Hubble

Tag archives for Hubble

“This seems to be the law of progress in everything we do; it moves along a spiral rather than a perpendicular; we seem to be actually going out of the way, and yet it turns out that we were really moving upward all the time.” -Frances Willard As spring gives way to summer here in…

Late to the Party

(Thanks to Starts With A Bang! reader benhead.) The Hubble Space Telescope has released some beautiful images of colliding galaxies in a huge collection! Here are some of my favorites, with my very own names for them (real name in parentheses). We’ll start with the Glowing Arrow (Arp 148): The Highway Windshield (NGC 6240) The…

What is Dark Energy?

You’ve all heard these words before. Dark Energy. But what is it, and why are we stuck with it? Let me start by telling you a story. Imagine, for a minute, that you have a candle. You know everything about this candle, including how bright it is and how far away it is from you.…

Say Goodbye to Virgo…

Aaah, the Virgo cluster. A huge cluster of hundreds of galaxies, and our closest large neighbor in the Universe. People have known for a long time that although Virgo is still redshifting away from us, it isn’t quite as fast as we would expect from the Hubble expansion rate of the Universe. Does this mean…

The Universe is Accelerating?

Sure, there’s dark energy, but what does that really mean? First off, there’s the bizarre phenomenon we see: very distant objects appear dimmer than we expect in a Universe filled with just matter and space. This supernova (above) should appear much brighter for how distant it is, based on what we know about supernova. This…

WMAP results: Cosmology from the CMB

The cosmic microwave background is the radiation left over from the big bang. It’s very uniform, 2.725 Kelvin everywhere. We’re moving with respect to it, so there’s a doppler shift, and we see that as a dipole moment in the Temperature. When we subtract that out, we see variations on the order of 30 microKelvins!…