astrophysics

Showing 6 posts tagged astrophysics

Via kqedscience, this is a tour of two of our closest galaxies: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. They are between 163,000 and 200,000 light-years away and hold a few hundred million stars like our sun. HD full screen.

These images are from astronomers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Pennsylvania State University, who used NASA’s Swift Ultraviolet/Optical satellite telescope to create the highest resolution, wide field surveys in ultraviolet light.

Read more information in the video’s About section, or watch The Beauty of Space Photography, or watch more videos about stars and galaxies.

This cosmological simulation follows the development of a single disk galaxy over about 13.5 billion years, from shortly after the Big Bang to the present time. Colors indicate old stars (red), young stars (white and bright blue) and the distribution of gas density (pale blue); the view is 300,000 light-years across. The simulation ran on the Pleiades supercomputer at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and required about 1 million CPU hours. It assumes a universe dominated by dark energy and dark matter.

Brian Cox’s Favourite Wonder from Wonders of the Solar System:

Against the stunning backdrop of the glaciers of Alaska, Brian reveals his fourth Wonder. Saturn’s moon Titan is shrouded by a murky, thick atmosphere. He reveals that below the clouds lies a magical world. Titan is the only place beyond Earth where we’ve found liquid pooling on the surface in vast lakes, as big as the Caspian Sea, but the lakes of Titan are filled with a mysterious liquid, and are quite unlike anything on Earth.

I can’t be the only one obsessed with Saturn and its moons, right?

Related links: the Huygens Probe and the Matanuska Glacier

Saturn’s Mysterious Moons, as well as other phenomenal data about our gas giants and what’s in their orbits, all gathered from Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and Cassini. This video is eighteen-plus minutes of seriously fascinating information. 

The two Voyagers sent back tens of thousands of images… of planetary realms more diverse than anyone had imagined. These long-distance marathon flyers - both now headed out towards interstellar space - made discoveries about the planetary chemistry that make these gas giants appear to us as gigantic works of abstract art. 

The Voyagers disclosed new details about their magnetic fields, atmospheres, ring systems, and even the nature of their inner cores. Voyager turned up some surprising new mysteries too: a huge dark spot — a storm in fact - on Neptune. They found that Uranus is tipped 90 degrees to one side. That Saturn is less dense than water; if you had a bathtub big enough, Saturn would float!

And that you’d need the mass of three Saturns to make just one Jupiter! But what really knocked the scientists’ socks off were the moons that orbit these gas giants. All of them have been pummeled over the millennia by wayward asteroids and comets.

But a few appear to also be sculpted by forces below their icy surfaces…

via SpaceRip.