IYL 2015 Images

  • eso0907a_720

    Helix Nebula 650 light years

    When stars like our Sun run out of hydrogen fuel in their central regions, nuclear fusion of helium nuclei becomes the primary energy source. This and other nuclear fusion processes produce even heavier elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen and the outer layers of the star begin to shed into space. In this image, the red color around the outer edges shows where hydrogen and nitrogen are more prominent. The blue-green glow at the center of this object, known as the Helix Nebula, comes from oxygen atoms energized by the intense ultraviolet light from the very hot star that remains in the center. As the name implies, ultraviolet light is more energetic than violet light of the visible range.
    Image Credit: ESO
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

  • eso1006a_720

    Orion Nebula 1500 light years

    The Orion Nebula, a region just to the south of the belt in the constellation bearing his name, is an active and boisterous stellar nursery. This image of the Orion Nebula is in infrared light, which, in contrast to light at visible wavelengths, passes through the dust that pervades the nebula, and reveals the very young stars buried within. This image was taken with the VISTA infrared survey telescope at the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory in Chile.
    Image Credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

  • fulldisk

    Full Disk Ultraviolet View Of Sun 8.3 light minutes

    When we look at the Sun from the surface on the Earth, it typically looks yellow to us because it gives off its most intense radiation in that color of visible light. However, if we observe the Sun in the "other" types of light that it emits, we are exposed to an entirely different looking object. Here we see the Sun in ultraviolet light through a telescope with better resolution than the most sophisticated high-definition television. This telescope, called the Solar Dynamics Observatory, gets these amazing views of our closest star in an orbit high above the Earth's atmosphere. This gives it unfettered access to ten different wavelengths of light being emitted from the Sun.
    Image Credit: NASA/SDO
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

  • galactic

    Our Galaxy in Many Kinds of Light 26,000 light years

    Light takes on many forms—from radio to infrared to X-rays and more. And the Universe tells its story through all of these different types of radiation. So, in order to really understand the cosmos, astronomers need many different kinds of telescopes. This image of the center of our Milky Way galaxy combines data from three NASA observatories. X-rays from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are blue and violet, near-infrared emission from Hubble is yellow, and the Spitzer Space Telescope infrared data are red. Observations using infrared light and X-ray light see through the obscuring dust to reveal the intense activity near the galactic core. Near-infrared emission outlines the energetic regions where stars are being born as well as reveal hundreds of thousands of stars.
    Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/D.Wang et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC/S.Stolovy
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

  • geminid

    Geminid Meteor Mojave Desert, US

    Many people have been lucky enough to see a "shooting star." However, this name is misleading because these brief streaks of light seen in the night sky actually have nothing to do with stars. Rather, these are tiny bits of debris usually left behind by a comet traveling through the Solar System. If the Earth passes through this debris trail, hundreds or even thousands of these cosmic bits enter the Earth's atmosphere. When these meteors enter the atmosphere, they are moving at speeds ranging from 11 km/sec (25,000 mph) to 72 km/sec (160,000 mph), and collide with numerous air molecules. These collisions create a vapor of atoms that is a mixture of energized atoms from the meteors and the atmosphere. As the electrons in these atoms fall back to their normal orbits, light is emitted, creating the bright trail light visible from the ground below.
    Image Credit: Wally Pacholka/AstroPics.com
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html