Hints of a spiral structure embedded in a circular halo of stars
Space news (February 1, 2016) – 300 million light-years away in the Bootes constellation –
Astronomers use the Hubble Tuning Fork to classify galaxies viewed during the human journey to the beginning of space and time according to their morphology. Devised by noted astronomer Edwin Hubble during the early part of the twentieth century, this galaxy classification system breaks galaxies into two general categories; elliptical and spiral galaxies.
Island universes viewed that don’t seem to fit into the two general categories of galaxies are considered irregular galaxies. Irregular galaxies have a more varied look than the general categories, often with a spiral structure that looks disturbed or disrupted. It’s this disrupted structure, and other hints, that makes astronomers think the more chaotic and varied look of these island universes could often be due to titanic collisions between galaxies.
The galaxy viewed in the image above is Mrk 820 (also LEDA 52404 or IRAS F14379+3142), a lenticular galaxy in the transition zone between the two general categories of galaxies (Type S0). Astronomers looking closer at his spectacular island universe believe it shows hints of spiral arms imprinted on a halo of stars, which is unusual for lenticular galaxies. Lenticular galaxies generally have a notable central bulge and disk, but no spiral arms.
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The development of the Hubble Space Telescope marked the beginning of a new age of the human journey to the beginning of space and time
Astronomy News – The history of human science and astronomy is ripe with stories of defining moments that opened new avenues of thought and belief in a universe humans had never experienced or dreamed of, before. The moment humans first looked upward into a sky they could neither understand nor comprehended, the history of stargazing and astronomy was written. The story of the first images humanity glimpsed through the instruments of the Hubble Space Telescope is just one defining moment that has opened roads of thought and belief astronomers and scientists had never dreamed before. The 20 years since these first Hubble images has defined a period of human history that will be remembered for astronomy milestones that opened never-before-seen parts of the universe to humans and showed us glimpses of things we never dared imagine. The recent refurbishing of the Hubble Space Telescope has allowed astronomers to look even further back in space and time to the beginning of the universe and along with the James Webb Space Telescope will soon take humanity on a journey to the beginning of space and time.
The launch of the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit around planet Earth on April 24, 1990, marked a moment in human history as pivotal as the moment Galileo first looked through his telescope at the world he had never seen before. During about 110,000 orbits the Hubble Space Telescope has helped about 4,000 astronomers from around the world takes over 570,000 images of about 30,000 celestial objects that have helped astronomers ask questions that will help define the future of human space studies for centuries to come. The information and data collected by the studies astronomers have conducted of the universe with the Hubble Space Telescope has also provided content for about 8,700 scientific papers and 648 journal articles, opened windows giving humans a view of parts of the universe we have dreamed of seeing, and the latest astronomy and science books.
The Hubble Space Telescope has allowed the human journey to the beginning of space and time to travel closer and closer to the Big Bang
To date, the Hubble Space Telescope has shown us a view of the most distance celestial object we have viewed so far, about 13.2 billion years in the past. This view is about 150 million years further back in space and time than any previous view humans have seen of the universe. At this time in the lifespan of the universe, astronomers believe the universe was only about 500 million years old and the echoes of the big bang could still be heard.
The Hubble Space Telescope has also helped astronomers determine a number of different things about the universe, like the presence of supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, planet-forming processes at work in the universe, and the presence of the first organic molecule scientists have found outside our solar system.
The James Webb Space Telescope will take the human journey to the beginning of space and time back to the time when it all began
The next twenty years of human space discovery will see the James Webb Space Telescope take up the torch-of-discovery the Hubble Space Telescope has carried for the past two decades. The grand old boy will still take astronomers on journeys of discovery for years to come, and show us views of reality that will open our eyes to the wonder of it all. The James Webb Space Telescope has yet to be launched into space and until this happens the Hubble Space Telescope is still the baddest telescope in the solar system.
Astronomy News – The galaxies you’ll view during your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” are like grains of sand on the beach, or snowflakes, with no two galaxies looking exactly the same to viewers. Astronomers have also viewed a number of different types of galaxies and they have given each a specific name, usually based on the overall shape of the galaxy. Composed of millions or even billions of individual stars, each particular type of galaxy viewed, so far, has also been given a designation, or name, by which we all can tell the difference between the individual galaxies in the infinity of galaxies we view in the night sky above us. It was Edwin Hubble who first did the work with photographic plates taken during the early part of the twentieth century that allowed him to determine the nebulous objects astronomers had been viewing for years were actually vast islands of stars we call galaxies. Edwin Hubble also cataloged the galaxies he viewed into three major classes, or types, according to their physical shape.
A percentage of the galaxies will resemble huge pinwheels and have been given the name spiral galaxies by astronomers viewing these objects. Spiral galaxies are generally composed of a bright central nucleus with older stars, with two sweeping arms of younger stars, open clusters, and diffuse nebulae unfolding in space and time. The Milky Way in which we reside is one such spiral galaxy among the multitudes of such galaxies in the universe and Sol is located about two-thirds of the way from the center of the galaxy.
Astronomers have broken down spiral galaxies into five subclasses of spiral galaxies, according to how tightly the arms of a galaxy are wrapped around the nucleus of the spiral galaxy in question. Spiral galaxies with the tightest arms are Sa spiral galaxies, Sb spiral galaxies are next in order, with more loosely armed Sc, comparatively rare Sd, and S0 spiral galaxies almost appearing to be a transitional form between spiral galaxies and another type of galaxy.
Barred galaxies exhibit an odd, bar-like feature passing through the nucleus of the galaxy, and the spiral arms of barred galaxies start to unwind from the ends of the central bar, rather than from the nucleus of the galaxy. Barred galaxies are also classified according to the tightness of the spiral arms and have designations SBa, SBb, and SBc.
Elliptical galaxies are the most plentiful type of galaxy we have viewed during the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time.” Elliptical galaxies actually have no hint of spiral arms and appear as huge, oval spheres with no discernible internal structure of any kind. Elliptical galaxies are classified according to how round they appear, with E0 elliptical galaxies appearing almost perfectly spherical, E4 elliptical galaxies looking like an oddly shaped football, and E7 elliptical galaxies looking flat as compared to the other classifications. Elliptical galaxies appear to be composed mostly of older stars and you’ll notice they lack luminosity as you view them.
Infinite is a human term
Galaxies that appear to have no distinctive shape are referred to as irregular galaxies and irregular galaxies have been viewed a lot less in the night sky than the other types. This doesn’t necessarily mean irregular galaxies appear in fewer numbers in the universe, but it does mean that the percentage of the universe we have viewed from Earth appears to contain fewer irregular galaxies than the other types.
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