Jan 5th 2014
The largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping bird’s-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbor. Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disk. It’s like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And, there are lots of stars in this sweeping view — over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk.
This ambitious photographic cartography of the Andromeda galaxy represents a new benchmark for precision studies of large spiral galaxies that dominate the universe’s population of over 100 billion galaxies. Never before have astronomers been able to see individual stars inside an external spiral galaxy over such a large contiguous area. Most of the stars in the universe live inside such majestic star cities, and this is the first data that reveal populations of stars in context to their home galaxy.
Hubble discovers Wind at 2 Million mph
At a time when our earliest human ancestors had recently mastered walking upright, the heart of our Milky Way galaxy underwent a titanic eruption, driving gases and other material outward at 2 million miles per hour.
Now, at least 2 million years later, astronomers are witnessing the aftermath of the explosion: billowing clouds of gas towering about 30,000 light-years above and below the plane of our galaxy.
The enormous structure was discovered five years ago as a gamma-ray glow on the sky in the direction of the galactic center. The balloon-like features have since been observed in X-rays and radio waves. But astronomers needed NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to measure for the first time the velocity and composition of the mystery lobes. They now seek to calculate the mass of the material being blown out of our galaxy, which could lead them to determine the outburst’s cause from several competing scenarios. (full story Hubble Site)
This rich galaxy cluster, cataloged as Cl 0024+17, is allowing astronomers to probe the distribution of dark matter in space. The blue streaks near the center of the image are the smeared images of very distant galaxies that are not part of the cluster. The distant galaxies appear distorted because their light is being bent and magnified by the powerful gravity of Cl 0024+17, an effect called gravitational lensing.
Dark matter cannot be seen because it does not shine or reflect light. Astronomers can only detect its influence by how its gravity affects light. By mapping the distorted light created by gravitational lensing, astronomers can trace how dark matter is distributed in the cluster. While mapping the dark matter, astronomers found a dark-matter ring near the cluster’s center. The ring’s discovery is among the strongest evidence that dark matter exists.
Orion Nebula in 4K
This image of the Messier 42 (M42) or the Orion Nebula is one of Hubble’s sharpest and clearest images ever taken at a resolution of 18000×18000 pixels. TIFF file about 385 MB!
From Galileo’s birth of 1564 we arrive at today 451 years later, wonder what Galileo Galilei would think!
Video uploaded by U Tube user OrionnebelGalaxie17
If you’re planning on being in New York City anytime soon, the coolest place to visit for Hubble Huggers is the #Hubble @25 exhibit currently on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, this exhibition showcases the history of this project and reveals its unparalleled scientific achievements through original artifacts, stellar photographs, Hubble produced images and immersive environments.
Please join Tony Darnell, Dr Carol Christian and Scott Lewis, as we talk with co-curators Eric Boehm, former astronaut Mike Massimino and members of the Intrepid STEM team to discuss the exhibit and #STEM efforts being produced.
Tony Darnell brings out a great Podcast in this take with Mike Massimino: (born August 19, 1962) is an American engineer and former NASA astronaut who is now a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University. Massimino is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions, both of which serviced the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), including the historic final repair mission.
Mike is quite the character and the rest of the case just made this Podcast fun, have a look Mate.
Video uploaded by U Tube user Hubble Space Telescope