- NASA’s Hubble Shows Milky Way is Destined for Head-on Collision with Andromeda Galaxy (HubbleSite, May 31, 2012):
The three largest galaxies in our Local Group of Galaxies are our Milky Way along with the Andromeda (also known as Messier 31) and Triangulum (also known as Messier 33) galaxies. This scientific visualization of a computer simulation depicts their joint evolution over the next several billion years and features the inevitable massive collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda. Hubble Space Telescope observations indicate that the two galaxies, pulled together by their mutual gravity, will crash together in a head-on collision about 4 billion years from now. The thin disk shapes of these spiral galaxies are strongly distorted and irrevocably transformed by the encounter. Around 6 billion years from now, the two galaxies will merge to form a single elliptical galaxy. The Triangulum galaxy continues to orbit the merged pair through the end of this computer simulation, though other computer models show it becoming part of the collision.
The visualization covers 8.2 billion years into the future at 105 million years per second. Colors are representative: light blue for spiral galaxies (considered “blue” in astronomy parlance because of their active star formation) and orange-yellow for elliptical galaxies (called “red” by astronomers for their old stellar populations). A random background field of galaxies has been added to the simulation in order to indicate the camera motion through the simulation volume.
Tags: Andromeda, Global News, Hubble, Milky Way, NASA, Science
- Hubble’s Greatest Hits (FOX News, Nov 7, 2012):
For over 20 years, the Hubble Space Telescope has explored our universe 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, supplying heavenly images of the universe. Here’s the best of the bunch.
Image 12 of 47
April 6: Hubble has discovered a planet-like object circling a brown dwarf, seen in this artist’s conception. It’s the right size for a planet, estimated to be 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter. This new observation addresses the question: How small can an object be and still be a brown dwarf rather than a planet? This new companion is within the range of masses observed for planets around stars — less than 15 Jupiter masses. But should it be called a planet?
Source: Gemini Observatory, courtesy of L. Cook
Tags: Brown Dwarf, Hubble, Science, Space, Technology
- Russian telescope launch pulls national space program out of black hole (Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 2011):
Russian scientists are jubilant at news that the Spektr-R, a powerful space telescope conceived in the depths of the cold war, was finally lofted into orbit aboard a Zenit rocket Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Once it is fully operational, the new radio telescope will sync up with ground-based observatories to form the biggest telescope ever built. It will be known as RadioAstron, with a “dish” spanning 30 times the Earth’s diameter. Experts say it will be able to deliver images from the remote corners of the universe at 10,000 times the resolution of the US Hubble Space Telescope.
“We’ve been waiting for this day for such a long time,” says Nikolai Podorvanyuk, a researcher at the official Institute of Astronomy in Moscow.
“It’s been planned since the 1980s, but has repeatedly fallen through for a variety of reasons. But now it’s here, and we’re bracing for all the new information it’s going to deliver, especially about black holes,” he says. Continue reading »
Tags: black hole, Global News, Hubble, Russia, Science, Spektr-R, Technology