Folding IranThe rocks in this country have had a hard time,…

Folding Iran

The rocks in this country have had a hard time, being squeezed and deformed from both ends by tectonic forces. From the east, the immense pressures generated by India’s collision with Europe, and from the west, the subduction related pressure as Arabia (which is splitting off from Africa) approaches for a future collision. As the Himalayas rise, rocks from Iran, to Siberia and South East Asia are being pushed out of the way and squeezed, creating mountains, earthquakes and folding.


Image credit: Luca Parmitano

2018 January 18 Blue Comet in the Hyades Image Credit &…

2018 January 18

Blue Comet in the Hyades
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

Explanation: Stars of the Hyades cluster are scattered through this mosaic spanning over 5 degrees on the sky toward the constellation Taurus. Presently cruising through the Solar System, the remarkably blue comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS is placed in the wide field of view using image data from January 12. With the apex of the V-shape in the Hyades cluster positioned near the top center, bright Aldebaran, alpha star of Taurus, anchors the frame at the lower right. A cool red giant, Aldebaran is seen in orange hues in the colorful starfield. While the stars of the Hyades are gathered 151 light-years away, Aldebaran lies only 65 light-years distant and so is separate from the cluster stars. On January 12, C/2016 R2 was over 17 light-minutes from planet Earth and nearly 24 light-minutes from the Sun. Its blue tinted tail largely due to CO+ gas fluorescing in sunlight, the head or coma of the comet appears with a slightly greenish hue, likely emission from diatomic carbon.

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