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Posted: 9/12/2010 6:18:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 6:22:48 PM EDT by Ridge_Runner_5]

Messier 104 (M104), the Sombrero galaxy. has a brilliant white, bulbous core encircled by the thick dust lanes comprising the spiral structure of the galaxy. As seen from Earth, the galaxy is tilted nearly edge-on. We view it from just six degrees north of its equatorial plane. At a relatively bright magnitude of +8, M104 is just beyond the limit of naked-eye visibility and is easily seen through small telescopes. The Sombrero lies at the southern edge of the rich Virgo cluster of galaxies and is one of the most massive objects in that group, equivalent to 800 billion suns. The galaxy is 50,000 light-years across and is located 28 million light-years from Earth. X-ray emission suggests that there is material falling into the compact core, where a 1-billion-solar-mass black hole resides. In the 19th century, some astronomers speculated that M104 was simply an edge-on disk of luminous gas surrounding a young star, which is prototypical of the genesis of our solar system. But in 1912, astronomer V. M. Slipher discovered that the hat-like object appeared to be rushing away from us at 700 miles per second. This enormous velocity offered some of the earliest clues that the Sombrero was really another galaxy, and that the universe was expanding in all directions. (NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team, STScI/AURA)


What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The gas is tearing across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour - fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes! A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the center of this fury. It has ejected its envelope of gases and is now unleashing a stream of ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow. The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), installed by NASA astronauts in May 2009, snapped this image of the planetary nebula, catalogued as NGC 6302, which lies within our Milky Way galaxy, roughly 3,800 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. The glowing gas is the star's outer layers, expelled over about 2,200 years. NGC 6302 was imaged on July 27, 2009, with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 in ultraviolet and visible light. Filters that isolate emissions from oxygen, helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur from the planetary nebula were used to create this composite image. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team)


More available here
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:23:51 PM EDT
I love learning about physics and cosmology for exactly that reason... everything else we know is insignificant.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:23:55 PM EDT
We truly are puny beings.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:25:27 PM EDT
I'm pretty sure the military would disagree.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:25:38 PM EDT
Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:25:43 PM EDT
I'm just wage-slaving to support my bag o' bones until I evaporate into time.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:27:17 PM EDT
tag for a faster internet connection
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:28:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:29:00 PM EDT
Black holes were one of my favorite things to learn about. Like miniature models of the universe before the big bang.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:29:13 PM EDT
excellent pictures!
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:30:32 PM EDT
5000 Years old.....
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:34:14 PM EDT
Differences we make, like time is relative
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:37:35 PM EDT
It was like that recent episode of Futurama...they travel forward in time, reach the end of the planet, so they just throw the time machine full speed ahead and they all enjoy a beer while they watch the universe end.

It was all a comedy, but damned if it wasnt a depressing thought. You could be the single most important creature in the galaxy, and there would come a time where no proof of your existence was left.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:45:39 PM EDT
Ohh double rainbow.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:46:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ridge_Runner_5:
It was like that recent episode of Futurama...they travel forward in time, reach the end of the planet, so they just throw the time machine full speed ahead and they all enjoy a beer while they watch the universe end.

It was all a comedy, but damned if it wasnt a depressing thought. You could be the single most important creature in the galaxy, and there would come a time where no proof of your existence was left.

Rip off of the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:48:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wyzardd:
Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.

nice one.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:00:49 PM EDT
Embedding is too much work

Monty Python Galaxy Song
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:02:25 PM EDT
It's hard to imagine how imense the universe is, with Trillions of stars and the farther we look the more we find. At the other end of the spectrum it is all made of particles so small that we can't see them even with our best microscopes. We are made with trillions of those particles so we are somewhere in the middle based on relative size.

Here we are able to see think and somewhat understand the granduer that is all around us.

I think that we are here for a reason that matters to the one who made it all.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:02:47 PM EDT
Stunning pictures.
A shame to think that in a few years Hubble will be gone.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:07:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hobbsar:
Stunning pictures.
A shame to think that in a few years Hubble will be gone.

The sad part is there has been nothing sent up to replace it. As long as it has been out there you would think we would have several generations of advancement on it and replaced it with something better.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:11:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wyzardd:
Embedding is too much work

Monty Python Galaxy Song


Please, allow me:

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:11:49 PM EDT
it's all about scale and locality.

Things we do have local impact. Things we do have importance on a smaller scale.

your trying to say that quantum mechanics don't matter because they are on a vastly smaller scale. However, without them, the universe wouldn't function.

So, it's all a matter of perspective.

we have an impact on the lives of those around us.

Good, bad, or indifferent, we do make an impact.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:13:45 PM EDT
Good, I hate responsibility.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:15:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 7:16:36 PM EDT by The_Macallan]



Nothing any of those galaxies do will ever matter.

But what I do certainly does matter to my family and God.

And that's all that matters.



Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:19:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 7:21:00 PM EDT by Powderfinger]


Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:26:53 PM EDT
I almost cried listening to this...

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:29:17 PM EDT
At the Lowell observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona is "Pluto Walk". It is a scale model of the Solar System with Pluto 350 feet from the Sun. Using that scale, Alpha Centauri B, which after the Sun is our closest stellar neighbor, would be in Los Angeles. Space is big. REAL big.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:48:52 PM EDT
Beautiful pics.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:49:51 PM EDT
It will matter to me.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:50:34 PM EDT
Another from the same site that puts across the point you are trying to make I think...



The core of the spectacular globular cluster Omega Centauri glitters with the combined light of 2 million stars. The entire cluster contains 10 million stars, and is among the biggest and most massive of some 200 globular clusters orbiting the Milky Way Galaxy. Omega Centauri lies 17,000 light-years from Earth. Image acquired in June of 2002. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team, STScI/AURA) More (see this on Google Sky) #
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:52:07 PM EDT
Now realize you have very little control over your life as well.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:52:39 PM EDT
Purdy pics. but I already knew that I was insignificant.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:53:22 PM EDT
Originally Spoken By Vincent:
Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, in a speck on one in a blink. That's us, lost in space. The cop, you, me... Who notices?


Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:53:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 7:54:30 PM EDT by Greenhorn]
I can't believe no one's said this yet:

WHAT ROUND FOR SUPERNOVAS?

Geez, do I have to do everything around here?
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:55:39 PM EDT
This seems relevant. WARNING: there's about a .5 clip of a child being born. Also Coldplay. But interesting nonetheless.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8Aurpr68uE&feature=player_embedded#!

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:57:44 PM EDT
i think i saw galactus in that last pic
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:09:46 PM EDT
....so can we have your liver then?
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:13:46 PM EDT
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:28:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lexington:
I'm just wage-slaving to support my bag o' bones until I evaporate into time.


me to, Im just a slave to be free..
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:33:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:37:15 PM EDT
The only game {that matters} in the universe is right here.


Or the Devil wouldn't be hanging the God da-da-damn fuck around.
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