NASA’s Astronomy Picture Of The Day: Portrait Of NGC 281


From NASA:

Explanation: Look through the cosmic cloud cataloged as NGC 281 and you might miss the stars of open cluster IC 1590. But, formed within the nebula, that cluster’s young, massive stars ultimately power the pervasive nebular glow. The eye-catching shapes looming in this portrait of NGC 281 are sculpted columns and dense dust globules seen in silhouette, eroded by intense, energetic winds and radiation from the hot cluster stars. If they survive long enough, the dusty structures could also be sites of future star formation. Playfully called the Pacman Nebula because of its overall shape, NGC 281 is about 10,000 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. This sharp composite image was made through narrow-band filters, combining emission from the nebula’s hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms in green, red, and blue hues. It spans over 80 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 281.

Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh

NASA’s Astronomy Picture Of The Day: Galileo’s Europa Remastered


From NASA:

Explanation: Looping through the Jovian system in the late 1990s, the Galileo spacecraft recorded stunning views of Europa and uncovered evidence that the moon’s icy surface likely hides a deep, global ocean. Galileo’s Europa image data has been newly remastered here, using improved new calibrations to produce a color image approximating what the human eye might see. Europa’s long curving fractures hint at the subsurface liquid water. The tidal flexing the large moon experiences in its elliptical orbit around Jupiter supplies the energy to keep the ocean liquid. But more tantalizing is the possibility that even in the absence of sunlight that process could also supply the energy to support life, making Europa one of the best places to look for life beyond Earth. What kind of life could thrive in a deep, dark, subsurface ocean? Consider planet Earth’s own extreme shrimp.

Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SETI Institute, Cynthia Phillips, Marty Valenti

Are You An Early Riser Or Night Owl?

If you’re an early riser, you tend to wake up at the crack of dawn. You’re energetic in the mornings and fully awake. When it comes to the night, you’re exhausted and drained and ready to go to sleep around 9pm.

If you’re a night owl and always have been since you were young, having to get up and be somewhere at 7am might be a big challenge. You feel tired, exhausted, confused and not fully awake. Night owls are often told, “go to bed earlier,” or “why can’t you wake up in the mornings?”

Can they really change their sleeping patterns or does genetics play a role? Is one better than the other? Does the phrase, “the early bird gets the worm” ring true when it comes to intelligence or success?

AsapSCIENCE explains in their latest that it’s possible that you had an ancestor that also stayed up late as well. And from an evolutionary perspective it would make sense to have some people sleep during the day and others awake at night.

Source: AsapSCIENCE