I really liked that last image of the Crab Nebula so I dug up the rest of the images. Tilt-shift is such a trip!
NGC 3521: Galaxy in a Bubble
Gorgeous spiral galaxy NGC 3521 is a mere 35 million light-years away, toward the constellation Leo. Relatively bright in planet Earth’s sky, NGC 3521 is easily visible in small telescopes but often overlooked by amateur imagers in favor of other Leo spiral galaxies, like M66 and M65. It’s hard to overlook in this colorful cosmic portrait, though. Spanning some 50,000 light-years the galaxy sports characteristic patchy, irregular spiral arms laced with dust, pink star forming regions, and clusters of young, blue stars. Remarkably, this deep image also finds NGC 3521 embedded in gigantic bubble-like shells. The shells are likely tidal debris, streams of stars torn from satellite galaxies that have undergone mergers with NGC 3521 in the distant past.
Credit: R Jay Gabany
Arp 188: The Tadpole
Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy or UGC10214 is a stunning galaxy, at a distance of only 420 million light years from Earth. Its tail is about 280 thousand light years long, and features massive young bright blue star clusters.
It is supposed that the tail was caused by another galaxy, which closely passed by Arp 188, drawing out stars and dust with violent tidal forces. The “intruder”, now 300 thousand light years behind its victim, is assumed to be the spiral galaxy seen through the Tadpole’s spiral arms at the top of the image.
Just like real tadpoles, the Tadpole Galaxy will probably lose its tail over time. The tail’s star clusters should then form small satellites of the larger spiral galaxy.
This image was taken using the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. The image is the result of a combination of three filters; near-infrared, blue and orange. The image also contains about 3000 faint background galaxies. The image was taken in one-twelfth the time it took to observe the now famous Hubble Deep Field (our cover image); but contains twice the number of background galaxies.
Image: NASA, the ACS Science Team (H. Ford, G. Illingworth, M. Clampin, G. Hartig, T. Allen, K. Anderson, F. Bartko, N. Benitez, J. Blakeslee, R. Bouwens, T. Broadhurst, R. Brown, C. Burrows, D. Campbell, E. Cheng, N. Cross, P. Feldman, M. Franx, D. Golimowski, C. Gronwall, R. Kimble, J. Krist, M. Lesser, D. Magee, A. Martel, W. J. McCann, G. Meurer, G. Miley, M. Postman, P. Rosati, M. Sirianni, W. Sparks, P. Sullivan, H. Tran, Z. Tsvetanov, R. White, and R. Woodruff) and ESA
Further Reading: 1, 2
ANOTHER HUMBLING IMAGE FROM HUBBLE
The probing eye of the Hubble Space Telescope brings us yet another reminder of just how small we are. Located 3.5 billion light-years away, the tiny glittering jewels in this image are all distant galaxies. The collision of at least four separate subclusters that created Abell 2744 earned it the nickname “Pandora’s Cluster.” The collision, much like the opening of Pandora’s mythical box, unleashed a plethora of strange phenomena.
The wispy arcs and melted galaxies are actually background galaxies, distorted by the great mass of Pandora’s Cluster. This effect, known as gravitational lensing, will be the focus of Hubble’s new Frontier Fields observing program.
Frontier Fields will turn Hubble’s powerful eye to some of the deepest views known to astronomy in an attempt to study the warped and distant galaxies. This is part of the first series of images from Frontier Fields, which will hopefully give us many new insights into the early Universe.
Image: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI).
100 Planetary Nebulas por geckzilla
RX J1532: Extremely Powerful Ultramassive Black Hole Discovered
The Seagull and the Duck
Seen as a seagull and a duck, these nebulae are not the only cosmic clouds to evoke images of flight. But both are winging their way across this broad celestial landscape, spanning almost 7 degrees across planet Earth’s night sky toward the constellation Canis Major. The expansive Seagull (upper right) is itself composed of two major cataloged emission nebulae. Brighter NGC 2327 forms the head with the more diffuse IC 2177 as the wings and body. Impressively, the Seagull’s wingspan would correspond to about 250 light-years at an estimated distance of 3,800 light-years. At the lower left, the Duck appears much more compact and would span only about 50 light-years given its 15,000 light-year distance estimate. Blown by energetic winds from an extremely massive, hot star near its center, the Duck Nebula is cataloged as NGC 2359. Of course, the Duck’s thick body and winged appendages also lend it a more dramatic popular moniker — Thor’s Helmet.
Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly constellation Corvus, two large galaxies collided. But the stars in the two galaxies cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 don’t collide in the course of the ponderous, billion year or so long event. Instead, their large clouds of molecular gas and dust do, triggering furious episodes of star formation near the center of the cosmic wreckage. Spanning about 500 thousand light-years, this stunning view also reveals new star clusters and matter flung far from the scene of the accident by gravitational tidal forces. Of course, the visual appearance of the far-flung arcing structures gives the galaxy pair its popular name - The Antennae.