#HerschelsEagleNebula | A now famous picture from the Hubble Space Telescope featured Pillars of Creation, star forming columns of cold gas and dust light-years long inside M16, the Eagle Nebula. This false-color composite image views the nearby stellar nursery using data from the Herschel Space Observatory's panoramic exploration of interstellar clouds along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Herschel's far infrared detectors record the emission from the region's cold dust directly.
Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Nature
The field of quantum mechanics all fundamental forces are carried by particles. For instance, light is made up of massless particles called photons that carry the electromagnetic force. Likewise, the graviton is the theoretical particle that would carry the force of gravity. Scientists have yet to detect gravitons, which are tricky to find because they interact so weakly with matter.
The Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan, an underground tank that holds 50 million liters of water, captures neutrinos that emanate from a particle accelerator nearly 300 kilometers away. When a neutrino hits the detector, it can produce charged particles, whose high speed through the water emits a flash of light, triggering phototubes mounted in the walls of the Super-K tank. The experiment investigates muon neutrinos transforming into electron neutrinos.
Dark Reflections in the Southern Cross NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this colorful image of the reflection nebula IRAS 12116-6001. This cloud of interstellar dust cannot be seen directly in visible light, but WISE's detectors observed the nebula at infrared wavelengths.