Lots of astronomy stories have been published in the past week, and I've been rather busy trying to keep track of them all. The best things about these stories, and about astronomy in general, are the pictures. They can tell so much and most of them look beautiful. So, I've rounded up a bunch of the amazing pictures published in the past week or so, and will probably give a short paragraph about them:
Lets start with the star that changed the Universe. The Hubble telescope viewed this variable star that actually resides in another galaxy, our neighbor, Andromeda. Before this star was discovered, the fuzzy patches of galaxies were just called nebula, and thought to be just gas inside our own galaxy. Edwin Hubble (the Hubble telescopes namesake) changed all that in 1923, discovering that these nebula were indeed other galaxies, and used this variable star to determine that they were millions of light years away. You can read the historic story here.
|Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute|
|Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Andrew Levan|
Probably the most distant object ever seen, for now. This is a gamma ray burst, known as GRB 090429B. I made a post about GRBs awhile ago. If you want to know more about the science behind how this sort of stuff is determined, Bad Astronomy has got you covered. And here is the original story with a link to the paper.
WISE, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, was turned off awhile ago, but the work still goes on. NASA released a gallery of nine spiral galaxy images taken by WISE. For more info on each galaxy, check out the NASA release. (There is also a really huge version of the image, which is drool inducing.)
|Docked Endeavour at ISS through a fish-eye lens. Image Credit: NASA|
Photos from the last space shuttle spacewalk, it also marked the formal completion of the U.S. segment of the International Space Station. You can go through the entire photo set here.
|Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Toledo|
Of course, there are a couple of stories out there that just really don't have good pictures to go with them. A few of them I suggest checking out are: New arm discovered in outer edge of the Milky Way Galaxy; The Moon is wetter then we thought; For Mars, rapid formation stunted growth; and Info on OSIRIS-REx, NASAs new science mission to asteroid launching in 2016. Have a good Memorial Day weekend to everyone in the U.S. Everyone else, just have a good weekend.