Category Archives: space

Where Socks Go?


It’s a well-known fact that wormholes connect many locations in space and time. What’s not well known is that dryers in particular are very good at starting wormholes. Eventually, minute enthalpic fluctuations will cause one of these to open up and fling your socks, say, six hundred light years into space.

Those Nebulous Days of Summer

My two daughters lounge on the grass contemplating the magic of space.

From APOD: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble — maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. This suggestively shaped reflection nebula is associated with the bright star Rigel in the constellation Orion. More formally known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula glows primarily by light reflected from bright star Rigel, located just off the upper right edge of the full image. Fine dust in the nebula reflects the light. The blue color is caused not only by Rigel’s blue color but because the dust grains reflect blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earth’s daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in Earth’s atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. The nebula lies about 1000 light-years away

Nebula Neighbor


When I step out onto my balcony and look East, I always have magnificent views. I look towards the ridge opposite my house in the Dandenong Ranges. There are frequent colorful sunrises that materialise behind the dead branches of a large tree jutting through the forest canopy. You’ll find a number of photos from my balcony with the tree top as subject (just see yesterday’s post).

I took this image some time ago and was struck by the contrast between the red rising sun and the black early morning sky. I then wondered, what would this view be like if we were much closer to other star systems. What if a nebula was a nearby neighbor? Here’s my minds eye of what that would look like. I’ve combined an image of nebula NGC 1333 with my tree view.

This image of NGC 1333 was taken using the Mosaic-1 imager and the National Science Foundation’s Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak. This star-forming region, located roughly 1,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Perseus, harbors hundreds of newly formed stars less than one million years old. Many of these proto-stars exhibit energetic activity such as jets and strong stellar winds. NGC 1333 credit T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF

Cosmic Genesis

Creative Photography

For this weeks Creative Photo, I peered into cosmic genesis and found the likeness of my little cherub gently encouraging infant stars into the Small Magellanic Cloud crèche.

If your curious about this small satellite galaxy NGC 602 (pictured) near the Small Magellanic Cloud it’s 200 thousand light-years distant. Surrounded by natal gas and dust, NGC 602 is featured in this stunning Hubble image of the region. Fantastic ridges and swept back shapes strongly suggest that energetic radiation and shock waves from NGC 602’s massive young stars have eroded the dusty material and triggered a progression of star formation moving away from the cluster’s center. At the estimated distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud, the nebula background picture spans about 200 light-years, but a tantalizing assortment of background galaxies are also visible in the sharp Hubble view. The background galaxies are hundreds of millions of light-years or more beyond NGC 602.

Doodle Week – My Dream Doodle Vacation


Here I am all Doodled up and ready to go. I suspect I’ll have about a 7 month cruise before getting to Mars. Spend about 9 months on the planet bouncing around, exploring lava caves and sifting for precious metals before jumping back in my ride and taking another 8 or 9 months to retun to good ol’ Earth. Anyone wanna come along?

This is my Thursday Doodle for Doodle Week. If you haven’t guessed, today’s theme is Doodle Vacation.