Pros and Ams, eh?

Pros and Ams, eh?

Pros and Ams, eh?

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
May 18 2005 8:26 PM

Pros and Ams, eh?

So while you're waiting for my inevitable review of Star Wars (it'll be up Thursday night, I hope!) I thought I would treat my readers to this image:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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It's an image of a young star which is just starting to emerge from its cocoon of gas and dust. I saw the image a couple of weeks ago, before it was released publicly, and it was a real "Wow!" moment. I spend and have spent a lot of time looking at astronomical images, and it's rare to find one I don't recognize at all. But to find out it's from a cluster of young stars with which I am passingly familiar was an added notch to the coolness factor of the image.

Boosting it even higher is that the image was taken by amateur astronomers on the ginormous Gemini 8 meter telescope (imagine a mirror as big as a living room, a roomy living room, and you get the idea). Amateurs these days know as much or more about imaging as many professionals, including me. I started off as an amateur with a small 'scope, and in many ways think of myself as one. So it's with a degree of pride that I display that image. Read the link; it's fun. I love it when people are so enthusiastic about astronomy!

Oh, and I'll mention the amateurs who took that image were Canadians. Why mention it? Because this image comes hard on the heels of a news item that says Canada is #1 in astronomy worldwide.

So take off! It's a beauty way to go.