Glittering Frisbee Galaxy: This image from Hubble’s shows a section of a spiral galaxy located about 50 million light-years from Earth. We tend to think of spiral galaxies as massive and roughly circular celestial bodies, so this glittering oval does not immediately appear to fit the visual bill. What’s going on? Imagine a spiral galaxy as a circular frisbee spinning gently in space. When we see it face on, our observations reveal a spectacular amount of detail and structure. However, the galaxy frisbee is very nearly edge-on with respect to Earth, giving it an appearance that is more oval than circular. The spiral arms, which curve out from the galaxy’s dense core, can just about be seen.
Although spiral galaxies might appear static with their picturesque shapes frozen in space, this is very far from the truth. The stars in these dramatic spiral configurations are constantly moving as they orbit around the galaxy’s core, with those on the inside making the orbit faster than those sitting further out. This makes the formation and continued existence of a spiral galaxy’s arms something of a cosmic puzzle, because the arms wrapped around the spinning core should become wound tighter and tighter as time goes on - but this is not what we see. This is known as the winding problem.
The Whirpool Galaxy is a magnificent example of a grand-design spiral galaxy. These are galaxies with defined spiral arms that extend around the galaxy, often looping several times. It is estimated to be 23 million light years away, whilst being 60,000 light years in diameter. The galaxy also has a companion galaxy, as seen on the right and can be seen though binoculars.
M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy : Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dippers bowl until you get to the handles last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy , NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the angular boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici. Though M51 looks faint and fuzzy to the eye, deep images like this one can reveal striking colors and the faint tidal debris around the smaller galaxy via NASA
What is the Stratospheric
Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, up to?
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, as our flying telescope is called, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft
that carries a 2.5-meter telescope to altitudes as high as 45,000 feet.
Researchers use SOFIA to study the solar system and beyond using infrared
light. This type of light does not reach the ground, but does reach the
altitudes where SOFIA flies.
Recently, we used SOFIA to study water on Venus, hoping to
learn more about how
that planet lost its oceans. Our researchers used a powerful instrument on
SOFIA, called a spectrograph,
to detect water in its normal form and “heavy water,” which has an extra
neutron. The heavy water takes longer to evaporate and builds up over time. By
measuring how much heavy water is on Venus’ surface now, our team will be able
to estimate how much water Venus had when the planet formed.
We are also using SOFIA to create a detailed map of the Whirlpool
Galaxy by making multiple observations of the galaxy. This map will help us
understand how stars form from clouds in that galaxy. In particular, it will
help us to know if the spiral arms in the galaxy trigger clouds to collapse
into stars, or if the arms just show up where stars have already formed.
We can also use SOFIA to study methane on Mars. The Curiosity rover
has detected methane
on the surface of Mars. But the total amount of methane on Mars is unknown and
evidence so far indicates that its levels change significantly over time and
location. We are using SOFIA to search for evidence of this gas by mapping the Red
Planet with an instrument specially tuned to sniff out methane.
Next our team will use SOFIA to study Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, searching for evidence of possible water plumes detected by the Hubble Space Telescope. The plumes, illustrated in the artist’s concept above, were previously seen in images as extensions from the edge of the moon. Using SOFIA, we will search for water and determine if the plumes are eruptions of water from the surface. If the plumes are coming from the surface, they may be erupting through cracks in the ice that covers Europa’s oceans. Members of our SOFIA team recently discussed studying Europa on the NASA in Silicon Valley Podcast.
This is the view of Jupiter and its moons taken with SOFIA’s
light guide camera that is used to position the telescope.
Bright Spiral Galaxy M81 : One of the brightest galaxies in planet Earths sky is similar in size to our Milky Way Galaxy: big, beautiful M81. This grand spiral galaxy can be found toward the northern constellation of the Great Bear . This superbly detailed view reveals M81s bright yellow nucleus, blue spiral arms, and sweeping cosmic dust lanes with a scale comparable to the Milky Way. Hinting at a disorderly past, a remarkable dust lane actually runs straight through the disk, to the left of the galactic center, contrary to M81s other prominent spiral features. The errant dust lane may be the lingering result of a close encounter between M81 and its smaller companion galaxy, M82. Scrutiny of variable stars in M81 has yielded one of the best determined distances for an external galaxy 11.8 million light-years. via NASA
the ratings are off to a notably curvy and rounded start. not sure what’s going on with those eyes, but this octopus is making up for it with a very generous squish quotient. 7/10; would pet
such zazz! such a definitive swagger! i am particularly endeared to that ‘raise the roof’ gesture he’s got going on with his arms. excellent octopus. very good indeed. 10/10; would throw a party with
ah, the full-frontal approach to octopus imagery. that classic octopus head shape is very well-represented here. a good, solid octopus for all your octopus needs. 8/10;would introduce to my parents
to be perfectly frank, i’m ambivalent. there’s some unfortunate shading going on here and all i can see is a rubbery pink stick-man with a disproportionate head wearing a cape. despite it all, i can’t bring myself to say mean things about this octopus; she has a vivacious charm to her. 3/10; would give points for effort
i’m pretty sure this isn’t what an octopus looks like. nice try. 1/10; would maybe wear as a novelty hat in an emergency
a wonderful and pleasing octopus. htc is really shaking it up with these cool colours. her eyes are wide with childlike wonder. 9/10; would read a bedtime story to
i cannot say a single bad thing about this octopus. he is anatomically correct and possesses a lightness of spirit; an inexorable zest for life. a swell guy and a fantastic cephalopod. 12/10; would leave him all my worldly possessions and wisdom in the event of my death, whenever that day shall fall
the manic pixie dream girl of the octopus emojis. the many curls and spirals of her arms hold within themselves undeniable cosmic truths and wise tidbits of advice. points earned for those delightful purple shades. 10/10; would go on a life-changing roadtrip with
twitter has gone for a unique twist in taking the cirrate octopod approach to octopus imagery- a roaring success in octopuses such as the dumbo and the flapjack- but have fallen short. where are his little ears? he needs those little ears. give him the ears. 6/10; would fashion him a pair of little ears to wear
heavens to betsy! what happened to his arm? why is it so long? the poor baby looks so bewildered. 2/10; would subject mozilla to a brutal interrogation as to avenge this poor boy’s honour
remarkably angular for an octopus. it’s lacking that important element of squish. has a lovely, albeit biologically impossible, winning smile though. 5/10; would not criticise to their face
this is a shiny one. on a closer look, her skin glistens with visions of half-remembered dreams. her beguiling eyes and exuberant mouth-thing are only there for a false sense of security. a very mysterious octopus. where is she from? 8/10; would see in glimpses on the backs of my eyelids whenever i blink
A cosmic snapshot from May 19, this colorful telescopic field of view spans about 1 degree or 2 full moons on the sky. Spiky in appearance, foreground Milky Way stars are scattered toward the royal constellation Cepheus while stars of open cluster NGC 6939 gather about 5 thousand light-years in the distance near the top of the frame. Face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6946 is toward the lower left nearly 22 million light-years away. The helpful red lines identify recently discovered supernova SN 2017eaw, the death explosion of a massive star nestled in the galaxy’s bluish spiral arms. In fact in the last 100 years, 10 supernovae have been discovered in NGC 6946. By comparison, the average rate of supernovae in our Milky Way is about 1 every 100 years or so. Of course, NGC 6946 is also known as The Fireworks Galaxy.
New awesome edge-on view of the galaxy NGC 1055 captured by ESO’s Very Large Telescope. This large galaxy is thought to be up to 15 percent larger in diameter than the Milky Way but shares the characteristic spiral arms. (Credit: ESO)
The Whirlpool Galaxy and Beyond : Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dippers bowl, until you get to the handles last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messiers famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy , NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the angular boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici. Though M51 looks faint and fuzzy to the human eye, the above long-exposure, deep-field image taken earlier this year shows much of the faint complexity that actually surrounds the smaller galaxy. Thousands of the faint dots in background of the featured image are actually galaxies far across the universe. via NASA
Resembling festive lights on a holiday wreath, this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the nearby spiral galaxy M74 is an iconic reminder of the impending season. Bright knots of glowing gas light up the spiral arms, indicating a rich environment of star formation.
Messier 74, also called NGC 628, is a stunning example of a “grand-design” spiral galaxy that is viewed by Earth observers nearly face-on. Its perfectly symmetrical spiral arms emanate from the central nucleus and are dotted with clusters of young blue stars and glowing pink regions of ionized hydrogen (hydrogen atoms that have lost their electrons). These regions of star formation show an excess of light at ultraviolet wavelengths. Tracing along the spiral arms are winding dust lanes that also begin very near the galaxy’s nucleus and follow along the length of the spiral arms.
M74 is located roughly 32 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Pisces, the Fish. It is the dominant member of a small group of about half a dozen galaxies, the M74 galaxy group. In its entirety, it is estimated that M74 is home to about 100 billion stars, making it slightly smaller than our Milky Way.
The spiral galaxy was first discovered by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain in 1780. Weeks later it was added to Charles Messier’s famous catalog of deep-sky objects.
This Hubble image of M74 is a composite of Advanced Camera for Surveys data taken in 2003 and 2005. The filters used to create the color image isolate light from blue, visible, and infrared portions of the spectrum, as well as emission from ionized hydrogen (known as HII regions).
A small segment of this image used data from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and the Gemini Observatory to fill in a region that Hubble did not image.
For additional information, contact:
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESA/Hubble, Garching, Germany
Object Names: M74, NGC 628
Image Type: Astronomical
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Acknowledgment: R. Chandar (University of Toledo) and J. Miller (University of Michigan)
Request: anon- this sounds weird but I love dragons and I love jeff so could you write something about jeff and dragons? love your writing btw :))
Warnings: mild bullying, badass reader, Jeff being perfect in every way, descriptions of art even though I know absolutely nothing about it, Bryce is in it really briefly, I think that’s it.
A/N. This fic has become notorious in my friend group as The Dragon Fic. My girlfriends are very invested in this one, and are really disappointed that Jeff doesn’t turn into a dragon at the end and fly away. I’m sorry to disappoint guys. Despite the lack of Dragon-Jeff, please try to enjoy :)
The landscape covering the canvas was impressive by anyone’s standards; a great, sweeping expanse of land, on which the bodies of fallen soldiers were scattered. Smoke curled from the dying fires, and the sun cast a hazy glow upon the scene. The colours shone with vivid brilliance, the image so clear, so real that the scent of smoke clung to it. Still, it was the centrepiece that dazzled the eye. A dragon, pure silver and shining, it’s long neck arched as it spread it’s mighty wings, roaring into the sky a jet of blue flames.
The beast was massive, forty feet tall, its scales serrated and rippling. The colour grew softer as the eye moved towards the great snake’s belly. There the scales were rounded and almost soft. It’s wing span was almost double it’s height, and their great shadow almost covered the canvas. It’s teeth, long and black, shone like Onyx, and it’s one eye was gold, molten and burning. In the space where it’s other eye used to rest was a jagged scar leading to a gaping wound, blue light burning from deep within the socket. It was a masterpiece.
Of course no one at Liberty High appreciated it. It hung in the art room, the work of nine months and too many hours, and all (y/n) got as recognition of it’s creation was ridicule.
Hubble Sees the Beautiful Side of Galaxy IC 335: This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the galaxy IC 335 in front of a backdrop of distant galaxies. IC 335 is part of a galaxy group containing three other galaxies, and located in the Fornax Galaxy Cluster 60 million light-years away.
As seen in this image, the disk of IC 335 appears edge-on from the vantage point of Earth. This makes it harder for astronomers to classify it, as most of the characteristics of a galaxys morphology the arms of a spiral or the bar across the center are only visible on its face. Still, the 45000 light-year-long galaxy could be classified as an S0 type.
These lenticular galaxies are an intermediate state in galaxy morphological classification schemes between true spiral and elliptical galaxies. They have a thin stellar disk and a bulge, like spiral galaxies, but in contrast to typical spiral galaxies they have used up most of the interstellar medium. Only a few new stars can be created out of the material that is left and the star formation rate is very low. Hence, the population of stars in S0 galaxies consists mainly of aging stars, very similar to the star population in elliptical galaxies.
As S0 galaxies have only ill-defined spiral arms they are easily mistaken for elliptical galaxies if they are seen inclined face-on or edge-on as IC 335 here. And indeed, despite the morphological differences between S0 and elliptical class galaxies, they share some common characteristics, like typical sizes and spectral features.
Both classes are also deemed early-type galaxies, because they are evolving passively. However, while elliptical galaxies may be passively evolving when we observe them, they have usually had violent interactions with other galaxies in their past. In contrast, S0 galaxies are either aging and fading spiral galaxies, which never had any interactions with other galaxies, or they are the aging result of a single merger between two spiral galaxies in the past. The exact nature of these galaxies is still a matter of debate.
Plot: Any permanent mark your soulmate gets, you get. Along with a distinct, unique tattoo that appears after an important moment in your soulmate’s life, however, you have no idea how you get away clean
A/N: Sorry this is late but enjoy and feedback is appreciated.
New images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are helping researchers view in unprecedented detail the spiral arms and dust clouds of a nearby galaxy, which are the birth sites of massive and luminous stars.
The Whirlpool galaxy, M51, has been one of the most photogenic galaxies in amateur and professional astronomy. Easily photographed and viewed by smaller telescopes, this celestial beauty is studied extensively in a range of wavelengths by large ground- and space-based observatories. This Hubble composite image shows visible starlight as well as light from the emission of glowing hydrogen, which is associated with the most luminous young stars in the spiral arms.
M51, also known as NGC 5194, is having a close encounter with a nearby companion galaxy, NGC 5195, just off the upper edge of this image. The companion’s gravitational pull is triggering star formation in the main galaxy, as seen in brilliant detail by numerous, luminous clusters of young and energetic stars. The bright clusters are highlighted in red by their associated emission from glowing hydrogen gas.
This Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 image enables a research group, led by Nick Scoville (Caltech), to clearly define the structure of both the cold dust clouds and the hot hydrogen and link individual clusters to their parent dust clouds. Team members include M. Polletta (U. Geneva); S. Ewald and S. Stolovy (Caltech); R. Thompson and M. Rieke (U. of Arizona).
Intricate structure is also seen for the first time in the dust clouds. Along the spiral arms, dust “spurs” are seen branching out almost perpendicular to the main spiral arms. The regularity and large number of these features suggests to astronomers that previous models of “two-arm” spiral galaxies may need to be revisited. The new images also reveal a dust disk in the nucleus, which may provide fuel for a nuclear black hole.
The team is also studying this galaxy at near-infrared wavelengths with the NICMOS instrument onboard Hubble. At these wavelengths, the dusty clouds are more transparent and the true distribution of stars is more easily seen. In addition, regions of star formation that are obscured in the optical images are newly revealed in the near-infrared images.
This image was composed by the Hubble Heritage Team from Hubble archival data of M51 and is superimposed onto ground-based data taken by Travis Rector (NOAO) at the 0.9-meter telescope at the National Science Foundation’s Kitt Peak National Observatory (NOAO/AURA) in Tucson, AZ.
Object Names: The Whirlpool Galaxy, M51
Image Type: Astronomical
Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Acknowledgment: N. Scoville (Caltech) and T. Rector (NOAO)