Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Kind Of Neighbor


Look at this beauty.
It's one of our closest galactic neighbors, in all its splendor. It is M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, and the image is courtesy of NASA's Spitzer Telescope. M33 is one of a group of Galaxies, together with our own Milky Way, which travel the universe together, all gravitationally bound. In fact, M33 is one of the few moving toward us, despite the fact that space itself is certainly expanding causing most galaxies to grow farther and farther apart. Yet this one heads toward the Milky Way.

M33 is about 2.9 million light years away from the constellation Triangulum, hence its name, and when viewed with Spitzer's infrared eyes, it sparkles with color and detail. Look at all those supernovae! Imagine the storms, the winds.

The stars are represented by the blue gems you see, and dust rich molecules are seen as green clouds. Those orange-red glowing areas indicate star-forming regions, and the small red flecks outside the spiral are mostly likely distant backround galaxies! Whew. It's incredible. Not only beautiful, it's much larger than first thought.
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Basics courtesy of PPT, NASA, JPL, Gryphon
Image credit NASA/JPL- CAlTech/UnivAZ

12 comments:

Ana said...

This is great!
Have you seen a post I did on Cancri 55?
It's amazing knowing that the universe in expanding.
I'm not sure if it affects time and how would it affect.

Big Mark 243 said...

As most of this flies past me, I did snatch this one bit ... if another galaxy is moving towards us, does that mean we are slowing down and the universe is nearing it's end of expansion? Or is it that at some point the two galxies will meet and sort of cancel each other out, in a universal galatic 'blink'?

Diane J Standiford said...

One day life will be expressed from outer places in time and space, then we will all confront the truest meaning of life and living. I will be there.

natalie said...

wow! Beautiful!
hugs!
have great holiday weekend!
i love your post!
natalie

ladymagnolia said...

Good morning Cathy,

I am catching up on saying hello to all my friends. I have been away for a bit and need to get caught up on how everyone is doing.

I love the picture of the M33. It is extraordinary and beautiful. So many things out there in our galaxy to explore! Yet it seems as if we have barely scratched the surface.

Wishing you a Happy Easter!

HUGS~Donna

DB said...

There must be stars before there can be planets. Whom do we obey?

Lori said...

Very beautiful! Great entry!

Donnée Kopenjz said...

The dehydrated little 3 pounder holding my ears apart only allows pondering all the string theory ever expanding galactic sh*t for about 3 minutes a month.

Unfortunately it takes up to much RAM and then I can't even multi-task..which means drinking coffee AND blogging.

I do love to get all Hawkins and try to project myself out there...I hope that's where we end up when our mortal coils unwravel.
Brings to mind the line from 2001..something wonderful

Maire said...

Cathy, Ive learned so much about astronomy since reading your blog, thank you for sharing your knowledge and brilliant photos!
Take care, Maire

Charley Dittrich said...

Beauty indeed! Awesome!

Dirk said...

Absolutely beautiful! When I was in college and took Astronomy class, I had the chance to see this first-hand, even though we didn't have the equipment for it to look like this. No matter what is used to see it, it's a stunning sight.

Dirk
THE FIRST AMENDMENT, NOT POLTICIALLY CORRRECT II
http://tsalagiman2.blogspot.com/

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