Nature: An NPO
Posted by edro on May 21, 2008
Nature is an NPO. It has performed wonderfully well for a very, very long time. Why can’t humans do the same?
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This new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Antennae galaxies (NGC 4038 & 4039) is the sharpest yet of this merging pair of galaxies. During the course of the collision, billions of stars will be formed. The brightest and most compact of these star birth regions are called super star clusters.
The two spiral galaxies started to interact a few hundred million years ago, making the Antennae galaxies one of the nearest and youngest examples of a pair of colliding galaxies. Nearly half of the faint objects in the Antennae image are young clusters containing tens of thousands of stars. The orange blobs to the left and right of image center are the two cores of the original galaxies and consist mainly of old stars criss-crossed by filaments of dust, which appear brown in the image. The two galaxies are dotted with brilliant blue star-forming regions surrounded by glowing hydrogen gas, appearing in the image in pink. Source: http://imgsrc.hubblesite.org/hu/db/2006/46/images/a/formats/full_jpg.jpg
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration Acknowledgment: B. Whitmore (Space Telescope Science Institute)
The Infrared Milky Way
This panoramic view encompasses the entire sky as seen by Two Micron All-Sky Survey. The measured brightnesses of half a billion stars (points) have been combined into colors representing three distinct wavelengths of infrared light: blue at 1.2 microns, green at 1.6 microns microns, and red at 2.2 microns. This image is centered on the core of our own Milky Way galaxy, toward the constellation of Sagittarius. The reddish stars seemingly hovering in the middle of the Milky Way’s disc — many of them never observed before — trace the densest dust clouds in our galaxy. The two faint smudges seen in the lower right quadrant are our neighboring galaxies, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds.
Atlas Image mosaic courtesy of 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF”
The Cosmic Microwave Background temperature fluctuations from the 5-year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe data seen over the full sky. The average temperature is 2.725 Kelvin (degrees above absolute zero; equivalent to -273.15 C or -459 F), and the colors represent the tiny temperature fluctuations, as in a weather map. Red regions are warmer and blue regions are colder by about 0.0002 degrees. Source: NASA / WMAP Science Team