Saturday, January 27, 2007

Regarding the Discussions that We've Been Having About Interstellar Colonization & Exploration...

C'mon. We GOTTA go. This is the ultimate Sci-Fi fantasy illustration, but it's real. (Well, it's not really this color, but the structure exists).

This floating ring is the size of a galaxy. In fact, it is part of the photogenic Sombrero Galaxy, one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. The dark band of dust that obscures the mid-section of the Sombrero Galaxy in optical light actually glows brightly in infrared light. The above image shows the infrared glow, recently recorded by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, superposed in false-color on an existing image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in optical light. The Sombrero Galaxy, also known as M104, spans about 50,000 light years across and lies 28 million light years away. M104 can be seen with a small telescope in the direction of the constellation Virgo.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day, a Skipper "favorite"; link found in the right sidebar of this blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phase 1 of a mega sphere construction?

January 27, 2007 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's very pretty, but I hate living in touristy areas. Buses everywhere, hundreds of t-shirt shops, the same little knick-knacks in all the souvenir stores between here and Betelgeuse.

January 27, 2007 8:03 PM  
Blogger Duck said...

It won't look so pretty up close. Better to admire it from afar.

January 28, 2007 3:47 PM  

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