That’s a huge b—-, black hole! The studies of the skies and the depths of outer space continue, with new and intriguing discoveries being made all of the time! One of the latest finds is a black hole that is truly monstrous!
Scientific researchers using The Hubble Space Telescope have been able to observe details about a distant galaxy that has been labeled NGC 1277. This galaxy is some 220 million light years from Earth (no, we won’t be visiting it…). It can be observed within what we have designated as Perseus Constellation.
NGC 1277 itself first was viewed during 1875. Sir Lawrence Parsons, The 4th Earl of Rosse, was the one who made the discovery of this galaxy. Parsons, accompanied by his wife (also an astronomer…), worked together to make this find. Their telescope was dubbed as The Leviathan of Parsonstown, and it was supposed to be the largest telescope of that time period!
Studies of this far away galaxy have been focusing on it’s core black hole. Supermassive black holes exist at the centers of galaxies, and the one found at the heart of NGC 1277 has captured much attention because of it’s size. This particular galaxy is merely one tenth the size of our home galaxy, The Milky Way. Yet, it’s central black hole is seventeen billion times as massive as The Sun, while expanding to a distance that is greater than the orbit of Neptune around our star. This black hole just might be the largest black hole within the known universe!
The Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory is where NGC 1277 first was viewed. Astronomers at UT-Austin have said that studies of this galaxy show that it is comprised mainly of it’s central black hole. They may designate it as the first known galaxy of it’s kind, being mostly black hole, with comparably lesser amounts of star systems encircling the center. WOW!!!
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(the black hole….)
The excitement about Mars just keeps coming and coming! Latest news broadcasts are delivering uplifting information about what seem to be set plans for Earthlings to reach The Red Planet. Yet, the plans still seem to be not as cohesive as needed!
Currently, N.A.S.A. is about to make an announcement. This coming Monday, December 3, 2012, our national space program plans to broadcast details about an allegedly stunning find. The rover Curiosity reportedly has been successful with locating something major during it’s recent explorations. The general public will not know what this is until next week, but it is being pumped with anticipatory excitement!
What could it be? Of course, many would like to speculate that actual traces of life were found! Imagine that some actual traces of life were located from the probings beneath the Martian surface! What could that mean, would that mean? The implications are enormous!
If traces of life have been located, are to be located on Mars, that could justify, would justify the belief that life is abundant throughout the universe. Yet, it likely would be necessary to recapture the understanding about outer space, even our Milky Way, being so vast that life on other worlds may never be identified within any reasonable lengths of a human lifespan. However, a finding of life having been present at a location as close to Earth as Mars should suggest that other life-bearing locations are not that far away from us!
The European Space Agency currently has it’s ExoMars Programme underway. It should arrive at our fourth world during 2016, after a nine month journey. The Trace Gas Orbiter will release the Entry, Descent, and Landing Module (The EDM), to penetrate Mars’ atmosphere, landing upon the planet’s surface. The Trace Gas Orbiter will remain in orbit of Mars, receiving signals and details about what The EDM locates!
The initial launchings are supposed to occur during January of 2016. By October 2016, The Trace Gas Orbiter should have reached Mars, releasing The EDM to land upon the planet. This mission is planned to last until December 2022, hopefully having located significant evidence of something spectacularly significant, even traces of prior life on Mars!
As an aside, The Viking Missions that journeyed to Mars during the 1970’s did make analyses to locate life. The data that was returned is being reexamined now. Updated equipment is expected to make more significant studies of the samples to realize whether or not any microbial amounts of biological evidence were captured at that time.
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If I had realized that I would be this interested in studying what is taking place within outer space, I likely would have followed that route of study. I have been fascinated with astronomy ever since I can recall. Yet, it always was the mathematics involved that truly deterred my actual interest. I sucked at math, and I had no interest in doing things that meant having to work out extended equations to reach my desired results. Anyway….
I was doing more web browsing, looking at some of the links about current studies of outer space. Looking out to a galaxy far, far away, The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of ESO 499-G37. It is observed to be situated between the borders of the constellations Antlia and Hydra. Scientific researchers first eyed ESO 499-G37 during the end of the 1970s (just coming down from being very spaced-out….).
Hubble is seeing this galaxy from an angular perspective, where it’s full spiral structure can be viewed with clarity. Viewers working with N.A.S.A. and The European Space Agency are seeing where ESO 499-G37 is a barred-spiral galaxy, and it’s arms are full of several hot and young stars. Additionally, the arms have ample amounts of dust and gas, indicating that stars are in the process of being created!
The core of ESO 499-G37 is centered within the bar structure, which is estimated as being no more than a time-length of three hundred light years. This is one-tenth the length of a usual barred-spiral galaxy’s nucleus, such as our Milky Way. The core is bright, bulging, and elongated, yet it is one-tenth the size of the central bars within most spiral galaxies. The studying scientists are working to find a link between the central bars and the core bulge of barred-spiral galaxies.
ESO 499-G37 is situated mainly within the southern region of Hydra Constellation, and within parts of Antlia Constellation. Antlia is 94.26 light years away from us, and Hydra is roughly 140 million light years away (no, they are not neighbors…).
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The outer regions of our solar system are being examined now with increasing interest and enthusiasm! What once may have been thought of as a distant and dull region of space now is being enlivened due to recent research and discoveries. Indeed, what appears to be an entirely exotic and spectacular scene is appearing within an area once believed to be the empty backyard of our cosmic neighborhood!
I still think that if Pluto at all was to be concerned about Earth’s opinion of it’s status within our solar system, the world quickly would give a dismissive laugh! The probable truth is that there is so much happening within the general Pluto neighborhood. It likely could be perceived that the dwarf planet would not have the time to bother with what Earth has decided about it’s stance within space!
Pluto is one of five dwarf planets within our solar system that are being acknowledged, at this point. Most of them exist beyond Pluto’s orbit, likely recognized as members of The Kuiper Belt. These are the most-distant, known objects of our solar system. It is the dwarf planet Ceres, sometimes designated as an asteroid, which is located within The Asteroid Belt.
As well, there is The Oort Cloud! Located at about one light year from The Sun, 4.6 trillion miles, this has been called “the icy shell” of our solar system. It’s actual existence is in debate within the scientific community, as some do, and some do not want to state that The Oort Cloud really is out there! Current studies are showing that the asteroids, comets, and planetesimals of this region were formed in an area of the solar system nearer to The Sun. Yet, the gravitational forces of the inner planets, along with the extreme force exerted by Jupiter, slung these objects to the furthest areas of the solar system, just held in place by the gravitational power of The Sun.
Past The Oort Cloud is true interstellar space! Yet, the cloud itself consists of asteroids, along with many bodies of ice and rock, which surround the solar system. From this region, rocky objects often are ejected, then flung inward to become comets. It is when these objects interact with other bodies in-toward The Sun that they can become dangerous items that may be on courses to strike the planets, even Earth!
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This is some place to which we will never, NEVER, get, not even with satellites, so do not even bother! Yet, it does not hurt to imagine, to look, and to study in the event that something observable out there could serve as useful on some level that has not yet been recognized. Plus, it always is a good thing to collect details for study and review purposes!
Astronomers and other scientific researchers have succeeded in locating what is believed to be the farthest-known object within our known universe. At a distance of roughly 13.3 billion light years away from Earth, a view has been caught of the location now designated as MACS0647-JD. Through the use of the powerful Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientifc researchers have been able to capture images of this galaxy, which is being seen as it existed merely 420 years after The Big Bang!
The image of this galaxy that has been viewed shows it as it existed at three percent of it’s current age. The research is stating that the universe itself was little more than 420 million years old. The galaxy, MACS0647-JD, seems to exist at nearly 2.5 times smaller than our Milky Way. The observing astronomers believe that it will merge with smaller galaxies that are near to it, thus assembling into a cosmic collection of greater scale!
MACS0647-JD was discovered by The CLASH Survey. This program works with The Advanced Camera For Surveys, and The Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide-Field Camera 3. Through the uses of these tools of cosmic information collection, this ancient galaxy, along with twenty-five galactic clusters are being studied.
The observations made by Hubble Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 and it’s Advanced Camera for Surveys initially located MACS0647-JD. Confirmations of the galaxy’s actual distance were made by The Spitzer Space Telescope. Additionally, a the use of a naturally-occurring celestial phenomenon called a gravitational lens was used to get a clear view of the galaxy. The phenomenon actually is a collection of galaxies itself which produces this area through which light can pass due to the warping of spacetime through the collective gravitational forces emitted by these objects!
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I do not know how anyone is keeping count with how many galaxies are supposed to have been identified at this point! Now, while doing some online nerd searching, I get to a regular science site where I read an e-clip about some of the latest research that is happening. Scientists in the land down under have plans to make an amazing tally of newly-discovered galaxies through the use of their latest, deep-viewing instrument.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, ASKAP, currently is within it’s final stages of review. It’s construction was completed just this year, and it is located on the facility of The Murchison Radio-Astonomy Observatory, Western Australia. Through the use of this radio telescope, astronomers will be able to observe objects into the deepest ranges currently possible of spacetime, hoping to gain greater understandings about deep-rooted topics that include the mechanics behind the origins of the universe!
No one ever will know something like how many galaxies there are in the universe. Yet, there are regular scientific researchers working to keep a seemingly close count. The 2df Galaxy Redshift Survey seems to be reporting something along the lines of 458,752 observable galaxies (these may have been 2006 results…).
During 2013, ASKAP will be functioning to precede the astronomical viewings of The Square Kilometre Array. This telescopic tool actually will be an extensive arrangement of sensitively functioning devices that will be strategically situated at locations across Australia and New Zealand. The instruments will work in conjunction within these precise positions of both nations to pick up signals from deep space, some of which are expected to have been transmitted before the creation of the very first stars!
Updates with the latest astronomical tools will help to bring more clarified views of our neighborhood of the universe. This involves updated studies that include reviews of our Local Group. Right now, we recognize our Milky Way Galaxy, Andromeda Galaxy, along with a little more than thirty galaxies and Messier objects as members of our galactic family. It is certain that clarifications will come with several of the current presentations, including whether or not some galaxies will remain as “members” of The Group, if some will be expelled, or if new members will be inducted!
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…on the astronomy vibe, I was with this flow earlier.
I have been away from my scene for a minute, trying to get a hold on some things which I hope will bring some enlightening to other areas of the life setting. That will have me involved with other activities which now have gained my enthusiasm. Yet, I do intend to continue with my online curiosities!
Also, congratulations to President Barack Obama! You always had support here, and you will continue to have a following from this direction. We are looking forward to a progressive and prosperous four more years under your leadership, as we continue to remind the rest of the planet why The United States of America IS the greatest nation on Earth!
I took some time to stray from other recent priorities to return to some of my favorite areas of study, which include astronomy. I have gotten stuck on trying to learn about the possibility of habitable worlds beyond our solar system, and the actuality of our ever being able to get to any of these places. Astronomers and other space-studying scientists are making so many remarkable discoveries about what is out there that it is actually astounding!
One recent discovery is of a K-type main sequence star that has been labeled as HD 40307. This star is roughly 43 light years away from Earth, situated within The Pictor Constellation. It is located near to The Large Magellanic Cloud. This is visible from the southern hemisphere.
Right now, HD 40307 is attracting attention because it has an ample number of worlds orbiting it, some of which having the possibilities of being habitable! Astronomers and other scientific researchers have been able to identify six super-Earth worlds in orbit of HD 40307! It seems that most of the planets practically are sitting on top of the star, in locations far too hot to support any manners of discernable life. Five of them are in positions closer to HD 40307 than Mercury is to The Sun! However, a lastly identified planet, HD 40307 g, seems to be out far enough to be regularly temperate for life to chance-appear!
HD 40307 g seems to be orbiting the star HD 40307 within the realm of the habitable zone. Also referred to as The Goldilocks Zone, this is where things are “not too hot and not too cold”, practically perfect for supporting life! Further observations of this world show that it is tidally locked, meaning that one side of HD 40307 always faces it’s host star.
HD 40307 b and HD 40307 d are attracting attentiong because they are being designated as Super Earth worlds. These are extra-solar planets which are more massive than our Earth, yet not as massive as the larger worlds, gas giants akin to Jupiter and Saturn. Many have objected to the term Super Earth because it does imply that the planet could be a seemingly plush world, filled with forests, possibly with critters roaming about, and maybe even a sentient species waiting to be contacted. That is NOT what was meant when the researchers placed the term “Super Earth”, so I am not sure why they stuck with it.
An artist’s conception shows what astronomers hope to confirm: water and an atmosphere at 40307g.
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