Dark and Ordinary Matter Separate in Galactic Crash

Space telescopes have captured images of a mammoth collision between two galaxy clusters that have shed some light into the universe’s mysterious dark matter, NASA said.

Dark and Ordinary Matter Separate in Galactic Crash

The images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory show a clear separation between dark and ordinary matter during the clash 5.7 billion light-years from Earth, the U.S. space agency said Wednesday.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Good beginner telescopes

A Dobsonian telescope is basically a big tube, a single lightweight main mirror at the bottom and a smaller mirror near the top tilted 45 degrees sideways to reflect the converging light beam out the eye piect on the side. This back and forth light beam system is also known as a Newtonian reflection system, named after you know who. It typically sits on a mounting system called Alt-Azimuth. This system allows for two-dimensional movements, vertically (ALTitude) and horisontally (Azimuth). Joe Dobson was an astronomer in San Francisco in the 70s, wanting to create a good but cheap telescope for the masses.

Today, there are several manufacturers that deliver Dobsonian telescopes. They’re good value for money, easy to use and will keep any budding astronomer occupied from beginner to intermediate. The main drawback is the size. Think 6-12″ tube up to chest height. However, it’s very light weight and easy to carry with you. There is generally some assembly required the first time, but that’s all part of the learning.

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Distant Galaxy Cluster Confirms Dark Energy

An orbiting observatory has spotted a massive cluster of galaxies in deep space that can only be explained by the exotic phenomenon known as dark energy, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Monday.

Distant Galaxy Cluster Confirms Dark Energy

Spotted in a scan by ESA’s orbiting X-ray telescope XMM-Newton, the cluster’s mass is about 1,000 times that of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, it said.

The huge cluster, known by its catalogue number of 2XMM J083026+524133, lies 7.7 billion light-years from Earth and helps confirm the existence of dark energy, the agency said.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Space Calendar August 25 – August 31 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for September 25 – September 31 2008. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Hubble Sees Magnetic Monster in Erupting Galaxy

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has found an answer to a long-standing puzzle by resolving giant but delicate filaments shaped by a strong magnetic field around the active galaxy NGC 1275. It is the most striking example of the influence of the immense tentacles of extragalactic magnetic fields, say researchers.

Hubble Sees Magnetic Monster in Erupting Galaxy

One of the closest giant elliptical galaxies, NGC 1275 hosts a supermassive black hole. Energetic activity of gas swirling near the black hole blows bubbles of material into the surrounding galaxy cluster. Long gaseous filaments stretch out beyond the galaxy, into the multimillion-degree, X-ray–emitting gas that fills the cluster.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Rings in sunshine

No, not the Olympic Rings, the real rings this time. Saturns rings.

Saturn’s icy rings shine in scattered sunlight in this view, which looks toward the unilluminated northern side of the rings from about 15 degrees above the ringplane. Some of the sunlight not reflected from the rings’ southern face is scattered through the countless particles, setting the rings aglow.

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Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. Bright clumps of material in the narrow F ring moved in their orbits between each of the color exposures, creating a chromatic misalignment in several places that provides some sense of the continuous motion within the ring system.

The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 4, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (770,000 miles) from Saturn. The Sun-ring-spacecraft, or phase, angle was 28 degrees. Image scale is 70 kilometers (44 miles) per pixel.

[Source: NASA]

Space Calendar August 18 – August 24 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for September 18 – September 24 2008. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Hubble Unveils Colorful and Turbulent Star-Birth Region on 100,000th Orbit Milestone

In commemoration of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., have aimed Hubble to take a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal. Hubble peered into a small portion of the nebula near the star cluster NGC 2074 (upper, left). The region is a firestorm of raw stellar creation, perhaps triggered by a nearby supernova explosion. It lies about 170,000 light-years away near the Tarantula nebula, one of the most active star-forming regions in our Local Group of galaxies. This representative color image was taken on August 10, 2008, with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Red shows emission from sulfur atoms, green from glowing hydrogen, and blue from glowing oxygen.

Hubble Unveils Colorful and Turbulent Star-Birth Region on 100,000th Orbit Milestone

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar August 11 – August 17 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for September 11 – September 17 2008. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Globular Clusters Tell Tale of Star Formation in Nearby Galaxy Metropolis

Globular star clusters, dense bunches of hundreds of thousands of stars, have some of the oldest surviving stars in the universe. A new study of globular clusters outside our Milky Way Galaxy has found evidence that these hardy pioneers are more likely to form in dense areas, where star birth occurs at a rapid rate, instead of uniformly from galaxy to galaxy.

Globular Clusters Tell Tale of Star Formation in Nearby Galaxy Metropolis

Astronomers used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to identify over 11,000 globular clusters in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Most are older than 5 billion years. The sharp vision of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys resolved the star clusters in 100 galaxies of various sizes, shapes, and brightnesses, even in faint, dwarf galaxies. Comprised of over 2,000 galaxies, the Virgo cluster is the nearest large galaxy cluster to Earth, located about 54 million light-years away.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]