Boomerang Nebula

Boomerang nebula from ALMA and Hubble. Image credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF/NASA/STScI/JPL-Caltech

Boomerang nebula from ALMA and Hubble. Image credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF/NASA/STScI/JPL-Caltech

An image fitting for Halloween from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array telescope, or ALMA and Hubble of a nebula about 1,533 pc / 5000 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus.

The Boomerang nebula is known as the “coldest place in the universe”. The ghostly shape shown in red is from cold gas molecules as seen from ALMA and the blue background is from Hubble. The Boomerang is known as a pre-planetary nebula, think of the early stages of nebula formation.

And cold? Cold seems to be almost inadequate, the red colored region is just 1 K, that’s one degree Kelvin or -272oC / -458oF. Even the cosmic background radiation is warmer than that.

Check out press release.

BTW:
I think today is when Europe changes from “Summer Time” so the clocks go back one hour and you get an “hour extra sleep”. Next week it is the US’s turn. Not all locales in either place switch, personally if I’had my way I’d not change either. The thing is, I would not change from Summer Time because I’d like more light at the end of the day.

Also wanted to mention yesterday we had a close visit from a newly discovered asteroid. The asteroid called 2013 UX2 came as close as 0.39 lunar distance or just shy of 150,000 km / 93,000 miles.  The asteroid is just now leaving the Earth-Moon system as this post publishes.

2013 UX2 is newly discovered, the designation being assigned to the Catalina Sky Survey. Pretty good catch, this asteroid is only 5-meters in diameter.

More info at the JPL Small Body Database.