Chandra Photo Album – ESO 137-001 – the Runaway Galaxy


Click to enlarge

The spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 looks like a dandelion caught in a breeze in this new composite image from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The galaxy is zooming toward the upper left of this image, in between other galaxies in the Norma cluster located over 200 million light-years away. The road is harsh: intergalactic gas in the Norma cluster is sparse, but so hot at 180 million degrees Fahrenheit that it glows in X-rays detected by Chandra (blue).

The spiral plows through the seething intra-cluster gas so rapidly – at nearly 4.5 million miles per hour – much of its own gas is caught and torn away. Astronomers call this “ram pressure stripping.” The galaxy’s stars remain intact due to the binding force of their gravity.

Tattered threads of gas, the blue jellyfish-tendrils sported by ESO 137-001 in the image, illustrate the process. Ram pressure has strung this gas away from its home in the spiral galaxy and out over intergalactic space. Once there, these strips of gas have erupted with young, massive stars, which are pumping out light in vivid blues and ultraviolet…

From a star-forming perspective, ESO 137-001 really is spreading its seeds into space like a dandelion in the wind. The stripped gas is now forming stars. However, the galaxy, drained of its own star-forming fuel, will have trouble making stars in the future. Through studying this runaway spiral, and other galaxies like it, astronomers hope to gain a better understanding of how galaxies form stars and evolve over time.

Stunning. Boy, would I love to be out there in space, suspended, looking at this.

Memorials to emptiness, loss, massacre on the island of Utøya


Click to enlargeKORO/Public Art Norway/Jonas Dahlberg Studio

A memorial for the victims of Norway’s July 22 terror attack will see a slice of land removed from the Sørbråten headland

The terror attacks in Norway on July 22, 2011 that resulted in 77 people being killed left the country with a sense of abrupt loss. That feeling will be echoed in a memorial designed by artist Jonas Dahlberg, which will see a slice of land removed from the landscape at Sørbråten.

Dahlberg was selected by a panel as the winner of a contest to design memorials at the two sites of the terror attack, the Government Administration Complex in Oslo and Sørbråten, which is opposite Utøya on the mainland. His design will see a 3.5 meter wide excavation running from from one side of the headland at the Sørbråten site to the other, and extending below the waterline. It will appear as though the landscape simply stops and then restarts, and will make it impossible to reach the end of the headland…

…His suggestion for the Sørbråten site is to make a physical incision into the landscape, which can be seen as a symbolic wound. Part of the headland will be removed and visitors will not be able to touch the names of those killed, as these will be engraved into the wall on the other side of the slice out of nature. The void that is created evokes the sense of sudden loss combined with the long-term missing and remembrance of those who perished.”

The earth removed from the excavation at Sørbråten will be transported to Oslo and used to build the foundation of the temporary and subsequent permanent memorials at the Government Administration Complex. The temporary memorial will feature the names of the victims inscribed along the side of a pathway linking the Grubbegata and the Deichmanske Library. The use of excavated land from Sørbråten will provide a poetic link between the two sites. An amphitheater will ultimately be built as the permanent memorial, with trees taken from Sørbråten and replanted as a means of maintaining the link between the memorial sites.

Mass killings and the fascist mindset aren’t sufficiently memorialized. In general, Western culture would rather remember heroes and wars than criminal behavior still rationalized away by the Right Wing of most nations. Even the 9-11 memorials are treated as part of a “War” on Terror.

I wonder if politicians and their sycophants will ever stop treating society as a child’s game?

Mummy found in car at foreclosed Detroit home

Detroit mummy

For at least five years, the woman’s body lay clothed in a winter jacket in the backseat of her Jeep in the garage of a home where she lived alone.

Her bills were automatically deducted from her bank account, and residents of the quiet middle-class Pontiac neighborhood said they noticed nothing amiss.

Nobody saw her, but the grass was cut and the mail didn’t pile up. Some neighbors said they thought she had moved out of the country after the recession hit several years ago.

Eventually, the money in her bank account ran out and the house went into foreclosure, leading to the gruesome discovery this week.

The body had mummified…adding to the mystery.

A contractor the bank sent to check out the house discovered the body Wednesday in the attached garage of the ranch-style home on Savanna Drive, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.

Undersheriff Mike McCabe said investigators believe the woman has been dead since at least 2008. That’s the year the license plate on the Jeep expired…

The undersheriff said neighbors told deputies they thought the woman had moved out of the country because they had not seen her for three or more years.

An autopsy showed there was no trauma to the body; a cause of death is pending, McCabe said.

Dr. Bernardino Pacris, the Oakland County deputy medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, said the skin was intact, though internal organs had decomposed. He said he found no evidence of internal or external injuries…

Pacris said the body was on the backseat and clothed in a heavy jacket and jeans, leading him to believe the woman may have died when the weather was cold. The key was in the ignition, but in the off position, Pacris said.

Which removed my first thought on her death. I’ve known a couple folks took the blue jaunte in the back seat of their car.

She obviously wasn’t out of bucks and had bills prepaid including, I guess, lawn care.