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- Ganja God
- Posts: 6549
- Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2002 6:07 pm
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To begin our voyage of marvel and stretching of the synapses, let us start with something simple. Yet wonderful. Those in the know suggest that this fascinating whirlpool galaxy is created by the gravitational disturbance caused by its galactic dwarf neighbour to the right. Perhaps we would see a similar mischievous dwarf next to our own Milky Way spiral if only we could find our eyes far enough from Earth to gain such a perspective? To offer a startling idea of size…our own galaxy is thought to contain 100 billion stars. Potentially 100 billion solar systems…
Whether the effect is as mesmerizing to those who call such a realm home is impossible to say, yet from our long distance viewpoint, Stephan’s Quintent is a thing of brightness and wonder. The five galaxies of various sizes seem confined to a cage of sorts and in constant movement, their collisions resulting in steadily changing cosmic explosions of dazzling brilliance.
cats eye nebulae
Nebulae are huge clouds of gas and dust, often spanning many light years in breadth and depth yet light enough to hold in your upper paws. The more dense nebulae are truly where stars are made, for as more matter collects together, it attracts yet more matter, until something magical happens…a star is born. Cats Eye, seen above, is an exception, and was the first nebula spotted by man made devices. Rather than an inter-stellar maternity ward Cats Eye is a graveyard in the making, the star at the centre read the last rites as it expels its outer layers into the sublime patterns of light expanding ever outwards.
pillars of creation nebula
A star factory in full bloom…The Eagle Nebula is the most special of discoveries we have found in the abyss. I do not see the Eagle, yet can make out a dragon’s head and its forming wings on the first column, ducks feet nearer the base, which leads onto a cat’s head. The third column reveals surely a human form, or perhaps Grendal from Beowulf? Regardless of the absence of any eagles, the aptly named Pillars of Creation are home to millions of new born stars, as can be seen in the right image. I stand truly in awe of this image of stellar genesis of such marvelous scale.
Whilst I remain stunned and staggered by the eagle nebula, it is this image which brings me the greatest excitement. The jaws of my mind ajar with bedazzlement…Who and what lives there! For with the most modern layers of technology applied to our dear Hubble telescope, we aimed our galactic gaze into a range of darkness, lacking any hint of light or life, then went to sleep for a few days. Upon returning, old man Hubble had found in what had formerly seemed sparse and empty, the countless galaxies you see above. There is light everywhere. Even in the darkness…
Please share your thoughts and other images of the beauty of the Universe...
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