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I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.


There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Trio of colliding galaxies

Trio of colliding galaxies
Click for original image.

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

Three galaxies stand together just right of centre. They are close enough that they appear to be merging into one. Their shapes are distorted, with strands of gas and dust running between them. Each is emitting a lot of light. Further to the left is an unconnected, dimmer spiral galaxy. The background is dark, with a few smaller, dim and faint galaxies and a couple of stars.

Astronomers estimate the colliding galaxies are about 50,000 light years from each other, which for galaxies is quite close. Eventually gravity will cause all three to merge into a single very large galaxy, its shape distorted by the merger. What that shape will be is one of the things astronomers are trying to figure out. At present their theories for galaxy evolution states that as galaxies grow by absorbing smaller nearby neighbors, they evolve from spirals to ellipticals, giant blobs lacking a distinct obvious structure.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • David M. Cook

    Notice the two artifacts above (to the left) and below (to the right) the three galaxies? They look rather like comets! Are they large stars moving through a gas or plasma?

  • DJ

    Is the Webb telescope looking at these too? Hubble is still doing great after all these years!

  • Max

    I noticed that too, and other larger appearing masses with trails behind them like moving objects in a still picture.
    There’s an unusual large circular object between the three galaxies on the right and the single one on the left… Their is a red and a blue circle that looks just like a planet with well-defined edges.

    Nearby objects will be blurred and suns would appear like the star in the lower left corner. That leaves brown dwarfs and dim stars or possible Oort cloud objects caught by chance?

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