Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy February

Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI

The 2007 AAS calendar's picture for February is the above image of the "Integral Sign Galaxy" (UGC 3697). The blue is neutral hydrogen, from the VLA, on top of optical image. The warp is thought to be due to a small companion galaxy gravitationally tugging on this one—but really—it's just so that we can have a galaxy that looks like an integral sign. Other than π, what other mathematical symbol could possibly be written in the stars?


Vincent said...

Woo-hoo! VLA! Best connected-element interferometer ever! :-)

mollishka said...

You should explain to me someday just how radio telescopes work. I vaguely understand, but it still seems like black magic to me.

Stephen said...

The Milky Way (i live there) has a warp. There's probably a civilization that has a similar shot of us.

Uhm. Radio is light too. Do you know how a newtonian optical telescope works? That's how radio telescopes work. It's just that a metal dish is used to reflect the longer wavelenth photons. Oh, and the detectors are differant.

Photons are quarks. They're really some of the simplest things out there. All you have to worry about is wavelenth, polarity, refraction, reflection, quatum entanglment, monoton pulses, lasing, red shifting due to the stretching of the fabric of the Universe, and a dozen or so other things i'm forgetting.

mollishka said...

Uhm, photons are not quarks.