Galaxies on Parade
Most pics courtesy of NASA
Spiral Galaxy in Centaurus
Galaxy Cluster Abell 2218
A Superwind from the Cigar Galaxy
Credit: FOCAS, Subaru 8.3-m Telescope, NAOJ
Explanation: What's lighting up the Cigar Galaxy? M82, as this irregular galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesn't fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas, however. Recent evidence indicates that this gas is being driven out by the combined emerging particle winds of many stars, together creating a galactic "superwind." The above recently released photograph from the new Subaru Telescope highlights the specific color of red light strongly emitted by ionized hydrogen gas, showing detailed filaments of this gas. The filaments extend for over 10,000 light years. The 12 million light year distant Cigar Galaxy is the brightest galaxy in the sky in infrared light, and can be seen in visible light with a small telescope towards the constellation of Ursa Major.
The Hubble Deep Field
Credit: R. Williams, The HDF Team (STScI), NASA
Explanation: Galaxies, like colorful pieces of candy, fill the Hubble Deep Field - one of humanity's most distant optical views of the Universe. The dimmest, some as faint as 30th magnitude (about four billion times fainter than stars visible to the unaided eye), are very distant galaxies and represent what the Universe looked like in the extreme past, perhaps less than one billion years after the Big Bang. To make the Deep Field image, astronomers selected an uncluttered area of the sky in the constellation Ursa Major (the Big Bear) and pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at a single spot for 10 days accumulating and combining many separate exposures. With each additional exposure, fainter objects were revealed. The final result can be used to explore the mysteries of galaxy evolution and the infant Universe.
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