Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for March 4th, 2006

Galaxies in Collision

Posted by Mark on March 4, 2006

What a remarkable picture of galaxies colliding.
The galaxy on the bottom left is not involved, the other three are.

galaxies in collision.jpg

This false-color composite image of the Stephan’s Quintet galaxy cluster clearly shows one of the largest shock waves ever seen (green arc). The wave was produced by one galaxy falling toward another at speeds of more than one million miles per hour. The image is made up of data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and a ground-based telescope in Spain.

Four of the five galaxies in this picture are involved in a violent collision, which has already stripped most of the hydrogen gas from the interiors of the galaxies. The centers of the galaxies appear as bright yellow-pink knots inside a blue haze of stars, and the galaxy producing all the turmoil, NGC7318b, is the left of two small bright regions in the middle right of the image. One galaxy, the large spiral at the bottom left of the image, is a foreground object and is not associated with the cluster.

The titanic shock wave, larger than our own Milky Way galaxy, was detected by the ground-based telescope using visible-light wavelengths. It consists of hot hydrogen gas. As NGC7318b collides with gas spread throughout the cluster, atoms of hydrogen are heated in the shock wave, producing the green glow.

Stephan’s Quintet is located 300 million light-years away in the Pegasus constellation.

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Origami is Coming

Posted by Mark on March 4, 2006

Microsoft is launching a new…something…March 9th. Get a non-preview here. Right click on the black part of the screen,and choose View Page Source to get to what Microsoft is up to. You’ll see it says The Mobile PC Running Windows XP. Here’s a little more of what may be coming. A tablet PC, the size of a book, with the full capabilities of a notebook computer for under $800. Where do I sign up?

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