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April 4, 2016 - A Giant Galaxy-eating Spiral in Space

A Giant Galaxy-eating Spiral in Space The enormous grand spiral galaxy NGC 1232 looks toward us face-on in this image, acquired in 1998 with the first FORS (FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph) instrument at ESO’s Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal, Chile. The exposures were made in blue and red optical wavelengths as well as ultraviolet light. Located 60 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus, NGC 1232 is twice as wide as our Milky Way galaxy and, based on observations made by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2013, is wrapped in a cloud of six-million-degree gas that may be the remnants of an ancient collision with a smaller dwarf galaxy. Such collisions could be the key method by which galaxies like NGC 1232 grow to such immense proportions.

Image credit: ESO

Weekly Calendar

April 4-10, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 4

Neptune 1.9° south of Moon

1930: American Rocket Society founded
1968: Apollo 6 launched
1983: STS-6 Challenger launched
1997: STS-83 Columbia launched
2000: First commercial mission to Mir
2011: Soyuz TMA-21 launched carrying ISS Expedition 27/28 crew

Moon phase Tuesday 5

1973: Pioneer 11 launched
1975: Soyuz 18-1, first in-flight abort
1990: Pegsat launched
1991: STS-37 Atlantis launched
2010: STS-131 Discovery launched

Wednesday 6

Venus 0.7° south of Moon

1965: Early Bird (Intelsat 1) launched
1984: STS-41C Challenger launched

Thursday 7

New Moon 7:24 AM ET
Moon at perigee

1991: Compton Gamma Ray Observatory deployed
2001: Mars Odyssey Orbiter launched
2007: ISS Expedition 15 crew launched

Moon phase Friday 8

Mercury 5° north of Moon

1964: Gemini I launched
1966: OAO-1 launched
1993: STS-56 Discovery launched
2002: STS-110 Atlantis launched
2008: ISS Expedition 17 crew launched

Saturday 9

Vesta 0.02° south of Moon
Uranus in conjunction with Sun

1959: NASA selects original seven Mercury astronauts
1994: STS-59 Endeavour launched

Sunday 10

Aldebaran 0.3° south of Moon

1919: John C. Houbolt born

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