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Red Cosmic Square: Another of the Amazing Signs of Allah

070412_red_square_02.jpgVerily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allāh sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding. (2:164)

Near-Perfect Symmetry Revealed in Red Cosmic Square

If symmetry is a sign of splendor, then the newly discovered Red Square nebula is one of the most beautiful objects in the universe.

Seen in the infrared, the nebula resembles a giant, glowing red box in the sky, with a bright white inner core. A dying star called MWC 922 is located at the system's center and spewing its innards from opposite poles into space. (A nebula is an interstellar cloud of gas, dust and plasma where stars can both emerge and die.)

'This spectacular event is the death of a star,' said study team member James Lloyd of Cornell University.

After MWC 922 ejects most of its material into space, it will contract into a dense stellar corpse known as a white dwarf, shrouded by clouds of its own remains.

The Red Square nebula discovery is detailed in the April 13 issue of the journal Science.

Almost perfect

What is particularly astonishing about the Red Square, the researchers say, is the degree of symmetry seen in lines, or 'rungs,' that bisect its surface. The rungs appear as shadows, and their makeup is uncertain.

'The high degree of regularity in this case may point to the intriguing possibility that these bands are shadows cast by periodic ripples or waves on the surface of an inner disk close to the star at the heart of the system,” Lloyd said.

The Red Square ranks among the most symmetrical objects ever observed by scientists. 'If you fold things across the principle diagonal axis, you get an almost perfect reflection symmetry,' said study leader Peter Tuthill from the University of Sydney in Australia. 'This makes the Red Square nebula the most symmetrical object of comparable complexity ever imaged.'

The Red Square's extreme symmetry suggests the star's surroundings are extremely still and not buffeted by external stellar winds or other turbulence.

The researchers propose that similar conditions are contributing to the extreme symmetry of another system, the Red Rectangle, whose central star is cooler than that of the Red Square.

'The Red Rectangle is mostly symmetrical, but it has some asymmetries,' Lloyd told SPACE.com. 'It wasn't clear whether it was because the outflow was very symmetrical or whether material in the outflow was encountering some other material' which introduced the symmetry.

The new findings suggest the system's perfect form results from an even outflow of gas. 'The reason the Red Square remains so symmetrical is that there is no material that has interfered with the outflow, so it has preserved the symmetry it was born with,' Lloyd said.

Adaptive optics

Tuthill and Lloyd spotted the Red Square using the 200-inch Hale Telescope at Caltech's Palomar Observatory and the Keck-2 Telescope in Hawaii.

Both telescopes utilize a relatively new type of imaging called adaptive optics, which uses a laser guide star as a reference and a rapidly deforming mirror to correct image distortions from the Earth's atmosphere in real time.

Adaptive optics 'acts like a myopia cure for a telescope,' Lloyd said.

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About ibnabeeomar

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters, Qalam Institute, Muslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb and has served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow him on Google+ or on Twitter @ibnabeeomar.

6 comments

  1. SubhanAllah, this is beautiful!

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  2. Assalaam-u-Alaikum Wa-Rahmatullahi Wa-Rabaktuhu
    mashallah subahanallah it’s awesome i tell you something i had a strawberry brought home and it says Allah on it the other i brought some more and it on it two of them on it and i was like Subhanallah not only to show those who don’t believe on Allah (non-believers) but to be afraid of god signs of Allah i would call it i mean subhanallah we need to take lessons don’t we ?
    wasalaam

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  3. Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakatu my dear brothers and sisters in Islam.

    Sister, thats quite interesting. Now why don’t you send me that strawberry? I promise i wont eat it. LOL

    barakALLAH fik

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  4. Asalamualaikum warahmavulcia wabarakathu islam is great religion i an thankful to almighty ALLAH who made of a muslim and an ummati

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  5. And which of the favors and signs of Allah shall we deny?

    The perfection and beauty of the cosmos continues to boggle the human mind. There are stars that have collapsed unto itself after a supernova called rotating neutron stars or pulsars. They are given this name because the way they were discovered was through the radio waves they pulsate out at such regular intervals, some equivalent to an atomic clock!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsar

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