Galaxy tagged posts

MAS July Monthly Meeting

The Magellanic Stream: A Case Study in Interacting Galaxies

Scott Lucchini

Two of the Milky Way’s nearest neighbors, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, have been dancing around each other for billions of years. This dance has led to a huge amount of gas getting thrown from their disks and out into what we know as the Magellanic Stream. In my work, I run high resolution simulations of these interactions to better constrain the history and future of the Magellanic System. Some of our recent results have shown that a warm circumgalactic medium of warm gas around the Magellanic Clouds may play a large role in the formation and current properties of the Stream and that the Stream may be up to five times closer than previously thought...

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May Monthly MAS Meeting

Galactic Structures: Where do they come from? Where do they go?

Our observations of galaxies, from nearby to the edges of the observable universe, reveal striking diversity of size, environment, composition, and apparent structure. Ranging from the clumpy irregulars, through the massive round ellipticals, to the coherent disks — probing the mechanisms responsible for these formations in nature requires a wide range of investigative tools from theoretical observations to detailed spectroscopic observations. Barred spirals comprise 50% of the observed population of nearby disk galaxies yet the physical mechanisms that create and sustain these features are not well understood despite persistent study for nearly 200 years...

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MAS March Monthly Meeting

Bending Under Pressure: What Lies Beyond a Galaxy

Cosmology tells us that roughly only 5% of matter in the universe is made up of normal atoms and matter that we’re familiar with. However, when astronomers try to take account of the matter they can see inside of galaxies, they find something puzzling – some of it is missing! So, where could it possibly be? It turns out there’s a good chance that it’s not inside of galaxies at all, but completely outside of them in a hard-to-observe gaseous state. When there are thousands of galaxies clustered together, this gaseous medium gets hot enough for us to see it at X-ray wavelengths, but in smaller groups of galaxies (typically 10s of galaxies), it is still difficult to observe and account for...

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Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) by Jeffrey Shokler

Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) - Photo by Jeffrey Shokler

Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) – Photo by Jeffrey Shokler

The Whirlpool Galaxy (Messier 51) is a spiral galaxy located 27 million light years from us in the constellation Canes. It is interacting with a much smaller galaxy, NGC 5195. The bright blue knots visible spread along the spiral arms are regions of rapid star formation, while the dark filaments are zones of dust obscuring the light from the galaxy’s stars.

Those with sharp eyes might be able to spot at least four other spiral galaxies (most edge-on) in this image.

Canon 5D Mark II
Stellarvue 130EDT
12x4min subs (48 minutes total exposure)
ISO 1000
Guided (Lacerta MGEN II)

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