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Latest Activity: yesterday
Cosmology - Astrophysics - Astronomy
Hubble Wallpaper - Awesome Hubble Images
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That is bright indeed. Planets near a galactic center must have no nights.
Jun. 18, 2012
Explanation: Why were the statues on Easter Island built? No one is sure. What is sure is that over 800 large stone statues exist there. The Easter Island statues, stand, on the average, over twice as tall as a person and have over 200 times as much mass. Few specifics are known about the history or meaning of the unusual statues, but many believe that they were created about 500 years ago in the images of local leaders of a lost civilization. Pictured above, some of the stone giants were illuminated in 2009 under the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy.
I love the galactic birthday cake!
I wonder if the galaxies are to scale with each other.
Amazing how galaxies look like solid objects from afar. Yet when you get too close, they are mostly empty space... just like us, so-called solid matter beings. The atoms that constitute us are mostly empty.
Like Will said: "Much ado about nothing."
Explanation: Why does Jupiter have rings? Jupiter's rings were discovered in 1979 by the passing Voyager 1 spacecraft, but their origin was a mystery. Data from the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003 later confirmed that these ringswere created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons. As a small meteoroid strikes tiny Adrastea, for example, it will bore into the moon, vaporize, and explode dirt and dust off into a Jovian orbit. Pictured above is an eclipse of the Sun by Jupiter, as viewed from Galileo. Small dust particles high in Jupiter's atmosphere, as well as the dust particles that compose the rings, can be seen by reflected sunlight.
Explanation: The first APOD appeared seventeen years ago today, on 1995 June 16. Although garnering only 14 page views on that day, we are proud to estimate that APOD has now served over one billion space-related images over the last 1.7 decades. That early beginning, along with a nearly unchanging format, has allowed APOD to be a consistent and familiar site on a web frequently filled with change. Many people don't know, though, that APOD is now translated daily into many major languages and featured on social media sites and smartphone applications. We again thank our readers and NASA for their continued support, as well as the folks who created the great pictures -- many times with considerable effort -- that APOD has been fortunate enough to feature over the years. Many can be contacted by following links found in the credit line under the image. Today's birthday collage includes numerous galaxies captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Explanation: Nearby and bright, spiral galaxies M65 (top) and M66 stand out in this engaging cosmic snapshot. The pair are just 35 million light-years distant and around 100,000 light-years across, about the size of our own spiral Milky Way. While both exhibit prominent dust lanes sweeping along their broad spiral arms, M66 in particular is a striking contrast in red and blue hues; the telltale pinkish glow of hydrogen gas in star forming regions and young blue star clusters. M65 and M66 make up two thirds of the well-known Leo Triplet of galaxies with warps and tidal tails that offer evidence of the group's past close encounters. The larger M66 has been host to four supernovae discovered since 1973.
Explanation: Star clusters are a swarm of complex motions. The stars that compose globular clusters and many open clusters all orbit the cluster center, occasionally interacting, gravitationally, with a close-passing star. The orbits of stars around the cluster are typically not as circular as the orbits of planets in our solar system. Cluster stars frequently fall more directly toward the center and many times trace out unusual and complex loops. The vast space inside a cluster results in stars colliding only rarely. The above computer animation, derived from a type of computer code called an N-body simulation, shows 100 identical stars in a time-lapse movie where hundreds of years pass in one second.
A hypothetical view from inside a cluster
Would there be any such thing as a "night sky" in the core of that cluster? I can't begin to imagine the turbulence we'd get with a hundred star systems between here and Proxima Centauri...
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