Picture of the Day: A Nebula Loses Its Characteristic Shape

northamericannebula.jpg

This is an image of the North America Nebula, which gets its name because it looks so much like the continent North America. No? That's because this image, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, captures the nebula's infrared light. Visible light cannot penetrate dust clouds, which carve out an outline that looks similar to the continent. Below, a side-by-side comparison of the nebula's appearance in visible and infrared light.

800px-North_America_Nebula_Disappears.jpg

Images: 1. NASA; 2. Wikimedia Commons.
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In