April 4, 2009


Purty space pic: the Cartwheel galaxy (image provided by NASA Thursday April 2, 2009). It's a "false color" composite, which means even if you could see it from your house, it wouldn't look anything like this.  : (   Still, its pretty cool:

Approximately 100 million years ago, a smaller galaxy plunged through the heart of Cartwheel galaxy, creating ripples of brief star formation. In this image, the first ripple appears as an ultraviolet-bright blue outer ring. The blue outer ring is so powerful in the GALEX observations that it indicates the Cartwheel is one of the most powerful UV-emitting galaxies in the nearby universe. Although astronomers have not identified exactly which galaxy collided with the Cartwheel, two of three candidate galaxies can be seen in this image to the bottom left of the ring, one as a neon blob and the other as a green spiral.