The Giant Elliptical Galaxy NGC 4261 is one of the twelve brightest galaxies in the Virgo cluster, located 45 million light-years away. Photographed in visible light (white) the galaxy appears as a fuzzy disk of hundreds of billions of stars. The giant disk of cold gas and dust fuels a possible black hole at the galaxy's core of the galaxy.
The ethereal beauty of galaxy N 180B, an active region of star formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, unveils in wispy clouds of hydrogen and oxygen that swirl and mix with dust.
The awesome Sombrero Galaxy M104 discovered in May 1781 by Pierre Méchain is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo.
The Hubble Space Telescope, which has so radically changed and enlarged our picture and understanding of the cosmos and our place in it, is a cooperative project of NASA and ESA (European Space Agency), put into orbit in 1990 600 kilometers above the earth, allowing an unrivaled, undisturbed view into deep space.
In a galactic replay of merging of the Earth's tectonic plates into a massive supercontinent known as Pangea 250 million years ago, the Spitzer Space Telescope caught images of four massive galaxies slamming into each other and kicking up billions of stars like grains of sand! As the largest galactic pileup in the known universe, it will produce a huge offspring.
The Galactic Barrier, often referred to as the "Energy Barrier", or "The Great Barrier" in the science fiction
universe of Star Trek,is an energy field that completely encompasses the galactic disk of the Milky Way and prevents conventional starship travel beyond the edge of the galaxy.
The Barrier made its first appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" where the crew of the USS Enterprise had to deal with those affected by the powerful telekinetic and telepathic powers of the field as the ship's power and engines shut down and navigational systems became erratic.
Done. There's no scarcity of new galaxies: there are more than 140 billion galaxies in the visible universe! Our Milky Way is an average-sized spiral galaxy containing a few hundred billion stars.
A new project known as the Galaxy Zoo needs about 30,000 people to log on to its website and help classify one million galaxies. The project is expected to reveal whether or not our existing models of the Universe are correct.
This X-ray image, made with the Chandra X-Ray Astronomy Center's Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS), shows the central portion of the Andromeda Galaxy. The Chandra X-ray Observatory is part of NASA's ﬂeet of "Great Observatories" along with the Hubble Space Telescope.
The blue dot in the center of the image is a "cool" million degree X-ray source where Andromeda's massive central object, with the mass of 30 million suns, is located, which many astronomers consider to be a supermassive black hole. Most of these are probably due to X-ray binary systems, in which a neutron star (or perhaps a stellar black hole) is in a close orbit around a normal star.
NASA engineers and scientists building the James Webb Space Telescope, the "next-generation" Hubble, have created a new telescope technology called microshutters. Microshutters are tiny doorways that will allow the telescope to view the most distant stars and galaxies humans have ever seen. Each of the 62,000 shutters measures 100 by 200 microns, or roughly the width of three to six human hairs.
The Webb Telescope will have a wide field of view, and its deep, long observation of the sky will contain millions of light sources. Microshutters allow scientists to remotely and systematically block out light that they do not want. Previously, masks of space telescopes only covered large regions of a field of view at any one time.The shutters allow NASA scienists to perform spectroscopy on up to 100 targets simultaneously. They will be able to see deeper, faint, ancient light in less time.
Hubble's Ultra-Deep Field provides the deepest view of the universe, an image containing tens of thousands of light sources. Some of these light sources are relatively close and some are from an era just after galaxies and stars formed. To go deeper, scientists need to mask the brighter, closer sources and focus only on the most distant.