Anita Johnson

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"We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. Are we lost on that? Perhaps, we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we’ve barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because out destiny lies above us." - Quote from upcoming movie Interstellar. (Image Credit & Copyright: David Morrow) #interstellarhd

As seen on #Cosmos: The next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed. This illustration shows a stage in the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, as it will unfold over the next several billion years. In this image, representing Earth's night sky in 3.75 billion years, Andromeda (left) fills the field of view and begins to distort the Milky Way with tidal pull. Credit: NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger #nasa #space #universe #hubble #stsci #hubbletelescope #galaxy #milkyway

The central black holes in dwarf galaxies — the "seeds" that grow into the monsters at the core of the Milky Way and other large galaxies — are probably surprisingly weighty, containing 1,000 to 10,000 times the mass of our sun, a new study reports.

Hubble Monitors Supernova In Nearby Galaxy -- This is a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) composite image of a supernova explosion designated SN 2014J in the galaxy M82. At a distance of approximately 11.5 million light-years from Earth it is the closest supernova of its type discovered in the past few decades. The explosion is categorized as a Type Ia supernova, which is theorized to be triggered in binary systems consisting of a white dwarf and another star - which could be a second white dwarf, a star like our sun, or a giant star. Astronomers using a ground-based telescope discovered the explosion on January 21, 2014. This Hubble photograph was taken on January 31, as the supernova approached its peak brightness. The Hubble data are expected to help astronomers refine distance measurements to Type Ia supernovae. In addition, the observations could yield insights into what kind of stars were involved in the explosion. Hubble's ultraviolet-light sensitivity will allow astronomers to probe the environment around the site of the supernova explosion and in the interstellar medium of the host galaxy. Because of their consistent peak brightness, Type Ia supernovae are among the best tools to measure distances in the universe. They were fundamental to the 1998 discovery of the mysterious acceleration of the expanding universe. A hypothesized repulsive force, called dark energy, is thought to cause the acceleration. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Goobar (Stockholm University), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) #nasagoddard #hst #space #supernova #galaxy

As seen on #Cosmos: A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying. Because no light can get out, people can't see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars. Seen here is an artist's drawing of a black hole named Cygnus X-1. It formed when a large star caved in. This black hole pulls matter from blue star beside it. Image Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss #nasa #blackhole #space #universe #cosmos #cygnusx1

As seen on #Cosmos: This image shows a composite view of the Crab nebula, an iconic supernova remnant in our Milky Way galaxy, as viewed by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. Herschel is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission with important NASA contributions, and Hubble is a NASA mission with important ESA contributions. A wispy and filamentary cloud of gas and dust, the Crab nebula is the remnant of a supernova explosion that was observed by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054. The image combines Hubble's view of the nebula at visible wavelengths, obtained using three different filters sensitive to the emission from oxygen and sulphur ions and is shown here in blue. Herschel's far-infrared image reveals the emission from dust in the nebula and is shown here in red. While studying the dust content of the Crab nebula with Herschel, a team of astronomers have detected emission lines from argon hydride, a molecular ion containing the noble gas argon. This is the first detection of a noble-gas based compound in space. The Herschel image is based on data taken with the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instrument at a wavelength of 70 microns; the Hubble image is based on archival data from the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University) #nasa #space #universe #crabnebula #nebula #milkyway #herschel

NGC 3314: When Galaxies Overlap. NGC 3314 is actually two large spiral galaxies which just happen to almost exactly line up. The foreground spiral is viewed nearly face-on, its pinwheel shape defined by young bright star clusters. But against the glow of the background galaxy, dark swirling lanes of interstellar dust appear to dominate the face-on spiral's structure. The dust lanes are surprisingly pervasive, and this remarkable pair of overlapping galaxies is one of a small number of systems in which absorption of light from beyond a galaxy's own stars can be used to directly explore its distribution of dust. NGC 3314 is about 140 million light-years (background galaxy) and 117 million light-years (foreground galaxy) away in the multi-headed constellation Hydra. The background galaxy would span nearly 70,000 light-years at its estimated distance. A synthetic third channel was created to construct this dramatic composite of the overlapping galaxies from two color image data in the Hubble Legacy Archive. (Image Credit & Copyright: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Martin Pugh) #interstellarhd

JPL-Caltech #nasa #cassini #cassinitsaturn #saturn #enceladus #solarsystem #space #planets #moons

This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of the most massive cluster of galaxies ever seen to exist when the universe was just half of its current age of 13.8 billion years. The cluster contains several hundred galaxies swarming around under a collective gravitational pull. The total mass of the cluster, as refined in new Hubble measurements, is estimated to weigh as much as 1 million billion stars like our Sun (about a million times the mass of our own Milky Way galaxy) – though most of the mass is hidden away as dark matter. The location of the dark matter is mapped out in the blue overlay. Because dark matter doesn’t emit any radiation, Hubble astronomers instead precisely measure how its gravity warps the images of far background galaxies like a funhouse mirror. This allowed them to come up with a mass estimate for the cluster. The cluster was nicknamed El Gordo (Spanish for “the fat one”) in 2012 when X-ray observations and kinematic studies first suggested it was unusually massive for the time in the early universe when it existed. The cluster may be the result of two smaller galaxy clusters colliding. Credit

Centaurus A. Only 11 million light-years away, Centaurus A is the closest active galaxy to planet Earth. Spanning over 60,000 light-years, the peculiar elliptical galaxy, also known as NGC 5128, is featured in this sharp color image. Centaurus A is apparently the result of a collision of two otherwise normal galaxies resulting in a fantastic jumble of star clusters and imposing dark dust lanes. Near the galaxy's center, left over cosmic debris is steadily being consumed by a central black hole with a billion times the mass of the Sun. As in other active galaxies, that process likely generates the radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray energy radiated by Centaurus A. (Image Credit & Copyright: Tim Carruthers) #interstellarhd

Dust of the Orion Nebula. What surrounds a hotbed of star formation? In the case of the Orion Nebula -- dust. The entire Orion field, located about 1600 light years away, is inundated with intricate and picturesque filaments of dust. Opaque to visible light, dust is created in the outer atmosphere of massive cool stars and expelled by a strong outer wind of particles. The Trapezium and other forming star clusters are embedded in the nebula. The intricate filaments of dust surrounding M42 and M43 appear brown in the above image, while central glowing gas is highlighted in red. Over the next few million years much of Orion's dust will be slowly destroyed by the very stars now being formed, or dispersed into the Galaxy. (Image Credit & Copyright: Nicolás Villegas) #interstellarhd