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UGC 12591: The Fastest Rotating Galaxy Known

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/19/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Why does this galaxy spin so fast? To start, even identifying which type of galaxy UGC 12591 is difficult -- featured on the lower left, it has dark dust lanes like a spiral galaxy but a large diffuse bulge of stars like a lenticular. Surprisingly observations show that UGC 12591 spins at about 480 km/sec, almost twice as fast as our Milky Way, and the fastest rotation rate yet measured. The mass needed to hold together a galaxy spinning this fast is several times the mass of our Milky Way Galaxy. Progenitor scenarios for UGC 12591 include slow growth by accreting ambient matter, or rapid growth through a recent galaxy collision or collisions -- future observations may tell. The light we see today from UGC 12591 left about 400 million years ago, when trees were first developing on Earth.

Argh he said,
as he wiped off his chin
with the sleeve of his arm
and that's when it begin.

He was a motley type,
his face covered with hair.
Not very quick,
or I wasn't aware.

His eyes were dark blue,
I noticed his face,
he didn't belong here,
not of the human race.

He looked right at me,
that's when I saw,
the pinkish scar
underneath his jaw.
I thought I would ask him,
what the scar was about.
I opened my mouth wide,
but no words would come out.

I wanted to know about him.
Where did you come from?
But he turned his body,
and with a little sound,
was out the door,
and couldn't be found.

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Orion over the Central Bohemian Highlands

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/18/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Do you recognize this constellation? Setting past the Central Bohemian Highlands in the Czech Republic is Orion, one of the most identifiable star groupings on the sky and an icon familiar to humanity for over 30,000 years. Orion has looked pretty much the same during this time and should continue to look the same for many thousands of years into the future. Prominent Orion is high in the sky at sunset this time of year, a recurring sign of (modern) winter in Earth's northern hemisphere and summer in the south. The featured picture is a composite of over thirty images taken from the same location and during the same night last month. Below and slightly to the left of Orion's three-star belt is the Orion Nebula, while four of the bright stars surrounding the belt are, clockwise, Sirius (far left, blue), Betelgeuse (top, orange, unusually faint), Aldebaran (far right), and Rigel (below). As future weeks progress, Orion will set increasingly earlier. Infinite Random Loop: Create an APOD Station in your classroom or Science Center.

Photo by Vojtěch Bauer

Standing by the campfire,
so many years ago.
Trying to stay warm,
when it began to snow.
The hiss of snowflakes
into the flaming fire.
The flickering shadows,
across the ground
so white with snow.
Smelling the smoke,
now on our clothes.
Banking the fire,
going to our tent,
into our sleeping bag,
trying to sleep
until dawn
of a Winter morn.

What's it like to lose 200 pounds at home and completely change your life? This most recent post features a Q&A with Shandon Smith. It explores Shandon’s decision to have surgery, her experience, the ways she’s made sustainable changes, and the surprising non-scale-victories she’s experienced.

Working at picking up stray leaves
in the garden space.
I noticed a large branch that was
broken from a Salvia, or "Hot lips"
that was on the ground.
The cause of the break was from the
snow that we had in January.
I cut it from the main trunk,
then cut the branches so I
had a total of 4 branches.
I cut those at an angle and
the branch were green.
I placed the ends into some
Root Hormone powder
and then into pots.
Now I'll see if I have
recaptured my "green
thumb" and if I see new
growth as the weather warms.

Out to dinner last night.
She ordered a Caesar Salad.
When it came, She said,
"What is this?"
Her memory is no longer there.
After we had finished
She said, "Did you know my Mom?
Did you know my Dad?"
I replied, Yes I did and
they were very nice people.
Then she said to me,
"Tell me about your family?"
I told her about what I knew,
Realizing she no longer knows
Who I am.
Her memory loss continues to
to slip away, much to my dismay.

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The Changing Surface of Fading Betelgeuse

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/17/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Besides fading, is Betelgeuse changing its appearance? Yes. The famous red supergiant star in the familiar constellation of Orion is so large that telescopes on Earth can actually resolve its surface -- although just barely. The two featured images taken with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope show how the star's surface appeared during the beginning and end of last year. The earlier image shows Betelgeuse having a much more uniform brightness than the later one, while the lower half of Betelgeuse became significantly dimmer than the top. Now during the first five months of 2019 amateur observations show Betelgeuse actually got slightly brighter, while in the last five months the star dimmed dramatically. Such variability is likely just normal behavior for this famously variable supergiant, but the recent dimming has rekindled discussion on how long it may be before Betelgeuse does go supernova. Since Betelgeuse is about 700 light years away, its eventual supernova -- probably thousands of years in the future -- will likely be an amazing night-sky spectacle, but will not endanger life on Earth.

Our life is a shamble,
at least it is to me,
for we no longer talk freely.
You speak words, yes you do,
but there the same words,
that you say, over and over again.
Every few minutes you will say,
"I liked that place,
what was it called?",
not recalling anything
I'd told you before.
My patience has become strained,
as I repeat my answer again.
I do not say I told you that before.
Reminding myself, it's not
her fault, not in any way,
while I continue to see you,
slowly slipping, slipping away.

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Loy • 02/17/2020 at 01:20PM • Like

:(

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NGC 2392: Double-Shelled Planetary Nebula

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/16/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

To some, this huge nebula resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered this unusual planetary nebula: NGC 2392. More recently, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the nebula in visible light, while the nebula was also imaged in X-rays by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The featured combined visible-X ray image, shows X-rays emitted by central hot gas in pink. The nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. NGC 2392 is a double-shelled planetary nebula, with the more distant gas having composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The outer shell contains unusual light-year long orange filaments. The inner filaments visible are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The NGC 2392 Nebula spans about 1/3 of a light year and lies in our Milky Way Galaxy, about 3,000 light years distant, toward the constellation of the Twins (Gemini).

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