Yes the galaxy NGC 2865 is a bit different, an elliptical with lots of young stars is not what we would first think of in an elliptical galaxy. I’ll let ESA/NASA explain, but be sure to click the image and get the larger version. The number of galaxies much further away is amazing and one of the hallmarks of Hubble images.
This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows an elliptical galaxy called NGC 2865. It lies just over 100 million light-years away from us in the constellation of Hydra — The Sea Serpent — and was discovered in 1835 by astronomer John Herschel.
Elliptical galaxies are usually filled with old, dying stars. NGC 2865, however, is relatively youthful and dynamic, with a rapidly rotating disk full of young stars and metal-rich gas. For an elliptical galaxy it contains an unusually high number of young stars — suggesting that a galaxy-wide starburst took place about one billion years ago.
The starburst itself was induced by a merger between a spiral galaxy, similar to our galaxy, the Milky Way, and an elliptical galaxy some three times more massive — the progenitor galaxy of NGC 2865. The new gas from the spiral galaxy revitalized the dying population of old stars in the elliptical galaxy, and several new generations of stars were born.
The faint halo surrounding the galaxy, visible in this image, is also a result of this merger. It consists of cold gas that was ripped away from the spiral galaxy during the merging process. The gas now forms an almost closed shell around its host galaxy.
European Space Agency
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
From ESA: The International Space Station has been invaded by alien… artwork! ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has been decorating the space station with mosaic artwork of aliens. Now Samantha is inviting you to show off your artistic skills by designing your very own space mosaic!
The other day Space X launched the CRS-6 and then attempted to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket onto a barge floating in the ocean.
Space X has released the video of the “failed” landing. Thank you Space X! The attempt is amazing and I would not necessarily call this a failure, not a complete failure anyway, merely another step to success.
The Space X mission CRS 6 launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral Florida in a beautiful launch and nobody does a launch video like Space X.
Part of the Space X scenario is the ability to return and reuse the Falcon 9 first stage.
Space X doesn’t mean just splash down in the ocean for retrieval but a powered return and landing. No simple feat, the plan is to land on a floating platform.
The image shown is the Falcon 9 first stage just before landing on the platform. Apparently the Falcon landed but “excess lateral velocity” caused it to tip over post landing. There never seems to be video available, too bad the attempts are still incredible.
This image of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was taken by the Ralph color imager aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on April 9 and downlinked to Earth the following day. It is the first color image ever made of the Pluto system by a spacecraft on approach. The image is a preliminary reconstruction, which will be refined later by the New Horizons science team. Clearly visible are both Pluto and the Texas-sized Charon. The image was made from a distance of about 71 million miles (115 million kilometers)-roughly the distance from the Sun to Venus. At this distance, neither Pluto nor Charon is well resolved by the color imager, but their distinctly different appearances can be seen. As New Horizons approaches its flyby of Pluto on July 14, it will deliver color images that eventually show surface features as small as a few miles across.
New images of the dwarf planet Ceres are starting to come in. This image is from the VIR instrument which is the Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer.
The images is from two different regions on Ceres. The top row from Region 1 and the bottom Region 5. What is special already about the two regions is they contain those mystery bright spots and Region 5 has the brightest of the bright.
Having an infrared component we can look at the relative surface temperatures and what we are seeing is Region 1 looks to be cooler than the rest of Ceres. Region 5 seems to be the same temperature as its surroundings.
As more clues are added the mystery of the bright spots will be solved.
The Dawn mission is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate’s Discovery Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The University of California, Los Angeles, is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK, Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team.The Dawn mission is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate’s Discovery Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The University of California, Los Angeles, is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK, Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team.
Note: The CRS-6 mission will carry more than 4,300 pounds of supplies and payloads to support science and research activities on the ISS. A number of CubeSats are also scheduled to be part of the payload.
Click here for a more detailed overview of the mission (PDF file).
Current Status:Go for the second attempt
Launch Date: Tuesday April 2015 16:40 EDT / 20:40 UTC
ISS arrival: 15 April 2015 at 0700 ET / 11:00 UTC Pending Update
Odds of Launch: 50 percent – note this is worse than for the original launch date which was scrubbed for weather violations.
Tuesday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the station’s 57.7-foot robotic arm to reach out and capture Dragon at approximately 7 a.m. Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA will support Cristoforetti as they operate from the station’s cupola.
You can catch the launch and return at NASA-TV link above and will link the replay after the launch when it comes available.