Statue of Liberty Nebula

2016 September 28     NGC 3576: The Statue of Liberty Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: S. Mazlin, J. Harvey, R. Gilbert, & D. Verschatse (SSRO/PROMPT/UNC)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160928.html

It sounds like something straight out of Ghostbusters … today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is The Statue of Liberty Nebula.  Do you see her?

Explanation: What’s happening in the Statue of Liberty nebula? Bright stars and interesting molecules are forming and being liberated. The complex nebula resides in the star forming region called RCW 57. This image showcases dense knots of dark interstellar dust, bright stars that have formed in the past few million years, fields of glowing hydrogen gas ionized by these stars, and great loops of gas expelled by dying stars. A detailed study of NGC 3576, also known as NGC 3582 and NGC 3584, uncovered at least 33 massive stars in the end stages of formation, and the clear presence of the complex carbon molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are thought to be created in the cooling gas of star forming regions, and their development in the Sun’s formation nebula five billion years ago may have been an important step in the development of life on Earth. The featured imagewas taken at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

 

James Turrell’s Sky Spaces

Installation artist James Turrell, at Roden Crater in northern Arizona in 2001.  Credit Florian Holzherr

I am always on the lookout for something or someone new and interdisciplinary to bring to the STEAM Hub. James Turrell,  an installation artist and son of an aeronautical engineer and Peace Corps doctor, seems to have that beautiful mix of aesthetic creativity partnered with science that is so interesting to me.   It came as no surprise that his undergraduate studies focused on psychology and mathematics; only later, in graduate school, did he pursue art, receiving an MFA from the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California.

Here are a few of his Arizona projects to wet your whistle.  When it cools off just a little, I think a James Turrell art road trip is in order.

Roden Crater
The natural cinder cone crater is now home to a land art project and naked eye observatory thirty plus years in the making that will blow your mind.

Air Apparent
A Sky Space Art Installation by James Turrell and Will Bruder at the ASU Tempe campus.

Knight Rise
Another Turrell public sky space located at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

 

 

 

Mercury Transit Music Video

A Mercury Transit Music Video from Solar Dynamics Observatory
Video Credit: NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center, Genna Duberstein; Music: Encompass by Mark PetrieExplanation: What’s that small black dot moving across the Sun? Mercury. Possibly the clearest view of Mercury crossing in front of the Sun earlier this week was from Earth orbit. The Solar Dynamics Observatory obtained an uninterrupted vista recording it not only in optical light but also in bands of ultraviolet light. Featured here is a composite movie of the crossing set to music. Although the event might prove successful scientifically for better determining components of Mercury’ ultra-thin atmosphere, the event surely proved successful culturally by involving people throughout the world in observing a rare astronomical phenomenon. Many spectacular images of this Mercury transit from around (and above) the globe are being proudly displayed.

 

Astronomy, Photography, Earth and Mars in Harmony

Take a journey with Steve Strom, astronomer and photographer based in Tucson, and his contrasting photos of Earth and Mars which are striking in their similarities.  The short film by Arizona Public Media was well worth five minutes of my time.  I’m impressed!

The Art and Science of Earth and Mars

Published on Nov 23, 2015 by Arizona Public Media (5.31 mins)

Earth and Mars were formed at the same time, 3.5 to 4 billion years ago. Yet cosmic forces left one wet and lush and the other dry and barren. Local astronomer and photographer Steve Strom has authored a book that invites readers to contemplate the differences and similarities of these two adjacent planets.

For more information about Steve Strom and his newly published book Sand Mirrors, click here:  http://www.stephenstrom.com/

 

 

 

 

Makerspaces and Meetups in Phoenix

Looking for a makerspace or group in the Valley?  Here is a great place to get started finding inspiration and like-minded creative spirits.

http://makerspaces.meetup.com/cities/us/az/phoenix/

Lost and Found

Students who thought all had been lost after a camera sent up via weather balloon  became untraceable upon descent, were surprised when it was recovered two years later.  It’s a remarkable story and the video, finally revealed, is pretty good as well.  What do you know?  A lucky break.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gopro-grand-canyon_55f79d8be4b00e2cd5e7d1ba