(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 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 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.

(via APOD: 2013 February 2 - Herschel’s Andromeda)
Image Credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS & SPIRE Consortium, O. Krause, HSC, H. Linz
Herschel Space Observatory is the ESA’s amazing infrared telescope. Like NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, it is capable of seeing cooler (literally, as in lower temperatures) things in the universe. In this case, the dust lanes of our Local Group partner, M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. The redder material in the outskirts is quite cool, barely warmed above absolute zero by the sparse numbers of stars, while the blues in the center show hot dust energized by the crowd of stars in the core of the galaxy.
The dust itself can be used to trace molecular gas as well (both are usually found together in cool clouds) and show how much star formation is possible in Andromeda. These clouds of gas and dust tend to get shocked by supernovae or passing stars and start condensing and collapsing to form new generations of stars.

(via APOD: 2013 February 2 - Herschel’s Andromeda)

Image Credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS & SPIRE Consortium, O. Krause, HSC, H. Linz

Herschel Space Observatory is the ESA’s amazing infrared telescope. Like NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, it is capable of seeing cooler (literally, as in lower temperatures) things in the universe. In this case, the dust lanes of our Local Group partner, M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. The redder material in the outskirts is quite cool, barely warmed above absolute zero by the sparse numbers of stars, while the blues in the center show hot dust energized by the crowd of stars in the core of the galaxy.

The dust itself can be used to trace molecular gas as well (both are usually found together in cool clouds) and show how much star formation is possible in Andromeda. These clouds of gas and dust tend to get shocked by supernovae or passing stars and start condensing and collapsing to form new generations of stars.

cupiovolare

xedgemodificationx:

whitepeopledontseestraight:

tellittoreadersdigest:

slaves-shall-serve:

Our significance in the Universe.

hahahaha this post

This really blows my mind

because science thats fucking why

I have a problem with the whole, “This makes me understand my insignificance thing.”

And it took me listening to the iTunes U podcast of a cosmology class at UC Irvine (good one, by the by) to find someone who articulated it. We shouldn’t exactly let this kind of thing make us feel insignificant because we figured all this stuff out.

As a quick analogy, that’s like the ants in your backyard knowing the address they live at, how that matters to the post office, and everything up to international politics and the conflicts in the Middle East.

Never forget that we humans are vigorously curious creatures, and when we apply scientific critical thinking, we’re really good at finding things out.

(via TAKING A NARROW VIEW OF A LOPSIDED GALAXY | Gemini Observatory)
A lopsided starburst galaxy floats in the middle of nowhere. There’s no obvious source for the the gravitational ripples that are prompting the star formation, since there aren’t any nearby galaxies, and it would require a whole lot of supernovae, all at once, to have it be a result of internal forces…maybe it was a slow collision with a galaxy that used to be there, and the whole thing has already “settled” into the larger pattern, with gravity ripples still showing?
In any case, NGC 1313 is interesting, and this is a shot in multiple-wavelengths combined from the Gemini South NOAO observatory in Chile.
From the linked page:
The starburst galaxy NGC 1313, as imaged by the Gemini South 8-meter telescope in Chile using narrow-band filters in the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph. The image is comprised of three color layers: red (ionized hydrogen at 656.3 nanometers), green (ionized oxygen at 500.7 nanometers), and blue (ionized helium at 468.6 nanometers). The field-of-view is about 5.5 x 8.2 arcminutes; each filter was integrated for a total of 600 seconds, and the seeing was about 0.5 arcsecond. The image is rotated counter-clockwise 59 degrees from north up and east left and was produced by Travis Rector, University of Alaska, Anchorage.

(via TAKING A NARROW VIEW OF A LOPSIDED GALAXY | Gemini Observatory)

A lopsided starburst galaxy floats in the middle of nowhere. There’s no obvious source for the the gravitational ripples that are prompting the star formation, since there aren’t any nearby galaxies, and it would require a whole lot of supernovae, all at once, to have it be a result of internal forces…maybe it was a slow collision with a galaxy that used to be there, and the whole thing has already “settled” into the larger pattern, with gravity ripples still showing?

In any case, NGC 1313 is interesting, and this is a shot in multiple-wavelengths combined from the Gemini South NOAO observatory in Chile.

From the linked page:

The starburst galaxy NGC 1313, as imaged by the Gemini South 8-meter telescope in Chile using narrow-band filters in the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph. The image is comprised of three color layers: red (ionized hydrogen at 656.3 nanometers), green (ionized oxygen at 500.7 nanometers), and blue (ionized helium at 468.6 nanometers). The field-of-view is about 5.5 x 8.2 arcminutes; each filter was integrated for a total of 600 seconds, and the seeing was about 0.5 arcsecond. The image is rotated counter-clockwise 59 degrees from north up and east left and was produced by Travis Rector, University of Alaska, Anchorage.

(via APOD: 2012 November 8 - Arp 188 and the Tadpole’s Tail)
Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Bill Snyder (Heavens Mirror Observatory)
420 million light-years away, looking out in the direction of Draco, you can see this cosmic tadpole with a tail of star formation and a head made from a warped galaxy. Arp 188, the main focus of this image, had a gravitational encounter with the galaxy you can see slightly through it, in the upper-right spiral arms, another galaxy about 300,000 light-years behind Arp 188. Though seemingly far a way, that’s more than close enough for gravitational encounters, given that the Milky Way is 100,000 light-years across.

(via APOD: 2012 November 8 - Arp 188 and the Tadpole’s Tail)

Image Credit: Hubble Legacy ArchiveESANASAProcessing Bill Snyder (Heavens Mirror Observatory)

420 million light-years away, looking out in the direction of Draco, you can see this cosmic tadpole with a tail of star formation and a head made from a warped galaxy. Arp 188, the main focus of this image, had a gravitational encounter with the galaxy you can see slightly through it, in the upper-right spiral arms, another galaxy about 300,000 light-years behind Arp 188. Though seemingly far a way, that’s more than close enough for gravitational encounters, given that the Milky Way is 100,000 light-years across.

(via Galactic tentacles of DOOM | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine)
Image credit: Tomer Tal and Jeffrey Kenney/Yale University and NOAO/AURA/NSF
Phil Plait’s write-up on this image features this info:

So we see galaxy collisions all the time, but sometimes the evidence is weak. NGC 4438 is the galaxy on the left, and it’s all twisty and distorted. M86 is a more normal looking elliptical. But looking at the gas content of M86 has indicated something is going on; it’s heated up pretty well, and distorted. But it wasn’t until now we could see why.
That image above is from a 4 meter telescope in Arizona. It has a camera that allows it to collect a lot of light over a big area of the sky. When a filter was used that isolates warm hydrogen gas, astronomers found these tendrils connecting the two galaxies. Those tentacles are the shrapnel of the impact, streamed out in the aftermath of the collision… and the galaxies are now 400,000 light years apart. That’s four times the size of our Milky Way.

This is the visible-light after-effects of a collision like this. In the x-ray, it can look just as dramatic.

That’s from the Chandra X-ray Observatory space telescope, with additional information from ESA’s XMM-Newton scope. It shows the superheated gas in the collision between the galaxies (the four that are actually close to each other) in Stephan’s Quintet.

(via Galactic tentacles of DOOM | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine)

Image credit: Tomer Tal and Jeffrey Kenney/Yale University and NOAO/AURA/NSF

Phil Plait’s write-up on this image features this info:

So we see galaxy collisions all the time, but sometimes the evidence is weak. NGC 4438 is the galaxy on the left, and it’s all twisty and distorted. M86 is a more normal looking elliptical. But looking at the gas content of M86 has indicated something is going on; it’s heated up pretty well, and distorted. But it wasn’t until now we could see why.

That image above is from a 4 meter telescope in Arizona. It has a camera that allows it to collect a lot of light over a big area of the sky. When a filter was used that isolates warm hydrogen gas, astronomers found these tendrils connecting the two galaxies. Those tentacles are the shrapnel of the impact, streamed out in the aftermath of the collision… and the galaxies are now 400,000 light years apart. That’s four times the size of our Milky Way.

This is the visible-light after-effects of a collision like this. In the x-ray, it can look just as dramatic.

That’s from the Chandra X-ray Observatory space telescope, with additional information from ESA’s XMM-Newton scope. It shows the superheated gas in the collision between the galaxies (the four that are actually close to each other) in Stephan’s Quintet.

(via APOD: 2012 November 2 - The Black Hole in the Milky Way)
The Black Hole in the Milky Way Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, NuSTAR project
The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is, thankfully, not quite as active as that found in an active galactic nucleus (the name for the black holes at the center of active galaxies like Centaurus A, or  Seyfert galaxies, active galaxies with visibly bright centers, a subclass of active galaxies), but it does have its bursts. This is a collection of observations from the new NuSTAR space telescope, which can observe higher energy x-rays than Chandra (NASA CXC) or XMM-Newton (ESA XMM).
“Spanning two days of NuSTAR observations, the flare sequence is illustrated in the panels at the far right. X-rays are generated in material heated to over 100 million degrees Celsius, accelerated to nearly the speed of light as it falls into the Miky Way’s central black hole. The main inset X-ray image spans about 100 light-years. In it, the bright white region represents the hottest material closest to the black hole, while the pinkish cloud likely belongs to a nearby supernova remnant.”

(via APOD: 2012 November 2 - The Black Hole in the Milky Way)

The Black Hole in the Milky Way 
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, NuSTAR project

The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is, thankfully, not quite as active as that found in an active galactic nucleus (the name for the black holes at the center of active galaxies like Centaurus A, or  Seyfert galaxies, active galaxies with visibly bright centers, a subclass of active galaxies), but it does have its bursts. This is a collection of observations from the new NuSTAR space telescope, which can observe higher energy x-rays than Chandra (NASA CXC) or XMM-Newton (ESA XMM).

Spanning two days of NuSTAR observations, the flare sequence is illustrated in the panels at the far right. X-rays are generated in material heated to over 100 million degrees Celsius, accelerated to nearly the speed of light as it falls into the Miky Way’s central black hole. The main inset X-ray image spans about 100 light-years. In it, the bright white region represents the hottest material closest to the black hole, while the pinkish cloud likely belongs to a nearby supernova remnant.”

(via APOD: 2012 October 19 - Merging NGC 2623)
Merging NGC 2623 Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Martin Pugh
Explanation: NGC 2623 is really two galaxies that are becoming one. Seen to be in the final stages of a titanic galaxy merger, the pair lies some 300 million light-years distant toward the constellation Cancer. The violent encounter between two galaxies that may have been similar to the Milky Way has produced widespread star formation near a luminous core and along eye-catching tidal tails. Filled with dust, gas, and young blue star clusters, the opposing tidal tails extend well over 50,000 light-years from the merged nucleus. Likely triggered by the merger, accretion by a supermassive black hole drives activity within the nuclear region. The star formation and its active galactic nucleus make NGC 2623 bright across the spectrum. This sharp cosmic snapshot of NGC 2623 (aka Arp 243) is based on Hubble Legacy Archive image data that also reveals even more distant background galaxies scattered through the field of view.

(via APOD: 2012 October 19 - Merging NGC 2623)

Merging NGC 2623 
Image Credit: Hubble Legacy ArchiveESANASAProcessing Martin Pugh

Explanation: NGC 2623 is really two galaxies that are becoming one. Seen to be in the final stages of a titanic galaxy merger, the pair lies some 300 million light-years distant toward the constellation Cancer. The violent encounter between two galaxies that may have been similar to the Milky Way has produced widespread star formation near a luminous core and along eye-catching tidal tails. Filled with dust, gas, and young blue star clusters, the opposing tidal tails extend well over 50,000 light-years from the merged nucleus. Likely triggered by the merger, accretion by a supermassive black hole drives activity within the nuclear region. The star formation and its active galactic nucleus make NGC 2623 bright across the spectrum. This sharp cosmic snapshot of NGC 2623 (aka Arp 243) is based on Hubble Legacy Archive image data that also reveals even more distant background galaxies scattered through the field of view.