Topic: Galaxies & Cosmology
Closer Look: Sometimes Dust is Beautiful

Closer Look: Sometimes Dust is Beautiful

Gaia galaxy map, image credit: ESA The interstellar medium is not my favorite topic in astronomy. Fundamentally, it is the study of interstellar dust bunnies - those clumps of gas and dust that clog up our skies and block our ability to see more distant stars and galaxies. They don’t vary like the pulsating stars I love most. They don’t have stories that alter how we understand our universe like galaxies and galaxy clusters. The gas and dust between stars are just transient blobs of material - sometimes bright and sometimes dark - that are either released during stellar death or waiting to...

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Euclid Releases First Science Images

Euclid Releases First Science Images

While the 33 year old Hubble struggles, the not yet 1 year old Euclid space telescope has released its first science images. Euclid is a 1.2 m telescope with a wide-angle camera that is designed to survey galaxy shapes and study dark matter and dark energy. It is...

Hubble Down to One Gyro

Hubble Down to One Gyro

In a June 4 telecon with the press, NASA shared that due to recent issues, they have made the decision to operate HST in single gyro mode. This isn’t expected to have any impact on the quality of individual science images, however Hubble will need significantly more...

Hubble Resolves star formation

Hubble Resolves star formation

Image credit: NASA / ESA One of the things I personally enjoy most about working in astronomy is the way yesterday’s empty star fields and faint smudges resolve into spectacular vistas and amazing nebulae as we build better telescopes and find the time to point them...

JWST Echoes the Hubble Tension

JWST Echoes the Hubble Tension

Comparison of Hubble and Webb views of a Cepheid variable star. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, A. Riess (JHU/STScI) Understanding our universe isn’t a straightforward process. For every theory that appears to be beautifully proven out by data, there is another theory...

Gaia Watches the Universe Form

Gaia Watches the Universe Form

Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC; Lucy Reading-Ikkanda/Simons Foundation; K. Storey-Fisher et al. 2024 In trying to understand our universe, theorists can build models that describe how the universe formed as a mostly, but not completely, smooth distribution of matter and energy...