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Author Topic: It's square!
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2007 16:19      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a very cool one. A nebula which appears to be square and nobody can quite explain why it looks that way.

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Huicho
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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2007 16:35      Profile for Huicho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I haven't done optics in a long time. I would think that it is a problem with pereption rather than it actually being a rectangular nebula. I would just think that the radiation coming from that nebuala and star is being refracted by some thing between them and us. Something probably closer to us.
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Mel
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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2007 16:43      Profile for Mel     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Astronomy is the coolest. I wish I was SMRT-er so I could understand what the heck most of it is. A student teacher at the school I work at told me she read in some science magazine that there is a theory that people could create their own mini universe and send it through a mini worm hole to grow and expand. Anyone heard of this before?
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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2007 18:01      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I saw it and I just about disbelieved it. It's like Jesus and the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus in its weirdness. Being told: "The square is not a naturally occurring shape" (Don't mind the crystals, folks, for this was from either an art or a junior high science teacher).

It's not what is expected, but it proves that we have no idea what we're talking about when we slap absolutes onto the Universe and serve them to teenagers.

Yay chaos! [Big Grin]

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 07:30      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, it's not exactly square now, but rather an X (or sand-glass form). Maybe it just happens to have two "discs" forming at an angle of 45°. Rare, but not impossible.

Or maybe my astronomy knowlege isn't quite up to par.

Still pretty, though.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 08:40      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
Well, it's not exactly square now, but rather an X (or sand-glass form).

That's the term the tame astronomer on the radio used the other morning.

His explanation was very 'dumbed down', for the drive-time audience, but it seemed to have something to do with a star throwing off lots of gas, which was funneled by the magnetic field of the star to form an hour-glass shape. We just happen to be lined up neatly with the stars equator, so we see the result as a bow-tie shape, if we were lined up with one of the poles we'd see a circle.

<bad-fozzy-bear-impersonation>
Hey look, the nebula's a square.
No it's not, it's a wearin' a bow-tie.
</bad-fozzy-bear-impersonation>

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 13:07      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
Well, it's not exactly square now, but rather an X (or sand-glass form).

That's the term the tame astronomer on the radio used the other morning . . . [the] star [is] throwing off lots of gas, which was funneled by the magnetic field of the star to form an hour-glass shape. We just happen to be lined up neatly with the stars equator, so we see the result as a bow-tie shape, if we were lined up with one of the poles we'd see a circle.



Thanks for explaining it better, Stereo and TFD. [Smile] So, what we're looking at is something akin to a gravity well (or two?). Eh, well it would have been fun if it was actually square, but it is lovely, all the same. That it's angle-of-perception makes it better.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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HubmaN
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Icon 3 posted April 18, 2007 09:25      Profile for HubmaN   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, you can see that the lines in the X there are not exactly straight-they seem to be gravitationally pulled towards the middle. Is there some dense clump of matter (gases in this case, because it's a nebula) there? Dark matter maybe? (notice how more stars nearby keep getting brighter as they get close to the nebula... I wonder why. [ohwell] Maybe it's because of some gravitational shift of the light reaching towards us?
-HubmaN

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Doco

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Icon 1 posted April 18, 2007 18:49      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Fozzy bear?!?! - Wow - that brings back memories. (You must be old) [Big Grin]

Oh, and thanks for the better explanation.

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Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 10 posted April 18, 2007 21:46      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nice pic... Astronomy is in it beginnings yet, universe is becoming more and more strange as we are aproaching to discover it.

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2007 12:06      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow, so I started to expound an amateur hypothesis about why it would look like that, then I read the paragraph under the image and realized it had already been said. Nice to know that the astronomers are in agreement with me, though. What I'd wonder is how much fuel remains in the central star? What kind of gravitational/rotational forces would result in the ejection of cone-shaped debris? It looks like it was massive- you can tell by observing the pinch near the apices- so is it massive enough that we're observing the birth of a black hole? The articles available through the links are insufficient. I'm sick of running into dumbed-down pre-digested pap from astronomers. They need to grow some balls and make some real research available for those amateurs who are not simpletons. Something between a research paper and a grade-school presentation would be nice. I can't go to a planetarium anymore without leaving cranky. There needs to be more information available for those who are of a more intermediate interest level but don't plan to pursue a carreer in astronomy.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2007 15:48      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Warning totally amateur and uninformed guesswork follows (IANAA [Big Grin] )

What if the ejecting star was part of a binary pair with a very small satellite star? If this totally theoretical partner had a strong magnetic field/solar wind and was orbiting the ejecting star at a fairly high rate might this not be able to "shepherd" the ejection into 2 opposed cones?

Or what if the ejecting star had a very high rotational speed? Might that make the ejections tend to the poles?

Anyone here with a smidgin more astronomical knowledge than me is welcome to debunk me and give me enlightenment as to why these ideas are untenable...

Glad to see that my initial reaction to the photo was not unmatched by others here though (i.e. that is not a square, it is a pair of cones coincidentally viewed at 90 to their axis...

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2007 15:54      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Serenak, this is beginning to sound like a new script for a movie, STAR SEX.
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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2007 16:50      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have no doubt it has already been done my friend - I would Google but fear the results it would turn up [Big Grin]

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Tominfla
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2007 19:32      Profile for Tominfla     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
<bad-fozzy-bear-impersonation>
Hey look, the nebula's a square.
No it's not, it's a wearin' a bow-tie.
</bad-fozzy-bear-impersonation>

Actually it reminds me of Statler and Waldorf.

[another-fozzy-bear-impersonation]
Aaaaah....Waka waka waka!
[/another-fozzy-bear-impersonation] [Big Grin]

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"Go get that Earth creature and bring back the Uranium Pew36 Space Modulator" -- Marvin Martian

Posts: 245 | From: Orlando, Florida, USA | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged


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