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Friday
Sep242010

Billions of galaxies

One of the most profound human discoveries of recent times is a snapshot of the "edge" of the universe... In the late 1990s, the Hubble telescope took a couple of images looking deep into the dark sky, a picture of the universe when it was only 500 million years old (the full age is around 14 billion years...). The result was simply astounding. If you want to feel very very (very) insignificant, watch this great video (and ignore the corny background music...):

Thursday
Sep232010

The M87 mega black hole

 

The M87 mega black hole... taken by the Hubble space telescope. This is an entire galaxy, with an obscenely huge black hole at its center, devouring the stars in it in the millions! The intense light is the scream from the stars falling into the black hole...the jet in the picture is spit out by the ongoing process ofstars being eaten alive... the length of the jet is several hundred thousand light-years... who said physics can't be violent.

 

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