I experienced the highest density of colleagues with background from astrophysics when I worked at the Norwegian Mapping Authority. Mapping seems like an earthly matter, per definition, but it never was and never will be. First of all our planet Earth is exactly that - a planet! So I say as an astrophysicist I do not discriminate against any of the planets, including planet Earth! Right now I focus almost entirely on this particular planet.
The reason why I found myself surrounded by astrophysicist at the Norwegian Mapping Authority was GPS. Calculating the orbits of those GPS satellites requires knowledge about celestial mechanics. Just replace planets or celestial objects with satellites. It is basically the same thing. GPS is one of the spatial techniques that help us define the reference frame - the coordinate system for positioning and the basis for all maps. The field is called geodesy.
All that being fine and dandy, as an astrophysicist by strong will power I never fell out of love with space. I try my best to stay updated in the field I identify the strongest with. Today I decided I'd like to share some of my favorite images on Saturdays. Sometimes I just enjoy the beauty of these images, sometimes I read more about the science behind it. It is up to you what you would like to do. Enjoy either way!
Are they not superb? The Orion bullets look magnificent in this new image from Gemini. You can see the old image (2007) here.Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA
This Saturday I was astound by the beauty of Orion bullets. Gemini proves to providing powerful tools revealing more details about celestial objects. I think we can all agree that these kind of bullets are totally acceptable - as long as we can keep the distance of course (more precisely 1500 light-years from our Solar System)
The Orion Nebula, where all this action take place, is a cradle for many a star. In the nebula we find supersonic "bullets" of gas and the wakes created as they pierce through clouds of molecular hydrogen. They are thought to come out of some violent massive star formation. These bullets are a side-effect of star births.
Saturday in Space: Orion Bullets