Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 253: The Sculptor Galaxy
Posted on 12/20/2011 2:31:02 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: NGC 253 is not only one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, it is also one of the dustiest. Discovered in 1783 by Caroline Herschel in the constellation of Sculptor, NGC 253 lies only about ten million light-years distant. NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest group to our own Local Group of Galaxies. The dense dark dust accompanies a high star formation rate, giving NGC 253 the designation of starburst galaxy. Visible in the above photograph is the active central nucleus, also known to be a bright source of X-rays and gamma rays.
(Excerpt) Read more at 188.8.131.52 ...
[Credit & Copyright: Angus Lau]
ONE light year, the DISTANCE light travels in a year at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, works out to about 6 TRILLION miles.
“... one of the dustiest galaxies”
Sounds like my kind of galaxy.
That’s not toooo far far away...is it? LOL
... one of the dustiest galaxies
It must have a permit from the EPA.
Only ten million light years? Just a short jaunt down the inter-galactic highway.
It still amazes me, that given the number of galaxies out there, the number of stars in each galaxy, even with the physical limitations required for life to exist, some people persist in maintaining that our tiney speck of dust is the only inhabited world.
Dust credits — more than we could ever sell ‘em.
A Black Hole-Powered Spiral Galaxy
The term "black hole" is a region of space from which nothing can return.
A black hole is a concentration of mass great enough that the force of gravity prevents anything past its event horizon from escaping it. The gravitational field is so strong that the escape velocity past its event horizon exceeds the speed of light. This implies that nothing, not even light, inside the event horizon can escape its gravity. It is, however, theorized that wormholes can let one exit a black hole. Objects in a gravitational field experience a slowing down of time, called time dilation.
Really? What's its IQ?
Beauty in the skies. Thanks.
Last time I was out with the scope, I took a peak at 253. It’s VERY large and bright. It crosses the meridian right at sunset now.
At the same time I was looking at 253, the guy who owns the land we were using was imaging it with his set up. His pictures look much more like those posted than my view in my 10inch.
So we’re only 2.5 “Light Dollars” in debt. No wonder Obama thinks we can spend more, 2.5 seems a low number.
Of course you saw it as it was about ten million years ago, as it took that long for the light/image we see today to arrive here. I know you know you this, but others may not realize it.
A Telescope is a time machine. You can look into the past and only see what was. Even the stuff that is close to us (even in the solar system) is time delayed.
I used to agree wholeheartedly with you, even writing a paper supporting that view. That was the argument made famous fifty years ago by astronomers Willy Ley (iirc) and Carl Sagan.
To the uninitiated it seems like an irrefutable argument, residing as it does in the largest possible numbers: a hundred billion galaxies each housing a hundred billion stars, rotated by innumerable planets.
However, science has progressed considerably since Sagan, to put it mildly; he took into account only two dependent factors. Now there are literally hundreds of dependent factors known, all of which must be within narrow parameters for any life to exist, must less intelligent life.
For a list of those parameters, see "Probability for Life. It posits at least 10²² planets in the universe but finds that, "Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^282 (million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion) exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles."
And we're already on one.
Ooooh, that was a good post!
Believe me, I understand where you are coming from. And I don’t take the phrase “miracle of life” lightly. And no, I don’t believe my position is an irrefutable argument. But as author Michael Crichton once wrote (I think in was in “Jurassic Park”) “Life will find a way.” Before you rule out all possibilities, look at the extreme conditions life endures here on Earth. From the Antarctic ice, to super-heated thermal vents, you find living things. Then consider the possibilities of other types of life. Just thinking about it boggles my mind, but in a good way.
The inevitable result, that God put life here, leads also to your result: that God also created life that can withstand and even thrive in extreme conditions. That doesn't boggle my mind, it satisfies it, and it directs it to its wise and benevolent Creator.
With all due respect, that is not what I was saying. What I was saying is that we limit our thinking - life must be carbon based, needs water and oxygen, etc. Your own quote: “(T)hat God also created life that can withstand and even thrive in harsh conditions.” When we set the paramets for life, we seek to limit God. Who is to say that on some other world, in some other galaxy, God has created electromagnetic life? (just an example).
Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
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