Through the Fire I Come
Carved by a bright young star in Orion’s dusty molecular clouds, NGC 2023 is often overlooked in favor of the nearby dramatic silhouette of the Horsehead Nebula. In its own right it is seen as a beautiful star forming emission and reflection nebula though, a mere 1500 light-years distant. Surprisingly colorful and complex filaments are detailed in this rare NGC 2023 portrait. Scattered points of emission are also from the region’s Herbig-Haro objects, associated with the energetic jets from newborn stars. The sharp telescopic view spans about 10 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 2023. Off the right edge of the frame lies the more familiar cosmic Horsehead.
Michael Leonard Brecker (March 29, 1949 – January 13, 2007) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. He was awarded 15 Grammy Awards as both performer and composer. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music in 2004, and was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 2007.
Michael Brecker was born in Philadelphia and raised in Cheltenham Township, a local suburb. His father Bob (Bobby) was a lawyer who played jazz piano and his mother Sylvia was a portrait artist. Michael Brecker was exposed to jazz at an early age by his father. He grew up as part of the generation of jazz musicians who saw rock music not as the enemy but as a viable musical option. Brecker began studying clarinet at age 6, then moved to alto saxophone in eighth grade, settling on the tenor saxophone as his primary instrument in his sophomore year. He graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1967 and after a year at Indiana University he moved to New York City in 1969, where he carved out a niche for himself as a dynamic and exciting jazz soloist. He first made his mark at age 20 as a member of the jazz-rock band Dreams–a band that included his older brother, trumpeter Randy Brecker, trombonist Barry Rogers, drummer Billy Cobham, keyboardist Jeff Kent and bassist Doug Lubahn. Dreams was short-lived, lasting only from 1969 through 1972, but Miles Davis was seen at some gigs prior to his recording Jack Johnson.
Pearl Mae Bailey (March 29, 1918 – August 17, 1990) was an American actress and singer. After appearing in vaudeville she made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman in 1946. She won a Tony Award for the title role in the all-black production of Hello, Dolly! in 1968. In 1986, she won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance as a fairy godmother in the ABC Afterschool Special, Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale.
Performing on the Veena
Jah Bring I Joy In The Morning
NGC 7252 is a peculiar galaxy resulting from an interaction between two galaxies that started a billion years ago. It is located 220 million light years away in the constellation Aquarius. It is also called Atoms for Peace galaxy, a nickname which comes from its loop-like structure, made of stars, that resembles a diagram of an electron orbiting an atomic nucleus.
NGC 7252 is located in the southern part of Aquarius. With an apparent magnitude of 12.7, it is bright enough to be seen by amateur astronomers as a faint small fuzzy blob. Large loops of gas and stars around it makes the galaxy quite peculiar. Thus, it is also Arp 226 (the 226th entry in Arp’s list of peculiar galaxies).
In December 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the “Atoms for Peace” speech. The speech was concerned about promoting nuclear power for peaceful purposes instead of nuclear weapons. Significant to the scientific community, the name of the speech was given to this peculiar galaxy. The two galaxies merging also resembles nuclear fusion and the galaxies giant loops resemble a diagram of electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom.
The galaxy is the result of a collision of two galaxies. This collision is an opportunity for astronomers to study such mergers and to predict the future of our Milky Way after its expected collision with the Andromeda galaxy.
X-ray emissions were observed in NGC 7252. This suggests the existence of nuclear activity or an intermediate-mass black hole in the galaxy.