The CARTWHEEL GALAXY is a lenticular and ring galaxy. It is located about 500 million light years away in the Sculptor constellation. A lenticular galaxy is a classification of galaxy that’s between an elliptical galaxy and a spiral galaxy. It is slightly larger than the Milky Way.

At one time, the Cartwheel Galaxy was a normal spiral galaxy. This changed when it underwent a head on collision with a smaller galaxy (possibly one of the ones pictured above). This collision created so much force that when the smaller galaxy moved through the Cartwheel Galaxy, it created a shock wave. This shock wave moved all of the dust and gas into the ring-like appearance that we see today. As time passes, it is starting to reform into the spiral galaxy that it once was.

Stars formed in galaxies like this one, are very large and bright. When these massive stars come to the end of their lives, they explode as supernovas and leave behind neutron stars and/or black holes. These neutron stars are powerful sources of X-rays.

Got any questions/facts about the Grand Spiral Galaxy? Send me a message and we can talk about it!

Forty-five years ago, the Apollo 15 mission landed on the Moon to take rock samples for research. That same year, the Soviet Union and the United States both attempted to launch space stations that would orbit Earth. The Soviets took the lead with Salyut 1.

What were the other space exploration milestones achieved in the creation of the International Space Station?

Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephaunt’s Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Of course, the cosmic elephant’s trunk is over 20 light-years long. This composite was recorded through narrow band filters that transmit the light from ionized hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms in the region. The resulting image highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within the obscuring cosmic dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees.

Object Names: Elefant Trunk Nebula, IC 139Y

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: JC Canonne, P. Bernhard, D. Chaplain & L. Bourgorn

Time And Space


Man, thanks, us, for ruining our space fantasies once again.

How Space Travel Would Destroy Your Body

Space… the final frontier

Fifty years ago Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise began their journey into space - the final frontier. Now, as the newest Star Trek film hits cinemas, the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope is also exploring new frontiers, observing distant galaxies in the galaxy cluster Abell S1063 as part of the Frontier Fields programme.

Space… the final frontier. These are the stories of the Hubble Space Telescope. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds and to boldly look where no telescope has looked before. The newest target of Hubble’s mission is the distant galaxy cluster Abell S1063, potentially home to billions of strange new worlds.

This view of the cluster, which can be seen in the centre of the image, shows it as it was four billion years ago. But Abell S1063 allows us to explore a time even earlier than this, where no telescope has really looked before. The huge mass of the cluster distorts and magnifies the light from galaxies that lie behind it due to an effect called gravitational lensing. This allows Hubble to see galaxies that would otherwise be too faint to observe and makes it possible to search for, and study, the very first generation of galaxies in the Universe. “Fascinating”, as a famous Vulcan might say.

The first results from the data on Abell S1063 promise some remarkable new discoveries. Already, a galaxy has been found that is observed as it was just a billion years after the Big Bang.

Read more ~ SpaceDaily

Image: This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy cluster MACS J0416.1–2403. This is one of six being studied by the Hubble Frontier Fields programme, which together have produced the deepest images of gravitational lensing ever made.
   Credit: NASA, ESA and the HST Frontier Fields team (STScI)


NASA: On the Edge of Forever