Green Lantern’s emerald ring beams across space and time at NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope
Astronomy NASA News – Visitors from the stars have often been the main characters in myths, legends, comic book adventures and books and movies created by humans throughout the ages of mankind. Considering the diminutive knowledge astronomers have of space and time this choice provides the perfect context for adventure and the unknown. The Green Lantern is one of the most popular and beloved DC Comics heroes of all time and more recently a full length feature film starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard. The original Green Lantern Alan Scott was created by writer Bill Finger and commercial artist Martin Nodell for All American Comics #16 (July 1940) edition. Since this time the Green Lantern alias has been shared by several DC Comics superheroes and fictional characters that have all contributed to the popularity of this timeless character.
Emerald ring nebula born in the fire of massive O type stars
Astronomers on the leading edge of the human journey to the beginning of time and space recently glimpsed this emerald nebula using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Reminiscent of the emerald ring wielded by the Green Lantern, this emerald ring wasn’t forged by the Guardians of the Universe as the power rings of the Green Lantern Corps were in the original Green Lantern adventures. Astronomers viewing scenes like the one in the picture above believe emerald nebula like the one seen here are in fact born in the fire of the most massive stars viewed on the human journey to the beginning of the universe O type stars. This particular emerald nebula lies deep within clouds of hot gas and glowing dust in the constellation Scorpius and has been given the name RCW 120 by astronomers. The green ring we see is in fact glowing in infrared colours our eyes aren’t designed to view, but using the infrared detectors of the Spitzer Space Telescope astronomers can produce images like this one.
Green Lantern’s ring
The green ring viewed here was actually carved out by the intense ultraviolet radiation of a couple of giant stars near the centre of the nebula. The giant stars will be obscured by the light from the other stars nearby, when viewed by the infrared detectors of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Ring nebula like this one have actually been a common sight on the human journey to the beginning of space and time, so common that professional astronomers have asked amateur star gazers to take part in the search for ring nebula. Astronomy lovers interested in taking part in the search for ring nebula should contact the people in charge of The Milky Way Project, at http://www.milkywayproject.org/.
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