Above, new imagery from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE): the red-colored thingie in the middle might be visually interpreted as a blood-red jellyfish or a pair of lips, but it's really a sphere of stellar innards blown out by a gigantic star...
The star (white dot in center of red ring) is one of the most massive stellar residents of our Milky Way galaxy. Objects like this are called Wolf-Rayet stars, after the astronomers who found the first few, and they make our sun look puny by comparison. Called V385 Carinae, this star is 35 times as massive as our sun, with a diameter nearly 18 times as large. It's hotter, too, and shines with more than one million times the amount of light.
Fiery candles like this burn out quickly, leading short lives of only a few million years. As they age, they blow out more and more of the heavier atoms cooking inside them—atoms such as oxygen that are needed for life as we know it.
More about the image, and the astronomy behind it, here at the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) website
Related: There's a nice new website up for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, with tons of eye-popping images!
(thanks, Whitney Clavin/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and thanks George Ruiz!)
Why does The Caterpillar Lab only have 44 subscribers? Caterpillars set to smooth jazz, like these gorgeous stinging rose caterpillars checking each other out, make this New Hampshire nonprofit a hidden gem.
A paper from a group of Kings College London researchers documents an unexpected and welcome side effect from an experimental anti-Alzheimer’s drug called Tideglusib: test subjects experienced a regeneration of dentin, the bony part of teeth that sits between the pulp and the enamel.
YouTuber Proto G shot these cool experiments with plasma vortex force fields. Scientists are looking into large-scale practical applications of the force field generated in this manner:
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