Sunday, August 7, 2022

Stars Versus Dust

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Astronomy, Cosmology, Earth & Space Science, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler 

--We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out – and we have only just begun. --Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

Stellar nurseries are dusty places and in the Carina Nebula in the contest of stars versus dust, the stars are winning. They are evaporating and dispersing the dusty nursery in which they are formed.

You've likely seen this beautiful nebula with its spectacular dust pillars and mountains. They are thinner than they appear and are composed mostly of hydrogen. There is less dust than appears. The clearance of dust from the nursery is likely to be complete "within a few million years" so we've a lot of time to enjoy the view.  

The image is from the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) with a full explanation of what is going on.  

Another reminder that humans have the remarkable ability to learn and an educational system that allows us to figure out what is going on in that distant place by developing the technology to do that.

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