Friday, February 29, 2008
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a new image of the galaxy NGC 1132 which is, most likely, a cosmic fossil - the aftermath of an enormous multi-galactic pile-up, where the carnage of collision after collision has built up a brilliant but fuzzy giant elliptical galaxy far outshining typical galaxies.The elliptical galaxy NGC 1132, seen in this latest image from Hubble, belongs to a category of galaxies called giant ellipticals. NGC 1132, together with the small dwarf galaxies surrounding it, are dubbed a "fossil group" as they are most likely the remains of a group of galaxies that merged together in the recent past.In visible light NGC 1132 appears as a single, isolated, giant elliptical galaxy, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Scientists have found that NGC 1132 resides in an enormous halo of dark matter, comparable to the amount of dark matter usually found in an entire group of tens or hundreds of galaxies.It also has a strong X-ray glow from an abundant amount of hot gas - an amount normally only found in galaxy groups. Its X-ray glow extends over a region of space ten times larger than the 120,000 light-year radius it has in visible light. An X-ray glow that is equal in size to that of an entire group of galaxies.The origin of fossil group systems remains a puzzle. The most likely explanation is that they are the end-products of a cosmic feeding frenzy in which a large cannibal galaxy devours all of its neighbours. A less likely explanation is that they may be very rare objects that formed in a region or period of time where the growth of moderate-sized galaxies was somehow suppressed, and only one large galaxy formed.Many galaxies reside in groups that are gravitationally bound together, including our own Milky Way, which is part of the Local Group. Sometimes gravity makes galaxies collide and eventually merge into one single galaxy. There is strong evidence that the Milky Way is one such cannibal that has snacked on numerous smaller galaxies during its lifetime, inheriting their stars in the process.Scientists are keenly studying the environment surrounding galaxies such as NGC 1132 using space telescopes like Hubble, and they try to trace the history of the formation these galaxies by analysing their properties.In this Hubble image, NGC 1132 is seen surrounded by thousands of ancient globular clusters, swarming around the galaxy like bees around a hive. These globular clusters are likely to be the survivors of the disruption of their cannibalised parent galaxies that have been eaten by NGC 1132 and may reveal its merger history. In the background, there is a stunning tapestry of numerous galaxies that are much further away.Elliptical galaxies are smooth and featureless. They contain hundreds of millions to trillions of stars, and their shapes range from nearly spherical to very elongated in shape. Their overall yellowish colour is a telltale sign of their great age. Because elliptical galaxies do not contain much cool gas they can no longer make new stars.NGC 1132 is located approximately 320 million light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus, the River. This image of NGC 1132 was taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Data obtained in 2005 and 2006 through green and near-infrared filters were used to produce a colour composite.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Found a really neat blog...a brazilian blog which is all about denim. Jeans, shoes, and all things fashion. That "skinny leg" for guys fashion has GOT to go! It just looks stoooopid. Thought Jennifer would like the shoes though. http://jeanswear.blogspot.com/
The Petch house renovation is on hold (In Arcata California) while owner Greg recovers from a massive reperatory illness. A stroll through the archives will be well worth the trouble...http://petchhouse.blogspot.com/
Cubeguy is still posting regularly in his 6 month delay blog. http://8thfloorcube.blogspot.com/ He is my kind of guy. I think the 6 month delay is a good idea, gives him a little distance from the weirdness which is the life of an IT trainer for the US court system.
Of course, Post Secret is "still" creepy. http://postsecret.blogspot.com/
and the marines are still on duty here...http://akinoluna.blogspot.com/
Well, enough of that...Brenda has some things for me to do. Lets get at 'em. They usually involve fresh cinnamon buns at the end of it all....grin!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Captures movement in a solid medium Very nice.
All these crystal statues actually have light hitting them.....when they are lit up in the evening, they really come alive!!!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The poor things were melting in the sunlight! The result was that the crystal clear ice started to orange peel and alligator, and projecting details would fall away. Like the hoofs on the unicorn above!
The sculptures in the gallery seemed to hold up better....the sun wasn't turning them into water. Not quite sure why the sun is so nasty on ice sculpture, i mean, besides the obvious. Snow sculptures right beside them were just fine. My theory is that the sun gets "inside" the ice, focusing the beams like a lens, causing hot spots inside the ice sculptures.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Every year we hold a festival here called "winterlude". The last few years have have had massivly bad luck....there is normally at least one, sometimes two big thaws in the middle of winter, and Winterlude has become "waterlude". The weather this time was perfect, not too cold, only a couple of degrees below freezing.
The fella in the above two pictures is a world class "musher". He is famous for being able to use his long sealskin whip to apply a little gentle correction to whichever dog in the long string needs it most! On this day, he was taking cigarettes out of people's mouths, and snapping empty pop cans into waste bins. I want him on MY side.
And a real inukshuk. This one is huge....I could walk under the arch with only a little duck of the head! Must be a trick of the lighting, but the "head" looks like it has an eye and a satisfied smirk on it.
(and yeah, these are all my pictures....grin!)
Monday, February 11, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Invented in Italy along with a lot of other really good ideas, including Gina Lolabigida and pizza, the tee shirt was only an item of underwear until the mid '60s, where upon it became a canvas for the daily opinions of dissaffected youth. In fact, one could argue whether tee shirts were actually a prototype, and slightly more cumbersome form of blogging. The defence rests.....
(hint...the lucky charms shirts are supposed to be worn by the Florida girl above!)
Monday, February 04, 2008
Ian on a good day.
These guys just look like they are having fun!