XtGem Forum catalog

"Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them." — Washington Irving:

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.”
— Washington Irving

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:21:26 +0800



Why does this galaxy spin so fast? To start, even identifying which type of galaxy UGC 12591 is difficult – featured on the lower left, it has dark dust lanes like a spiral galaxy but a large diffuse bulge of stars like a lenticular. Surprisingly observations show that UGC 12591 spins at about 480 km/sec, almost twice as fast as our Milky Way, and the fastest rotation rate yet measured. The mass needed to hold together a galaxy spinning this fast is several times the mass of our Milky Way Galaxy. Progenitor scenarios for UGC 12591 include slow growth by accreting ambient matter, or rapid growth through a recent galaxy collision or collisions – future observations may tell. The light we see today from UGC 12591 left about 400 million years ago, when trees were first developing on Earth.

February 19, 2020
from NASA | https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200219.html

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 13:14:28 +0800


You are often your own harshest authority. Let yourself be free.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 12:29:15 +0800




A Daubeny’s water lily at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 08:35:22 +0800


"There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still." — Franklin D. Roosevelt:

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 14:21:27 +0800



Do you recognize this constellation? Setting past the Central Bohemian Highlands in the Czech Republic is Orion, one of the most identifiable star groupings on the sky and an icon familiar to humanity for over 30,000 years. Orion has looked pretty much the same during this time and should continue to look the same for many thousands of years into the future. Prominent Orion is high in the sky at sunset this time of year, a recurring sign of (modern) winter in Earth’s northern hemisphere and summer in the south. The featured picture is a composite of over thirty images taken from the same location and during the same night last month. Below and slightly to the left of Orion’s three-star belt is the Orion Nebula, while four of the bright stars surrounding the belt are, clockwise, Sirius (far left, blue), Betelgeuse (top, orange, unusually faint), Aldebaran (far right), and Rigel (below). As future weeks progress, Orion will set increasingly earlier.

February 18, 2020
from NASA | https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200218.html

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 13:14:28 +0800




Exemplar of a juvenile marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) lying on a rock in the coast of Lobos Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 08:35:09 +0800



Besides fading, is Betelgeuse changing its appearance? Yes. The famous red supergiant star in the familiar constellation of Orion is so large that telescopes on Earth can actually resolve its surface – although just barely. The two featured images taken with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope show how the star’s surface appeared during the beginning and end of last year. The earlier image shows Betelgeuse having a much more uniform brightness than the later one, while the lower half of Betelgeuse became significantly dimmer than the top. Now during the first five months of 2019 amateur observations show Betelgeuse actually got slightly brighter, while in the last five months the star dimmed dramatically. Such variability is likely just normal behavior for this famously variable supergiant, but the recent dimming has rekindled discussion on how long it may be before Betelgeuse does go supernova. Since Betelgeuse is about 700 light years away, its eventual supernova – probably thousands of years in the future – will likely be an amazing night-sky spectacle, but will not endanger life on Earth.

February 17, 2020
from NASA | https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200217.html

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:14:29 +0800


Don’t rush through your life. Spend time appreciating right where you are.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 10:29:01 +0800




NGC 6302 or Nebuloasa Fluturele / Insecta

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 09:14:07 +0800


"It's always too early to quit." — Norman Vincent Peale:

“It’s always too early to quit.”
— Norman Vincent Peale

Sun, 16 Feb 2020 14:21:26 +0800



To some, this huge nebula resembles a person’s head surrounded by a parka hood. In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered this unusual planetary nebula: NGC 2392. More recently, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the nebula in visible light, while the nebula was also imaged in X-rays by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The featured combined visible-X ray image, shows X-rays emitted by central hot gas in pink. The nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. NGC 2392 is a double-shelled planetary nebula, with the more distant gas having composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The outer shell contains unusual light-year long orange filaments. The inner filaments visible are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The NGC 2392 Nebula spans about 1/3 of a light year and lies in our Milky Way Galaxy, about 3,000 light years distant, toward the constellation of the Twins (Gemini).

February 16, 2020
from NASA | https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200216.html

Sun, 16 Feb 2020 13:14:27 +0800


Sometimes we need pain and struggle to show us our strength.

Sun, 16 Feb 2020 02:27:08 +0800


"Friendship is Love without his wings!" — Lord Byron:

“Friendship is Love without his wings!”
— Lord Byron

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 14:21:25 +0800



A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy’s largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This gorgeous telescopic close-up reveals remarkable details of the region’s central glowing filaments of interstellar gas and obscuring cosmic dust clouds in a field of view nearly 20 light-years across. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the still enigmatic and violently variable Eta Carinae, a star system with well over 100 times the mass of the Sun. In the processed composite of space and ground-based image data a dusty, two-lobed Homunculus Nebula appears to surround Eta Carinae itself just below and left of center. While Eta Carinae is likely on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory.

February 15, 2020
from NASA | https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200215.html

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:14:27 +0800




Game reserve at sunrise in Dülmen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 08:44:19 +0800


"Love the giver more than the gift." — Brigham Young:

“Love the giver more than the gift.”
— Brigham Young

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:21:28 +0800



On Valentine’s Day in 1990, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back one last time to make the first ever Solar System family portrait. The portrait consists of the Sun and six planets in a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. Planet Earth was captured within a single pixel in this single frame. It’s the pale blue dot within the sunbeam just right of center in this reprocessed version of the now famous view from Voyager. Astronomer Carl Sagan originated the idea of using Voyager’s camera to look back toward home from a distant perspective. Thirty years later, on this Valentine’s day, look again at the pale blue dot.

February 14, 2020
from NASA | https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200214.html

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:14:28 +0800




Rosy-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis roseicollis) in the Erongo region of Namibia.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 08:24:02 +0800


The way we think and feel is often (but not always!) a choice. No one forces us to see the worst in people or gravitate towards hate or cynicism. We must actively make the choice to love, breathe and be grateful— and to try to find the beauty in each person’s character.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 04:57:29 +0800