Saturday, October 28, 2006

STAR FLOWERS

This is a Hubble Telescope shot of two galaxies, NGC4038 and 4039, in the constellation Corvus. The two are about 63 million light years away, and are known as the Antennae Galaxies because of the stream of matter between them. Astromomers believe that at some point the galaxies collieded or at least came close enough to be a near miss. All that wonderful bright blue is from clusters of new stars created by the matter being exchanged as the two pass each other.

At 63 million light years, the light captured on this 1997 photo started out about the time the dinosaurs were dying out and flowers were becoming more common. I wonder what these star flowers look like now. Since blue white stars are the hottest and burn out the fastest, some of these stars may have already gone nova and given birth to another generation of stars.

I stumbled over this as a black and white shot accompanying a story about possible repairs to the Hubble telescope next year.  

2 comments:

tenyearnap said...

Wow, it does look like flowers.

toonguykc said...

I have to just love you for these kinds of photos!!  I want to be there right now.

Hug,
Russ