Pack of 2 amazing deep sky objects captured by Adam Jesionkiewicz.
No other objects in the universe are more beautiful than galaxies. They rose from primordial material scattered throughout the cosmos by the Big Bang. Galaxies gave life a chance to be born, they’re our home, our place in the universe. Galaxy M31 is huge, bigger than six full moons.
It is located in the Andromeda Constellation, about 2.5M light-years away from Poland. It belongs to the so-called Local Group of galaxies which also includes our Milky Way. M31 is a typical representative of spiral galaxies, although it gathers an exceptional number of stars. According to the most recent data collected by the Spitzer Telescope it is estimated to include a trillion (thousand billion) stars. Each of these stars is a Sun of its own – smaller, or larger, cooler, or hotter… Most of those Suns probably have their own planets, and about 15-20% of those planets are located in the so-called habitable zones.
The Great Galaxy of the Andromeda Constellation is the brightest and the largest galaxy of the northern sky. You can see it take the shape of a mist surrounded by stars even with the naked eye in suburban skies. Under a dark sky, it can’t be missed, even if you’re just accidentally “scanning” the Andromeda Constellation. When you get hold of a large telescope it becomes picturesque. Its view takes a breath away, especially once you realize what you’re looking at.
The first observations of the M31 in literature appeared in Persian scriptures by astronomer Abd Al-Rahman Al Sufi in year 964.
All of the stars which can be seen in the photograph belong to our galaxy. They act as if they were a curtain covering the vast space in which the Andromeda Galaxy is suspended. It is approaching us at the rate of 120 km/s. Most probably, in a few billion years, it will collide with the Milky Way – the great collision will give birth to a new elliptical galaxy. The milky way now inseparable from the night sky with vanish and the star systems as we know them today will perish irretrievably. Fortune tellers and astrologists of the future will have to come up with new zodiac signs.
The interstellar space is exceptionally scarcely populated by stars. If we compared them to poppy seeds there would be only three stars in the area comparable to the size of Europe. This means that the risk of them colliding during the collision of galaxies is close to zero. Nonetheless, for life on Earth, this may be quite problematic, because there’s no way to tell where our Sun will end up in the newly formed galaxy. If we move closer to its core – it won’t end well. We will be killed by strong radiation. The gravitational pull of the stars itself may “tear” our Solar System apart, and then we will freeze in the endless cosmos. But… there’s no reason to be worried. We still have about 3 billion years left to live our ungodly lives.
The photographs took about 10 hours of total exposure. Photons were collected through several nights.
The Pelican Nebula (IC 5070) is a large area of emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb, and separated by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust from its brighter, larger neighbor, the North America Nebula.
The Pelican is much studied because it has a highly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The light from young energetic stars is slowly heating cold gas and causing an ionization front to gradually advance outward. Particularly dense filaments of cold gas are seen to still remain.
Millions of years from now this nebula might no longer be known as the Pelican, as the balance and placement of stars and gas will leave something that appears completely different.
I took the picture in my astronomical observatory near Warsaw (the capital city of Poland, EU).
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