Daily Picture Show

Young Stars In Formation

Somehow, it still doesn't feel right to move on with daily business. Does anyone else share the feeling that nothing feels appropriate after Friday's events? I know I spent much of this weekend away from my news feed, looking to the sky for answers. I did listen to one podcast, in which an astrophysicist discussed the old notion that we come from stars. And maybe that's where we eventually return.

  • "Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603, one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy."
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    "Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603, one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy."
    NASA
  • "This bubble of ionized gas and warm dust, called RCW 79, lies in the southern Milky Way. ... [NASA's telescopes] have found at least three generations of stars forming in this expanding envelope."
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    "This bubble of ionized gas and warm dust, called RCW 79, lies in the southern Milky Way. ... [NASA's telescopes] have found at least three generations of stars forming in this expanding envelope."
    NASA
  • "A view of one of the most dynamic and intricately detailed star-forming regions in space, located 210,000 light-years away in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way."
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    "A view of one of the most dynamic and intricately detailed star-forming regions in space, located 210,000 light-years away in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way."
    NASA
  • "A pillar of gas and dust called the Cone Nebula resides in a turbulent star-forming region."
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    "A pillar of gas and dust called the Cone Nebula resides in a turbulent star-forming region."
    NASA
  • "The Orion nebula is the brightest spot in the sword of the Orion, or the 'Hunter' constellation. The cosmic cloud is also our closest massive star-formation factory, and astronomers believe it contains more than 1,000 young stars."
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    "The Orion nebula is the brightest spot in the sword of the Orion, or the 'Hunter' constellation. The cosmic cloud is also our closest massive star-formation factory, and astronomers believe it contains more than 1,000 young stars."
    NASA
  • "This infrared image ... shows the Rosette Nebula, a pretty star-forming region more than 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros."
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    "This infrared image ... shows the Rosette Nebula, a pretty star-forming region more than 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros."
    NASA
  • "Infant stars 'hatching' in the head of the ... constellation Orion."
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    "Infant stars 'hatching' in the head of the ... constellation Orion."
    NASA
  • "This glowing region reveals arcs and bubbles formed when stellar winds ... collide with material in the Orion Nebula."
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    "This glowing region reveals arcs and bubbles formed when stellar winds ... collide with material in the Orion Nebula."
    NASA
  • "Star birth in the graceful, curving arms of the nearby spiral galaxy M83."
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    "Star birth in the graceful, curving arms of the nearby spiral galaxy M83."
    NASA
  • Throughout the center of the Messier 82 starburst galaxy, "young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside our entire Milky Way Galaxy."
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    Throughout the center of the Messier 82 starburst galaxy, "young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside our entire Milky Way Galaxy."
    NASA
  • This swirling landscape of stars is known as the North American nebula.
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    This swirling landscape of stars is known as the North American nebula.
    NASA
  • "[In] a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located about 160,000 light-years from Earth, [many] new stars, some of them very massive, are forming in the star cluster NGC 1929."
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    "[In] a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located about 160,000 light-years from Earth, [many] new stars, some of them very massive, are forming in the star cluster NGC 1929."
    NASA
  • The star cluster Cygnus OB2, home to many young stars.
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    The star cluster Cygnus OB2, home to many young stars.
    NASA
  • "While perhaps not quite as well-known as its star formation cousin Orion, the Corona Australis region ... is one of the nearest and most active regions of ongoing star formation."
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    "While perhaps not quite as well-known as its star formation cousin Orion, the Corona Australis region ... is one of the nearest and most active regions of ongoing star formation."
    NASA
  • "This image ... shows what lies near the sword of the constellation Orion — an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars."
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    "This image ... shows what lies near the sword of the constellation Orion — an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars."
    NASA
  • "This image of the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud ... shows newborn stars peeking out from beneath a dust blanker."
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    "This image of the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud ... shows newborn stars peeking out from beneath a dust blanker."
    NASA
  • "A small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula."
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    "A small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula."
    NASA
  • "In this wispy star-forming region, called W5, the oldest stars can be seen as blue dots in the centers of the two hollow cavities. ... Younger stars line the rims of the cavities, and some can be seen as pink dots at the tips of the elephant-trunklike pillars."
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    "In this wispy star-forming region, called W5, the oldest stars can be seen as blue dots in the centers of the two hollow cavities. ... Younger stars line the rims of the cavities, and some can be seen as pink dots at the tips of the elephant-trunklike pillars."
    NASA
  • "Stars are sometimes born in the midst of chaos," reads NASA's caption for this image of nearby galaxy M33.
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    "Stars are sometimes born in the midst of chaos," reads NASA's caption for this image of nearby galaxy M33.
    NASA
  • NGC 6752, a globular cluster that is more than 10 billion years old, contains a high number of "blue straggler," or younger, stars.
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    NGC 6752, a globular cluster that is more than 10 billion years old, contains a high number of "blue straggler," or younger, stars.
    NASA

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Today, some words from last night's address by President Obama. And some photos of young stars forming, via NASA.

"Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose? We know our time on this Earth is fleeting. We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain; that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it's wealth or power or fame, or just simple comfort, we will, in some fashion, fall short of what we had hoped. We know that no matter how good our intentions, we will all stumble sometimes, in some way. We will make mistakes, we will experience hardships. And even when we're trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God's heavenly plans."

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