Big History Project
- ACTIVITY: The Life of a Star
- ACTIVITY: Infographic —Life Cycles of the Stars
- WATCH: How Were Stars Formed?
- ACTIVITY: Vocab Tracking
- ACTIVITY: Threshold Card — Threshold 2 Stars Light Up
- WATCH: Threshold 2 — Stars Light Up
- ACTIVITY: This Threshold Today
- ACTIVITY: DQ Notebook
- READ: Gallery — Structure in the Universe
- READ: Gallery — Stars
- Quiz: How Were Stars Formed?
READ: Gallery — Structure in the Universe
Enjoy the beauty and diversity of the Universe.
The Lockman Hole
This busy region of space in the constellation Ursa Major is called the "Lockman Hole." Each tiny dot in this tapestry of color is an entire galaxy, many of them containing hundreds of billions or more stars.
The Hubble Deep Field
This image from the Hubble Deep Field (HDF) represents a narrow "keyhole" view stretching almost to the visible horizon of the Universe. This HDF image covers a speck of the sky, only about the width of a dime 75 feet away. Although the "field" is a very small fraction of space, it is considered representative of the typical distribution of galaxies in the Universe.
A Cluster of Galaxies 9 Billion Years Ago
Looking at distant objects is like looking back in time. This large cluster of galaxies (red dots in center), an early galactic metropolis, appears as it was 9.6 billion years ago, only about 4 billion years after the Big Bang. Astronomers were surprised to find such a well-populated cluster at an era when other clusters tended to be smaller.
Our Neighbor Andromeda
The spiral galaxy of Andromeda is one of the Milky Way's most prominent neighbors, about 2.5 million light years away. Andromeda is thought to contain up to a trillion stars while our Milky Way has an estimated 200 billion to 400 billion stars.
The Colliding Galaxies ARP 147
The dramatic collision of these two galaxies in the constellation Cetus, collectively called ARP 147, has created an unusual wave of star formation. Young stars race through their life cycles in a few million years or less and explode as supernovae, leaving black holes and neutron stars behind (seen as pinkish blobs).
The Cat's Eye Nebula
This image of the Cat's Eye Nebula in the constellation Draco, also known as NGC 6543, may resemble a creature embryo or a cocoon. But this planetary nebula represents a late stage of stellar evolution that our Sun should experience several billion years from now. When a star like the Sun begins to run out of fuel it becomes a red giant, eventually leaving behind a hot core that collapses to form a dense white dwarf star. In this case, a fast wind emanating from the hot core rams into the ejected atmosphere, pushed it outward, and creates the cocoon-like structure seen here. In less than a million years, NGC 6543 will collapse, becoming a less dramatic white dwarf.
The Ant Nebula
The ejection of gas from this dying Sun-sized star in the constellation Norma, called the Ant Nebula or mz3, shows symmetrical patterns that scientists would not expect from an ordinary explosion. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitation forces shape the outflowing gas. A second possibility is that as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes.
A Supernova Remnant Called the Crab Nebula
A star's violent death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 CE. Now, almost a thousand years later, an extremely dense neutron star at the center of the supernova remnant is spewing out a blizzard of extremely high-energy particles into the expanding debris field known as the Crab Nebula.
The Antennae: Two Galaxies Entangled
The ongoing collision of the Antennae galaxies, which began hundreds of millions of years ago, has triggered the formation of millions of stars in the galactic clouds of dust and gas. The largest of these young stars have already raced through their evolution in a few million years and exploded as supernovae. The bright, point-like sources in this image are produced by material falling onto black holes and neutron stars that are remnants of the massive stars.
The Carina Nebula
This surreal Hubble image shows a mountain of dust and gas rising in the Carina Nebula. The top of the three-light-year-tall pillar of cool hydrogen is being worn away by the radiation of nearby stars, while stars within the pillar unleash jets of gas that stream from the peaks.
The Unicorn's Rose
The flower-shaped Rosette Nebula in the constellation Monoceros (The Unicorn) is also known by the less romantic name NGC 2237. It is a huge star-forming cloud of dust and gas in our own Milky Way galaxy.
Want to join the conversation?
- In the explanation paragraph of ARP 47 it says that the black holes appear as pinkish blots, but black holes don't emit ANY light...............(15 votes)
- The black holes directly do not emit light, but material entering the black holes heats up and emit a lot of light, especially in the xray spectrum.(18 votes)
- Does heat cause the differences in color?(8 votes)
- For the most part, yes, temperature differences correspond to differences in color. Redder stars are cooler, bluer stars are hotter, and so the more red you see the cooler most objects in the image are. There are some images that are false-color, meaning that the color was added in rather than being present in the original image. But even in that case, there's usually a correspondence between the color chosen and the temperature of what's being depicted.(12 votes)
- How do they color these photos? How and according to what do they play with these images before they release?(4 votes)
- For images taken in bandwidths not visible to our eye, they assign different colors to different wavelengths of light and then combine the layers using the false color images to produce the pictures. Even in true color images, several image layers are taken using filters in various wavelengths to capture various features. It's generally a matter of artistic/scientific preference on which color they choose to represent each type of light, and can vary depending on what features they are attempting to illustrate.(12 votes)
- Will our galaxy collide with the Andromeda Galaxy?(5 votes)
- Yes, it has been proven that in several million, even up to a few billion years, the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way will collide. Sal has a video here that explains such
- will there be any supernovas or similar big explosions that are visible to our naked eye from earth? (like in the constellation Taurus in 1054 CE, are there any accounts of what people at the time thought and wrote about that?)
amazing pictures by the way :)thx(5 votes)
- they will have to be close to us but yes. Beetlejuice is an example of this as we will be able to see it but we don't know when or what ill happen(3 votes)
- How it is that the Hubble telescope takes the pictures of galaxies that they appears billions years ago. Is it a matter of light that capture telescope? but just it can capture light that traveled from these stars these billions years.. Can I have a bit expanation? And how it is that telescop can "see" the border of universe !? these little telescop have such a power to cover such a distance? thanks for reply.(4 votes)
- I do not know for sure, but I believe that since these galaxies are so far away that it takes millions or even billions of years for light to travel to the Hubble telescope, so we see the galaxies as they were millions and billions of years ago. Also, since space has no gravity, the Hubble telescope only has to use a little amount of fuel to travel a very long distance without ever slowing down.(4 votes)
- are these artisan depicted or 100% fact (Images)(3 votes)
- These are actual photos. The credits for each are listed below the image.(4 votes)
- does nasa have more pictures(1 vote)
- Yes they do!
Here is a link to Nasa's image gallery: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/index.html(2 votes)
- Well my first reaction was "Hmph, this must mean there are close to infinity planets, which also means there must be close to infinite different life forms. At least, they must have once existed."
Also, why would this not be true?(1 vote)
- Life is hard to form. So every planet like Earth does not necessarily have life on it.(2 votes)
- If the density of gravity is too weak to hold a supercluster, then why is the universe being held up?(1 vote)
- I think that many scientists believe that dark matter and dark energy play a huge role in holding up the universe.(1 vote)