Friday, February 02, 2007

Because It's There

My friend Pseub, knowing how I love the stars, sent me pictures of the ten photos voted as the best taken by Hubble in the past 16 years. I started to publish my favorites, but for some reason I couldn't copy them from her e-mail, so I went out with Google Image and found them. So, Pseub, these aren't exactly the shots you sent. I don't know why having heard about the death of Molly Ivins makes me want to share these with you, but it does. Perhaps because her soul and her mind were every bit as unexpectedly magical as these pictures -- that these could be taken, that her columns could be written, are such a celebration of the human reach.

The Sombrero Galaxy - 28 million light years from Earth - was voted best picture taken by the Hubble telescope. The dimensions of the galaxy, officially called M104, are as spectacular as its appearance. It has 800 billion suns and is 50,000 light years across.

The Ant Nebula, a cloud of dust and gas whose technical name is Mz3, resembles an ant when observed using ground-based telescopes.

The nebula lies within our galaxy between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth.

In A Nutshell follows.

4 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

Oh, I'm sorry you couldn't use those. Magnificent, weren't they?

I'm so very sad about Molly Ivins. She had a way with words and ideas that few could hope to match. As I said over at Twisty's, in a truly just world she'd still be here kicking instead of some other prominent Texans (ahem) who should have choked on their own vomit years ago. Not a pretty sentiment, but in honor of Molly, I'm not mincing my words.

Gina said...

Did you know that the Hubble's deep viewer camera is no longer working? It stopped sometime last week, and there are no plans to fix it.

Chancy said...

"The Sombrero Galaxy - 28 million light years from Earth - was voted best picture taken by the Hubble telescope"

Amazing. thanks for posting these.

Maya's Granny said...

Gina,
I read today that the Hubble has just been scheduled for repair. I hope that was true.