Geeky Astronomy, Geeky Physics, Spaceheads

When Galaxies Collide


A galaxy of stars is mostly empty. And in the emptiness of space, even the scale of a galaxy is nothing by comparison. And I thought about how unlikely it is for two objects in the universe to ever meet, how all the infinitesimal points that make up a galaxy will mostly pass […]

Geeky Astronomy, I Spy With My Little Eye

Hubble Extreme Deep Field


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.

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I Spy With My Little Eye

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field

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.

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Airborne Awesomosity, Startup

Startup: The Telescope With Spectacles

Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, these fantastic, undulating shapes lie within the stellar nursery known as M17, the Omega Nebula, some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. The lumpy features in the dense cold gas and dust are illuminated by stars off the upper left of the image and may themselves represent sites of future star formation. Colors in the fog of surrounding hotter material indicate M17's chemical make up. The predominately green glow corresponds to abundant hydrogen, with trace sulfur and oxygen atoms contributing red and blue hues. The picture spans about 3 light-years and was released to celebrate the thirteenth year of the Hubble Space Telescope's cosmic voyage of exploration.

The Omega Nebula, also known as the stellar nursery M17

The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most advanced tools at our disposal for viewing the most distant reaches of our galaxy and beyond. The images it has returned to Earth of distant constellations, stars and nebulae have been some of the most breathtaking photographs we could even imagine. It has proven time and time again that it is a versatile device, capable of expanding the limits of our knowledge of the universe.

It is also broken.

Continue reading Startup: The Telescope With Spectacles