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Cartwheel of Fortune : By chance, a collision of two galaxies…

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Cartwheel of Fortune : By chance, a collision of two galaxies…

Cartwheel of Fortune : By chance, a collision of two galaxies has created a surprisingly recognizable shape on a cosmic scale, The Cartwheel Galaxy. The Cartwheel is part of a group of galaxies about 500 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor. Two smaller galaxies in the group are visible on the right. The Cartwheel Galaxy’s rim is an immense ring-like structure 150,000 light years in diameter composed of newly formed, extremely bright, massive stars. When galaxies collide they pass through each other, their individual stars rarely coming into contact. Still, the galaxies’ gravitational fields are seriously distorted by the collision. In fact, the ring-like shape is the result of the gravitational disruption caused by a small intruder galaxy passing through a large one, compressing the interstellar gas and dust and causing a a star formation wave to move out from the impact point like a ripple across the surface of a pond. In this case the large galaxy may have originally been a spiral, not unlike our own Milky Way, transformed into the wheel shape by the collision. But … what happened to the small intruder galaxy? via NASA

Source: Just Space


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Next Mars Lander Spreads Its Solar Wings : This image shows…

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Next Mars Lander Spreads Its Solar Wings : This image shows…

Next Mars Lander Spreads Its Solar Wings : This image shows NASA’s InSight lander after it was commanded to deploy its solar arrays to test and verify the exact process that it will use on the surface of the Red Planet. (via NASA)

Source: Just Space


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Signs of Ships in the Clouds : Ships churning through the…

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Signs of Ships in the Clouds : Ships churning through the…

Signs of Ships in the Clouds : Ships churning through the Atlantic Ocean produced this patchwork of bright, criss-crossing cloud trails off the coast of Portugal and Spain. (via NASA)

Source: Just Space


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Ribbons and Pearls of Spiral Galaxy NGC 1398 : Why do some…

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Ribbons and Pearls of Spiral Galaxy NGC 1398 : Why do some…

Ribbons and Pearls of Spiral Galaxy NGC 1398 : Why do some spiral galaxies have a ring around the center? Spiral galaxy NGC 1398 not only has a ring of pearly stars, gas and dust around its center, but a bar of stars and gas across its center, and spiral arms that appear like ribbons farther out. The featured image was taken with ESO’s Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and resolves this grand spiral in impressive detail. NGC 1398 lies about 65 million light years distant, meaning the light we see today left this galaxy when dinosaurs were disappearing from the Earth. The photogenic galaxy is visible with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Furnace (Fornax). The ring near the center is likely an expanding density wave of star formation, caused either by a gravitational encounter with another galaxy, or by the galaxy’s own gravitational asymmetries. via NASA

Source: Just Space


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An Immersive Visualization of the Galactic Center : What if you…

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An Immersive Visualization of the Galactic Center : What if you…

An Immersive Visualization of the Galactic Center : What if you could look out from the center of our Galaxy – what might you see? Two scientifically-determined possibilities are shown in the featured video, an immersive 360-degree view which allows you to look around in every direction. The pictured computer simulation is based on infrared data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and X-ray data from NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory. As the video starts, you quickly approach Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole in the Galactic center. Then looking out, this 500-year time-lapse simulation shows glowing gas and many points of light orbiting all around you. Many of these points are young Wolf-Rayet stars that have visible hot winds blowing out into surrounding nebulas. Clouds approaching close become elongated, while objects approaching too close fall in. Toward the video’s end the simulation repeats, but this time with the dynamic region surrounding Sgr A* expelling hot gas that pushes back against approaching material. via NASA

Source: Just Space


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