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Image of the Day: One Trillion Stars! Andromedea Galaxy in Infrared & X Ray


The detailed Spitzer Space Telescope view above features infrared light from dust (red) and old stars (blue) in Andromeda, a massive spiral galaxy a mere 2.5 million light-years away. In fact, with over twice the diameter of our own Milky Way, Andromeda is the largest nearby galaxy. Andromeda's population of bright young stars define its sweeping spiral arms in visible light images, but here the infrared view clearly follows the lumpy dust lanes heated by the young stars as they wind even closer to the galaxy's core. Constructed to explore Andromeda's infrared brightness and stellar populations, the full mosaic image is composed of about 3,000 individual frames. Two smaller companion galaxies, NGC 205 (below) and M32 (above) are also included in the combined fields. The data confirm that Andromeda (aka M31) houses around 1 trillion stars, compared to 4 hundred billion for the Milky Way.

The Chandra X-ray image below shows the central portion of the Andromeda Galaxy. The blue dot in the center of the image is an unusually "cool" million degree X-ray source of unknown nature. Just above this cool source is a source (yellow) that is thought to be due to X-rays from matter swirling toward a supermassive black hole in the nucleus of the galaxy. This black hole contains the mass of 30 million suns. Numerous other X-ray sources are also apparent. Most of these are probably due to X-ray binary systems, in which a neutron star or black hole is in a close orbit around a normal star.


NASA Spitzer and Chandra Space Telescopes  http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2000/0007/

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Why would you pull this text from the Chandra archives and not actually get the corrected text, which itself is 9 years old, and use the incorrect 10 year old text?

[Please note: Additional observations of M31 that alter the conclusions in this release were announced on October 12, 2001. View the updated Chandra results on the Andromeda galaxy.]

Here is the update (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2001/0007rev/):

These highly accurate positions show that the very cool X-ray source (blue) previously identified with the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy is actually about 10 light years south of the center. A second, hotter X-ray source, is found to be at a position consistent with the position of the super massive black hole. The globular clusters are outside the field of view in this image.

OK, this makes a lot of sense dude. Wow.


With over one trillion suns there MUST be intelligent life on some planet in Andromeda. The problem is that at the speed of light it would take them 2.5 million years to get here. And Andromeda is our CLOSEST neighbor galaxy! Maybe in another thousand years, when scientists figure out how to warp space-time, we can visit these places.


One trillion suns is higher or lower than previous estimates for m31?
Regardless of how close or far Andromeda is from us, there are 400,000,000,000 stars in our home galaxy, the Milky Way. If closer is easier to possibly explore, light speed is still, currently the maximum velocity light or energy quanta may travel. Within travel distances in a 30 year span of time at 99% C, (if we can go this fast, ever), multiple planetary systems abound that may be candidates for life, even if microbial or plant life. Intelligent life is , so far, unknown in our own star system, let alone the rest of the Galaxy. Given the collective barbarism and wars constantly being waged on Earth, even within the United States, (the poor are going to be forced to find refuge in another country, Canada is best choice, so far), we can not realistically think of ourselves as 'intelligent'. Only when global cooperation and world hunger, energy production and consumption that does no ecological harm, every human gets the best education, regardless of class, race, income or nationality, money is a global standard, the need for a stock market is abolished, greed is considered a criminal way of thinking, etc... Asteroid defensive systems are positioned on the Moon and strategic locations around the globe, jobs are plentiful and all well paying. No one has more than twenty times the amount of personal wealth as the poorest person on the planet. Pipe dreams, of course. Never happen, ever, not without a lot of criminals being eliminated from the privilege of Life.
The animal kingdom has predators and prey, and they have less attitude problems than a roomful of unrelated people. We better hope that no hostile predatory aliens ever find this planet. They may just find exploiting humans to be too easy. In fact, it would seem we could be under alien manipulation, right now. Or maybe it's just Satan......

Wow, that loosk like a cool place to chill!


Posted by: J. R. Randolf | March 29, 2011 at 02:20 PM

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