Galaxies

Category archives for Galaxies

When you close your eyes and picture a galaxy, what pops into your mind? For most people, it’s a beautiful, spiral shape, where a bright central region fans out with arms that wind around and around, over and over, littered with brilliant, glittering stars. And in almost all the pictures you see, there are two…

“Our knowledge of stars and interstellar matter must be based primarily on the electromagnetic radiation which reaches us. Nature has thoughtfully provided us with a universe in which radiant energy of almost all wave lengths travels in straight lines over enormous distances with usually rather negligible absorption.” –Lyman Spitzer, Jr. There’s nothing quite like looking…

“The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeleton of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life.” –Arthur Koestler For every galaxy out there, what we typically see — the stars — is only representative of a tiny fraction, maybe 2%, of all the mass that’s present…

“The world exploded into billions of atoms, and when it rearranged itself, it may have looked the same, but really, it was a Whole New World.” –Claire LaZebnik At the center of almost every galaxy is a supermassive black hole (SMBH); at the center of almost every cluster is a supermassive galaxy with some of…

“We live in a world that has narrowed into a neighborhood before it has broadened into a brotherhood.” –Lyndon B. Johnson When you think of our own cosmic backyard — our planets, Sun, the nearby stars, and even the closest galaxies to us — you probably don’t think of them in the context of the…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” –Joseph Campbell Imagine you just stared into darkness, collecting every photon of light that came by. What would you wind up seeing? The Hubble Space Telescope has done this many times, creating the…

Hubble’s Deepest Look (Synopsis)

When you think of the Hubble Space Telescope, perhaps you think of what’s touted as its most major feat of all: peering off into deep, dark space, collecting light, and discovering the plethora of distant galaxies laying billions of light years beyond our own. It’s a spectacular sight and a spectacular story, and it’s allowed…

“Since man, fragment of the universe, is governed by the same laws that preside over the heavens, it is by no means absurd to search there above for the themes of our lives, for those frigid sympathies that participate in our achievements as well as our blunderings.” –Marguerite Yourcenar Galaxies are everywhere we look in…

“Is no one inspired by our present picture of the Universe? This value of science remains unsung by singers, you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.” –Richard Feynman There are many scientific facts that are simply remarkable when it comes…

“On a cosmic scale, our life is insignificant, yet this brief period when we appear in the world is the time in which all meaningful questions arise.” –Paul Ricoeur What you see is what you get, except when it isn’t. We’re all familiar with Hubble’s law, or the notion that the Universe is expanding, and…