I was looking back for the best, most impressive astronomy images of the year 2012—ready to post a winner when this dropped in my NASA feed. The image is stunning on its own, but the description just made my head spin. Combined with its sheer beauty, it made it the winner. Here is why:
About 4.1 billion years ago, our solar system was a huge cluster of comets bombarding every planet orbiting the Sun and crashing into each other. That period of chaos is known as the Late Heavy Bombardment, and astronomers believe it was key to the formation of life in our planet.
We talked to the Spitzer Space Telescope's visualization team about the challenges and rewards of rendering the mission's reams of non-visual data into something that catches the public eye.
This photo shows the Antenna galaxies, which started colliding 100 million years ago, creating millions of stars in the process which later exploded as supernovas. I really find it hard and sad to know that I'll never see this live.
Astronomers estimate that there are 200 to 400 billion stars in our galactic neighborhood, the Milky Way. I guess that someone tried to count them in this fully-zoomable, ultra-high-definition 800,000-image mosaic and got tired around 296,351,284,702.
The world's largest picture of the Milky Way was unveiled today in Chicago, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, measuring a whopping 120 feet across.
I've seen many amazing, inspiring, and humbling deep space images, but this look inside the heart of our very own galaxy has left me without superlatives. Zoom in to get the 2820x1409 pixel image, and see how it was made.
See that tiny dot in the middle of that ring? That's Saturn. And the newly-discovered glowing ring is 13.4 million miles in diameter. The proverbial 800-pound gorilla has been discovered by the Spitzer Space Telescope, leaving every single astronomer speechless.
An SMS-savvy Finnish Foreign Minister has joined former New York governor Eliot Spitzer in the "thinks with the wrong head" club this week. The 60-year-old Ilkka Kanerva was discovered to have sent more than 200 text messages to an exotic dancer named Johanna Tukiainen, 29. And her sister! Despite the fact that…
With the news about Elliot Spitzer's demise plastered everywhere you look, the folks at Complex brought up an interesting point—when you are a public figure, pre-paid cellphones are the way to go when calling hookers. Even drug dealers know that it is the way to go when you don't want to leave evidence behind—so how…