an astronomer-turned-engineer pictures the skies


Danish astronomer-turned-engineer Heine Wieben Rasmussen seems to be to the skies with a thinker’s thoughts. He sees by his telescopes elements of area unfathomable to earthlings and unintelligible to the bare eye. Capturing color pictures of deep area takes science, magic and a few poetry.

Pelican Nebula. Some 1 800 light-years away within the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan. The intense stars of the Swan constellation make up the neck and wingspan of a swan in flight; inside the swan, a deeper look reveals one other hen, the Pelican Nebula. This picture is a close-up exhibiting a small a part of the nebula, however wider eld views present that it resembles the top of a pelican. The picture reveals the ionisation of gases attributable to the radiation of younger stars contained in the nebula. The nebula accommodates a number of Herbig-Haro objects – ejecting jets of matter from the spinning disk of collapsing fuel and mud constructing new stars. Captured on the Avnø Nature Centre, 100km south of Copenhagen.

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The Lagoon Nebula, Messier 8. This star nursery is 5 200 light-years away, within the central aircraft of the Milky Means within the constellation of Sagittarius. It’s finest noticed from the Southern Hemisphere. Within the luminous centre of this cosmic cradle is a new child star referred to as Hershel 36. Though new child, this ‘child’ is 200 000 occasions brighter than our Solar and a million years outdated. It sends stellar winds and radiation by the nebula, making the gases glow. Different new child stars are lighting up this large nebula and huge molecular clouds referred to as Bok globules are contracting into proto-stars. Though the scene seems static on a human time scale, the entire Lagoon Nebula will, with time, contract and disperse right into a cluster of stars within the sea of area. Captured at Bliss & Stars, winter 2022.

The Crescent Nebula. In its centre is a Wolf-Rayet star, which is one in a billion. They’re large scorching stars ejecting their outer shell within the final phases of their stellar life. The vitality from the recent central stars makes the increasing shell fluorescent, permitting us to see the increasing bubble. They’re supernovas and can exit with a giant bang once they lastly give up to gravity. The purple color is hydrogen and the blue is oxygen (discover that there’s a shell of oxygen surrounding the bubble). This was captured at Avnø Nature Centre, 100km south of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Comet Swan. This area traveller comes from the Oort cloud past the outskirts of our photo voltaic system. Comets are primarily massive dusty ice blocks orbiting the Solar elliptically. Some comets get shut sufficient to the Solar for his or her floor to evaporate. Photo voltaic winds blow the ‘melting’ comet particles and fuel into area, giving the comet its iconic tail. For this reason the tail of a comet at all times factors away from the Solar. Capturing a picture of a comet requires a distinct approach and it’s important to be on the proper spot on the proper time and the climate should play alongside. This picture, captured at Bliss & Stars, is the one I’m most pleased with as a result of I can’t remake it ever once more. For that, I would want to hold round for 17 000 years.

The Eagle Nebula. This star nursery is 7 000 light-years from Earth within the Carina-Sagittarius arm of the Milky Means, within the course of the constellation of Serpens, the snake. Within the coronary heart of the Eagle Nebula is the enduring star nursery often known as the Pillars of Creation. These large pillars of fuel and mud are a number of light-years tall, busy constructing new suns and planets, born in the same atmosphere that solid our photo voltaic system 4.5 billion years in the past. This narrow-band picture, created with 17 hours of publicity, reveals hydrogen (yellow), oxygen (blue) and sulfur (purple). Captured at Bliss & Stars within the Cederberg.


A model of this text appeared within the November 2022 print situation of Getaway

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