April 5th, 2008

galaxy M51

Astro-Image of the Day: irregular galaxy I Zwicky 18

Here's a gorgeous photo courtesy of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It's not only pretty but also rich with unusual astro-info: "I Zwicky 18, a dwarf irregular galaxy, is much smaller than our Milky Way Galaxy. The concentrated bluish-white knots embedded in the heart of the galaxy are two major starburst regions where stars are forming at a furious rate. The wispy blue filaments surrounding the central starburst regions are bubbles of gas... blown away by stellar winds and supernovae explosions from a previous generation of hot, young stars. This gas is now heated by intense ultraviolet radiation unleashed by a new generation of hot, young stars."

Click the image to see the story.

Notice its companion galaxy, the other irregular galaxy in this photo. Because they're so close and the companion's mass is similar to ol' Zwicky's, their gravitational interaction is setting off the new star formation (blue stars) even though both galaxies contain stars 10 billion years old (red stars). The other disks and spheres outside of the foreground galaxies are other galaxies, even older than these two.


transforming the Newport

Hi, folks -

So I'll be offline most of today. All those parts I ordered to hot-rod my new classic? Well, they've arrived (mostly), so today I begin removing parts from the engine compartment, cleaning things up, and so forth. Nate is coming over today to watch the process, and Jeremy will be working companionably on his car while we tear into mine. If you think the idea of lifting heavy, greasy stuff while learning how engines go together (rather, how they come apart) sounds fun, you're welcome to join us. I'll be in the garage behind my house.

Next week, the transformation begins as I start installing the new bits!