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By Andi Kulse
April 26th, 2016
This was taken after a hiking tour through the Höllentalklamm.
"Valley of Hell", as it is known in English, leads up the Zugspitze on the German side of the German-Austrian border in the northern Alps.
Adobe Lightroom CC.
Photo Settings: 17mm, f/9, 1/200 second, ISO 200.
By NASA Images
March 14th, 2016
The graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 (NGC 5194) appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space. They are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust.
This sharpest-ever image of the Whirlpool Galaxy, taken in January 2005 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, illustrates a spiral galaxy's grand design, from its curving spiral arms, where young stars reside, to its yellowish central core, a home of older stars. The galaxy is nicknamed the Whirlpool because of its swirling structure.
The Whirlpool's most striking feature is its two curving arms, a hallmark of so-called grand-design spiral galaxies. Many spiral galaxies possess numerous, loosely shaped arms which make their spiral structure less pronounced. These arms serve an important purpose in spiral galaxies. They are star-formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars. In the Whirlpool, the assembly line begins with the dark clouds of gas on the inner edge, then moves to bright pink star-forming regions, and ends with the brilliant blue star clusters along the outer edge.
Some astronomers believe that the Whirlpool's arms are so prominent because of the effects of a close encounter with NGC 5195, the small, yellowish galaxy at the outermost tip of one of the Whirlpool's arms. At first glance, the compact galaxy appears to be tugging on the arm. Hubble's clear view, however, shows that NGC 5195 is passing behind the Whirlpool. The small galaxy has been gliding past the Whirlpool for hundreds of millions of years.
As NGC 5195 drifts by, its gravitational muscle pumps up waves within the Whirlpool's pancake-shaped disk. The waves are like ripples in a pond generated when a rock is thrown in the water. When the waves pass through orbiting gas clouds within the disk, they squeeze the gaseous material along each arm's inner edge. The dark dusty material looks like gathering storm clouds. These dense clouds collapse, creating a wake of star birth, as seen in the bright pink star-forming regions. The largest stars eventually sweep away the dusty cocoons with a torrent of radiation, hurricane-like stellar winds, and shock waves from supernova blasts. Bright blue star clusters emerge from the mayhem, illuminating the Whirlpool's arms like city streetlights.
The Whirlpool is one of astronomy's galactic darlings. Located 31 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs), the Whirlpool's beautiful face-on view and closeness to Earth allow astronomers to study a classic spiral galaxy's structure and star-forming processes.
Object Names: Whirlpool Galaxy, M51, NGC 5194/5
February 6th, 2016
A 3-light-year-long pillar, bathed in the glow of light from hot, massive stars to the top of the image. Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from these stars are sculpting the pillar and causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of gas and dust can be seen flowing off the top of the structure.
Nestled inside this dense structure are fledgling stars. They cannot be seen in this image because they are hidden by a wall of gas and dust. Although the stars themselves are invisible, one of them is providing evidence of its existence. Thin puffs of material can be seen traveling to the left and to the right of a dark notch in the center of the pillar. The matter is part of a jet produced by a young star. Farther away, on the left, the jet is visible as a grouping of small, wispy clouds. A few small clouds are visible at a similar distance on the right side of the jet. Astronomers estimate that the jet is moving at speeds of up to 850,000 miles an hour. The jet's total length is about 10 light-years.
Composed of gas and dust, the pillar resides in a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina.
By Andy Rank
March 10th, 2016
A beautiful day near Trollstigen. I took this picture in July 2015 during my trip through Norway. The weather was really nice at that day which is not usual in Norway ;) ... I'll be back this year with my tent and camp there for a couple of days.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM.
Photo Settings: 24mm, f/10, 1/200 second, ISO 100.
May 22nd, 2014
Morraine Lake, AB, Canada is the starting point of the Larch Valley hike. Hoping for better weather, a friend and I set out for a light day in the mountains. The clouds happened to offer a nice light for this shot.
Shot from a very common spot to photograph. I believe this to be a very different mood and angle than the norm, though.
Editing with HDRSoft Photomatix and Adobe Lightroom.
Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM.
Photo Settings: 10mm, f/16, 1/30 second, ISO 200.