COOL IMAGES: Stellar Gallery

Science  18 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5456, pp. 1163
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5456.1163a

Want to see some really beautiful stars? Forget the gossip column of Vanity Fair and check out the Anglo-Australian Observatory's Web site (http://www.aao.gov.au/). You'll find nearly 200 images by astronomer and photographer David Malin, including this stunner of the Cone nebula, an opaque cloud of hydrogen gas lying in the equatorial constellation of Monoceros. The nebula is part of the loose open cluster NGC 2226, a swarm of stars coursing through the Milky Way.

In 25 years of photographing the heavens, primarily with the observatory's 3.9-meter telescope, Malin has developed techniques to blot out the glare of the brightest features and reveal the dimmer details of galaxies, nebulae, stars, and supernovae. His photos have toured the globe, adorned Australian postage stamps, and injected a little cosmic reality into the movie Contact. His stunning snapshot of the Horsehead nebula currently adorns the home of Science, the AAAS building in Washington, D.C.

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