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Blobs and jellyfish in space

Blobs and Jellyfish
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The picture to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released today.

The galaxy JW100 features prominently in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, with streams of star-forming gas dripping from the disc of the galaxy like streaks of fresh paint. These tendrils of bright gas are formed by a process called ram pressure stripping, and their resemblance to dangling tentacles has led astronomers to refer to JW100 as a ‘jellyfish’ galaxy. It is located in the constellation Pegasus, over 800 million light-years away.

Ram pressure stripping occurs when galaxies encounter the diffuse gas that pervades galaxy clusters. As galaxies plough through this tenuous gas it acts like a headwind, stripping gas and dust from the galaxy and creating the trailing streamers that prominently adorn JW100. The bright elliptical patches in the image are other galaxies in the cluster that hosts JW100.

The image was part of a research project studying star formation in the tendrils of jellyfish galaxies.

The blob near the top of the image is another galaxy in this same galaxy cluster. It is an elliptical galaxy that also happens to have two central nuclei, caused when two smaller galaxies merged. The central regions of each have not yet merged into one.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Richard M

    Speaking of astronomy, alas, here’s one for your daily file, or even a dedicated post to shred it: “Group of Astronomers Call for ban on light-polluting mass satellite groups like Elon Musk’s Starlink.” They got themselves a full essay in NATURE yesterday, and now other outlets, like the Guardian, have picked it up.

    LEO Constellations won’t be banned, of course – if for no other reason than too many important governments value them. But my worry is, such campaigns could hobble American constellations with more and more onerous regulatory restrictions, even as China surges ahead unencumbered by such considerations. And of course, it will be American internet and telecommunications consumers who will take the hit.

    But one might look at this image you clipped, and note how it was taken. It wasn’t from the surface of the Earth.

  • Richard M: Nature has become worthless, a leftwing agenda-driven propaganda rag. I hardly look at it anymore, other than to quote it in order to point out its worthlessness.

    This is not to say that this campaign against Musk and Starlink will fail. On the contrary, it has every chance of succeeding, because we are no longer ruled by elected legislators, but by a power-hungry administrative state that does not like others to challenge it.

  • GaryMike

    The solution to LEO satellite constellations making life difficult for astronomers is more space telescopes. Everyone has a good day.

  • Edward

    GaryMike noted: “The solution to LEO satellite constellations making life difficult for astronomers is more space telescopes

    One would think that with the success of Hubble and JWST, the astronomers would have already gotten this idea in their own heads. There are several other space telescopes that did very well, too.

    Unfortunately, the space telescopes that have been built so far have limited lifespans, but earthbound telescopes are easily maintained and can last and be relevant for decades, even a century or more. Hubble and James Webb cost much more than their original budgets, and this track record has put astronomers off the idea. They believe that they can get much more bang for their budgets by building on the ground. These are two shortfalls of letting the government fund, design, and own the space telescopes.

    James Webb cost so much because the government wanted to do too many new and untried technologies, and each new technology that caused a delay caused delays in all the other areas, raising the cost of the entire project. What ground-based telescope would have survived a cost increase from $1/2 billion to $10 billion? The space-based JWST did. JWST is doing amazing things, but how much more other astronomy could have been accomplished by now with that money?

    Now that we are getting inexpensive and rapid access to space, commercial companies can put together their own space telescopes and maintain them on orbit for much lower cost than the government’s space telescopes. Commercial space has much more incentive for efficiency and effectiveness than government has.

    What we really need to do is show the astronomers that amazing commercial space telescopes can be built now for less than they think and can already accomplish by 2035 what the astronomers think they can accomplish by 2050 with their own government funding.

  • Richard M

    The solution to LEO satellite constellations making life difficult for astronomers is more space telescopes.

    This is the way.

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