Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




STELLAR CHEMISTRY
A Galaxy For Everyone
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 31, 2010


To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the launch of NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Explorer, or WISE, the mission team has put together this image showing just a sample of the millions of galaxies that have been imaged by WISE during its survey of the entire sky. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

This collage of galaxies from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, showcases the many "flavors" that galaxies come in, from star-studded spirals to bulging ellipticals to those paired with other companion galaxies. The WISE team put this collage together to celebrate the anniversary of the mission's launch on Dec. 14, 2009.

After launch and a one-month checkout period, WISE began mapping the sky in infrared light. By July of this year, the entire sky had been surveyed, detecting hundreds of millions of objects, including the galaxies pictured here. In October of this year, after scanning the sky about one-and-a-half times, the spacecraft ran out of its frozen coolant, as planned. With its two shortest-wavelength infrared detectors still operational, the mission continues to survey the sky, focusing primarily on asteroids and comets.

NGC 300 is seen in the image in the upper left panel. This is a textbook spiral galaxy. In fact, it is such a good representation of a spiral galaxy that astronomers have studied it in great detail to learn about the structure of all spirals in general. Infrared images like this one from WISE show astronomers where areas of gas and warm dust are concentrated - features that cannot be seen in visible light. At about 39,000 light-years across, NGC 300 is only about 40 percent the size of the Milky Way galaxy.

The upper right image shows Messier 104, or M104, also known as the Sombrero galaxy. Although M104 is also classified as a spiral galaxy, it has a very different appearance than NGC 300. In part, this is because the dusty, star-forming spiral disk in M104 is seen nearly edge-on from our point of view. M104 also has a large, ball-shaped bulge component of older stars, seen here in blue.

The large, fuzzy grouping of stars at the center of the lower left panel is the galaxy Messier 60, or M60. This galaxy does not have a spiral disk, just a bulge, making it a massive elliptical galaxy. M60 is about 20 percent larger than our Milky Way galaxy, and lies in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. The brighter, dense spot inside but off-center from the blue core of M60 is a separate spiral galaxy called NGC 4647. In addition, two different asteroids were caught crossing the field of view when WISE imaged this portion of the sky (seen as dotted green lines extending out from M60 at about the 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions).

The galaxy in the lower right panel is Messier 51, or NGC 5194, also frequently referred to as the Whirlpool galaxy. The Whirlpool is a "grand design" spiral galaxy. It is interacting with its smaller companion - NGC 5195, a dwarf galaxy, which can be seen as a bright spot near the tip of the spiral arm extending up and to the right of the Whirlpool galaxy.

.


Related Links
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





STELLAR CHEMISTRY
The Universe's Most Massive Stars Can Form In Near Isolation
Ann Arbor MI (SPX) Dec 22, 2010
New observations by University of Michigan astronomers add weight to the theory that the most massive stars in the universe could form essentially anywhere, including in near isolation; they don't need a large stellar cluster nursery. This is the most detailed observational study to date of massive stars that appear (from the ground) to be alone. The scientists used the Hubble Space Telesc ... read more


STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NASA's LRO Creating Unprecedented Topographic Map Of Moon

Apollo 8: Christmas At The Moon

NASA Awards First Half-Million Order In Lunar Data Contract

Total Lunar Eclipse: 'Up All Night' With NASA

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Astrobiology Top 10: Trapped Rover Finds Evidence Of Water On Mars

NASA Spacecraft Provides Travel Tips For Mars Rover

NASA's Next Mars Rover to Zap Rocks With Laser

Opportunity Studying A Football-Field Size Crater

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Astronaut sues over use of historic photo

NASA mulls merging operational divisions

Argentina to record UFO sightings

IBM offers glimpse into the future

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
China Builds Theme Park In Spaceport

Tiangong Space Station Plans Progessing

China-Made Satellite Keeps Remote Areas In Venezuela Connected

Optis Software To Optimize Chinese Satellite Design

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Extension of space station support fails

Paolo Nespoli Arrives At ISS

Dextre's Final Exam Scheduled For December 22-23

Russian rocket docks with space station

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
ILS and Satmex Announce The ILS Proton Launch Of Satmex 8

Ariane 5's Sixth Launch Of 2010

Europe launcher puts Spanish, S.Korean satellites into orbit

Arianespace Flight 199: Launch Postponed 24 Hours

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
The Final Frontier

First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analyzed

Citizen Scientists Join Search For Earth-Like Planets

Qatar-Led International Team Finds Its First Alien World

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Bob Benson: Tales Of Chilly Research

HISPASAT Satellite Successfully Performs Post-Launch Maneuvers

Skype brings video calls to iPhone, iPod, iPad

Tablets galore on tap at major CES gadget fest




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement