October 20, 2009

life in general: look up! far far up!

There is so much vastness in our universe. There is so much happening out there in space, far far away from our Mother Earth, that should at the very least make us acknowledge it.

Below are (just two of many) pics (original link1 and link2) taken by Hubble space telescope, followed by their description (taken from here and here) in recent years. I just love watching these photos every now and then.

Here they are (click on them to see them enlarged & clear):


The 'Ghost Head Nebula' is one of a chain of star-forming regions lying south of the 30 Doradus nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Two bright regions (the 'eyes of the ghost'), named A1 (left) and A2 (right), are very hot, glowing 'blobs' of hydrogen and oxygen. The bubble in A1 is produced by the hot, intense radiation and powerful stellar wind from a single massive star. A2 has a more complex appearance due to the presence of more dust, and it contains several hidden, massive stars. The massive stars in A1 and A2 must have formed within the last 10 000 years since their natal gas shrouds are not yet disrupted by the powerful radiation of the newly born stars.
Credit: ESA, NASA & Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri (Observatoire de Paris, France)


The Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has used a natural 'zoom lens' in space to boost its view of the distant universe. Besides offering an unprecedented and dramatic new view of the cosmos, the results promise to shed light on galaxy evolution and dark matter in space. Hubble peered straight through the center of one of the most massive galaxy clusters known, called Abell 1689.

For this observation, Hubble had to gaze at the distant cluster, located 2.2 billion light-years away, for more than 13 hours. The gravity of the cluster's trillion stars " plus dark matter " acts as a 2-million-light-year-wide 'lens' in space. This 'gravitational lens' bends and magnifies the light of galaxies located far behind it, distorting their shapes and creating multiple images of individual galaxies. Credit: NASA, N. B

enitez (JHU), T. Broadhurst (The Hebrew University), H. Ford (JHU), M. Clampin(STScI), G. Hartig (STScI), G. Illingworth (UCO/Lick Observatory), the ACS Science Team and ESA

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