Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4.
Josh Mathews (above) with his photograph ‘To the Waters and the Wild’ selected as the winning image in the inaugural ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition, run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS). Josh’s photo, along with 22 other entries to the competition is now part of an outdoor exhibition on the railings outside the DIAS building for the month of July.
Behold: SS 433 – one of the most exotic eclipsing x-ray binary star systems we know of. And that’s saying something. To wit:
Its unremarkable name stems from its inclusion in a catalog of Milky Way stars which emit radiation characteristic of atomic hydrogen. Its remarkable behaviour stems from a compact object, a black hole or neutron star, which has produced an accretion disk with jets. Because the disk and jets from SS 433 resemble those surrounding supermassive black holes in the centres of distant galaxies, SS 433 is considered a micro-quasar. As illustrated in the animated featured video based on observational data, a massive, hot, normal star is locked in orbit with the compact object. As the video starts, material is shown being gravitationally ripped from the normal star and falling onto an accretion disk. The central star also blasts out jets of ionised gas in opposite directions – each at about 1/4 the speed of light. The video then pans out to show a top view of the precessing jets producing an expanding spiral. From even greater distances, the dissipating jets are then visualised near the heart of supernova remnantW50. Two years ago, SS 433 was unexpectedly found by the HAWC detector array in Mexico to emit unusually high energy (TeV-range) gamma-rays. Surprises continue, as a recent analysis of archival data taken by NASA‘s Fermi satellite find a gamma-ray source — separated from the central stars as shown — that pulses in gamma-rays with a period of 162 days – the same as SS 433’s jet precession period – for reasons yet unknown.
Last week, with a PAIR of free tickets to see Stars – one of the best Canadian indie bands of their generation – perform their stunning 2004 masterpiece Set Yourself On Fire in Dublin’s Workmans Club on Friday September 27 on offer, I asked YOU to name your favourite piece of music referencing stars.
You answered in your tens.
But there could be only one winner.
The Church – Under The Milky Way
Catherine Vaughan writes:
If you’re gonna reference stars, why not go all out, and reference the whole Milky Way!
Stars Of Heaven – Lights Of Tetouan
Brother Barnabas writes:
Yeah, I know – but no matter: that’s as good as pop gets…
Don McLean – Starry Starry Night.
You people are crazy, it’s Starry Starry Night. Apart from being fantastic lyrically and musically you could very easily draw a line from Don’s singing in this song directly to Torquil (of Stars) singing on Set Yourself on Fire (you’d have to make a brief stop-off at Morrissey considering the blatantly Morrissey-equee track Take Me To The Riots….on 2007’s In Our Bedroom After The War) I refuse to believe this album (Set Yourself On Fire) came out in 2004.
About 1,000 light-years away and drifting above the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the dusty molecular cloud is part of a complex of dark nebulae mapped toward theCepheus flare region. Across the spectrum, astronomical explorations of the obscuring interstellar clouds reveal energetic shocks and outflows associated with newborn stars, including the telltale reddish glow from scattered Herbig-Haro objects seen in this sharp image. Distant background galaxies also lurk on the scene, visually buried behind the dusty expanse. The deep telescopic field of view imaged with broadband filters spans about two full moons on the sky, or 17 light-years at the estimated distance of LDN 1251.
A colourful composite of three bright nebulae in the constellation of Sagittarius – recorded last last year from Teide National Park in Tenerife. To wit:
18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged two of them; M8, the large nebula just left of centre, and colourful M20 on the top left. The third emission region includes NGC 6559 and can be found to the right of M8. All three are stellar nurseries about five thousand light-years or so distant. Over a hundred light-years across, the expansive M8 is also known as the Lagoon Nebula. M20’s popular moniker is the Trifid. Glowing hydrogen gas creates the dominant red colour of the emission nebulae. In striking contrast, blue hues in the Trifid are due to dust reflected starlight. Recently formed bright blue stars are visible nearby.