The Glory

9 Nov 2018

Not the Glory of the Lord but something equally as fascinating. At https://phys.org/print460798257.html ... concerns the optical phenomenon known as a glory - that is mostly seen by aircraft pilots and mountaineers, looking down on mist and clouds. It forms a small circular rainbow. Glories are seen when the sun sines from behind and interacts with water droplets to refract light back to the observer. An ESA astronaut took this picture of a glory from the International Space Station back in September ...

   ... To see a glory from space (high in the atmosphere, at 400km above the surface) would require specific atmospheric conditions.

At https://phys.org/print460811448.html ... astronomers say they have seen one star consume another star, its companion. It is now much brighter than it was before. It is also moving extremely fast. Recent observations by the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer show a horsheshoe shaped shield of gas and dust surrounding the star - the shield itself is illuminated, it is said, by intense radiation from the star. The image below is the bow shock wave of another star - observed by the Spitzer space telescope (in order to show a similar situation). When you read the press release you discover the speed of the star is guesswork, its origin is guesswork, its age is guesswork, and the language is mostly hype. That is not to say the study itself is not a sober one. What actually was observed - apart from a sudden rise in light- Was it a flare up?

 

At https://phys.org/print460792535.html ... we have another merging story - two black holes coming together (or two blocks of light in space coming together). To observe this phenomenon astronomers peered through thick walls of gas and dust surrounding two merging galaxies (using x-ray cameras).