The European Southern Observatory just released this astounding picture of two galaxies colliding. It’s an event that unfolds over the course of hundreds of millions of years.
A bright star cluster glitters like a fireworks display over a cloud of interstellar gas and dust in a Hubble Space Telescope picture released July 6.
The young cluster, dubbed NGC 3603, is filled with stars that were born around the same time but have grown up to have different sizes and masses. Because more massive stars die sooner than less massive ones, the cluster acts like a cosmic petri dish, in which astronomers can study the various stages of stars’ life cycles.
Most Massive Galaxy Cluster of Early Universe Discovered
Astronomers at the South Pole Telescope have discovered a massive galaxy cluster from the early universe, the largest one spotted so far. This behemoth cluster contains about 800 trillion suns (compare: our Local Group—containing us, Andromeda, the Magellanic clouds and approximately 30 smaller galaxies—are home to an estimated 900 bilion stars) packed inside hundreds of galaxies. But wait, it gets bigger! The galaxy comes from the early-ish days of galaxy formation (the universe is 13.7 years old and the oldest thing resembling a galaxy is roughly 13 billion years old (well, that’s kind of up for debate)). We’ve determined that the cluster is 7 billion years old, meaning that the light from it has taken 7 billion years to reach us. The cluster in question is likely much larger now. While there are some heavier clusters in the near universe, if we could see this cluster as it is today, it would likely rank among the most massive clusters of all.
Hello, lights from the distant past.
Detailing the Division
The Cassini Division, occupying the middle and left of the image, contains five dim bands of ring material, but not all of the division is shown in this image. The B ring is on the right of the image. The Huygens Gap is the widest black swath near the middle of the image. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 3, 2010. from approximately 443,000 kilometers from Saturn. Image scale is 2 kilometers per pixel.
• Source: CICLOPS
Timelapse montage of the stars and nature… made even more epic with the help of Hans Zimmer. The power of what music can do to change interpretation!