Saturday, June 21, 2014

Explosion of Monocrotis V838

Here is a video made from Hubble images of the star Monocrotis V838.

This star was discovered about 12 years ago. It was immediately recognized as a "variable star", a star whose brightness changes over time. The Hubble telescope made regular observations of Monocrotis V838 over the next 4 years. It has brightened, then dimmed, then brightened again. The pattern of brightening and dimming is unlike any other variable star observed to date. At its brightest, it was one of the brightest stars in our galaxy (in absolute terms). Read this Wikipedia article for more details....



Perhaps Lowbrows remember an email that was received from “The Gallery Project” a few months ago. They were looking for images for the upcoming “Unseen” show.  Brian Ottum responded and they have selected a few of his shots to include in the show.  Their explanation of the theme:

“The quest to see lies at the heart of human urgency. To breach the barrier between the visible and the invisible is compelling, emotional, informative and even magical. This process of discovery has always driven thinkers and image makers: artists, scientists and philosophers, from astronomers to nanotechnologists, from documentarians and data analysts to planners and prognosticators. As the unseen becomes seeable and seen, a pivot occurs, revealing and demanding irreversible change. No one who has seen is ever the same.”

The show will be in Detroit’s Eastern Market for the month of August, then move to the Ann Arbor Art Gallery September 12 to October 12.

See The Gallery Project’s website for more information:

Here are Brian’s subjects and why they fit with the theme:  Rosette Nebula has Bok Globules where stars form within an opaque cocoon.   Bryce Canyon rock spire points to the center of the Milky Way galaxy, where a supermassive black hole is invisible behind stars, gas and dust.  Rho Ophiuchus region has large dark rivers of dust clouds that hide objects behind.  Finally, the Orion Nebula is both a stellar nursery and also contains three mysterious straight lines – geosynchronous satellites.