Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Queen of Outrage

Michelle Malkin would like us to "suck it up." More particularly she'd like those facing the loss of their homes in the current housing crisis to do so. Blaming "predatory borrowers"(!) and bolstering her argument with a single anecdote about a family who after getting some help from a cable show to finance their home, then turned around and mortgaged it to help a family owned construction business. Whom of course she feels compelled to identify by name. If that family doesn't get much relief from the bailout Bush just signed, I shan't get too teary eyed. But using people whose circumstances are as atypical, not to say oddball, as those of the family she's chosen as victims, er examples, as support for her argument is just stealing bases. But of course I don't believe Malkin would know how to frame an honest argument if she tried.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Galactic Blogging

This is one of the most memorable galactic images I've seen. Two vivid spirals, obviously interacting with each other, each in its own plane. What a beautiful sight. Collectively known as Arp 271, they comprise another selection in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. Also designated as NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 the pair is about ninety million light years away and spans about 130,000 light years. Click the image for the APOD page, click the image there for a closer view,

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday Galactic Blogging

Twisted, distorted spiral NGC 3718 and its companion NGC 3729 seem to be locked in each other's gravitational embrace. Both are fairly large, somewhat peculiar spiral galaxies located relatively nearby at about 52 million light years. They're about 150,000 light years from each other, or approximately fifty percent more distant than the estimated diameter of the Milky Way. In the night sky they can be found in Ursa Major near what may a familiar sight to some visitors to this blog, the Hickson Group of galaxies, another beautiful and somewhat anomalous tableau. As usual this is an APOD image. Click once for the APOD page, click the image there for a more detailed look.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday Galactic Blogging

I make no apologies for finding pictures of spiral galaxies incredibly beautiful. The subject of this photo is NGC 7331, which at 40 million light years, is relatively nearby. Large spirals like this are often compared to the Milky Way, and this one particularly; but, with apparently at least three spiral arms (the Milky Way seems to have two) and lacking (at least to my eyes) a strong central bar, I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. Click the image for the APOD page, click through there for a high resolution version of the image.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rest In Hell

Worst Senator of my lifetime. It's probably inappropriate not to note that he seemed to soften a bit after retirement, and reportedly worked hard to help control AIDS in Africa after leaving the Senate. But, nevertheless, here's the face of poisonous, bitter, racism and homophobia.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Galactic Blogging

This is a composite image of the galaxy known as M81, built from data in four bands, (quoting from the APOD page)

X-ray data (blue) from the
Chandra Observatory, infrared data (pink) from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and an ultraviolet image (purple) from the GALEX satellite, with a visible light (green) Hubble image.

The inset is X-ray band data showing some detail on black holes in the central structure of the galax, located about 12 million light years away, which has been featured here before.

It is an APOD image and all the usual stuff applies.