Author and Creator of the following: Phil Plait
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronom ... stars.html
I just had to share this with you guys...Phil Plait wrote:I was wondering what to post for today; a short philosophical piece, a longer discussion of holidays and family, a pretty picture, or something quick and funny.
Then the Universe delivered unto me a picture perfect present: Behold!
Trust me, you want to see this bigger! This is a Spitzer Space Telescope view of the star Zeta Ophiuchus (or Zeta Oph to its friends), a massive star plowing through the gas and dust floating in space. Zeta Oph is a bruiser, with 20 times the Sun’s mass. It’s an incredibly luminous star, blasting out light at a rate 80,000 times higher than the Sun! Even at its distance of 400 light years or so, it should be one of the brightest stars in the sky … yet it actually appears relatively dim to the eye.
... That curving wave is roughly four light years long: That’s 40 trillion kilometers! The colors we see here represent different wavelengths of infrared light, well outside what the human eye can see, but are very clear to the Spitzer telescope, designed to see this flavor of light.
Happy Christmas to you all.