Galaxies

Category archives for Galaxies

“We [are] a species endowed with hope and perseverance, at least a little intelligence, substantial generosity and a palpable zest to make contact with the cosmos.” -Carl Sagan When the Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft were launched, they contained a message emblazoned on them: a map of 14 pulsars, showing the location of Earth relative to…

“Our first priority was making sure we weren’t fooling ourselves.” -Keith Riles, LIGO team member When LIGO announced their first discovery of a black hole-black hole merger, it came as a surprise to almost everyone. The shocking part wasn’t that LIGO had seen merging black holes, but that they were discovered to be so massive.…

“This new insight may force us to rethink the whole cosmological context of how galaxies burn out early on and evolve into local elliptical-shaped galaxies. Perhaps we have been blind to the fact that early “dead” galaxies could in fact be disks, simply because we haven’t been able to resolve them.” -Sune Toft How do…

“Space and time may have a structure as intricate as the fauna of a rich ecosystem, but on a scale far larger than the horizon of our observations.” -Martin Rees On the largest scales, dark matter has been undoubtedly the most successful theory in modern cosmology for explaining a huge variety of observations. From the…

“There is no such thing as perpetual tranquillity of mind while we live here; because life itself is but motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear, no more than without sense.” -Thomas Hobbes It’s hard to believe, but despite being at rest here on the surface of Earth, we’re actually hurtling through…

“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.” -Dave Barry When we break out the big guns — space telescopes like Hubble or James Webb — we can see the Universe as it was billions of…

“No matter what technique you use, you should get the same value for the expansion rate of the universe today.” -Ben Hoscheit When you think of the Universe on the largest scales, you likely think of galaxies grouped and clustered together in huge, massive collections, separated by enormous cosmic voids. But there’s another kind of…

“Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction.” -Jean Dubuffet In the far future, all the galaxies within our Local Group will merge together, with enough gas and stellar material to form trillions…

“Despite its name, the big bang theory is not really a theory of a bang at all. It is really only a theory of the aftermath of a bang.” -Alan Guth When we look to the deepest reaches of space, we can look for the “first” of any type of object. The first galaxy, the first…

“There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite.” -Paul Gauguin From our vantage point within the Milky Way, it sure does appear impressive. Hundreds of billions of stars shine in our own cosmic backyard, with our galaxy spanning a whopping 100,000 light years…