Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
- Confucius (via elige)
Mapping the Light of the Cosmos
Figuring out what the structure of the universe is surprisingly hard. Most of the matter that makes up the cosmos is totally dark, and much of what is left is in tiny, dim galaxies that are virtually impossible to detect.
Image: The first image above shows one possible scenario for the distribution of light in the cosmos. Credit: Andrew Pontzen/Fabio Governato
This image shows a computer simulation of one possible scenario for the large-scale distribution of light sources in the universe. The details of how light (and hence galaxies and quasars) is distributed through the cosmos is still not a settled question – in particular, the relative contributions of (faint but numerous) galaxies and (bright but rare) quasars is unknown.
(New research from UCL cosmologists published last week shows how we should be able to find out soon.)
However, astronomers know that on the largest scales, the universe is structured as a vast web made up of filaments and clusters of galaxies, gas and dark matter separated by huge, dark voids. Observational astronomy is making strides forward in mapping out these structures in gas and light, but the smallest galaxies – less than a pixel across in the image above – might never be seen directly because they are simply too faint.
A Hubble image of a nearby faint dwarf galaxy (bottom image) shows the challenge involved in observing these objects even when they are in our galaxy’s vicinity.
These computer models are one way of trying to extrapolate from what we know to what is really there. New research from UCL now shows how we can also use future observations of gas to find out more about this elusive population of tiny galaxies.
This simulated image shows the distribution of light in an area of space over 50 million light-years across. The simulation was created by Andrew Pontzen of UCL and Fabio Governato of the University of Washington.
Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.
- Plato, The Republic (via whats-out-there)
… I believe I went to deep into the story. At some point they became real to me and I just could not handle their hurt and loneliness. You may wonder why it was so. "How can a person relate to a fictional event?". It is truly marvelous if you wonder why. I personally think it was simply that I understood their pain. When he glommed over the window and though of her, I remembered how this morning I laid alone again. When he was sitting next to the phone, I remembered how last night ended with me reading your old letters. And when I finally saw him cry, yell like mad in front of the skies, I felt like it was once again that day you left…
Gamma Cygni by R. Colombari / F. Antonucci
Gamma Cygni is the Bayer designation for a star in the northern constellation Cygnus, forming the intersection of an asterism of five stars called the Northern Cross. [**]
And she is the reader
who browses the shelf
and looks for new worlds
but finds herself.
- Laura Purdie Salas (via observando)