Hubble Bubble

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Welcome to DorkUp’s weekly Hubble Bubble! Every week we will showcase all the awesome that is space exploration, the universe and everything in between. DorkUp!

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Radio Galaxy Centaurus A
The new FORS2 image of Centaurus A, also known as NGC 5128, is an example of how frontier science can be combined with esthetic aspects. This galaxy is a most interesting object for the present attempts to understand active galaxies. It is being investigated by means of observations in all spectral regions, from radio via infrared and optical wavelengths to X- and gamma-rays. It is one of the most extensively studied objects in the southern sky. FORS2, with its large field-of-view and excellent optical resolution, makes it possible to study the global context of the active region in Centaurus A in great detail. Note for instance the great number of massive and luminous blue stars that are well resolved individually, in the upper right and lower left in ESO Press Photo eso0005b. Centaurus A is one of the foremost examples of a radio-loud active galactic nucleus (AGN). On images obtained at optical wavelengths, thick dust layers almost completely obscure the galaxy’s centre. This structure was first reported by Sir John Herschel in 1847. Until 1949, NGC 5128 was thought to be a strange object in the Milky Way, but it was then identified as a powerful radio galaxy and designated Centaurus A. The distance is about 10-13 million light-years (3-4 Mpc) and the apparent visual magnitude is about 8, or 5 times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye.There is strong evidence that Centaurus A is a merger of an elliptical with a spiral galaxy, since elliptical galaxies would not have had enough dust and gas to form the young, blue stars seen along the edges of the dust lane. The core of Centaurus A is the smallest known extragalactic radio source, only 10 light-days across. A jet of high-energy particles from this centre is observed in radio and X-ray images. The core probably contains a supermassive black hole with a mass of about 100 million solar masses. This image is a composite of three exposures in B (300 sec exposure, image quality 0.60 arcsec; here rendered in blue co

 

 

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During a climb to the highest mountain of Portugal (2351m), Pico mountain, in Pico island – Azores, I stopped at about 1200 meters to appreciate the views and photograph the lights coming from the island of Faial in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, during the night in a rare occasion with only a few clouds with part of the “winter” Milky Way visible. Above the low clouds, I have captured strange “rainbow bands” of airglow. The bands are actually huge parallel structures in the thermosphere 90 km upwards. Perspective makes them appear to converge. This Gravity Waves* (not confuse with gravitational waves) propagating upwards from disturbances lower down in the atmosphere, are likely the source of the bands. The wave amplitude increases with height (reducing density) and wavelengths can be thousands of kilometers.Airglow is the light of electronically and/or vibration-rotationally excited atoms and molecules high in Earth’s atmosphere, by solar ultra-violet radiation. In this image, we can see almost each possible airglow color appearing on a single band. The green airglow is from oxygen atoms (1S ->1D) 90-100 km high. The red/orange could be yet more oxygen airglow, this time from atoms 150-300km high where the atmosphere is so sparse and collisions so infrequent that the atoms have time to radiate ‘forbidden’ light (1D ->3P) before losing their electronic excitation in impacts with other atoms and molecules. Deep red banded airglow is likely emission from vibrationally excited OH radicals in a layer ~86km high. The bands are caused by gravity waves propagating upwards from the lower atmosphere. They modulate the local pressure, temperature and specie concentrations. Blue airglow is much much fainter and not very obvious on the image. Excited molecular oxygen at ~95 km high can produce it. The excitation is indirect. Possible routes are via daylight dissociation of N2 and NO or twilight recombination of NO+ whose reaction products generate excited O2. The oxygen the

 

 

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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced an incredibly detailed image of a pair of overlapping galaxies called NGC 3314. While the two galaxies look as if they are in the midst of a collision, this is in fact a trick of perspective: the two are in chance alignment from our vantage point.

 

 

New Hubble image of spiral galaxy ESO 137-001
This new Hubble image shows spiral galaxy ESO 137-001, framed against a bright background as it moves through the heart of galaxy cluster Abell 3627. This image not only captures the galaxy and its backdrop in stunning detail, but also something more dramatic — intense blue streaks streaming outwards from the galaxy, seen shining brightly in ultraviolet light. These streaks are in fact hot, wispy streams of gas that are being torn away from the galaxy by its surroundings as it moves through space. This violent galactic disrobing is due to a process known as ram pressure stripping — a drag force felt by an object moving through a fluid.

 

 

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President and Mrs. Reagan with crew of OV-102 Columbia STS-4 after landing at Edwards. 7/4/82 NASA DFRC EC82-20211

 

 

Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689
Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689 HST ACS WFC H. Ford (JHU)

 

 

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