Rock giant by Sultan Marzouq
Captured in one of the many gorges in Karijini National Park, Western Australia. Photo by Paul Pichugin.
Here we see two spiral galaxies engaged in a cosmic tug-of-war — but in this contest, there will be no winner. The structures of both objects are slowly distorted to resemble new forms, and in some cases, merge together to form new, super galaxies … It is quite possible that the event pictured here, romantically named 2MASX J06094582-2140234, will avoid a merger event altogether, and will merely distort the arms of each spiral without colliding — the cosmic equivalent of a hair ruffling! These galactic interactions also trigger new regions of star formation in the galaxies involved, causing them to be extremely luminous in the infrared part of the spectrum. For this reason, these types of galaxies are referred to as LIRGs, or Luminous Infrared Galaxies. This image was taken as part of as part of a Hubble survey of the central regions of LIRGs in the local Universe, which also used the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) instrument. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Luca Limatola
This view, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a nearby spiral galaxy known as NGC 1433. At about 32 million light-years from Earth, it is a type of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy — a classification that accounts for 10% of all galaxies. They have very bright, luminous centers that are comparable in brightness to that of our entire galaxy, the Milky Way. The centers of most galaxy cores, if not all, galaxies are thought to contain a supermassive black hole, surrounded by a disk of in-falling material. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Explanation: To see a vista like this takes patience, hiking, and a camera. Patience was needed in searching out just the right place and waiting for just the right time. A short hike was needed to reach this rugged perch above a secluded cove in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in California, USA. And a camera was needed for the long exposure required to bring out the faint light from stars and nebulae in the background Milky Way galaxy. Moonlight illuminated the hidden beach and inlet behind nearby trees in the above composite image taken last month. Usually obscured McWay Falls is visible just below the image center, while the Pacific Ocean is in view to its right. The above image is a high-resolution sequel to a similar image that appeared last year.
The Fairy of Eagle Nebula
One of several dust pillars in the Eagle Nebula. This one is ten light years tall and spews radiation much hotter than common fire.
Stephan’s Quintet Plus One
The interacting galaxies, NGC 7319, 7318A, 7318B, and 7317 have a more dominant yellowish cast. They also tend to have distorted loops and tails, grown under the influence of disruptive gravitational tides. The mostly bluish galaxy, NGC 7320, is in the foreground about 40 million light-years distant, and isn’t part of the interacting group. Still, captured in this field above and to the left of Stephan’s Quintet is another galaxy, NGC 7320C, that is also 300 million light-years distant.
A curtain of stars surrounds the 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT) in this new Ultra High Definition photograph from the ESO Ultra HD Expedition . It was captured on the first night of shooting at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, which sits at 2400 metres above sea level on the outskirts of the Chilean Atacama Desert.
Visible to the left of the Milky Way is the bright orange star Antares at the heart of Scorpius (The Scorpion). Saturn can be seen as the brightest point to the upper left of Antares and Alpha and Beta Centauri glow in the upper right of the image. The Southern Cross (Crux) and the Coalsack dark nebula are also visible looming above Alpha and Beta Centauri.