milky way

From Superbubbles to Galactic Fountains

Nebula NGC 1929 contains just the kind of superbubble that Astrophysicists think could cause a Galactic Fountain. Even though this nebula is not causing a fountain, it is theorized that similar nebula are causing Galactic Fountains within our Milky way galaxy. The illustration bellow shows how massive Galactic Fountains spew hot ionized gas away from our galactic disk to form Galactic Corona:

Supernova explosions within the galactic disc drive hot gas out of the disc, creating so-called galactic fountains that contribute to the formation of a halo of hot gas around the Milky Way. As the gas rises above and below the disc, reaching heights of a few kiloparsecs (more than 6,000 light-years!), it emits radiation and thus becomes cooler, condensing into clouds which then fall back into the disc, in a fashion that resembles a fountain.

Credit: ESO VLT/ESA/Fountains and Pumps

A whole wide vast infinite and expanding space up above you. All that has ever happened in your life, and all that will ever happen, is but a mere tiny fraction that is barely even noticeable in comparison to the scale of time of that you have to go by in order to make sense of the history of our universe. Just something to think about and maybe it’ll change your perspective on things.

Photographed by: Paolo Nacpil

💙 Blooming by Alessio Andreani on 500px
○  D800, 1135✱1700px-rating:99.7
☀  ”The flowering in Castelluccio di Norcia is becoming more and more popular each year. This year i’m living abroad but i’ve found some time to travel to Italy and take this night shot of poppies and the Milky Way. .”
    Photographer: Alessio Andreani, London, United Kingdom

Sunflower Galaxy

The Sunflower Galaxy, Messier 63 or NGC 5055, is a spiral galaxy located about 25 million light years away towards the constellation Canes Venatici. It is about 100,000 light years across, similar to the Milky Way.

The Sunflower Galaxy is near the Whirlpool Galaxy and the Messier 51 group of galaxies. There are some signs that the Sunflower Galaxy has been affected by gravitational interactions with neighbors. Additional signs point to a burst of star formation in the region as well.

Image from NASA, information from NASA and Spitzer.

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows an edge-on view of the spiral galaxy NGC 5023. Due to its orientation we cannot appreciate its spiral arms, but we can admire the elegant profile of its disk. The galaxy lies over 30 million light-years away from us.

NGC 5023 is part of the M51 group of galaxies. The brightest galaxy in this group is Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, which has been captured by Hubble many times. NGC 5023 is less fond of the limelight and seems rather unsociable in comparison — it is relatively isolated from the other galaxies in the group.

Astronomers are particularly interested in the vertical structure of disks like these. By analyzing the structure above and below the central plane of the galaxy they can make progress in understanding galaxy evolution. Astronomers are able to analyze the distribution of different types of stars within the galaxy and their properties, in particular how well evolved they are on the Hertzsprung–Russell Diagram — a scatter graph of stars that shows their evolution.

NGC 5023 is one of six edge-on spiral galaxies observed as part of a study using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. They study this vertical distribution and find a trend which suggests that heating of the disc plays an important role in producing the stars seen away from the plane of the galaxy.

In fact, NGC 5023 is pretty popular when it comes to astronomers, despite its unsociable behavior. The galaxy is also one of 14 disk galaxies that are part of the GHOSTS survey — a survey which uses Hubble data to study galaxy halos, outer disks and star clusters. It is the largest study to date of star populations in the outskirts of disk galaxies.

The incredible sharp sight of Hubble has allowed scientist to count more than 30,000 individual bright stars in this image. This is only a small fraction of the several billion stars that this galaxy contains, but the others are too faint to detect individually even with Hubble.