The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field. Click for hires
Good morning everyone.
The astronomers at NASA, ESA and the Space Telescope Science Institute have put together an even deeper look into the universe than the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). The new image, called the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (HXDF), is made from over 10 years of observations of a patch of sky at the center of the original HUDF. The original HUDF can be seen here. I don’t know the exact percentage of the of the HUDF view that was used for the HXDF, I haven’t been able to find the numbers.
The HUDF contained 10,000 galaxies in its image. The HXDF shows around 5,500 galaxies at the center area of the HUDF, like zooming into an already zoomed-in picture, but instead of the picture falling apart like a regular photo, more detail is revealed.
And it shows time. The HXDF shows galaxies that span back 13.2 x 109 years in time (13.2 billion years), back when the universe was less than 500 million years old.
Continue reading Hubble Extreme Deep Field
Aristarchus Crater West Wall
Good morning, everyone.
Today I’m going to share some excellent astronomical porn with you all, so please try to contain your excitement.
On November 10, 2011, The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) made a low-altitude pass 42 miles to the east of Aristarchus crater, one of the brightest features on the Moon, and took an amazing panoramic image of the western wall of the crater. The LRO was flying at just over 16 miles above the lunar surface at the time, so the image has incredible detail.
Continue reading Aristarchus Crater Panorama
A somewhat challenging coordinate system.
Today I want to talk about how celestial objects are mapped and located in the sky by astronomers and telescope wielding enthusiasts. It is really not all that complicated, it is much like terrestrial coordinates except mapped out to the sky onto what is called the celestial sphere. I’ll try to keep this as short as I can, but there are several terms that will need explaining. Yes, I’m going to require that you read again. Ah, I can hear the groans already.
Continue reading A Celestial Coordinate System
Uncropped Hubble Ultra Deep Field image
Greetings, Everyone. Today I’m going to talk about something special, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field photograph, which was taken over a 4 month period in 2003-2004. The HUDF is the deepest look into the sky that humans have created, at least so far, and I find it to be a mesmerizing image. The articles that I’ve written up to this point have really been kind of a preparation for this one, getting you used to the ideas of “big” and “deep” as they relate to astronomy, and hopefully add to the impact of the HUDF image.
Continue reading The Hubble Ultra Deep Field
Globular cluster NGC104M
Greetings, everyone. Today I’m going to continue where I left off last time. I had planned to examine the saying, “There are more stars in the sky than all of the grains of sand on all of the beaches of the world”, or however it goes. When I was researching this topic, there was so much mindless drivel to wade through that I was appalled. I got so disgusted that I threw a slipper at the cat. Continue reading More Stars Than Grains of Sand…
The Sun, feeling a bit gassy
Greetings, everyone. Today I’m going to talk about stars a bit. One of my first big interests when I started stargazing, was the stars themselves. There are all sorts of stars, Big and small, Bright and dim, exciting ones that blow up in amazingly messy fashions, and boring ones like our Sun that do not. And there are a lot of them, a ridiculously huge number of them in fact, about which I’ll speak a bit later.
Continue reading Twinkle, Twinkle, Giant Flaming Ball of Gas
Pre-Copernican Solar System
Greetings, everyone. Today I’m going to talk about astronomy, a subject that I’ve been very fond of ever since I was a young man. I started reading about astronomy out of boredom and curiosity, but that quickly turned into fascination and awe as I came to understand more about what I actually looking at when I looked up into the sky. Time is what you see. Vast swaths of time, stretching back so far as to be incomprehensible. And big, although ‘big’ is such an unsuitable word for trying to describe what you see in the sky that it’s laughable. The best I’ve ever come up with that is at least a little satisfying is ‘endless’, although that is also most likely inaccurate. There were lots of incomprehensible numbers that I came across in my studies, most of them used for measuring distances. I’ll be using these terms in future articles on astronomy, so I’ll acquaint you with some of them now. These will appear on a test.
Continue reading Measuring the Universe