Friday, July 31, 2015

Pluto's Moons

Nix & Hydra

New Horizon Captured two of Pluto's smaller moons. Named nix and hydra

Pluto's moon Nix (left), shown here in enhanced color as imaged by the New Horizons Ralph instrument, has a reddish spot that has attracted the interest of mission scientists.andnbsp; The data were obtained on the morning of July 14, 2015, and received on the ground on July 18.andnbsp; At the time the observations were taken New Horizons was about 102,000 miles (165,000 km) from Nix. The image shows features as small as approximately 2 miles (3 kilometers) across on Nix, which is estimated to be 26 miles (42 kilometers) long and 22 miles (36 kilometers) wide.

Pluto's small, irregularly shaped moon Hydra (right) is revealed in this black and white image taken from New Horizons' LORRI instrument on July 14, 2015, from a distance of about 143,000 miles (231,000 kilometers). Features as small as 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) are visible on Hydra, which measures 34 miles (55 kilometers) in length.andnbsp;

While Pluto's largest moon Charon has grabbed most of the lunar spotlight so far, these two smaller and lesser-known satellites are now getting some attention.andnbsp; Nix and Hydra '“ the second and third moons to be discovered '“ are approximately the same size, but their similarity ends there.

New Horizons' first color image of Pluto's moon Nix, in which colors have been enhanced, reveals an intriguing andnbsp;region on the jelly bean-shaped satellite, which is estimated to be 26 miles (42 kilometers) long and 22 miles (36 kilometers) wide.

Although the overall surface color of Nix is neutral grey in the image, the newfound region has a distinct red tint.andnbsp; Hints of a bull's-eye pattern lead scientists to speculate that the reddish region is a crater. 'Additional compositional data has already been taken of Nix, but is not yet downlinked. It will tell us why this region is redder than its surroundings,'� said mission scientist Carly Howett, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado. She added, 'This observation is so tantalizing, I'm finding it hard to be patient for more Nix data to be downlinked.'� andnbsp;

Meanwhile, the sharpest image yet received from New Horizons of Pluto's satellite Hydra shows that its irregular shape resembles the state of Michigan. The new image was made by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 143,000 miles (231,000 kilometers), and shows features as small as 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) across. There appear to be at least two large craters, one of which is mostly in shadow. The upper portion looks darker than the rest of Hydra, suggesting a possible difference in surface composition. From this image, mission scientists have estimated that Hydra is 34 miles (55 kilometers) long and 25 miles (40 kilometers) wide. Commented mission science collaborator Ted Stryk of Roane State Community College in Tennessee, 'Before last week, Hydra was just a faint point of light, so it's a surreal experienceandnbsp;to see it become an actual place, as we see its shape and spot recognizable features on its surface for the first time.'�

Images of Pluto's most recently discovered moons, Styx and Kerberos, are expected to be transmitted to Earth no later than mid-October.

Nix and Hydra were both discovered in 2005 using Hubble Space Telescope data by a research team led by New Horizons project scientist Hal Weaver, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland. New Horizons' findings on the surface characteristics and other properties of Nix and Hydra will help scientists understand the origins and subsequent history of Pluto and its moons.

Image Credit:andnbsp;NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

New Horizons

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Sombrero Galaxy from Hubble


Image credits by NASA


Why does the Sombrero Galaxy look like a hat? Reasons include the Sombrero's unusually large and extended central bulge of stars, and dark prominent dust lanes that appear in a disk that we see nearly edge-on. Billions of old stars cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge. Close inspection of the bulge in the above photograph shows many points of light that are actually globular clusters.M104's spectacular dustri
ngs harbor many younger and brighter stars, and show intricate details astronomersdon't yet fully understand. The very center of theSombrero glows across the electromagnetic spectrum, and is thought to house a large black hole. Fifty million-year-old light from the Sombrero Galaxy can be seen with a small telescope towards theconstellation of Virgo.

Hubble Space Telescope

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The "M31" Galaxy

Ultraviolet rings of M31

This also called as spiral galaxy. This is just 2.5 million light years away from Andromeda Galaxy.
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   A mere 2.5 million light-years away the Andromeda Galaxy, alsoknown as M31, really is just next door as large galaxies go.So closeand spanningsome 260,000 light-years, it took 11 different image fields from theGalaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) satellite'stelescope to produce this gorgeous portrait of the spiral galaxy inultraviolet light.While its spiral arms stand out invisible light images of Andromeda,the arms look more like rings intheGALEX ultraviolet view,a view dominated by the energetic light from hot, young, massive stars.As sites of intense star formation, the rings have been interpreted asevidence Andromeda collided with its smaller neighboring ellipticalgalaxy M32 more than 200 million years ago.The large Andromeda galaxyand our own Milky Way are the most massive members of thelocalgalaxy group.


Image credits: NASA, Hubble space telescope

Saturday, July 18, 2015

'New Horizon' and 'Pluto'

New horizon

This is "new horizon" launching at 2006

Pluto closeup

"New Horizon" on the Mission.
It takes photo of "Pluto" its a very closeup look of Pluto ever made.

Pictures by NASA / launch Photography by Ben Cooper