The Huge Scale of Andromeda

January 5, 2014

Have you wondered what Andromeda would look like if it were a lot brighter? Well, most of you probably haven’t, but it certainly would look incredible (credit for the image goes to this person):

Notice how it would look so much larger than the moon? Now think about this. The Andromeda galaxy is around 2.5 million light years away. Imagine how large it has to be in order to look like that even from that unimaginable distance! In a way, this image gives you a sense of how large 100,000 light years (the visible part, there are invisible parts that stretches Andromeda to 220,000 light years) is, well not completely since such sizes are unfathomable, but this will do.

New Neptune Moon

July 17, 2013

Another moon has been discovered going around Neptune. And like so many astronomical discoveries before, it has been captured before, in this case, in photos between 2004-2009 (same with Neptune, which has been recorded by Galileo, but not truly been discovered until much later). Read all about it here.

via io9

Waves and Rings

May 16, 2013

On Earth, one can indirectly find what the structure of inside the planet is by measuring the waves created by an earthquake. The Earth’s interior, having layers with different compositions, will refract and reflect those waves, and by measuring the wave all over the Earth, what can make a reasonable assumption as to what the Earth is like inside it. Unfortunately, we can’t exactly place seismographs in other planets. In the case of Saturn, though, there is a structure you can measure which will indirectly tell us what is going on inside the planet. It is the rings, which it turns out that while its shape is predominantly affected by Saturn’s moons, they alone don’t account for all the waves on it. The planet itself affects the rings, and one of the findings is that the inside of the planet is sloshing around. More details is in the link above.

Atmospheric Composition of Extrasolar Planets Detected

March 16, 2013

I didn’t think I would live to see the day, but they did it. Obviously I have underestimated way too much the capabilities of our current technology ^_^ . The planets did have the benefit of being far away from their parents star, and they are huge, but still, it is quiet the accomplishment. I also found a science paper (which I found thanks to this) about the spectroscopy of the planets, if you want to read it (beware, not for your average joe). Yeah, not much to say about this one, the links will tell you everything.