Vacation Week and APOD

Lucky me.  I’m taking a vacation next week. The same week that New Horizons will make it’s flyby of Pluto.  It just means I get to watch from the road, from the outside in for once.  I’m still looking forward to it, but with a cup of coffee and a national park as my venue, rather than a newsroom media call.  At any rate, my posting will continue as I still feel like my blog-a-day rationale is beneficial for me as a writer (and hopefully for you as the reader), though I might mix in a few of my own photos from a few dark sky preserves across Eastern Canada, to spice things up.

With all the Pluto talk lately I wanted to try and keep things spiced up, rather than continue my usual bias for planetary science.  Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) shows Messier 43, the smaller and slightly-less-majestic companion to M42, the Orion Nebula.

Messier 43 Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Obs.), Igor Chilingarian (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

M43 is part of the massive and relatively close (1500 LY distant) molecular star-forming cloud that lies in the belt of Orion the hunter.  It’s reminiscent of great caverns that lie deep beneath the Earth, except in this case we are seeing thousands of light years across vast walls of gas and dust that are being carved out by the very stars that illuminate them for human eyes to see.

Majestic. Happy Friday!

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