So much detail. Far too much for one photograph, that’s for sure. To wit:
The featured dark sky composite combines over 60 exposures spanning over 220 degrees to create a veritable menagerie of night sky wonders. Visible celestial icons include the Belt of Orion, the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, the California Nebula, and bright stars Sirius and Betelgeuse. You can verify that you found these, if you did, by checking an annotated version of the image. A bit harder, though, is finding Polaris and the Big Dipper. Also discernible are several meteors from the Quandrantids meteor shower, red and green airglow, and two friends of the astrophotographer. The picture was captured in January from Sardinia, Italy. You can see sky wonders in your own night sky tonight — including more meteors than usual — because tonight is near peak of the yearly Orionids meteor shower.
(Image: Tomáš Slovinský)
The night sky would present a very different vista if you had X-ray vision (and could tear your eyes away for two seconds from looking at people in their pants). To wit:
X-rays are about 1,000 times more energetic than visible light photons and are produced by violent explosions and high temperature astronomical environments. Instead of the familiar steady stars, the sky would seem to be filled with exotic stars, active galaxies, and hot supernova remnants. The featured X-ray image captures in unprecedented detail the entire sky in X-rays as seen by the eROSITA telescope onboard Spektr-RG satellite, orbiting around the L2 point of the Sun-Earth system, launched last year. The image shows the plane of our Milky Way galaxy across the centre, a diffuse and pervasive X-ray background, the hot interstellar bubble known as the North Polar Spur, sizzling supernova remnants such as Vela, the Cygnus Loop and Cas A, energetic binary stars including Cyg X-1 and Cyg X-2, the LMC galaxy, and the Coma, Virgo, and Fornax clusters of galaxies. This first sky scan by eROSITA located over one million X-ray sources, some of which are not understood and will surely be topics for future research.
(Image: J. Sanders, H. Brunner, A. Merloni & eSASS Team (MPE); E. Churazov, M. Gilfanov, R. Sunyaev (IKI))
Behold: the six fastest rotating disk galaxies known to man. But why? To wit:
If you estimated each spiral‘s mass by how much light it emits, their fast rotations should break them apart. The leading hypothesis as to why these galaxies don’t break apart is dark matter — mass so dark we can’t see it. But these galaxies are even out-spinning this break-up limit […] It is therefore further hypothesized that their dark matter halos are so massive — and their spins so fast — that it is harder for them to form stars than regular spirals. If so, then these galaxies may be among the most massive spirals possible. Further study of surprising super-spirals like these will continue, likely including observations taken by NASA‘s James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch in 2021.
(Images: Top row: NASA, ESA, Hubble, P. Ogle & J. DePasquale (STScI); Bottom row: SDSS, P. Ogle & J. DePasquale (STScI))
Behold: spiral galaxy NGC 4921 in the constellation Coma Berenices – estimated to be about 320 million light years away from us. Pale and interesting 320 million years ago, probably much the same today. To wit:
The magnificent spiral NGC 4921 has been informally dubbed anaemic because of its low rate of star formation and low surface brightness. Visible in the featured image are, from the center, a bright nucleus, a bright central bar, a prominent ring of dark dust, blue clusters of recently formed stars, several smaller companion galaxies, unrelated galaxies in the far distant universe, and unrelated stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
(Image: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing & Copyright: Kem Cook (LLNL) & Leo Shatz)
It could, though.
Behold the elegant swirl of Messier 81, aka NGC 3031 or Bode’s galaxy. To wit:
…this grand spiral can be found toward the northern constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The detailed telescopic view reveals M81’s bright yellow nucleus, blue spiral arms, pink starforming regions, and sweeping cosmic dust lanes. Some dust lanes actually run through the galactic disk (left of center), contrary to other prominent spiral features though. The errant dust lanes 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.
(Image: Paolo De Salvatore, Zenit Observatory)
A photo taken by Hubble and just published by NASA of the largest smiley face in the known Universe. The ‘eyes’ are galaxies, SDSSCGB 8842.3 and SDSSCGB 8842.4 and the ‘smile’ is actually an optical illusion caused by strong gravitational lensing.
MORE: A Smiling Lens (Space Telescope)
Igniting a full Samsung investigation.
Samsung has launched an investigation into its coveted Galaxy S3 smartphone after images emerged online showing a device that had over-heated and exploded in a user’s car.
Posting on the forum Boards.ie yesterday, a member under the name ‘dillo2k10′ claimed the malfunction happened when the S3 was sitting untouched in his car’s phone holster. While he was driving, he said, “a white flame, sparks and a bang came out of the phone. I pulled in to look at my phone, the phone burned from the inside out. Burned through the plastic and melted my case to my phone.”
Samsung Galaxy S3 Explodes & Melts Case Forcing Company Investigation (It Portal.com)
Galaxy S3 Explodes After Being Plugged Into Car Adapter (Android headlines)
Thanks Kevin Whitty