation called INDIA.

While Sunset put an everlasting impression on me, there were new things in store for us.

Sunset @ Kanyakumari

Just after sunset my next curiosity shifted to waiting for a night sky so that I can look out on stars and checkout on few constellations .Just in a middle of Blue and Red sky after sunset as I looked into sky, saw a bright white object having lost a geographical and analytical sense. I asked my friends if that was Venus or Jupiter. Blunt came the answer when Naveen said its neither Star nor Planet, in simple terms he said I don’t know at that time of the day neither was a planet or a star was supposed to be there at that place in the sky. We quickly pointed our telescope and cameras to check out what I was on close observation we ruled out Planet, Star, Satellite, experimental balloon and Space station.

An unidentified object had a black band and a conical shape and the bottom eventually after some time it changed its colour to red and finally disappeared into sky, the object remained mystery for all of us. We called it UFO simply because we could not account for it.
 
UFO @ Kanyakumari

Having gone through a strange unexplained phenomena I got my senses right and pointed my camera to the real Jupiter which was rising, I captured the moment with Sea and Mary in the background.

3 Seas, Mary & Jupiter

With time running out we had to head back to Nagercoil, one more Uncle and Aunty were to host us for a night stay , I stole few moments to shoot a clear night sky milky way which was clearly visible ,we saw Orion Nebula through our binoculars.

Night Sky @ Kanyakumari

At the risk of not sounding racist and with all due respect to my fellow Tamilians finding our night stay destination turned out to be one of the funniest experience. I had deep pain in my jaws simply because I laughed so much, I thought a little more, I would end up learning Tamil.

It so happened when we started asking for directions of a particular place, every soul we met, ended up saying “Nera po” I mean every soul said the same words, nera po, nera po. We went so much nera, that we took about an hour and half to reach the destination. Nera po became the most used word; even we started to advice the same to others. We realized later we were in a place where except Tamil no language was known. Tired we, reached our host place and hit the bed. Our next race was to get Kanyakumari back early morning before 5:30AM to catch the sun rise.

Early morning @ Kanyakumari

With everyone eager to see sunrise we got up early at 4.00 AM had a quick bath and headed to kanyakumari.The sight of devotees dipping in seas and heading to temple was one of the finest view I could sum up early morning before sun rise.

Just before Sunrise @ Kanyakumari

With the sun taking more than expected time we realized that nature denied us the exact time of sunrise still when cloud broke away we got the view of the sun that left us spell bound and speech less

Finally catching a glimpse of sunrise

With a sunrise behind us, we decided to unwind ourselves on the rocks, for a moment I forgot I was grown up and went back to childhood days pulling each other’s legs it was some great fun to remember


4 idiots a warmup before serious astrophotopraphy
 

Equipment calibration

Let the show begin-time for serious observation

It was time for us to have a quick breakfast and settle our equipments in time for observations, accordingly our group split into 2 groups one who wanted to reach Vivekananda rock and carry out observations, the other hold on to a solid and undisturbed place to setup telescope and cameras on a tripod.

9.45AM to 10:15AM

Naveen signals to run back to car, parked at sunset point to setup our equipment for some strange reason, we thought first touch on sun will happen at 10.15 AM, so we started our walk back from Kanyakumari Temple to avoid huge crowd we took the longest route possible, last few 100 meters Naveen literally starts running, me and my wife walked, still both of us reached the spot on time at around 10:15 AM

10:15AM to 11:14AM Equipment setup and Mylar filter

After realizing that we had about an hour to setup gears we sat down on the task to setup, 3 cameras and a telescope. We had to protect our lenses, Naveen who was carrying a Mylar filter sheet made a first move to cut them onto 4 pieces. Our effort to put filters on to our equipments showed us just how un prepared we were in a run up to the eclipse ,here we were having reached the tip of India and were above to witness an event of lifetime and in spite of all the technology enhancements we were exposed with total un preparedness. What we did over next one hour was innovation at its best, and a big thanks to my wife who showed a wonderful presence of mind to come up with innovative ideas to fix filter sheet to our cameras and telescope. What she essentially did was find a used ice cream cups, cut them and used one end to paste the filter and the other just plug to camera lens ,she used her lip gloss as a sticker initially and a car driver nearby finally gave a feviquick which finally sealed the filter. One by one all the cameras and telescopes finally had a protected eyes to them in form of filter.

The first test of my Mylar cap which my wife was holding on to my camera worked well

Mylar Filter Test
 
11:14 AM first contact

Our tired legs meant that we chose to relax a bit after getting our filters going; we gave a first contact a miss and aimed a little later to come with a shot which boosted my confidence to get going on the rest of the eclipse.


From this point onwards I let my camera and images do the talking,






Naveen warns and says to get ready and focus, we are almost close and failure is not an option at this stage. I freeze briefly at the moment and the gravity of the whole situation, my camera simply refuses to focus the sun rightly, my heart beat shoots up.

I let go a deep breath, a passing cloud a big one threatens to ruin a show ever further ,I close my eyes and pray to god and nature, to spare the sun for next few minutes ,as I closed my eyes I had my eyes fully moist ,I just hope I never miss this event.

As I opened my eyes the monster cloud passed by, I had few more seconds left to get my focus on my camera, once more, god seemed to have answered both of my wishes by clearing cloud and getting my camera focused. I was now on my own to shoot (my wife still holding Mylar filter on my camera lens in a hot sunlight).

Faint touch to ring of fire


Again from here on let my camera and its images do the talking

Next 10 minutes of nirvana










After this shot I was pretty much resigned to a fact that nice things in life do come to an end after all.I stopped taking further shots and started looking around on the ground.

I stopped by to take a snap to capture our own setup


Naveen came very close of burning his retina when accidently a heavy blow of wind blew the filter on the telescope to expose his eyes to magnified direct sunlight.

A curious family came visiting us and trying to learn what we were upto.




My tired legs gave away finally


                                                                             Naveen & Viji
My final thoughts

About 3 PM where things finally came to an end my mind pretty much recalled what I went through, I consider myself very lucky to have been born at this moment of my time ,I recall my facts

Kanyakumari’ s date with next annular eclipse will be 3048 I am not even sure if humanity would exist around that time, the totality lasted for a full 10min allowing an amateur like me to experiment and keep shooting with various settings on my camera ,those 10min gave me enough time to learn the art of annular photography, I was blessed, god gave me full 10min to learn from my mistakes and get it right, next time anyone wants 10min they need to wait at least 1000 years . Am I not lucky to be in right year within a span on 1000years?

I keep repeating all over again, I am privileged to look at eclipse from the southernmost tip of India and that too at a point where 3 seas meet.

I prepared to windup my equipments very well knowing I may not be around next time to witness an event of such a magnitude, would personally thank Naveen my friend and astro guru for pushing me to undertake this journey, My wife who not only accompanied me but stood there for a good 4 hours during the eclipse to hold my camera filter. Looks like she has developed an interest in astronomy.

What I also gained immensely was apart from my good friend Naveen, i found few more like minded friends in form of Sunil, Punita, Astro Sunil, and Kiran.

On our return we almost had a withdrawal syndrome of sorts when the entire group was missing each other, we now call ourselves “Eclipse Hunters Group”, and I personally hope to carry our close group to newer heights in amateur astronomy, we catch each other on chat.

Special thanks to Bharath my HR who taught me basics of photography.

BAS (Bangalore Astronomical Society) has in a sense giving a whole new meaning to my hobbies that I used to keep it for myself being explored out in the open with fellow mates.

Lastly thanks Byju who finally said me one day that I was better off to join BAS. I know you would always be there to keep my interests in science and astronomy in particular alive.

God I am sounding like I am giving a thanks giving acceptance speech at the award ceremony ……

Bye for now ……….
          'Are We Alone?' Churchill Concludes It's Likely Life Circles Other Suns        
We keep on learning from great lives. On Oct. 16, 1939, just weeks after Germany invaded Poland and Britain was at war, Winston Churchill, who had warned of Germany's wicked and avaricious ambitions, was called out of political isolation to become First Lord of the Admiralty and drafted an essay in which he asked, perhaps himself as much as anyone who would read it, "Are We Alone in the Universe?" The National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Mo., has found a copy of those 11 pages that were apparently given to the museum in the 1980s, and recently rediscovered. It may have been drafted for the old Sunday newspaper, News of the World. The world was engulfed by the war he had foreseen, and would do so much to win. Despite or perhaps because of it, in the fall of 1939, Churchill turned his thoughts to the possibility of other worlds. "I am not sufficiently conceited to think that my sun is the only one with a family of planets," he wrote. "With hundreds of thousands of nebulae, each
          Nebuló kenőfejes papír ragasztó 45g - Jelenlegi ára: 199 Ft        
Nebuló kenőfejes papír ragasztó 45gTermék azonosító:  202221Leírás :
Kenőfejes papír ragasztó, iskolafelszerelés fontos kelléke, nem hiányozhat a technikaórákról. Papír dekorációkhoz kedvelt ragasztási eszköz. 45g-os kiszerelésben kapható.
Műszaki adatok :
Befoglaló mérete: 3x12x cm
Méret: 45gr
Súly: 60 g
Anyaga: vegyszer, műanyag
Szín: átlátszó
InformációVásárlás után, csomagját összekészítjük és
küldjük az utaláshoz szükséges adatokat . Szállítási időKészlettől függően 2 munkanap!
Elsőbbséggel 1 munkanap! Szállítási díjakKézbesítés: 1290 Ft
Kézbesítés elsőbbséggel 1490 Ft
(megrendelésenként, nem termékenként)!
24990 Ft feletti megrendelés esetén Ingyenes a szállítás!
- Fizetés előre utalással lehetséges. -Fizetési módokÁtutalásSzemélyes
Nebuló kenőfejes papír ragasztó 45g
Jelenlegi ára: 199 Ft
Az aukció vége: 2099-01-01 00:00
          Geoffrey Landis to Be Guest Instructor at 2012 Launchpad        
Geoffrey Landis, award winning author and NASA scientist, will be teaching at the Launchpad astronomy workshop in July 2012. Landis’s novel Mars Crossing won the 2001 Locus Award for Best First Novel, and his short fiction has received Nebula and Hugo awards. Applications for Launchpad will open on March 1, 2012. The workshop will last one week, […]
          How To Buy Hip Hop Beats For Sale On The Internet Things To Know Before You Buy        
It has become ever so popular for independent recording artists and producers to buy and sell beats online. With this trend comes a lot of traffic from inexperienced artists trying to buy beats online. An inexperienced buyer will easily over pay for a beat online. This article was written from personal experience in hopes of giving some insight, not as a hard set of rules to follow, but a guide. Listed below are things beat buyers should know and understand when buying beats online.





Understand The INTRINSIC Value Of Hip Hop Beats And Rap Beats





You can't touch, bend, break, fold, or smell rap beats. For that matter, you can't even see them, yet in the music industry, we see them being sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Oh ... but you can hear and fell vibrations from beats, can't you. This kind of makes music like the wind, so I guess it's fair to say the music industry is selling "air"... not really, but hopefully you get my point. It's not the price of the beat but the producer or person you are buying it from.





The actual value of a beat or music is based on an underlying perception of its true value, perception being the keyword. Don't rip yourself off by buying a beat online for $500 if the producer has no credibility or his or her image and stature in the music industry doesn't give value to your demo or album sales. Look at what Brittany Spears did on her latest album, take note of the album credits and all the popular "Producer Powers" employed, essentially playing a major part in her attempt to revive her career.





Some Internet Beat Pricing Standards And Averages





The average rate on the Internet for a "Non-Exclusive" beat license is $0 - $75. With this type of license you are essentially leasing or renting the beat for a given amount of time or copies. The average for an "Exclusive" beat license is from around $75 - $250. This type of license gives you full ownership of the beat, as if you created it yourself. More popularly noted as "work for hire". Note: Some exclusive licenses may restrict resale.





Try To Contact The Producer Before You Buy





To get the most for your money, and protect yourself from "beat-jackers" (people who steal other peoples beats and resell them) try to contact the producer first to see if he or she is responsive, email or PM seems to be the best method. Don't just buy beats from "Joe Blow" without making some kind of contact first. Trust me, real beat makers who are truly vested in their craft make themselves available and they'll be happy to hear from you (it builds their ego) and will more than likely work a deal out with you if you buy more than one beat from them. If a seller takes more than two days to respond, keep it moving. There are literally thousands of other producers who will stop at the drop of a hat to make a $20 sale in hopes of repeat business and a little recognition. Try starting off with producers that you see are already selling beats to others on the net or have their beats rated high or "Hot". Obviously they are doing something right and they are more than likely satisfying other beat buyers needs.





Get It In Writing





When you buy beats online, make sure there is some type of printable licensing agreement associated with the beat you buy. A licensing agreement/contract will explain the rights you have with the beats and the terms under which you may use the beat.





Cheap Exclusive Beat





Cheap exclusive beats are the best deals to get but there are very few producers out there who are willing to sell you an exclusive beat from $20 to $40. Check out thebeattrader.com for some of those type deals. There are not a lot of producers on that site and understandably so, but the site became very popular for selling low priced exclusive beats a few years ago.





Cheap Non-Exclusive Beats





The next best thing is a low priced non-exclusive. Remember, the catch with non-exclusive beats is that the beat may have been sold several other times before you buy it, so if you are looking for fresh music, make a list of the producers you like on a site and watch their profiles. Good experienced online producers know to cycle out old beats and update their profiles with new beats at least every 2-3 days.





I'd say a fair price to pay for a non-exclusive beat is about $20. There is an abundant amount of producers selling beats online right now who would fight for your business. Online producers are almost a dime a dozen so it's really easy nowadays to get unique music for your mix-tape, demo, or album at and very affordable price.





For reference, BeatSwagger.com is one of the best sites to buy beats on. The site has very affordable beats, fast transactions and its easy to use. You basically click, buy, and download your beat instantly from a secured link sent to the e-mail address of your choosing. Plus, you can also instantly download a printable licensing agreement after you buy beats. The site prides itself in its more mature, seasoned music producers and beat makers. The majority of these producers are serious about selling beats and are easy to work with. They typically have the Gold or Platinum Membership.





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          Vivekananda To Chennai Disciples        

(This post is my longest yet. But, the contents will make you glide through it with total absorption. Such is Swamy Vivekananda's forceful language. Whoever of you wants a clear idea of what Hinduism represents, this is the answer. As a Tamil disciple I am proud that Swamy chose to write to Chennaiites, who begged from house to house to raise money for Swamiji's travel. And that travel was the turning point in nineteenth century India in projecting Hinduism as the greatest , the fountainhead of all later religious thoughts.)

REPLY TO THE MADRAS ADDRESS

(When the success of the Swami in America became well known in India, several meetings were held and addresses of thanks and congratulations were forwarded to him. The first reply which he wrote was that to the Address of the Hindus of Madras.)

http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_1/vol_1_frame.htm

FRIENDS, FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN AND CO-RELIGIONISTS OF MADRAS,


It is most gratifying to me to find that my insignificant service to the cause of our religion has been accept able to you, not because it is as a personal appreciation of me and my work in a foreign and distant land, but as a sure sign that, though whirlwind after whirlwind of foreign invasion has passed over the devoted head of India, though centuries of neglect on our part and contempt on the part of our conquerors have visibly dimmed the glories of ancient Âryâvarta, though many a stately column on which it rested, many a beautiful arch, and many a marvellous corner have been washed away by the inundations that deluged the land for centuries — the centre is all sound, the keystone is unimpaired. The spiritual foundation upon which the marvellous monument of glory to God and charity to all beings has been reared stands unshaken, strong as ever. Your generous appreciation of Him whose message to India and to the whole world, I, the most unworthy of His servants, had the privilege to bear shows your innate spiritual instinct which saw in Him and His message the first murmurs of that tidal wave of spirituality which is destined at no distant future to break upon India in all its irresistible powers, carrying away in its omnipotent flood all that is weak and defective, and raising the Hindu race to the platform it is destined to occupy in the providence of God, crowned with more glory than it ever had even in the past, the reward of centuries of silent suffering, and fulfilling its mission amongst the races of the world — the evolution of spiritual humanity.

The people of Northern India are especially grateful to you of the South, as the great source to which most of the impulses that are working in India today can be traced. The great Bhâshyakâras, epoch-making Âchâryas, Shankara, Râmânuja, and Madhva were born in Southern India. Great Shankara to whom every Advâitavâdin in the world owes allegiance; great Ramanuja whose heavenly touch converted the downtrodden pariahs into Âlwârs; great Madhva whose leadership was recognised even by the followers of the only Northern Prophet whose power has been felt all over the length and breadth of India — Shri Krishna Chaitanya. Even at the present day it is the South that carries the palm in the glories of Varanasi — your renunciation controls the sacred shrines on the farthest peaks of the Himalayas, and what wonder that with the blood of Prophets running in your veins, with your lives blessed by such Acharyas, you are the first and foremost to appreciate and hold on to the message of Bhagavân Shri Ramakrishna.

The South had been the repository of Vedic learning, and you will understand me when I state that, in spite of the reiterated assertions of aggressive ignorance, it is the Shruti still that is the backbone of all the different divisions of the Hindu religion.

However great may be the merits of the Samhitâ and the Brâhmana portions of the Vedas to the ethnologists or the philologists, however desirable may be the results that the * or * or * in conjunction with the different Vedis (altars) and sacrifices and libations produce — it was all in the way of Bhoga; and no one ever contended that it could produce Moksha. As such, the Jnâna-Kânda, the Âranyakas, the Shrutis par excellence which teach the way to spirituality, the Moksha-Mârga, have always ruled and will always rule in India.

Lost in the mazes and divisions of the "Religion Eternal", by prepossession and prejudice unable to grasp the meaning of the only religion whose universal adaptation is the exact shadow of the (Smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest (Katha, II. 20)) God it preaches, groping in the dark with a standard of spiritual truth borrowed second-hand from nations who never knew anything but rank materialism, the modern young Hindu struggles in vain to understand the religion of his forefathers, and gives up the quest altogether, and becomes a hopeless wreck of an agnostic, or else, unable to vegetate on account of the promptings of his innate religious nature, drinks carelessly of some of those different decoctions of Western materialism with an Eastern flavour, and thus fulfils the prophecy of the Shruti:

— "Fools go staggering to and fro, like blind men led by the blind." They alone escape whose spiritual nature has been touched and vivified by the life-giving touch of the "Sad-Guru". (The good teacher.)

Well has it been said by Bhagavan Bhashyakara:

— "These three are difficult to obtain in this world, and depend on the mercy of the gods — the human birth, the desire for salvation, and the company of the great-souled ones."

Either in the sharp analysis of the Vaisheshikas, resulting in the wonderful theories about the Paramânus, Dvyanus, and Trasarenus, (Atoms, Entities composed of two atoms, Entities composed of three atoms.) or the still more wonderful analysis displayed in the discussions of the Jâti, Dravya, Guna, Samavâya, (Genus, Substance, Quality, Inhesion or Inseparability.) and to the various categories of the Naiyâyikas, rising to the solemn march of the thought of the Sânkhyas, the fathers of the theories of evolution, ending with the ripe fruit, the result of all these researches, the Sutras of Vyâsa — the one background to all these different analyses and syntheses of the human mind is still the Shrutis. Even in the philosophical writings of the Buddhists or Jains, the help of Shrutis is never rejected, and at least in some of the Buddhistic schools and in the majority of the Jain writings, the authority of the Shrutis is fully admitted, excepting what they call the Himsaka Shrutis, which they hold to be interpolations of the Brahmins. In recent times, such a view has been held by the late great Swami Dayânanda Saraswati.

If one be asked to point out the system of thought towards which as a centre all the ancient and modern Indian thoughts have converged, if one wants to see the real backbone of Hinduism in all its various manifestations, the Sutras of Vyasa will unquestionably be pointed out as constituting all that.

Either one hears the Advaita-Keshari roaring in peals of thunder — the Asti, Bhâti, and Priya — (Exists (Sat), Shines (Chit), Is beloved (Ânanda) — the three indicatives of Brahman.) amidst the heart-stopping solemnities of the Himalayan forests, mixing with the solemn cadence of the river of heaven, or listens to the cooing of the Piyâ, Pitam in the beautiful bowers of the grove of Vrindâ: whether one mingles with the sedate meditations of the monasteries of Varanasi or the ecstatic dances of the followers of the Prophet of Nadia; whether one sits at the feet of the teacher of the Vishishtâdvaita system with its Vadakale, Tenkale, (The two divisions of the Ramanuja sect.) and all the other subdivisions, or listens with reverence to the Acharyas of the Mâdhva school; whether one hears the martial "Wâ Guruki Fateh" (Victory to the Guru) of the secular Sikhs or the sermons on the Grantha Sâhib of the Udâsis and Nirmalâs; whether he salutes the Sannyâsin disciples of Kabir with "Sat Sâhib" and listens with joy to the Sâkhis (Bhajans); whether he pores upon the wonderful lore of that reformer of Rajputana, Dâdu, or the works of his royal disciple, Sundaradâsa, down to the great Nishchaladâsa, the celebrated author of Vichâra sâgara, which book has more influence in India than any that has been written in any language within the last three centuries; if even one asks the Bhangi Mehtar of Northern India to sit down and give an account of the teachings of his Lâlguru — one will find that all these various teachers and schools have as their basis that system whose authority is the Shruti, Gitâ its divine commentary, the Shâriraka-Sutras its organised system, and all the different sects in India, from the Paramahamsa Parivrâjakâchâryas to the poor despised Mehtar disciples of Lâlguru, are different manifestations.

The three Prasthânas, ("Courses", viz, the Upanishad (Shruti), the Gita, and the Shariraka-Sutras.) then, in their different explanations as Dvaita, Vishishtadvaita, or Advaita, with a few minor recensions, form the "authorities" of the Hindu religion. The Purânas, the modern representations of the ancient Nârâsamsi (anecdote portion of the Vedas), supply the mythology, and the Tantras, the modern representations of the Brâhmanas (ritual and explanatory portion of the Vedas), supply the ritual. Thus the three Prasthanas, as authorities, are common to all the sects; but as to the Puranas and Tantras, each sect has its own.

The Tantras, as we have said, represent the Vedic rituals in a modified form; and before any one jumps into the most absurd conclusions about them, I will advise him to read the Tantras in conjunction with the Brahmanas, especially the Adhvaryu portion. And most of the Mantras, used in the Tantras, will be found taken verbatim from their Brahmanas. As to their influence, apart from the Shrauta and Smârta rituals, all the forms of the rituals in vogue from the Himalayas to the Comorin have been taken from the Tantras, and they direct the worship of the Shâkta, or Shaiva, or Vaishnava, and all the others alike.

Of course, I do not pretend that all the Hindus are thoroughly acquainted with these sources of their religion. Many, especially in lower Bengal, have not heard of the names of these sects and these great systems; but consciously or unconsciously, it is the plan laid down in the three Prasthanas that they are all working out.

Wherever, on the other hand, the Hindi language is spoken, even the lowest classes have more knowledge of the Vedantic religion than many of the highest in lower Bengal.

And why so?

Transported from the soil of Mithilâ to Navadvipa, nurtured and developed by the fostering genius of Shiromani, Gadâdhara, Jagadisha, and a host of other great names, an analysis of the laws of reasoning, in some points superior to every other system in the whole world, expressed in a wonderful and precise mosaic of language, stands the Nyâya of Bengal, respected and studied throughout the length and breadth of Hindusthân. But, alas, the Vedic study was sadly neglected, and until within the last few years, scarcely anyone could be found in Bengal to teach the Mahâbhâshya of Patanjali. Once only a mighty genius rose above the never-ending Avachchhinnas and Avachchhedakas (In Nyaya, 'Determined', and 'determining attribute'.) — Bhagavân Shri Krishna Chaitanya. For once the religious lethargy of Bengal was shaken, and for a time it entered into a communion with the religious life of other parts of India.

It is curious to note that though Shri Chaitanya obtained his Sannyâsa from a Bhârati, and as such was a Bharati himself, it was through Mâdhavendra Puri that his religious genius was first awakened.

The Puris seem to have a peculiar mission in rousing the spirituality of Bengal. Bhagavan Shri Ramakrishna got his Sannyâsâshrama from Totâ Puri.

The commentary that Shri Chaitanya wrote on the Vyâsa-Sutras has either been lost or not found yet. His disciples joined themselves to the Madhvas of the South, and gradually the mantles of such giants as Rupa and Sanâtana and Jiva Goswâmi fell on the shoulders of Bâbâjis, and the great movement of Shri Chaitanya was decaying fast, till of late years there is a sign of revival. Hope that it will regain its lost splendour.

The influence of Shri Chaitanya is all over India. Wherever the Bhakti-Mârga is known, there he is appreciated, studied, and worshipped. I have every reason to believe that the whole of the Vallabhâchârya recension is only a branch of the sect founded by Shri Chaitanya. But most of his so-called disciples in Bengal do not know how his power is still working all over India; and how can they? The disciples have become Gadiâns (Heads of monasteries), while he was preaching barefooted from door to door in India, begging Âchandâlas (all down to the lowest) to love God.

The curious and unorthodox custom of hereditary Gurus that prevails in Bengal, and for the most part in Bengal alone, is another cause of its being cut off from the religious life of the rest of India.

The greatest cause of all is that the life of Bengal never received an influx from that of the great brotherhood of Sannyasins who are the representatives and repositories of the highest Indian spiritual culture even at the present day.

Tyâga (renunciation) is never liked by the higher classes of Bengal. Their tendency is for Bhoga (enjoyment). How can they get a deep insight into spiritual things? — "By renunciation alone immortality was reached." How can it be otherwise?

On the other hand, throughout the Hindi-speaking world, a succession of brilliant Tyâgi teachers of far-reaching influence has brought the doctrines of the Vedanta to every door. Especially the impetus given to Tyaga during the reign of Ranjit Singh of the Punjab has made the highest teachings of the Vedantic philosophy available for the very lowest of the low. With true pride, the Punjabi peasant girl says that even her spinning wheel repeats: "Soham", "Soham". And I have seen Mehtar Tyagis in the forest of Hrishikesh wearing the garb of the Sannyasin, studying the Vedanta. And many a proud high-class man would be glad to sit at their feet and learn. And why not? — "Supreme knowledge (can be learnt) even from the man of low birth."

Thus it is that the North-West and the Punjab have a religious education which is far ahead of that of Bengal, Bombay, or Madras. The ever-travelling Tyagis of the various orders, Dashanâmis or Vairâgis or Panthis bring religion to everybody's door, and the cost is only a bit of bread. And how noble and disinterested most of them are! There is one Sannyasin belonging to the Kachu Panthis or independents (who do not identify themselves with any sect), who has been instrumental in the establishing of hundreds of schools and charitable asylums all over Rajputana. He has opened hospitals in forests, and thrown iron bridges over the gorges in the Himalayas, and this man never touches a coin with his hands, has no earthly possession except a blanket, which has given him the nickname of the "Blanket Swami", and begs his bread from door to door. I have never known him taking a whole dinner from one house, lest it should be a tax on the householder. And he is only one amongst many. Do you think that so long as these Gods on earth live in India and protect the "Religion Eternal" with the impenetrable rampart of such godly characters, the old religion will die?

In this country, (United States of America) the clergymen sometimes receive as high salaries as rupees thirty thousand, forty thousand, fifty thousand, even ninety thousand a year, for preaching two hours on Sunday only, and that only six months in a year. Look at the millions upon millions they spend for the support of their religion, and Young Bengal has been taught that these Godlike, absolutely unselfish men like Kambli-Swami are idle vagabonds. — "Those who are devoted to My worshippers are regarded as the best of devotees."

Take even an extreme case, that of an extremely ignorant Vairagi. Even he, when he goes into a village tries his best to impart to the villagers whatever he knows, from Tulasidâsa, or Chaitanya-Charitâmrita or the Âlwârs in Southern India. Is that not doing some good? And all this for only a bit of bread and a rag of cloth. Before unmercifully criticising them, think how much you do, my brother, for your poor fellow-countrymen, at whose expense you have got your education, and by grinding whose face you maintain your position and pay your teachers for teaching you that the Babajis are only vagabonds.

A few of your fellow-countrymen in Bengal have criticised what they call a new development of Hinduism. And well they may. For Hinduism is only just now penetrating into Bengal, where so long the whole idea of religion was a bundle of Deshâchâras (local customs) as to eating and drinking and marriage.

This short paper has not space for the discussion of such a big subject as to whether the view of Hinduism, which the disciples of Ramakrishna have been preaching all over India, was according to the "Sad-Shâstras" or not. But I will give a few hints to our critics, which may help them in understanding our position better.

In the first place, I never contended that a correct idea of Hinduism can be gathered from the writings of Kâshidâsa or Krittivâsa, though their words are "Amrita Samâna" (like nectar), and those that hear them are "Punyavâns" (virtuous). But we must go to Vedic and Dârshanika authorities, and to the great Acharyas and their disciples all over India.

If, brethren, you begin with the Sutras of Gautama, and read his theories about the Âptas (inspired) in the light of the commentaries of Vâtsyâyana, and go up to the Mimâmsakas with Shabara and other commentators, and find out what they say about the (supersensuous realisation), and who are Aptas, and whether every being can become an Apta or not, and that the proof of the Vedas is in their being the words of such Aptas if you have time to look into the introduction of Mahidhara to the Yajur-Veda, you will find a still more lucid discussion as to the Vedas being laws of the inner life of man, and as such they are eternal.

As to the eternity of creation — this doctrine is the corner-stone not only of the Hindu religion, but of the Buddhists and Jains also.

Now all the sects in India can be grouped roughly as following the Jnâna-Mârga or the Bhakti-Mârga. If you will kindly look into the introduction to the Shâriraka-Bhâshya of Shri Shankarâchârya, you will find there the Nirapekshatâ (transcendence) of Jnana is thoroughly discussed, and the conclusion is that realisation of Brahman or the attainment of Moksha do not depend upon ceremonial, creed, caste, colour, or doctrine. It will come to any being who has the four Sâdhanâs, which are the most perfect moral culture.

As to the Bhaktas, even Bengali critics know very well that some of their authorities even declared that caste or nationality or sex, or, as to that, even the human birth, was never necessary to Moksha. Bhakti is the one and only thing necessary.

Both Jnana and Bhakti are everywhere preached to be unconditioned, and as such there is not one authority who lays down the conditions of caste or creed or nationality in attaining Moksha. See the discussion on the Sutra of Vyâsa — * by Shankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva.

Go through all the Upanishads, and even in the Samhitas, nowhere you will find the limited ideas of Moksha which every other religion has. As to toleration, it is everywhere, even in the Samhita of the Adhvaryu Veda, in the third or fourth verse of the fortieth chapter, if my memory does not fail; it begins with *. This is running through everywhere. Was anybody persecuted in India for choosing his Ishta Devatâ, or becoming an atheist or agnostic even, so long as he obeyed the social regulations? Society may punish anybody by its disapprobation for breaking any of its regulations, but no man, the lowest Patita (fallen), is ever shut out from Moksha. You must not mix up the two together. As to that, in Malabar a Chandâla is not allowed to pass through the same street as a high-caste man, but let him become a Mohammedan or Christian, he will be immediately allowed to go anywhere; and this rule has prevailed in the dominion of a Hindu sovereign for centuries. It may be queer, but it shows the idea of toleration for other religions even in the most untoward circumstances.

The one idea the Hindu religions differ in from every other in the world, the one idea to express which the sages almost exhaust the vocabulary of the Sanskrit language, is that man must realise God even in this life. And the Advaita texts very logically add, "To know God is to become God."

And here comes as a necessary consequence the broadest and most glorious idea of inspiration — not only as asserted and declared by the Rishis of the Vedas, not only by Vidura and Dharmavyâdha and a number of others, but even the other day Nischaladâsa, a Tyagi of the Dâdu panthi sect, boldly declared in his Vichâra-Sâgara: "He who has known Brahman has become Brahman. His words are Vedas, and they will dispel the darkness of ignorance, either expressed in Sanskrit or any popular dialect."

Thus to realise God, the Brahman, as the Dvaitins say, or to become Brahman, as the Advaitins say — is the aim and end of the whole teaching of the Vedas; and every other teaching, therein contained, represents a stage in the course of our progress thereto. And the great glory of Bhagavan Bhashyakara Shankaracharya is that it was his genius that gave the most wonderful expression to the ideas of Vyasa.

As absolute, Brahman alone is true; as relative truth, all the different sects, standing upon different manifestations of the same Brahman, either in India or elsewhere, are true. Only some are higher than others. Suppose a man starts straight towards the sun. At every step of his journey he will see newer and newer visions of the sun — the size, the view, and light will every moment be new, until he reaches the real sun. He saw the sun at first like a big ball, and then it began to increase in size. The sun was never small like the ball he saw; nor was it ever like all the succession of suns he saw in his journey. Still is it not true that our traveller always saw the sun, and nothing but the sun? Similarly, all these various sects are true — some nearer, some farther off from the real sun which is our — "One without a second".

And as the Vedas are the only scriptures which teach this real absolute God, of which all other ideas of God are but minimised and limited visions; as the (The well-wisher to all the world.) Shruti takes the devotee gently by the hand, and leads him from one stage to another, through all the stages that are necessary for him to travel to reach the Absolute; and as all other religions represent one or other of these stages in an unprogressive and crystallized form, all the other religions of the world are included in the nameless, limitless, eternal Vedic religion.

Work hundreds of lives out, search every corner of your mind for ages — and still you will not find one noble religious idea that is not already imbedded in that infinite mine of spirituality.

As to the so-called Hindu idolatry — first go and learn the forms they are going through, and where it is that the worshippers are really worshipping, whether in the temple, in the image, or in the temple of their own bodies. First know for certain what they are doing — which more than ninety per cent of the revilers are thoroughly ignorant of — and then it will explain itself in the light of the Vedantic philosophy.

Still these Karmas are not compulsory. On the other hand, open your Manu and see where it orders every old man to embrace the fourth Ashrama, and whether he embraces it or not, he must give up all Karma. It is reiterated everywhere that all these Karmas — "finally end in Jnana".

As to the matter of that, a Hindu peasant has more religious education than many a gentleman in other countries. A friend criticised the use of European terms of philosophy and religion in my addresses. I would have been very glad to use Sanskrit terms; it would have been much more easy, as being the only perfect vehicle of religious thought. But the friend forgot that I was addressing an audience of Western people; and although a certain Indian missionary declared that the Hindus had forgotten the meaning of their Sanskrit books, and that it was the missionaries who unearthed the meaning, I could not find one in that large concourse of missionaries who could understand a line in Sanskrit — and yet some of them read learned papers criticising the Vedas, and all the sacred sources of the Hindu religion!

It is not true that I am against any religion. It is equally untrue that I am hostile to the Christian missionaries in India. But I protest against certain of their methods of raising money in America. What is meant by those pictures in the school-books for children where the Hindu mother is painted as throwing her children to the crocodiles in the Ganga? The mother is black, but the baby is painted white, to arouse more sympathy, and get more money. What is meant by those pictures which paint a man burning his wife at a stake with his own hands, so that she may become a ghost and torment the husband's enemy? What is meant by the pictures of huge cars crushing over human beings? The other day a book was published for children in this country, where one of these gentlemen tells a narrative of his visit to Calcutta. He says he saw a car running over fanatics in the streets of Calcutta. I have heard one of these gentlemen preach in Memphis that in every village of India there is a pond full of the bones of little babies.

What have the Hindus done to these disciples of Christ that every Christian child is taught to call the Hindus "vile", and "wretches", and the most horrible devils on earth? Part of the Sunday School education for children here consists in teaching them to hate everybody who is not a Christian, and the Hindus especially, so that, from their very childhood they may subscribe their pennies to the missions. If not for truth's sake, for the sake of the morality of their own children, the Christian missionaries ought not to allow such things going on. Is it any wonder that such children grow up to be ruthless and cruel men and women? The greater a preacher can paint the tortures of eternal hell — the fire that is burning there, the brimstone - the higher is his position among the orthodox. A servant-girl in the employ of a friend of mine had to be sent to a lunatic asylum as a result of her attending what they call here the revivalist-preaching. The dose of hell-fire and brimstone was too much for her. Look again at the books published in Madras against the Hindu religion. If a Hindu writes one such line against the Christian religion, the missionaries will cry fire and vengeance.

My countrymen, I have been more than a year in this country. I have seen almost every corner of the society, and, after comparing notes, let me tell you that neither are we devils, as the missionaries tell the world we are, nor are they angels, as they claim to be. The less the missionaries talk of immorality, infanticide, and the evils of the Hindu marriage system, the better for them. There may be actual pictures of some countries before which all the imaginary missionary pictures of the Hindu society will fade away into light. But my mission in life is not to be a paid reviler. I will be the last man to claim perfection for the Hindu society. No man is more conscious of the defects that are therein, or the evils that have grown up under centuries of misfortunes. If, foreign friends, you come with genuine sympathy to help and not to destroy, Godspeed to you. But if by abuses, incessantly hurled against the head of a prostrate race in season and out of season, you mean only the triumphant assertion of the moral superiority of your own nation, let me tell you plainly, if such a comparison be instituted with any amount of justice, the Hindu will be found head and shoulders above all other nations in the world as a moral race.

In India religion was never shackled. No man was ever challenged in the selection of his Ishta Devatâ, or his sect, or his preceptor, and religion grew, as it grew nowhere else. On the other hand, a fixed point was necessary to allow this infinite variation to religion, and society was chosen as that point in India. As a result, society became rigid and almost immovable. For liberty is the only condition of growth.

On the other hand, in the West, the field of variation was society, and the constant point was religion. Conformity was the watchword, and even now is the watchword of European religion, and each new departure had to gain the least advantage only by wading through a river of blood. The result is a splendid social organisation, with a religion that never rose beyond the grossest materialistic conceptions.

Today the West is awakening to its wants; and the "true self of man and spirit" is the watchword of the advanced school of Western theologians. The student of Sanskrit philosophy knows where the wind is blowing from, but it matters not whence the power comes so longs as it brings new life.

In India, new circumstances at the same time are persistently demanding a new adjustment of social organisations. For the last three-quarters of a century, India has been bubbling over with reform societies and reformers. But, alas, every one of them has proved a failure. They did not know the secret. They had not learnt the great lesson to be learnt. In their haste, they laid all the evils in our society at the door of religion; and like the man in the story, wanting to kill the mosquito that sat on a friend's forehead, they were trying to deal such heavy blows as would have killed man and mosquito together. But in this case, fortunately, they only dashed themselves against immovable rocks and were crushed out of existence in the shock of recoil. Glory unto those noble and unselfish souls who have struggled and failed in their misdirected attempts. Those galvanic shocks of reformatory zeal were necessary to rouse the sleeping leviathan. But they were entirely destructive, and not constructive, and as such they were mortal, and therefore died.

Let us bless them and profit by their experience. They had not learnt the lesson that all is a growth from inside out, that all evolution is only a manifestation of a preceding involution. They did not know that the seed can only assimilate the surrounding elements, but grows a tree in its own nature. Until all the Hindu race becomes extinct, and a new race takes possession of the land, such a thing can never be — try East or West, India can never be Europe until she dies.

And will she die — this old Mother of all that is noble or moral or spiritual, the land which the sages trod, the land in which Godlike men still live and breathe? I will borrow the lantern of the Athenian sage and follow you, my brother, through the cities and villages, plains and forests, of this broad world — show me such men in other lands if you can. Truly have they said, the tree is known by its fruits. Go under every mango tree in India; pick up bushels of the worm-eaten, unripe, fallen ones from the ground, and write hundreds of the most learned volumes on each one of them — still you have not described a single mango. Pluck a luscious, full-grown, juicy one from the tree, and now you have known all that the mango is.

Similarly, these Man-Gods show what the Hindu religion is. They show the character, the power, and the possibilities of that racial tree which counts culture by centuries, and has borne the buffets of a thousand years of hurricane, and still stands with the unimpaired vigour of eternal youth.

Shall India die? Then from the world all spirituality will be extinct, all moral perfection will be extinct, all sweet-souled sympathy for religion will be extinct, all ideality will be extinct; and in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxury as the male and female deities, with money as its priest, fraud, force, and competition its ceremonies, and the human soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be. The power of suffering is infinitely greater than the power of doing; the power of love is infinitely of greater potency than the power of hatred. Those that think that the present revival of Hinduism is only a manifestation of patriotic impulse are deluded.

First, let us study the quaint phenomenon.

Is it not curious that, whilst under the terrific onset of modern scientific research, all the old forts of Western dogmatic religions are crumbling into dust; whilst the sledge-hammer blows of modern science are pulverising the porcelain mass of systems whose foundation is either in faith or in belief or in the majority of votes of church synods; whilst Western theology is at its wit's end to accommodate itself to the ever-rising tide of aggressive modern thought; whilst in all other sacred books the texts have been stretched to their utmost tension under the ever-increasing pressure of modern thought, and the majority of them are broken and have been stored away in lumber rooms; whilst the vast majority of thoughtful Western humanity have broken asunder all their ties with the church and are drifting about in a sea of unrest, the religions which have drunk the water of life at that fountain of light, the Vedas — Hinduism and Buddhism — alone are reviving?

The restless Western atheist or agnostic finds in the Gitâ or in the Dhammapada the only place where his soul can anchor.

The tables have been turned, and the Hindu, who saw through tears of despair his ancient homestead covered with incendiary fire, ignited by unfriendly hands, now sees, when the searchlight of modern thought has dispersed the smoke, that his home is the one that is standing in all its strength, and all the rest have either vanished or are building their houses anew after the Hindu plan. He has wiped away his tears, and has found that the axe that tried to cut down to the roots the (Gita, XV. 1) has proved the merciful knife of the surgeon.

He has found that he has neither to torture texts nor commit any other form of intellectual dishonesty to save his religion. Nay, he may call all that is weak in his scriptures, weak, because they were meant to be so by the ancient sages, to help the weak, under the theory of *. Thanks to the ancient sages who have discovered such an all-pervading, ever-expanding system of religion that can accommodate all that has been discovered in the realm of matter, and all that is to be known; he has begun to appreciate them anew, and discover anew, that those discoveries which have proved so disastrous to every limited little scheme of religion are but rediscoveries, in the plane of intellect and sense-consciousness, of truths which his ancestors discovered ages ago in the higher plane of intuition and superconsciousness.

He has not, therefore, to give up anything, nor go about seeking for anything anywhere, but it will be enough for him if he can utilise only a little from the infinite store he has inherited and apply it to his needs. And that he has begun to do and will do more and more. Is this not the real cause of this revival?

Young men of Bengal, to you I especially appeal. Brethren, we know to our shame that most of the real evils for which the foreign races abuse the Hindu nation are only owing to us. We have been the cause of bringing many undeserved calumnies on the head of the other races in India. But glory unto God, we have been fully awakened to it, and with His blessings, we will not only cleanse ourselves, but help the whole of India to attain the ideals preached in the religion eternal.

Let us wipe off first that mark which nature always puts on the forehead of a slave — the stain of jealousy. Be jealous of none. Be ready to lend a hand to every worker of good. Send a good thought for every being in the three worlds.

Let us take our stand on the one central truth in our religion — the common heritage of the Hindus, the Buddhists, and Jains alike — the spirit of man, the Atman of man, the immortal, birthless, all-pervading, eternal soul of man whose glories the Vedas cannot themselves express, before whose majesty the universe with its galaxy upon galaxy of suns and stars and nebulae is as a drop. Every man or woman, nay, from the highest Devas to the worm that crawls under our feet, is such a spirit evoluted or involuted. The difference is not in kind, but in degree.

This infinite power of the spirit, brought to bear upon matter evolves material development, made to act upon thought evolves intellectuality, and made to act upon itself makes of man a God.

First, let us be Gods, and then help others to be Gods. "Be and make." Let this be our motto. Say not man is a sinner. Tell him that he is a God. Even if there were a devil, it would be our duty to remember God always, and not the devil.

If the room is dark, the constant feeling and repeating of darkness will not take it away, but bring in the light. Let us know that all that is negative, all that is destructive, all that is mere criticism, is bound to pass away; it is the positive, the affirmative, the constructive that is immortal, that will remain for ever. Let us say, "We are" and "God is" and "We are God", "Shivoham, Shivoham", and march on. Not matter but spirit. All that has name and form is subject to all that has none. This is the eternal truth the Shrutis preach. Bring in the light; the darkness will vanish of itself. Let the lion of Vedanta roar; the foxes will fly to their holes. Throw the ideas broadcast, and let the result take care of itself. Let us put the chemicals together; the crystallization will take its own course. Bring forth the power of the spirit, and pour it over the length and breadth of India; and all that is necessary will come by itself.

Manifest the divinity within you, and everything will be harmoniously arranged around it. Remember the illustration of Indra and Virochana in the Vedas; both were taught their divinity. But the Asura, Virochana, took his body for his God. Indra, being a Deva, understood that the Atman was meant. You are the children of India. You are the descendants of the Devas. Matter can never be your God; body can never be your God.

India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the power of the spirit; not with the flag of destruction, but with the flag of peace and love, the garb of the Sannyâsin; not by the power of wealth, but by the power of the begging bowl. Say not that you are weak. The spirit is omnipotent. Look at that handful of young men called into existence by the divine touch of Ramakrishna's feet. They have preached the message from Assam to Sindh, from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin. They have crossed the Himalayas at a height of twenty thousand feet, over snow and ice on foot, and penetrated into the mysteries of Tibet. They have begged their bread, covered themselves with rags; they have been persecuted, followed by the police, kept in prison, and at last set free when the Government was convinced of their innocence.

They are now twenty. Make them two thousand tomorrow. Young men of Bengal, your country requires it. The world requires it. Call up the divinity within you, which will enable you to bear hunger and thirst, heat and cold. Sitting in luxurious homes, surrounded with all the comforts of life, and doling out a little amateur religion may be good for other lands, but India has a truer instinct. It intuitively detects the mask. You must give up. Be great. No great work can be done without sacrifice. The Purusha Himself sacrificed Himself to create this world. Lay down your comforts, your pleasures, your names, fame or position, nay even your lives, and make a bridge of human chains over which millions will cross this ocean of life. Bring all the forces of good together. Do not care under what banner you march. Do not care what be your colour — green, blue, or red — but mix up all the colours and produce that intense glow of white, the colour of love. Ours is to work. The results will take care of themselves. If any social institution stands in your way of becoming God, it will give way before the power of Spirit. I do not see into the future; nor do I care to see. But one vision I see dear as life before me: that the ancient Mother has awakened once more, sitting on Her throne rejuvenated, more glorious than ever. Proclaim Her to all the world with the voice of peace and benediction.

Yours ever in love and labour,

VIVEKANANDA.

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          Philosophy and Science        


Philosophy and Science


"Is this concept scientific ?"

I have been seeing and hearing this above question ever since I started attending school. This validating has reached such a frenzy that even religious concepts are no exception. In fact, in today’s India, religion is the first thing to be questioned.

We note that it is philosophy that is questioned since it is what makes up a religion. Is this process of validation correct ? Is philosophy below science or above it ? Let us see here.


Science


What is science ? Science is the description of naturally occurring phenomena and of comparing the same with universal laws (like law of gravity, law of motion, etc)


Philosophy


Philosophy is the understanding of life, the relationship between man and the creation, finding the answers to some eternal questions like, “why am I born?” , “why am I made this way ?” “why are people not equally born ?” “ why is there so much pain in this world ?” etc and so on.


Validation:


In the eighteenth century, there arose a movement in Europe, that asked for scientific proof for everything proposed including science. The Industrial Revolution had started and people thought that they had to be scientific in whatever they did. For example, the biblical theory of creation in 4004 BC was put to severe questioning and discarded. This is on the realm of mythology. But philosophy also was put to the same test.

The most suffered concept was of God Himself. Science