Time to Update Your Desktop Wallpaper With This Perfect Spiral Galaxy: NGC 691

This image features the spiral galaxy NGC 691, imaged in fantastic detail by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). This galaxy is the eponymous member of the NGC 691 galaxy group, a group of gravitationally bound galaxies that lie about 120 million light-years from Earth.  Objects such as NGC 691 are observed by Hubble using a range of filters. Each filter only allows certain wavelengths of light to reach Hubble’s WFC3. The images collected using different filters are then coloured by specialised visual artists who can make informed choices about which colour best corresponds to which filter. By combining the coloured images from individual filters, a full-colour image of the astronomical object can be recreated. In this way, we can get remarkably good insight into the nature and appearance of these objects. Links Video of the Eponymous NGC 691

In 1990, the field of astronomy was forever changed with the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. While it was not the first space observatory, its unprecedented resolution and versatility allowed for the deepest and most detailed images of the Universe ever taken. The latest image to be released by the mission features the spiral galaxy NGC 691, which was captured in amazing detail by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

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Weekly Space Hangout – June 26, 2015: Paul Sutter, CCAPP Visiting Fellow

Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain)

Special Guest: This week we welcome Paul Sutter, the CCAPP Visiting Fellow who works on the cosmic microwave background and large-scale structure.

Jolene Creighton (@jolene723 / fromquarkstoquasars.com)
Brian Koberlein (@briankoberlein / briankoberlein.com)
Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @MorganRehnberg )
Alessondra Springmann (@sondy)
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Hollywood-like Galactic Encounter Results in Baby Stars

Images of the core of NGC 4150, taken in near-ultraviolet light with the sharp-eyed Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Credit: NASA, ESA, R.M. Crockett (University of Oxford, U.K.), S. Kaviraj (Imperial College London and University of Oxford, U.K.), J. Silk (University of Oxford), M. Mutchler (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore), R. O'Connell (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), and the WFC3 Scientific Oversight Committee

Like news ripped from a Hollywood tabloid, this saga includes an encounter between two individuals; one aging, and thought to be past its prime, the other youthful and vigorous. And for good measure, thrown in on this story are cannibalism and even zombies. The result of the meet-up? Babies. Baby stars, that is, and the individual galaxies in this tale ended up, seemingly, living together happily-ever-after. The Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) captured images of NGC 4150, an aging elliptical galaxy, and at the core of the galaxy was some vigorous star birth. The star-making days of this galaxy should have ended long ago, but here was active star birth taking place. This isn’t the first time astronomers have seen something like this, so they took a closer look.
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