Friday, September 26, 2008

WOW.

On Tuesday night, I finally decided to bring my shiny new telescope out for a look. The double-double star was cool, the double cluster was cool, but I inadvertantly saved the best for last. On a whim before I went in, I turned the scope to the ring nebula. I couldn't see it in the tiny scope I had been using, so it was a shock to see a little fuzzy ring in space.
It looked like this:

That got me thinking. It was like looking back in time - The light I saw left the nebula 2300 years ago, and into the future, as this is what the sun will look like in 5 billion years. Kinda cool.

An explanation of planetary nebulae is here.
Automatic jaw-dropping is here.

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