“One sees qualities at a distance and defects at close range.” –Victor Hugo A couple of weeks ago we took a look at the most distant galaxy (so far) in the known Universe, a galaxy so far away that it takes exclusively infrared observations from our most power space telescopes (Hubble and Spitzer) in order … Read moreWhat does the Universe look like as seen from its most distant galaxy?
“People say sometimes that Beauty is superficial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought is. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” –Oscar Wilde … Read moreThe Most Distant Galaxy in the Universe
“I am undecided whether or not the Milky Way is but one of countless others all of which form an entire system. Perhaps the light from these infinitely distant galaxies is so faint that we cannot see them.” –Johann Lambert When we look out at the Universe, our view is pretty consistently dominated by the … Read moreHow do we see through our own galaxy?
“Pinwheel, pinwheel spinning around. Look at my Pinwheel and see what I found. Pinwheel, pinwheel, breezy and bright. Spin me good morning, spin me good night.” –Janet Gardner It’s time for another Messier Monday, where each week, one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the famed Messier Catalogue — the first large, accurate catalogue of non-cometary … Read moreMessier Monday: The Great Pinwheel of Virgo, M99
“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” –Douglas Adams Well, maybe “peanuts” isn’t going to do. When you look out at the night sky, all sorts … Read moreHow far away is stuff?
“Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery When you look out into the Universe, what is it that you typically think of? Do you think of reliable, fixed stars and constellations? The … Read moreThe Universe is Alive
“The thing’s hollow—it goes on forever—and—oh my God—it’s full of stars!” –Dave Bowman, 2001: A Space Odyssey Back in October, we began a new, weekly series here called Messier Monday. Each Monday, we’ve taken a look at one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the Messier Catalogue, nebulous objects that might potentially be … Read moreMessier Monday: The Gateway Galaxy to Virgo, M60
“Forget it. I didn’t have that thing inside me where I wanted to smash against somebody and watch them break. I was too sensitive for that and disliked being that sensitive.” –Josh Brolin How do you figure out what something is made of? You take it apart — cracking it open if necessary — and … Read moreSo much more than an Atom Smasher
“We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.” –George Bernard Shaw All that is real about ourselves is nothing … Read moreGiving thanks for our place in the Universe
“It’s a brilliant surface in that sunlight.” – Neil Armstrong Indeed, all that glitters so brilliantly in the cosmos does so because of the stars that have formed throughout it. Over the 14 billion-or-so years that our Universe has been around, we’ve formed hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy alone. Given that our … Read moreEvery Galaxy will have New Stars for Trillions of Years!