Tuesday, May 1, 2012

astro picture for the day

ESA/NASA Hubble space telescope image of Abel galactic cluster.  It looks like one of those recent hubble deep fields.  The Hubble deep fields are images of galaxies as they looked pretty close to the beginning of our universe.  There's things to be said about that.  For hundreds of thousands of years(actually about 400,000 years after the big bang), after the big bang, the universe was interconnected electrodynamicaly.  The universe had not cooled down enough for photons to be uncoupled to electrons, and the electrons could not stay in orbit(quantum mechanically) around an atomic nucleus(generally, either hydrogen or helium).  Generally speaking, galaxies and even stars could not form for hundreds of thousands of years after the big bang.  Then, about 400, 000 years ago, well stars and galaxies could form.  Hubble has been able to image what the universe looked like a little after stars and galaxies formed.  No other telescope can do that; they are famously called "hubble deep fields."  This is not a Hubble deep field!

This is of a Galactic cluster about 400 million light years distant(as oppossed to 12 billion light years for the hubble deep fields).  I find that one great feature of Hubble space telescope pictures, or galaxies, is that you see galaxies spiraling off to infinity, in the background(of Hubble space telescope images of galaxies).  Here, your seeing much of that affect . . . distant galaxies spiraling off to infinity as the background for the Abel galactic cluster. 

Hopefully, you can click on it and it will become a bigger picture and maybe you'll find it kind of fun to peruse for more galaxies; or to even wonder which galaxies are part of the Abel cluster or further distant clusters.

We are not part of the Abel cluster; we're part of the Virgo cluster; we're at the outside edge of it in fact - a good place to be.  The galaxies inside the Abel galactic cluster for one are shredding each other apart.

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