CNN — Our universe is full of wonder, but equally full of horror.
A colorful poster in the same style as a vintage horror movie ad highlights some of these space horrors in the latest release of NASA’s Extraterrestrial Exploration Office at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.
The poster can be downloaded for free from NASA. EarthIt is also available in Spanish.
Released just in time for Halloween, this poster reveals the dangers and mysteries of the universe. The agency is also SoundCloud playlist It contains the terrifying sounds of the universe.
Previous posters have highlighted the wonders of our solar system and potentially habitable extraterrestrial planets, or planets outside our solar system, imagining how humans could one day visit this distant place.
However, the phenomenon depicted in this poster is a little more sinister.
Posters combine imaginative artistic rendering with exciting science. Teams of artists and scientists have been working together for them since 2014.
Latest additions from NASA Galaxy of horror The poster collection includes hard-to-find dark matter, deadly gamma-ray bursts, and “Galaxy Graveyard”
The Galactic Graveyard poster shows an old galaxy where star formation suddenly ceased just billions of years after the Big Bang. Now this is a cemetery of decaying stars, and the remaining stars are tiny, red and eerie red.
“If you dare go in, you can meet the terrifying corpses of an alien planet or the last death pain of a once powerful star,” reads the JPL caption.
The “Gamma Ray Ghouls” poster shows what happens when a dead star collides, ie a gamma ray explosion. This is one of the most powerful explosions in the universe.
“These rays of doom are released into their unfortunate environment, shining a million times brighter than the sun for up to 30 seconds. No spacecraft can protect you from the dazzling destruction of Gamma Ray Ghoul!” Say the text of this poster.
And there is dark matter. This invisible gravity gives the universe structure, but scientists have tried to detect dark matter “particles” for years without knowing what it is made of.
“One of the things I really like about this poster is that if you take the time to study the art and then learn a little more about each of these subjects, you can see that the artists thought a lot about this poster. They emphasize science. The choices we made to make,” said Jason Rhodes, JPL’s astrophysicist, who consulted on the project in a statement.
For example, the spider web used in the dark matter poster is a clever allusion to the structure of the universe’s cosmic web that connects galaxies we cannot see.
The gamma ray poster also highlights the danger of getting close to a collision between the dead stars and the energy they will emit.
Astrophysicist Judy Racusin at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has also consulted on the poster and highlights how rare the gamma-ray burst is, so it will not affect Earth.
Gamma-ray bursts occur only about once every 10,000 years in our galaxy, but according to NASA, they are only visible to us about once every 10 to 100 million years.
“Poster art is a really fun way to imagine one of these things,” Racusin said. “But I don’t want to be that space traveler!”
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