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Photo links 76
Web's Best Photo and Art Links

From Magic Mike

My collection of recommended links to photos of the best Hubble Space Telescope photos and other NASA photos, incredible landscape photos, scenic wonders, wildlife animal photos, AND the Renaissance Art Masters, art work of the 10th through 20th Centuries from World Museums.These photos are links, to sites owned by other people, for private viewing, not for commercial use.
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Fox Fur, the Unicorn, and a Christmas Tree Credit & Copyright: Russell Croman Explanation: Glowing hydrogen gas fills this gorgeously detailed sky view centered on the variable star S Mon in the faint but fanciful constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. A star forming region (NGC 2264), the complex jumble of cosmic gas and dust is about 2,700 light-years distant and mixes reddish emission nebulae excited by energetic light from newborn stars with dark interstellar dust clouds. Where the otherwise obscuring dust clouds lie close to stars they also reflect starlight, forming blue reflection nebulae. The wide vista spans about 1.5 degrees or nearly 3 full moons, covering 70 light-years at the distance of NGC 2264. Its cast of cosmic characters includes the Cone Nebula (far left), the Fox Fur Nebula, whose convoluted pelt lies just below S Mon, and the Christmas Tree star cluster. The triangular Christmas Tree cluster appears sideways here, with its apex at the Cone Nebula and its broader base centered on S Mon. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC & NASA SEU Edu. Forum & Michigan Tech. U.

Lingering Lunar Eclipse (Large version) Credit & Copyright: Noel Munford (Palmerston North Astronomical Society, New Zealand) Explanation: As the Moon passed almost directly through the center of Earth's shadow on July 16th, sky gazers in the Pacific hemisphere were graced by a lingering lunar eclipse. The total phase lasted 1 hour and 47 minutes, the longest since 1859. A longer total lunar eclipse won't occur until the year 3000. Taking advantage of the lengthy totality, astronomer and photographer, Noel Munford used a small telescope to record this colourful picture of the eclipsed Moon and nearby stars in the skies above Palmerston North, New Zealand. Near the top in this southern hemisphere perspective is the 84 kilometer wide bright ray crater Tycho. The Moon looks red even when it lies completely in shadow because it is still illuminated by sunlight reddened by dust and refracted by the atmosphere along the Earth's limb. Changes in atmospheric dust content mean that each eclipse can have a different appearance. An experienced observer, Munford comments that at mid totality this eclipse had a more uniform, delicate, subtle colour and was one of the lightest he has seen. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.

Moon Slide Slim Credit & Copyright: Doug Murray Explanation: No special filters - or even a telescope - are required to enjoy a leisurely lunar eclipse. In fact, watched from all over the night side of planet Earth, these regular celestial performances have entertained many casual skygazers. Still, this eye-catching picture of a lunar eclipse may look unfamiliar. To make it, astrophotographer Doug Murray set his camera on a tripod and locked the shutter open during the total lunar eclipse of January 2000. The resulting image records the trail of the Moon sliding through the night, steadily progressing toward the total eclipse phase as seen from Florida, USA. Haunting red hues of diminished moonlight, common during the total phase of a lunar eclipse, are evident at the far right, along the slimmer portion of the trail. At least part of tonight's lunar eclipse will be visible in clear night skies over the Americas, Europe, and Africa. The eclipse should last over three hours from start to finish, with about 53 minutes of totality. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.

M42: Wisps of the Orion Nebula Credit & Copyright: John P. Gleason (Celestial Images) Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion, an immense, nearby starbirth region, is probably the most famous of all astronomical nebulas. Here, glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud only 1500 light-years away. In the above deep image, faint wisps and sheets of dust and gas are particularly evident. The Great Nebula in Orion can be found with the unaided eye just below and to the left of the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular constellation Orion. In addition to housing a bright open cluster of stars known as the Trapezium, the Orion Nebula contains many stellar nurseries. These nurseries contain hydrogen gas, hot young stars, proplyds, and stellar jets spewing material at high speeds. Also known as M42, the Orion Nebula spans about 40 light years and is located in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy as the Sun. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC & NASA SEU Edu. Forum & Michigan Tech. U.

0313-192: The Wrong Galaxy Credit: W. Keel (Univ. Alabama), M. Ledlow (Gemini Obs.), F. Owen (NRAO), AUI,NSF, NASA Explanation: Centered above is distant galaxy 0313-192, some one billion light-years away. Radio emission from the galaxy has been mapped by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array and is shown in red, composited with a visible light image from the Hubble Space Telescope's new Advanced Camera for Surveys. Dust lanes and other features in the Hubble image as well as infrared Gemini telescope data demonstrate clearly that 0313-192 is a spiral galaxy seen edge-on. (Note the unrelated spiral galaxy seen face-on above and to the right.) For years, double cosmic clouds of radio emission such as those flanking this spiral galaxy's core have been studied and cataloged. But, at least until now, such radio sources were only known to arise from the cores of giant elliptical galaxies or in violent merging galaxy systems, making 0313-192 the wrong kind of galaxy to be found in this scenario. Astronomers are searching for clues to why this spiral galaxy, potentially similar to our own Milky Way, shows such powerful activity. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC & NASA SEU Edu. Forum & Michigan Tech. U.

Seyfert's Sextet Credit: J. English (U. Manitoba), C. Palma (PSU), et al., NASA Explanation: Known as Seyfert's Sextet, this intriguing group of galaxies lies in the head portion of the split constellation Serpens. The sextet actually contains only four interacting galaxies, though. Near the center of this Hubble Space Telescope picture, the small face-on spiral galaxy lies in the distant background and appears only by chance aligned with the main group. Also, the prominent condensation on the far right is likely not a separate galaxy at all, but a tidal tail of stars flung out by the galaxies' gravitational interactions. About 190 million light-years away, the interacting galaxies are tightly packed into a region around 100,000 light-years across, comparable to the size of our own Milky Way galaxy, making this one of the densest known galaxy groups. Bound by gravity, the close-knit group may coalesce into a single large galaxy over the next few billion years. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC & NASA SEU Edu. Forum & Michigan Tech. U.

Cold Wind from the Boomerang Nebula Credit: R. Sahai and J. Trauger (JPL), NASA/ESA Explanation: A cold wind blows from the central star of the Boomerang Nebula. Seen here in a detailed false-color image recorded in 1998 by the Hubble Space Telescope, the nebula lies about 5,000 light-years away towards the grand southern constellation of Centaurus. The symmetric cloud appears to have been created by a high-speed wind of gas and dust blowing from an aging central star at speeds of nearly 600,000 kilometers per hour. This rapid expansion has cooled molecules in the nebular gas to about one degree above absolute zero - colder than even the cosmic background radiation - making it the coldest region observed in the distant Universe. Shining with light from the central star reflected by dust, the frigid Boomerang Nebula is believed to be a star or stellar system evolving toward the planetary nebula phase. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC & NASA SEU Edu. Forum & Michigan Tech. U.

The Eagle Nebula from CFHT Credit & Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT), Hawaiian Starlight, CFHT Explanation: Bright blue stars are still forming in the dark pillars of the Eagle Nebula. Made famous by a picture from the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, the Eagle Nebula shows the dramatic process of star formation. To the upper right of the nebula in the above picture lies the heart of the open cluster M16. The bright blue stars of M16 have been continually forming over the past 5 million years, most recently in the famous central gas and dust pillars known as elephant trunks. Light takes about 7000 years to reach us from M16, which spans about 20 light years and can be seen with binoculars toward the constellation of Serpens.

Galaxies Cluster Toward the Great Attractor Credit: 2P2 Team, WFI, MPG/ESO 2.2-m Telescope, La Silla, ESO Explanation: Galaxies dot the sky like jewels in the direction of a mass so large it is known simply as the Great Attractor. The galaxies pictured above are part of a cluster of galaxies called ACO 3627 near the center of the Great Attractor. Previously, this cluster of galaxies, also known as the Norma Cluster, was largely unstudied because dust in the disk of our own Galaxy obscured much of its light. The Great Attractor is a diffuse mass concentration fully 250 million light-years away, but so large it pulls our own Milky Way Galaxy and millions of others galaxies towards it. Many of the galaxies in ACO 3627 are slowly heading towards collisions with each other. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.

Orion's Horsehead Nebula Credit & Copyight: Loke Kun Tan (StarryScapes) Explanation: The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the dark indentation to the red emission nebula seen above and to the right of center in the above photograph. The bright star on the left is located in the belt of the familiar constellation of Orion. The horse-head feature is dark because it is really an opaque dust cloud which lies in front of the bright red emission nebula. Like clouds in Earth's atmosphere, this cosmic cloud has assumed a recognizable shape by chance. After many thousands of years, the internal motions of the cloud will alter its appearance. The emission nebula's red color is caused by electrons recombining with protons to form hydrogen atoms. Also visible in the picture are blue reflection nebulae, which preferentially reflect the blue light from nearby stars. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC & NASA SEU Edu. Forum & Michigan Tech. U.

BHR 71: Stars, Clouds, and Jets Credit & Copyright: J. Alves (ESO), E. Tolstoy (Groningen), R. Fosbury (ST-ECF), & R. Hook (ST-ECF), VLT Explanation: What is happening to molecular cloud BHR 71? Quite possible, a binary star system is forming inside. Most stars in our Galaxy are part of binary star systems, but few have ever been seen in formation. Recent observations of dust-darkened Bok Globule BHR 71, however, show evidence for two young stars forming deep in the cloud, likely close enough to form a binary. Isolated BHR 71 spans about one light year and lies only about 600 light years away in the southern sky. The brighter embedded star -- not visible here -- is about 10 times as bright as the Sun and drives the jet that swept out the empty lane. The above four-color image was taken with a Very Large Telescope in Chile. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC & NASA SEU Edu. Forum & Michigan Tech. U.

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