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Painting Gallery -- Stars and Galaxies

Painting Gallery: Stars and Galaxies
258 - In the Heart of the Galaxy
258 -- In the Heart of the Galaxy.. This view shows the exotic nucleus of our own galaxy -- a bright and massive structure that may involve a black hole. The central core of the galaxy has thousands of red giant stars along with clouds of dust and other stars packed much closer together than in our outer region of the galaxy. Thus, the sky is ablaze with stars and mottled by black dust clouds. A factor that pleases me in a painting like this is that everything I put into the picture has a scientific basis, and yet the resulting painting has an almost completely abstract quality. (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
360 - Supernova in a Star-forming Region. 458 - Colliding Galaxies
360 -- Supernova in a Star-forming Region.. Stars form in groupings called open-clusters, usually embedded in large, softly glowing nebulae. The largest stars in each cluster have the shortest lifetimes. They burn their nuclear fuel so fast that they become unstable and explode after a few million years; the explosions are called supernovae. Our own solar system was probably embedded in such a region as Earth formed. This view is from an imaginary, airless, moon-like world. The foreground landscape was painted from Nature in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, showing lava formations in Kilauea crater. (Copyright William K. Hartmann). 458 -- Colliding Galaxies.. The "Milky Way" of this system is a galaxy in the midst of an interaction with another galaxy. Excited hydrogen nebulae, glowing with red hydrogen alpha emission, dot the contact zone between the two galactic planes. Note the absence of stars in the sky, other than the two galaxies, since we are located in intergalactic space. The luminous sources on the shore raise the question: is the planet inhabited? (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
491 - An Alien Earth. 256 - Red Giant: The Future of Earth.
491 -- An Alien Earth. This is a view of a star-forming region, similar to that in which the solar system was born. In the foreground is a newly formed Earth-like planet. (Copyright William K. Hartmann). 256 -- Red Giant: The Future of Earth. The sun and other common-sized stars expand into huge, reddish-colored stars when they run out of hydrogen fuel. About five billion years in the future, the sun will go into this phase, filling the sky as seen from Earth. This is a view from such a planet, after the topography has been melted down into a flat lava plain. A moon-like satellite is silhouetted against the red giant. (Copyright William K. Hartmann).

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