Space Saturday III

This week’s Space Saturday will be hosted by Sunday! Wow, this is is just like my life as a student. Due on Saturday? Eh, Sunday will do! I won’t offer any excuses ’cause I really don’t have any. So here is Space Saturday!

This week I bring you NGC 1316 and it’s gaseous lobes on either side 75 million light years away in the Constellation Fornax (the Furnace). This is a composite radio and visual image. The radio wavelength lobes are formed by a very complex process of a smaller galaxy colliding with galaxy NGC 1316 (about 100 million years ago). As the galaxy collides matter falls towards the central black hole in NGC 1316 and the friction of that movement causes the material to heat up to extremely high tempertures. That heat (for reasons that are still not completely understood) create two polar opposite particle jets that then collide with surrounding material outside the giant elliptical galaxy. The turbulant, hot gas globes then emit in the radio end of the spectrum shown in the image. The two globes stretch an impressive million light years across, now that is big!

Space Saturday Archive

I also wanted to mention that NASA by way of the California Institute of Technology has discovered a 10th planet in the solar system!. The new planet is larger than Pluto (giving it the distinction of planet) while residing some 97 AU from the sun (1 AU is the distance from the Sun to the Earth, compared to Pluto’s highly elliptical orbit that varies from 30 to 50 AU) and is a typical object (except for size) in the Kuiper Belt. See here and here for additional information.

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