A Flea's Perspective
The Diamond Ring Galaxy (NGC 4013) in Ursa Major

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We live in a Universe that is filled with galaxies- great gatherings of gas and dust clouds, and the stars that form from them, held together by gravity and circling a super-massive black hole growling at their center. When viewed from above or at a slight angle, most galaxies exhibit a lovely spiral pattern that leisurely spins one revolution per thousand million years- some faster and others more slowly. Interestingly, some of the brightest stars that inhabit these associations burn their fuel at such prodigious rates that they're born and explode before making one complete revolution!

The scale of the Universe is vast beyond comprehension. For example, galaxies are often called Island Universes because the distance that separates one from the other essentially makes travel between them, at the speed of light, utterly impossible- even within the life span of an entire species. But these distances are superceded in much greater proportion because, on its grandest scale, the Universe is organized into huge areas that, remarkably, resemble soap bubbles. Their interiors are seemingly void of all material but at the juncture where the bubbles meet, we often find a group of galaxies huddling together.

In one of these countless collections, half-way from the center of an unremarkable member (other than it's our home) we plant our instruments and gaze outwards with a flea's perspective. I remain unconvinced that all this is just meant for us!

November 20- December 28, 2006

RCOS 20- inch, SBIG STL-11000

660 minutes Luminance, 90 minutes Red, 54 minutes Green and 108 minutes Blue (All 1X1)