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distant-traveller:

The whirling disc of NGC 4526

This neat little galaxy is known as NGC 4526. Its dark lanes of dust and bright diffuse glow make the galaxy appear to hang like a halo in the emptiness of space in this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Although this image paints a picture of serenity, the galaxy is anything but. It is one of the brightest lenticular galaxies known, a category that lies somewhere between spirals and ellipticals. It has hosted two known supernova explosions, one in 1969 and another in 1994, and is known to have a colossal supermassive black hole at its centre that has the mass of 450 million Suns.

NGC 4526 is part of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Ground-based observations of galaxies in this cluster have revealed that a quarter of these galaxies seem to have rapidly rotating discs of gas at their centres. The most spectacular of these is this galaxy, NGC 4526, whose spinning disc of gas, dust, and stars reaches out uniquely far from its heart, spanning some 7% of the galaxy’s entire radius.

This disc is moving incredibly fast, spinning at more than 250 kilometres per second. The dynamics of this quickly whirling region were actually used to infer the mass of NGC 4526’s central black hole — a technique that had not been used before to constrain a galaxy’s central black hole.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

distant-traveller:

Hubble sees turquoise-tinted plumes in Large Magellanic Cloud
The brightly glowing plumes seen in this image are reminiscent of an underwater scene, with turquoise-tinted currents and nebulous strands reaching out into the surroundings.

However, this is no ocean. This image actually shows part of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small nearby galaxy that orbits our galaxy, the Milky Way, and appears as a blurred blob in our skies. The NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope has peeked many times into this galaxy, releasing stunning images of the whirling clouds of gas and sparkling stars.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA: acknowledgement: Josh Barrington

astronomy-to-zoology:

"Gambian Spotted-eye Flower Mantis" (Pseudoharpax virescens)
…a species of Hymenopodid mantis (Hymenopididae) which is native to Western, Central and Eastern Africa. P. virescens has two distinct subspecies which are separated by range: P. v. centralis which occurs in central and eastern Africa, and P. v. virescenswhich occurs in western and central Africa. 
Like other mantids in the family Hymenopodidae P. virescens are noted flower mimics, and will use this mimicry to ambush a range of flying insects on flowers. 
Classification
Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Mantodea-Hymenopodidae-Hymenopodinae-Hymenopodini-Pseudoharpax-P. virescens
Image: Happy1892
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Camera
Samsung PL70 / VLUU PL70 / SL720
ISO
100
Aperture
f/9.5
Exposure
1/45th
Focal Length
5mm

astronomy-to-zoology:

"Gambian Spotted-eye Flower Mantis" (Pseudoharpax virescens)

…a species of Hymenopodid mantis (Hymenopididae) which is native to Western, Central and Eastern Africa. P. virescens has two distinct subspecies which are separated by range: P. v. centralis which occurs in central and eastern Africa, and P. v. virescenswhich occurs in western and central Africa. 

Like other mantids in the family Hymenopodidae P. virescens are noted flower mimics, and will use this mimicry to ambush a range of flying insects on flowers. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Mantodea-Hymenopodidae-Hymenopodinae-Hymenopodini-Pseudoharpax-P. virescens

Image: Happy1892

astronomy-to-zoology:

Audouin’s Gull (Ichthyaetus audouinii)

…a large species of gull (Laridae) which is restricted to the Mediterrenean region and the western coast of Saharan Africa, where it breeds on small islands. Unlike other large species of gull Audouin’s gull rarely if ever scavenges, but is a specialist fish eater, making it a strictly coastal and pelagic species. 

Both the species name and common name of I. audouinii commemorates the French naturalist Jean Victoire Audouin. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Charadriiformes-Laridae-Ichthyaetus-I. audounii

Image: Sergey Yellseev

geraldokerenzau:

This view, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a nearby spiral galaxy known as NGC 1433. At about 32 million light-years from Earth, it is a type of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy - a classification that accounts for 10% of all galaxies. They have very bright, luminous centres comparable to that of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Galaxy cores are of great interest to astronomers. The centres of most, if not all, galaxies are thought to contain a supermassive black hole, surrounded by a disc of infalling material.

NGC 1433 is being studied as part of a survey of 50 nearby galaxies known as the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS). Ultraviolet radiation is observed from galaxies, mainly tracing the most recenlty formed stars. In Seyfert galaxies, ultraviolet light is also though to emanate from the accretaion discs around their central black holes. Studying these galaxies in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum in incredibly useful to study how the gas is behaving near the black hole. This image was obtained using a mix of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light.

Image Credit: NASA

#astronomy #space #outerspace #universe #galaxy #stars

coolbugs:

The other day I heard my dog barking, so I went to check on her and see what wildlife she was scoping out in the window. Instead, I found her staring at the wall. I turned around to leave her to her silliness but then I realized she’s a poodle, which means she’s wicked smaht. So I went back to check and sure enough, there was this beetle crawling up the bricks right where my dog was staring. 
Turned out to be a scarab beetle, Osmoderma eremicola. I’ve been seeing a few folks post photos of these big beasties in their homes this summer - they must like to come indoors for some reason.
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coolbugs:

The other day I heard my dog barking, so I went to check on her and see what wildlife she was scoping out in the window. Instead, I found her staring at the wall. I turned around to leave her to her silliness but then I realized she’s a poodle, which means she’s wicked smaht. So I went back to check and sure enough, there was this beetle crawling up the bricks right where my dog was staring. 
Turned out to be a scarab beetle, Osmoderma eremicola. I’ve been seeing a few folks post photos of these big beasties in their homes this summer - they must like to come indoors for some reason.
Zoom Info

coolbugs:

The other day I heard my dog barking, so I went to check on her and see what wildlife she was scoping out in the window. Instead, I found her staring at the wall. I turned around to leave her to her silliness but then I realized she’s a poodle, which means she’s wicked smaht. So I went back to check and sure enough, there was this beetle crawling up the bricks right where my dog was staring.

Turned out to be a scarab beetle, Osmoderma eremicola. I’ve been seeing a few folks post photos of these big beasties in their homes this summer - they must like to come indoors for some reason.

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