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Thread: Spitzer's Stunning Portrait of Andromeda

  1. #1
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    Spitzer's Stunning Portrait of Andromeda

    SUMMARY: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope took this amazing photograph of our neighbour galaxy, Andromeda. The image was made by stitching together 11,000 separate images of the galaxy taken over the course of 18 hours of observations by Spitzer. Under Spitzer's infrared gaze, Andromeda reveals an off centre ring of star formation and a spot where it looks like another galaxy punched a hole as it passed through the galactic plane.

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  2. #2
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    Andromeda photos

    It strikes me that these wonderful photos of Andromeda are visually easier to "see" if viewed in the conventional fashion of looking slightly down at an object rather than looking up from the bottom. To my eye, they are upside down. If you flip them vertically you'll see what I mean. The effect is particularly evident on the "visible" image.

  3. #3
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    recently spitzer celebrated 2 years in service and one of it's discoveries pointed out was that some spiral galaxies have rings.

    here's a shot using iras infrared showing the ring around andromeda in red.



    red = 12, 25, 60 micron infrared (iras)
    white = dss (optical)
    blue = pspc 1dg (xray)

  4. #4
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    That is... beautiful.

  5. #5
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    I just got done reading the Scientific American article on galactic evolution of barred spirals into non-barred ones and then back again. The author described how the bar torques the gas and dust, effectively clears a region in the disk and then starves for the cycle to start anew. I don't see a bar in M31, but it sure looks like what was described after the bar starves out and the outer dust ring begins to fall in again.

    Its neat how the mechanism works. When I went to school we were still scratching our heads over the shapes we saw and wishing we had the computing power to simulate them.

  6. #6
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    More info from space.com:

    Small Galaxy Punches Hole In Andromeda

    Sometime in the distant past, the dwarf galaxy M32 hurled itself at its much larger neighbor Andromeda, delivering an explosive uppercut punch that left a jagged hole nearly 10 light-years across in Andromeda's plane of stars, one that millions of years later has yet to fully heal.

    New infrared images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope recently revealed the hole, which is hidden to optical telescopes behind Andromeda's veils of cosmic dust and gas.

    The Spitzer images also revealed other features of Andromeda that have never been seen before, including bright, new stars and spiral arcs swirling out from the galaxy's center.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  7. #7
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    And the BA has some comments.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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