SPAAAAAAACE 5/22/13 - Let's Dance
I want you to pretend that you are floating and space and generally feeling awesome:
Planets Getting Jiigy
http://www.space.com/21262-jupiter-venu ... t-sky.html
Sometimes, when planets love each other very much, they dance. And never call each other again.
Do You Love Pizza?
So does NASA.
http://www.space.com/21250-nasa-3d-food ... pizza.html
I love me some refrigerated next-day pizza...but what if this is so much better?
Opportunity Continues to Knock
http://www.space.com/21220-ancient-mars ... rover.html
Holy shit, you guys! Look what Herschel just discovered:
The image on the left was taken by the Herschel Space Observatory in the near infra-red. Even though the poor old Herschel Telescope is kind of broken now, there is still tons of data from it that has yet to be analysed, and astronomers just discovered this gem from the data pile. The close up image on the right is compiled from images taken by the Hubble, Keck, JVLA, and SMA telescopes.
Check out this video:
These images catch two giant galaxies in the midst of a merger, after which they will combine to become an enormous monster of an elliptical galaxy. These galaxies are 11 billion light years away. We are looking 11 billion years into the past and seeing this event which happened when the universe was only 3 billion years old. The most distant and ancient galaxies that we see are generally massive elliptical galaxies containing a lot of very old stars. There has been a debate in the astronomical community as to whether these massive ancient galaxies were formed by acquisition of smaller galaxies over a long period of time, or whether they were formed by the merging of two or more massive galaxies over a much shorter period of time. These recent findings lend support to the latter case.
The Herschel image is particularly interesting, because it shows evidence of a whole fuck-load of new stars being created. The merging of two galaxies usually causes a burst in star formation, stimulating massive clouds of gas and dust to collapse to form a star; but the rate of star formation in this instance is remarkable. The mass of the merging galaxies is so great, that they are creating new stars at a rate of approximately 2000 new stars per year. (The Milky Way creates about 3 or 4 per year). It is a pretty big deal that we have direct evidence of this kind of merger so early on in the life of the universe.
Here's more images of galaxy mergers. Aren't they pretty?
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hersc ... 30522.html
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hersc ... 17013.html
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