A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Stars

A mere 11 million light-years away, Centaurus A is a giant elliptical galaxy - the closest active galaxy to Earth. This remarkable composite view of the galaxy combines image data from the x-ray ( Chandra), optical(ESO), and radio(VLA) regimes. Centaurus A's central region is a jumble of gas, dust, and stars in optical light, but both radio and x-ray telescopes trace a remarkable jet of high-energy particles streaming from the galaxy's core. The cosmic particle accelerator's power source is a black hole with about 10 million times the mass of the Sun coincident with the x-ray bright spot at the galaxy's center. Blasting out from the active galactic nucleus toward the upper left, the energetic jet extends about 13,000 light-years. A shorter jet extends from the nucleus in the opposite direction. Other x-ray bright spots in the field are binary star systems with neutron stars or stellar mass black holes. Active galaxy Centaurus A is likely the result of a merger with a spiral galaxy some 100 million years ago.

The tantalizing Pleiades star cluster seems to lie just beyond the trees above a dark castle tower in this dramatic view of The World at Night. Recorded earlier this month, the starry sky also features bright star Aldebaran below the Pleiades and a small, faint, fuzzy cloud otherwise known as Comet Holmes near picture center at the top of the field. Starry Night Castle might be an appropriate name for the medieval castle ruin in the foreground. But its traditional name is Mörby Castle, found north of Stockholm, near lake Skedviken in Norrtälje, Sweden.


Astronomy Picture of the Day

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6 Comments:

Blogger phlegmfatale said...

oooh, space blossoms!
Pretty.

10:37 PM  
Blogger The Astronomer said...

Impressive post , very impressive .

1:56 PM  
Anonymous root@localhost.localdomain said...

Xavier,

Off topic, and shouldn't be posted under this thread, but rather under "Idiots with Guns". I stumbled across this video and was gobsmacked. I didn't see a contact/email on the site, but I know you check comments before they're posted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qRJzpQXb7c

4:27 PM  
Blogger Geoff said...

Hello, I seem to lack the cunning to find your email address to ask a question that has been percolating in the back of my mind for a while. As you have moderation enabled, I beg your indulgence in abusing that detail as an ad hoc email. A while back you outlined what would constitute required elements, moderate features, and unacceptable bits for a carry 1911. Unfortunately, I am nowhere near as familiar with 1911s as you are and I wanted to ask you why you found things like a full-length guide rod undesirable. What are the pros and cons of the options you find significant? I've dug through your archive, but I was unsuccessful in finding a post where you answered those questions. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to further reading of your blog.

sincerely,
Geoffrey
fenrisunbound[at]comcast[dot]ne

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xav: You continue to impress in new and exciting ways.

I too am an astro/ telescope/gun/pawn-
shop geek.

Just when I pegged your site as a ten, you jumped off the scale.

Best regards,

galeH

10:20 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Shucks, ......I just thought they were some pretty pictures.....

5:29 AM  

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