Galaxies

Category archives for Galaxies

Happy birthday, Edwin Hubble (Synopsis)

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” -Edwin Hubble Back in the 1920s, Einstein’s general relativity had just come out and gained acceptance, and a debate was raging over whether the spirals in the sky were within our own galaxy, or were entire galaxies unto themselves.…

“Based on our understanding of how galaxy clusters grow from the very beginning of our universe, this cluster should be one of the five most massive in existence at that time.” -Peter Eisenhardt While deep galaxy surveys from telescopes like Hubble are great for identifying distant individual galaxies, they’re not wide-field enough to find massive…

Ask Ethan #111: Do Galaxies Die? (Synopsis)

“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 The Universe is in its heyday right now: hundreds of billions of galaxies are visible from any point, clustered together in a glorious…

When young galaxies are first formed, they’re accompanied by tremendous bursts of star formation, giving rise to billions of new stars within just a few million years. Yet how these galaxies first form in the initial stages is very much an open question. In addition, pretty much every large galaxy we find — even in…

“From our home on the Earth, we look out into the distances are strive to imagine the sort of world into which we are born.. But with increasing distance our knowledge fades, and fades rapidly, until at the last dim horizon we search among ghostly errors of observations for landmarks that are scarcely more substantial.…

“The slow philosophy is not about doing everything in tortoise mode. It’s less about the speed and more about investing the right amount of time and attention in the problem so you solve it.” –Carl Honore If you wanted to know how fast you were moving through space, you’d need to measure it all: the…

“First, you should check out my house. It’s, like, kinda lame, but way less lame than, like, your house.” –Lumpy Space Princess, Adventure Time When you visualize our Universe today, you probably think about the great clumps of matter — planets, stars, galaxies and clusters — separated by huge distances. But on the largest of…

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…