Monday, February 1, 2010

Need Inspiration? Click Here

by Julia Buckley

Images taken by the Hubble Telescope might render one speechless. They remind the viewer of her smallness in the universe while providing visuals that seem to originate in a celestial kaleidscope.

According to a 2009 article in Science News, a revamped Hubble has discovered a whole new set of galaxies that reveal information about our universe in its youth. Thanks to our newest scientific technology, we are able to see farther and farther into the life of our universe and are, in essence, seeing pictures of the past, perhaps even hints at the creation of the world.

The universe holds many fascinating mysteries, but the Hubble has uncovered a new one. According to the article and to Richard Ellis of Caltech in Pasadena,

"Ellis notes that the new findings also hint at a puzzle. His team estimates that the distant galaxies, which are too tiny to be clearly resolved by Hubble, are making stars at a puny rate. In some cases, that rate is as low as the mass equivalent of 0.0025 suns per year. According to current models, that rate couldn’t have generated enough ultraviolet starlight for a critical milestone in the evolution of the universe — the wrenching apart of neutral hydrogen atoms into their subatomic constituents.

About 400,000 years after the Big Bang, the cosmos had cooled sufficiently for protons and electrons to recombine into atoms. But the universe has long been reionized, with hydrogen atoms once again split into protons and electrons. Many astronomers have assumed that ultraviolet light from the first galaxies did the splitting."

We are often focused here on earthly mysteries, especially fictional ones that reflect real life. But sometimes, to quote Robert Frost, we must "take something like a star, to stay our minds on and be staid."

Do images like the ones above spark your own universe of creativity?


Sandra Parshall said...

The Hubble telescope is one of mankind's greatest achievements, IMO. What an extraordinary vision of the universe it has given us!

Julia Buckley said...

And ever so mysterious!

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