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Podcaster: Richard Drumm

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Title: UNAWE Space Scoop – A Clash of Giants

Organization: 365 Days Of Astronomy

Link : http://365daysofastronomy.org/ ; http://spacescoop.org/en/scoops/2111/an-ancient-stormy-black-hole/

Description: Space scoop, news for children. 

NGC 1427A, an irregular galaxy, has been photographed by a team of astronomers using the Victor Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo Observatory in Chile. Right now, it is moving at an incredible speed of 2.2 million kilometers, or 1.3 million miles per hour.

In the future, 1427A will clash with two big, honking, bright galaxies next to it, NGC 1399 and NGC 1404. These two giant elliptical galaxies are in the constellation of Fornax, the Furnace, and belong to the Fornax cluster, a relatively close galaxy cluster to us. 

Close as in it’s only about 60 million light-years from Earth. 

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Transcript:

This is the 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast. Today we bring you a new episode in our Space Scoop series. This show is produced in collaboration with Universe Awareness, a program that strives to inspire every child with our wonderful cosmos.

Today’s story is…

A Clash of Giants

Oct. 4, 2021

NGC 1427A, an irregular galaxy, has been photographed by a team of astronomers using the Victor Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo Observatory in Chile.

Right now, it is moving at an incredible speed of 2.2 million kilometers, or 1.3 million miles per hour.

In the future, 1427A will clash with two big, honking, bright galaxies next to it, NGC 1399 and NGC 1404. 

These two giant elliptical galaxies are in the constellation of Fornax, the Furnace, and belong to the Fornax cluster, a relatively close galaxy cluster to us. 

Close as in it’s only about 60 million light-years from Earth. 

1399 and 1404 are among the brightest galaxies of the Fornax cluster and they’re getting closer and closer to each other because of the good old force of gravity. 

As they get closer, gravity becomes even stronger, and 1399 is sucking gas from 1404, the other bright elliptical galaxy.

All these galaxies look small in astronomical pictures, but don’t get fooled: each of them houses billions of stars!

There is a beautiful picture that was taken using the Dark Energy Camera, or DECam, one of the highest-performance, wide-field imagers in the world. 

It has 570-megapixels! As a comparison, an average phone camera has 10. It’s the very heart of a program called the Dark Energy Survey. 

Among its many feats, DECam has helped astronomers discover nearly 300 previously unknown dwarf galaxies in the Fornax Cluster!

Hey, here’s a cool fact:

The Blanco telescope is one of the instruments that was used in 1998 to determine that there was an acceleration of the expansion of the Universe, which we attribute to dark energy. 

Now, we have no idea what the heck it is, and it apparently means 70% of the Universe exhibits something akin to anti-gravity. So yeah, it’s a big deal.

DECam is one of what astronomers call “survey instruments.” 

It’s used to capture images of large patches of the night sky, helping researchers to understand structures in the Universe at large scales. 

Survey instruments help find interesting objects in the sky that later on will be studied in detail with other telescopes.

The survey instrument to end all survey instruments will be coming on line soon! It’s the Vera Rubin Observatory’s scope. This is the scope in Chile that used to be called the LSST. 

Stay, uh, tuned to learn more about that beauty!

Thank you for listening to the 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast!

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy
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The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by Planetary Science Institute. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by libsyn.com and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. 

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