Mergers and Acquisitions


NGC6240NGC 6240 is a cosmic catastrophe in its final throes. It’s a titanic collision of galaxies throwing distorted tidal tails of stars, gas, and dust and undergoing massive bursts of star formation. The two supermassive black holes in the original galactic cores will also coalesce into a single, even more massive black hole. Eventually, only one large galaxy will remain.

Image Credit: NASA

Coronal Loops


Coronal LoopsThe Atmospheric Imaging Assembly instrument aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory images the solar atmosphere in 10 wavelengths every 10 seconds. Its data is used to link changes in the surface to interior changes in the Sun.In this image the Sun’s magnetic field can be readily visualized through bright strands called “coronal loops”. Loops are shown here in a blended overlay with the magnetic field measured by SDO’s Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager shown underneath. Blue and yellow represent the opposite polarities of the magnetic field.

Image Credit: NASA

The Orion Nebula


Orion NebulaThe Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye even in areas affected by minor light pollution. It is seen as the middle “star” in the sword of Orion, the three stars located below Orion’s Belt. The “star” appears fuzzy to sharp-eyed observers, and its nebulosity is obvious through binoculars or a small telescope.

Image Credit: NASA