David Vs. Goliath — Galactic Struggle Leads To Transformation

Relationships change everyone involved in subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways. These two very different galaxies, the large barred spiral NGC 1512 and its tiny companion, the dwarf galaxy, NGC 1510, might look like separate entities, but it just ain’t so.  NGC 1512 is classified as a barred spiral because of the large bar of stars, gas and dust slicing…
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Ancient Dust In Remote Galaxy Ties Us To Our Cosmic Beginnings

To make planets and people you need dust. That’s what we’re made of. Dust. But mixed and tended in ways so remarkable our bodies give that dust passion and voice. Dust comes from aging and exploding stars. Supernovae are the most spectacular but not the only dust-makers. As stars like our sun age, they puff…
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Black Hole Spins And Eats A Cosmic Christmas Wreath

My neighbor stopped by the other night with the Christmas wreath we’d ordered. First, I stuck my nose in it to breathe in the citrusy tang of balsam fir needles. Delicious! The next day I hung it outside the door and admired the green whirls and big red ribbon. A cheerful sight on grayovercastday #14 here…
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Care For Tea With ‘Milk’? Fill Up At Sagittarius

I’m a tea drinker. Two cups a day keep my engine humming. On summer nights, the Teapot of Sagittarius stands at the ready to tip a different sort of cup. One that provides a thick brew of Milky Way stars, sooty interstellar gas clouds and sparkling star clusters. Sagittarius is a centaur with the body and four…
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Empty Sky? Not To Hubble’s Eye

Rarely has so much been accomplished by staring into empty space. But that’s exactly what astronomers have been doing with the Hubble Space Telescope in the Frontier Fields program since 2012. It works like this: while Hubble keeps one eye  (camera) on a distant galaxy cluster, it aims another at an adjacent but empty field…
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