(via APOD: 2013 May 14 - Galaxy Collisions: Simulation vs Observations)

Images Credit: NASAESAVisualization: Frank Summers (STScI); Simulation: Chris Mihos (CWRU) & Lars Hernquist (Harvard).

Intersperse computer simulation of a galaxy collision with actual Hubble images of galaxies mid-collision and you get the feeling we know, pretty well, what happens when galaxies collide.

This is important because it means we’ve got a good handle on the larger-structure evolution of the universe at the galaxy level. We need to be sure of this if we’re going to do thought experiments, make theories, and test with observations into the ancient universe what it should look like in the past.

(via SDO - Solar Dynamics Observatory | SDO Pick of the Week)
Last week’s SDO pick of the week is amazing, and you may want to click straight through to the video here:
March_prom.mov   - quicktime movie
March_prom.mp4   - mp4 movie
March_prom.mpg   - mpeg movie
I love watching prominences break up and the particles come back to the surface along the magnetic lines, falling as nothing “should” fall…except that they’re charged particles on a star instead of debris on a planet.
Original Caption:
A solar prominence began to bow out and the broke apart in a graceful, floating style during a little less than four hours (Mar. 16, 2013). The sequence was captured in extreme ultraviolet light. A large cloud of the particles appeared to hover further out above the surface before it faded away. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA.

(via SDO - Solar Dynamics Observatory | SDO Pick of the Week)

Last week’s SDO pick of the week is amazing, and you may want to click straight through to the video here:

I love watching prominences break up and the particles come back to the surface along the magnetic lines, falling as nothing “should” fall…except that they’re charged particles on a star instead of debris on a planet.

Original Caption:

A solar prominence began to bow out and the broke apart in a graceful, floating style during a little less than four hours (Mar. 16, 2013). The sequence was captured in extreme ultraviolet light. A large cloud of the particles appeared to hover further out above the surface before it faded away. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA.

(via ESO - potw1312a - The Lost Galaxy)
FORS1 on the VLT captures NGC4535 in a shot that looks clear and bright, but you can imagine that the fuzziness that you see here in the world’s most advanced optical telescope would be even more so in the 1950s. Thus, the ghostly appearance gives the nickname The Lost Galaxy.
This barred spiral is visible out through Virgo and is, in fact, one of the larger members of the Virgo Cluster, the dominant cluster in the Virgo Supercluster, to which our Local Group of galaxies, including the Milky Way and  Andromeda, belongs.

(via ESO - potw1312a - The Lost Galaxy)

FORS1 on the VLT captures NGC4535 in a shot that looks clear and bright, but you can imagine that the fuzziness that you see here in the world’s most advanced optical telescope would be even more so in the 1950s. Thus, the ghostly appearance gives the nickname The Lost Galaxy.

This barred spiral is visible out through Virgo and is, in fact, one of the larger members of the Virgo Cluster, the dominant cluster in the Virgo Supercluster, to which our Local Group of galaxies, including the Milky Way and  Andromeda, belongs.

(via Probing Extreme Matter Through Observations Of Neutron Stars)
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s XMM-Newton, and NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE - an x-ray burst finding telescope, as opposed to Chandra which does specific directed observations) were all used to watch the effects of neutron stars in low-mass binaries, or, in the case of RXTE, to find x-ray bursts from neutron stars (probably from matter absorptions, but the article doesn’t say), in order to determine radius and size measurements. More precise measurements allow for physicists to check theoretical models for neutron stars, and the new results provide useful limits. They indicate that the phenomena seen match theoretical models, including those that have free quarks moving about in the center of neutron stars.
Read SpaceDaily on the subject.
DOI link to The Astrophysical Journals Letters for the original article.

(via Probing Extreme Matter Through Observations Of Neutron Stars)

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s XMM-Newton, and NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE - an x-ray burst finding telescope, as opposed to Chandra which does specific directed observations) were all used to watch the effects of neutron stars in low-mass binaries, or, in the case of RXTE, to find x-ray bursts from neutron stars (probably from matter absorptions, but the article doesn’t say), in order to determine radius and size measurements. More precise measurements allow for physicists to check theoretical models for neutron stars, and the new results provide useful limits. They indicate that the phenomena seen match theoretical models, including those that have free quarks moving about in the center of neutron stars.

Read SpaceDaily on the subject.

DOI link to The Astrophysical Journals Letters for the original article.

(via Chandra :: Photo Album :: DEM L50 :: January 28, 2013)
Chandra gives us a sample of the old philosophical question: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? (Assuming the immovable object won’t simply break apart under the forces.)
This is what happens when the expanding shockwave from a dying star runs into gas and dust thrown off by the star itself or into other interstellar matter (such as may be present in a molecular cloud),  a superbubble.

(via Chandra :: Photo Album :: DEM L50 :: January 28, 2013)

Chandra gives us a sample of the old philosophical question: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? (Assuming the immovable object won’t simply break apart under the forces.)

This is what happens when the expanding shockwave from a dying star runs into gas and dust thrown off by the star itself or into other interstellar matter (such as may be present in a molecular cloud),  a superbubble.

(via Chandra :: Photo Album :: SGR 0418 5729 :: 14 October 10)
Observations with NASA’s Chandra, Swift, and Rossi X-ray observatories, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and ESA’s XMM-Newton have revealed that a slowly rotating neutron star with an ordinary surface magnetic field is giving off bursts of X-rays and gamma rays. This discovery may indicate the presence of an internal magnetic field much more intense than the surface magnetic field, with implications for how the most powerful magnets in the cosmos evolve.
The neutron star, SGR 0418+5729, was discovered on June 5, 2009 when the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected bursts of gamma-rays from this object. Follow-up observations four days later with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) showed that, in addition to sporadic X-ray bursts, the neutron star exhibits persistent X-ray emission with regular pulsations that indicate that the star has a rotational period of 9.1 seconds. RXTE was able to monitor this activity for about 100 days. This behavior is similar to a class of neutron stars called magnetars, which have strong to extreme magnetic fields 20 to 1000 times above the average of the galactic radio pulsars.
- See more at: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2010/sgr0418/

(via Chandra :: Photo Album :: SGR 0418 5729 :: 14 October 10)

Observations with NASA’s Chandra, Swift, and Rossi X-ray observatories, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and ESA’s XMM-Newton have revealed that a slowly rotating neutron star with an ordinary surface magnetic field is giving off bursts of X-rays and gamma rays. This discovery may indicate the presence of an internal magnetic field much more intense than the surface magnetic field, with implications for how the most powerful magnets in the cosmos evolve.

The neutron star, SGR 0418+5729, was discovered on June 5, 2009 when the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected bursts of gamma-rays from this object. Follow-up observations four days later with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) showed that, in addition to sporadic X-ray bursts, the neutron star exhibits persistent X-ray emission with regular pulsations that indicate that the star has a rotational period of 9.1 seconds. RXTE was able to monitor this activity for about 100 days. This behavior is similar to a class of neutron stars called magnetars, which have strong to extreme magnetic fields 20 to 1000 times above the average of the galactic radio pulsars.

- See more at: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2010/sgr0418/

Nebulae in 3D
I can’t upload all the animations to tumblr (in fact, they’re so big that the animation isn’t running on the one I did get uploaded), but they’re amazing.
I once saw this done with Hubble data in an OMNIMAX presentation (the one that combined Hubble images and the last upgrade mission), and it was amazing. All of these are jaw-dropping. Some are animated GIFs like this. Some are back-and-forth video animations on YouTube.
Click through for all of them: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/nebulas-in-3-d/

Nebulae in 3D

I can’t upload all the animations to tumblr (in fact, they’re so big that the animation isn’t running on the one I did get uploaded), but they’re amazing.

I once saw this done with Hubble data in an OMNIMAX presentation (the one that combined Hubble images and the last upgrade mission), and it was amazing. All of these are jaw-dropping. Some are animated GIFs like this. Some are back-and-forth video animations on YouTube.

Click through for all of them: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/nebulas-in-3-d/

(via Chandra :: Chronicles :: Chandra in 2012: A Teenager in Space :: Dec 14, 2012)
So, Chandra’s a teen, it would seem. And Hubble is the older sibling, though Hubble’s had some servicing missions through the years, while Chranda has had to operate a bit too far out for help. She was launched out of Columbia in 2000 and hasn’t “looked back” since.
(Rimshot, because, of course, Chandra is always “looking back” in time when it looks far out into space.)
Where was I, oh, right, so you really want to click through on the link as there are some amazing collections of Chandra imagery here.
One of the most amazing things is that x-ray astronomy lets you see the effects of dark matter, especially in galaxy clusters and cluster collisions.
Here’s to many more years, Chandra!

(via Chandra :: Chronicles :: Chandra in 2012: A Teenager in Space :: Dec 14, 2012)

So, Chandra’s a teen, it would seem. And Hubble is the older sibling, though Hubble’s had some servicing missions through the years, while Chranda has had to operate a bit too far out for help. She was launched out of Columbia in 2000 and hasn’t “looked back” since.

(Rimshot, because, of course, Chandra is always “looking back” in time when it looks far out into space.)

Where was I, oh, right, so you really want to click through on the link as there are some amazing collections of Chandra imagery here.

One of the most amazing things is that x-ray astronomy lets you see the effects of dark matter, especially in galaxy clusters and cluster collisions.

Here’s to many more years, Chandra!

(via APOD: 2013 February 6)
The Arms of M106
Credit: Image Data - Hubble Legacy Archive, Robert Gendler, Jay Gabany, Processing - Robert Gendler
Two massive jets of hydrogen gas spiral “wrong” in relation to the motion of the rest M106’s spiral arms. The others show typical dust lanes, blue star cluster, pink star forming regions, and a central yellow area with older stars. The two tendrils spinning up and down are being blown out by the energy jets coming from the galaxy’s central supermassive black hole.

(via APOD: 2013 February 6)

The Arms of M106

Credit: Image Data - Hubble Legacy Archive, Robert Gendler, Jay Gabany, Processing - Robert Gendler

Two massive jets of hydrogen gas spiral “wrong” in relation to the motion of the rest M106’s spiral arms. The others show typical dust lanes, blue star cluster, pink star forming regions, and a central yellow area with older stars. The two tendrils spinning up and down are being blown out by the energy jets coming from the galaxy’s central supermassive black hole.