Long ago, before I wandered through tidepools and discovered the majestic sea cucumber, I wanted to be an astrobiologist.
To this day, little captures my imagination and attention so intently as the study of space. And I know I’m not alone… From Carl Sagan to George Lucas, most everyone seems just as completely fascinated about understanding the great, infinite beyond… collectively wondering about our place in the galaxy on this pale blue dot.
I came across this image in yesterday’s Science Times and you can bet I was excited… What you see is a jet of energy shooting out of a galaxy and hitting its neighbor before splattering into space.
The galaxies, with the collective name 3C321, orbit each other about 20,000 light-years apart in the constellation Serpens. Each is thought to harbor a supermassive black hole at its center, where gravity, pressure and unworldly magnetic fields squeeze matter and energy out into space like toothpaste from a tube.
Supermassive black holes? Unwordly magnetic fields? How cool is that?!