May 2015

Sam, Matt, Jake, and Nick

Celestial Events

There are only about five major celestial events in the month of May, but some of them are very interesting. In the month of May, viewers can see two moon phases, a meteor shower, and most importantly see two planets clearly. These astrological events are great for amateur astronomers.

Subtract 5 hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to arrive at our local Eastern Standard Time (EST). During daylight Savings (Spring, Summer), subtract 4 hours.

Current News

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Cosmic Tsunami Wakes up Galaxies

April 24, 2015- Astronomers Andra Stroe and David Sobral have discovered that distant comatose galaxies can come back to life. They observed merging galaxy cluster CIZA J2242.8+5301 or "Sausage", which is 2.3 billion light-years away. Through their observations they discovered that merging galaxies release a huge amount of energy.The shock waves produced by their collision travels through the cluster like a tsunami. This tsunami effect creates the birth of a new generation of stars and brings billion year old galaxies back to life.

The picture above is a radio image of the shock wave (the bright arc). The image was captured using a Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope. The shock wave was created 1 billion years ago when the galaxy clusters collided.

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Finding Runaway Galaxies

Recently, astronomers have found 11 runaway galaxies that have left their place in their galaxy cluster and will now wonder intergalactic space. "“These galaxies are facing a lonely future, exiled from the galaxy clusters they used to live in,” said astronomer Igor Chilingarian from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/Moscow State University."

An object is classified as a runaway if it is moving faster than the velocity it takes to escape the cluster. A runaway galaxy is traveling at about 6 million mph.

The picture above is a false color illustration which shows the creation of the runaway galaxy by getting kicked out of the cluster by an intruding compact elliptical galaxy.

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Silver Anniversary

The Hubble Telescope, who's blue prints are shown above, has been orbiting space for 25 years. The Hubble has changed the way we look at the universe and is still taking photos today.

Moon Phases Flip Book

An easy activity to help remember the phases of the moon!