Friday, January 23, 2015

Hubble’s High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy

 
This sweeping bird's-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbor. Image credit: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and L.C. Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler
 
 
Hubble’s High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy
January 5, 2015

Image with title text and border

The largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping bird’s-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbor. Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, The Hubble Space Telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disk. It's like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And there are lots of stars in this sweeping view -- over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk.

This ambitious photographic cartography of the Andromeda galaxy represents a new benchmark for precision studies of large spiral galaxies that dominate the universe's population of over 100 billion galaxies. Never before have astronomers been able to see individual stars inside an external spiral galaxy over such a large contiguous area. Most of the stars in the universe live inside such majestic star cities, and this is the first data that reveal populations of stars in context to their home galaxy.

Hubble traces densely packed stars extending from the innermost hub of the galaxy seen at the left. Moving out from this central galactic bulge, the panorama sweeps from the galaxy's central bulge across lanes of stars and dust to the sparser outer disk. Large groups of young blue stars indicate the locations of star clusters and star-forming regions. The stars bunch up in the blue ring-like feature toward the right side of the image. The dark silhouettes trace out complex dust structures. Underlying the entire galaxy is a smooth distribution of cooler red stars that trace Andromeda’s evolution over billions of years.

Because the galaxy is only 2.5 million light-years from Earth, it is a much bigger target in the sky than the myriad galaxies Hubble routinely photographs that are billions of light-years away. This means that the Hubble survey is assembled together into a mosaic image using 7,398 exposures taken over 411 individual pointings.

The panorama is the product of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) program. Images were obtained from viewing the galaxy in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths, using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard Hubble. This cropped view shows a 48,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy in its natural visible-light color, as photographed with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in red and blue filters.

The panorama is being presented at the 225th Meeting of the Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington.

NASA is exploring our solar system and beyond to understand the universe and our place in it. We seek to unravel the secrets of our universe, its origins and evolution, and search for life among the stars. Today’s announcement shares the discovery of our ever-changing cosmos, and brings us closer to learning whether we are alone in the universe.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington.

For images and more information about Hubble, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/hubble or http://hubblesite.org/news/2015/02

Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.

Saudi King Abdullah dies, new ruler is Salman

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud sits before a meeting
with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Royal Palace in
Jeddah September 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool


http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/23/us-saudi-succession-idUSKBN0KV2RQ20150123
Saudi King Abdullah dies, new ruler is Salman

By Angus McDowall

RIYADH Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:03am EST

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah died early on Friday and his brother Salman became king, the royal court in the world's top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam said in an official statement.

King Salman has named his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir, rapidly moving to forestall any fears of a succession crisis at a moment when Saudi Arabia faces unprecedented turmoil on its borders.

The rise of Islamic State in war-torn Syria and Iraq has brought to the kingdom's frontiers a militant group that vows to bring down the Al Saud dynasty.

In Yemen, the Iran-allied Shi'ite Houthis have all but seized power and plunged the country to the brink of total chaos, opening space for al Qaeda, which waged an insurgency in Saudi Arabia from 2003-06 and nearly killed a top prince in 2009.

The problems in all those countries are being played out against an overarching backdrop of bitter rivalry between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and its arch regional foe Shi'ite Iran and bumps in Riyadh's key relationship with the United States.

Meanwhile the oil price has more than halved since June, leaving the kingdom likely to face its first budget deficit since 2009 and navigating difficulties with other OPEC members that disagree with its strategy not to defend prices.

"His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 1 a.m. this morning," said the statement carried by state television.

Abdullah, said by the Saudi embassy in Washington to have been born in 1924, had ruled Saudi Arabia as king since 2005, but had run the country as de facto regent for a decade before that after his predecessor King Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke.

Awareness

This is a Love Quest.  Ultimately we are trying to feel better.  We’ve talked about what we need to leave behind, but not how.  Here comes the tricky part.  It may not be intuitive.

Step way back and look at the big picture.  It includes the whole of what you are.  Stepping into this new place is not difficult – it is different.  You haven’t operated this way previously.  You’ve been mesmerized by 3D YOU.  This is the you that was born to the parents you have now; the you that has lived the life you know to be yours today.  

The big picture refers to this life as well as every other fractal/lifetime.  You may not remember the others consciously, but you can feel them.  They are the parts of you who have been everyone and felt everything else.  This new paradigm allows access to all of your parts.  You are One.

As One, there is no “other”.  None to blame.  None to hurt.  None to fail.  None to disappoint.  None to be afraid of.  None to have expectations of.  None to owe.  All of these “others” can be left behind.

It is only with awareness of our totality that Oneness is possible. It is only without dependence that sovereignty is accessed. Awareness is what will transform every thought of lack, fear, blame, doubt or expectation. There is no pat answer.  

You are striving for the ultimate – pure creation.  This will grow out of an understanding that always, always you are taken care of and cherished, honored and respected.  With each creation episode you are living the ultimate – life.  It’s all life.  There truly is no good or bad, here or anywhere.  Only your attachment to pain makes it so.

There is no reason for it but experience.  You have been looking for reasons for the pain.  There are none.  Those you’ve “blamed” for inflicting it upon you are searching for the same thing.  We all are.

What will you do without blame?  I can tell you this.  The primary beneficiary of a blameless heart is you.  Unconditional acceptance eventually leads to continuous gratitude.  A day immersed in gratitude is a very good day.

Feel good about yourself.  You have come so very far and have felt so many things to get to this place today.  There is no other who compares to you.  You are the One you’ve been waiting for.

See you tomorrow.

Thank you.

~Sophia
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