Search Results for 'vlt'

INSANELY cool picture of Comet Lovejoy

December 24, 2011 | By

The pictures of Comet Lovejoy keep coming, each cooler than the one before. It’s hard to imagine topping the ones from the Space Station, but then you don’t have to imagine it when you can just look at this crazy amazing shot: Holy Haleakala! [Click to stimulatedemissionate.] Well, actually, "Holy Paranal!" This picture, by Gabriel […]

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Galaxy cluster collision makes a splash… a million light years long!

December 15, 2011 | By

In what has become an annual tradition here at BA Central, literally the day I post my gallery of best pictures of the year, something comes along that really would’ve made it in had I seen it even a few hours earlier. In this case, it’s a combined Chandra X-Ray Observatory and optical Very Large […]

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Astronomers have found when and how the cosmic fog was lifted

October 13, 2011 | By

Take a look at the image displayed here [click to redshiftenate]. Every object you see there is a galaxy, a collection of billions of stars. See that one smack dab in the middle, the little red dot? The light we see from that galaxy traveled for 12.9 billion years before reaching the ESO’s Very Large […]

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Gorgeous globular hides hundreds of rejuvenated stars

October 3, 2011 | By

I will never, ever get tired of insanely gorgeous images of globular clusters. Holy. Haleakala. [Click to embiggen, or get the ridiculously huge 3900 x 4000 pixel version.] That is Hubble’s view of M 53, a cluster of several hundred thousand stars crammed into ball about 60,000 light years away — well outside the Milky […]

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Virgos have beautiful eyes

August 29, 2011 | By

No, don’t fret: I’m not betraying everything I know to be true and suddenly supporting astrology! I’m just having a little joke at the expense of NGC 4435 and 4438, two galaxies in the Virgo Cluster known as "The Eyes", and seen in lovely detail by the Very Large Telescope: [Click for orbus giganticus, and […]

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Patchwork galaxy

August 22, 2011 | By

Sometimes I think it’s a good idea to start off the week with a gorgeous spiral galaxy. So here’s a fantastic example of a flocculent (fluffy or patchy) spiral: NGC 3521 in the constellation of Leo, care of the Very Large Telescope: [Click to enflocculenate.] NGC 3521 is a mere 35 million light years away […]

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In astronomy, a polarizing view is good

August 18, 2011 | By

One of the basic principles of modern science is that the physics we understand here, on Earth, work everywhere. This turns out to be a pretty good assumption, because we see it coming true time and again. That knowledge can then be used to figure out things that are happening at very large distances — […]

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Stunning portrait of galactic triplets

July 27, 2011 | By

Located a mind-numbing 350 quintillion kilometers away — 35 million light years, a mere stone’s throw on a cosmic scale — the Leo Triplet is a set of three interacting spiral galaxies, each much like our own Milky Way. It’s unusual for a professional observatory to get all three in the same image, but the […]

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Betelgeuse's sandy gift

June 23, 2011 | By

For one of the brightest stars in the sky, Betelgeuse still has some surprises up its sleeve. We’ve known for a couple of years it’s surrounded by a cloud of gas, but new observations show that nebula is far larger than previously thought! [Click to enorionate.] This new image is care of the Very Large […]

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The new VLT Survey Telescope delivers spectacular images

June 8, 2011 | By

[Update: I originally had called this the Very Large Survey Telescope, but have learned it's actually the VLT (for Very Large Telescope) Survey Telescope. I've corrected this in the title and below. I like my less-redundant name for it better, but it's best to be accurate.] The European Southern Observatory is an agency that governs […]

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