SciFi Question of the Day: If space is mostly vacuum, what is all the “stuff” we see in this image of the Orion Nebula?
Keith Marshall Nebulian Stuff.
Kyle Chisholm The world’s hopes, dreams, and failures!
Geri Bressler Space snot
Kyle Chisholm LOL Space snot! It came out of the nose of the ship from Space Balls!
Geri Bressler See, you think it’s stuff, but it-snot
Al Hartman God likes to finger paint…
Robert Damian Mauro The death of a star (or in this case, if memory serves, more than one). IIRC, largely stellar components in gaseous and solid form, all being illuminated from the star remnants that remain after nova.
Robert Damian Mauro No… perhaps the Orion Nebula is a birthplace of stars… I can’t remember. Nebulas are *generally* either one or the other though, if memory serves. Some are potentially caused by other events.
Stephen Dillard From the violent (and beautiful) death of a star comes the creation of every element that makes our life possible. The endless recycling of all things that exist. Awe inspiring.
Dave Mac I just checked the vacuum and wouldn’t you know it, lots of that stuff in there as well. Vacuums must suck up Stuff every where in the Universe.
Elizabeth Sykas-Ringgenberg I think it’s the socks that have gone missing in the wash…
Juno Suk That’s not space. It’s just the swirlies printed on my bowling ball.
Dave Mac socks are made of “star-stuff”
AmyBeth Fredricksen Yeah, but are socks made of swirly stuff? Because the sock-related stuff that ends up in my vacuum is more lint-like and fluffy.
Dave Mac Yep, and those socks with the little sticky dots on the bottom are made out of tachyons
Dan Bressler Stick-in-the-mud answer: It’s mostly vacuum. What is there is a very diffuse gas, which only counts as “stuff” in comparison to the emptiness around it. The colors are computer-generated because the radiation given out is mostly in the infrared spectrum.
Dave Mac Also Dan, the vacuum of space is kind of a human perspective. Earth pressuse at sea level is 14.7 psi., Most of the universe/space (that we know of) it at “zero” and we are a high pressure zone.
Daniel Beard always remember that “Vacuum” is full of all sorts of things, mono-atomic hydrogen and helium, dust of all sizes from microns to actual millimeters. it is just that we have issues with the fact that we sort of are addicted to a specific amount of oxygen/nitrogen mixture. and we really do not like the withdrawal symptoms.
Google Plus Answers:
Rodolphe D’Inca – whis is it a scifi question? it is a science question! 🙂 What we see is radiation, it doesn’t mean a high density of matter to produce it and ctully the picture is taken on a very loclized part of the universe!
michael interbartolo – gases coallescing due to gravity and intense pressure.
2. The Hubble takes pictures (long time exposures, which has the effect of making things brighter) thru filters so the astronomers can tell what’s coming in at what frequencies. Then they can assign colors to the frequencies using imaging software. They can assign the actual visible colors of the frequencies, but you get more spectacular pictures if you assign visible colors to the IR and UV, too.
I would love to hear what you think! Even if you are reading this post a year or more after publishing, I hope you will leave a comment with your own ideas on this topic.
The previous SciFi Q of the Day is Waltzing Into Mordor
The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1qnT4-yD
The next SciFi Q of the Day is Lunar Athletics