Daily Archives: December 20, 2011

Galactic Views (16)


A ‘Rose’ Made of Galaxies
NASA – In celebration of the twenty-first anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope‘s deployment in April 2011, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute pointed Hubble’s eye to an especially photogenic group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.

The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disk that is tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. A swath of blue jewels across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars. These massive stars glow fiercely in ultraviolet light.

The smaller, nearly edge-on companion shows distinct signs of intense star formation at its nucleus, perhaps triggered by the encounter with the companion galaxy.

A series of uncommon spiral patterns in the large galaxy is a tell-tale sign of interaction. The large, outer arm appears partially as a ring, a feature seen when interacting galaxies actually pass through one another. This suggests that the smaller companion actually dived deep, but off-center, through UGC 1810. The inner set of spiral arms is highly warped out of the plane with one of the arms going behind the bulge and coming back out the other side. How these two spiral patterns connect is still not precisely known.

The interaction was imaged on Dec. 17, 2010, with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

This Hubble image is a composite of data taken with three separate filters on WFC3 that allow a broad range of wavelengths covering the ultraviolet, blue and red portions of the spectrum. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Spiral Galaxy
Resembling festive lights on a holiday wreath, this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the nearby spiral galaxy M74 is an iconic reminder of the impending season. Bright knots of glowing gas light up the spiral arms, indicating a rich environment of star formation.

Messier 74, also called NGC 628, is a stunning example of a grand-design spiral galaxy that is viewed by Earth observers nearly face-on. Its perfectly symmetrical spiral arms emanate from the central nucleus and are dotted with clusters of young blue stars and glowing pink regions of ionized hydrogen (hydrogen atoms that have lost their electrons). These regions of star formation show an excess of light at ultraviolet wavelengths.

Tracing along the spiral arms are winding dust lanes that also begin very near the galaxy’s nucleus and follow along the length of the spiral arms. M74 is located roughly 32 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Pisces, the Fish. It is the dominant member of a small group of about half a dozen galaxies, the M74 galaxy group. In its entirety, it is estimated that M74 is home to about 100 billion stars, making it slightly smaller than our Milky Way. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration


The Constitution and Technology: How Far is Too Far?

By Jeffrey Rosen – Will privacy become obsolete, for example, in a world where ubiquitous surveillance is becoming the norm? Imagine that Facebook and Google post live feeds to public and private surveillance cameras, allowing 24/7 tracking of any citizen in the world. How can we protect free speech now that Facebook, Google, and other private intermediaries have more power than any king, president, or Supreme Court justice to decide who can speak and who can be heard? How will advanced brain-scan technology affect the constitutional right against self-incrimination? And on a more elemental level, should people have the right to manipulate their genes and design their own babies? Should we be allowed to patent new forms of life that seem virtually human? more> http://is.gd/It0mC8

AT&T abandons bid for T-Mobile

By Marguerite Reardon – AT&T said today that it has withdrawn its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA in a deal worth $39 billion.

The company said it would take a $4 billion charge in the fourth quarter as part of the break-up fee with Deutsche Telekom.

There had been much speculation about how long AT&T would fight to keep its deal with T-Mobile alive. In August, the U.S. Department of Justice sued to block the merger. And in November the Federal Communications Commission indicated it opposed the merger as well. In both cases, the Justice Department and the FCC said that the merger between the second largest and fourth largest wireless phone companies in the U.S would harm competition. The FCC went as far as to say in its report of the merger that the deal would result in massive layoffs and would not be in the public interest. more> http://is.gd/m5YrkV

The Death Certificate Of The Paper Dollar: Where To Next?

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis, Author: James Rickards.

Paper Money Collapse, Author: Detlev Schlichter.

The New Gold Standard, Author: Paul Nathan.

Monetary Revolution USA, Author: Dave Redick.

Fixing the Dollar Now: Why US Money Lost Its Integrity and How We Can Restore It, Author: Dr. Judy Shelton.

By Ralph Benko – The Bank of England’s Financial Stability Paper No. 13, Reform of the International Monetary and Financial System, reported at Bloomberg BusinessWeek and reviewed here, is being seen by many monetary policy observers around the world as the “coroner’s report” on the death of the world dollar standard.

What’s next? Presciently, at the watershed October 5-6 Heritage Foundation Conference on a Stable Dollar: Why We Need It and How to Achieve It, Forbes’ editor-in-chief  Steve Forbes called for escalating the discourse from “whether” we should restore the gold standard to “how” to do so. The floodgates open. more> http://is.gd/sI5Y5Q

THOMAS Top Ten – compiled on Dec 11 2011

Congress watchLibrary of Congress –

  1. S. 1867 [112th]
    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  2. H.R. 1540 [112th]
    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  3. H.R. 3261 [112th]
    Stop Online Piracy Act
  4. H.R. 3012 [112th]
    Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
  5. H.R. 2055 [112th]
    Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012
  6. H.R. 2112 [112th]
    Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012
  7. H.R. 2219 [112th]
    Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012
  8. S. 968 [112th]
    Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011
  9. H.R. 1687 [112th]
    Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011
  10. S. 1603 [112th]
    Open Fuels Standard Act of 2011

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