The Phenomenon of Double Stars

double star alberio

Albereo (spelled Albireo by some) is one of the most beautiful double stars in the visible universe. It is made up of a small blue star and a large golden yellow star. Since they sparkle like brilliant jewels when viewed through a telescope, astronomers refer to their color as sapphire and topaz.

From a distance, a binary star looks like a single star but really it is two stars, paired up for billions and billions of years, locked in a gravitational embrace from which they never waver. The two stars are often of different mass and size, but still they remain joined in perfect equilibrium. You might be amazed to know that most stars in the universe are binary.

Planetary Nebula

ngc 2818 nebula

NGC 2818 is a beautiful planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star. It could well offer a glimpse of the future that awaits our own Sun after spending another 5 billion years or so steadily using up hydrogen at its core, and then finally helium, as fuel for nuclear fusion.

The Heart Nebula

The Heart Nebula

The beautiful Heart Nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia.

In this NASA photograph, a filter was used to saturate the ionized hydrogen gas of which she’s formed with a red hue.

Life in the Rocks: Sedona

The beauty of desert plant life is its ability to take root and grow and flourish in the red red rock.

This particular rock is part of the massive rock formation that supports the Chapel of the Holy Cross, designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. I took hundreds of shots in and around Sedona this day, in late June 2011. Below are a few more angles on the Chapel, in case you’ve never seen it.
Sedona Chapel of the Holy Cross

My Favorite Castle

chambord castle france

Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France

Built in the 1500’s, this is I think the largest castle in France. It’s size is amazing, but most remarkable are the 19 spires, each of which is a completely unique design. I was blessed to have visited this masterpiece in 1986 while studying in a town not far away. The tourists there were few that day, and my compatriots and I roamed the castle freely for hours. I remember climbing to the top of one of the taller spires, from which we could look down, bird’s eye, and more fully grasp the disparate beauty and sheer enormity of the château. To see a larger view of this shot (which I did not take), click on the image.