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Sunday, September 12, 2010

European Southern Observatory releases new image of Spiral Galaxy NGC 300


The European Southern Observatory has released a new image (seen above) of a Spiral Galaxy known as NGC 300. The image above was taken  as a 50 hour exposure!

 "In mathematics, a spiral is a curve which emanates from a central point, getting progressively farther away as it revolves around the point." (source: )

"A spiral galaxy is type of  galaxy originally described by Edwin Hubble in his 1936 work "The Realm of the Nebulae" (which you can read online by going to ) and, as such, forms part of the Hubble sequence. Spiral galaxies consist of a flat, rotating disk containing stars, gas and dust, and a central concentration of stars known as the bulge. These are surrounded by a much fainter halo of stars, many of which reside in globular clusters."

"Spiral galaxies are named for the (usually two-armed) spiral structures that extend from the center into the disk. The spiral arms are sites of ongoing star formation and are brighter than the surrounding disk because of the young, hot OB stars that inhabit them. Roughly half of all spirals are observed to have an additional component in the form of a bar-like structure, extending from the central bulge, at the ends of which the spiral arms begin."

(source: )

"About 77% of the observed galaxies in the universe are spiral galaxies. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is a typical spiral galaxy." (source: .

"Spiral galaxies may remind you of a pinwheel. The disk contains gas, dust, and young stars in its spiral arms. The dense bulge in the center of the disk contains mostly old stars and no gas or dust. The halo is the home of a very few, scattered stars and globular clusters." (source: )

The NGC 300 galaxy exists in the constellation known as  Sculptor (see below):

Source of map:

"Sculptor is one of the modern constellations in the Southern Hemisphere named by Abbe Nicholas Louis de Lacaille. He is credited for creating and naming 15 of the 88 internationally accepted constellations during his stay at the observatory at the Cape of Good Hope between 1750 and 1754.
  Sculptor which takes up a large but obscure region of the sky, was originally named L' Atelier du Sculpteur (the Sculptor's Workshop), but like many other of Lacaille's constellations, the name was shortened and became the Sculptor."

(source:  )

Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (pictured below)

( lived from March 15, 1713 until March 21, 1762) and was a French astronomer. He is noted for his catalogue of nearly 10,000 southern stars .
(source: )

 Lacaille was honored by naming Moon crater La Caille (23.8S, 1.1 E, 67 km diameter) in 1961. (source: )

Here is a video which shows a view of   NGC 300 from a telescope:
(click on the  > button to activate the video)

source of video:

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.