Friday, October 14, 2005

Andromeda Galaxy

The Spitzer infrared space telescope took this incredible image of the Andromeda galaxy:



This is a three channel image of the galaxy. That means it is a composite of 24 microns (blue), 70 microns (green), and 160 microns (red). The colors are "fake" (we can't really see infrared light, but the telescope detects it, assigns colors to it, and creates its own "image" of it). Just thought I'd stop whining about cosmetics and show some real natural beauty!

The Andromeda Galaxy is visible with the naked eye. It looks like a smudge near the constellation Andromeda, which is a northern hemisphere Fall constellation, so get out there if you live in the northern hemisphere! Wait 'till spring if you live south of the equator Here's help in finding it. It's even better if you have some binoculars or a small telescope!

For a long time, it was thought to be a nebula. That is until Henrietta Leavitt determined that the period and luminosity of Cepheid variable stars can be used to determine their distance. A Harvard "computer," she is not often given much credit in the textbooks (check out "Miss Leavitt's Stars," a new book by George Johnson). Edwin Hubble found a Cepheid variable in Andromeda and determined that it was VERY far away. Seeing as how it is still visible dispite its distance from us, it must be ginormous! Of course, it has since been confimed that this smudge is, in fact, a galaxy- a collection of billions of stars!

2 comments:

Brandon Walley said...

Hello, I came across your blog and web page via your post on FRAMEWORKS. I just wanted to say that I was very intrigued by your film clips and info on your web site. I remember seeing your film "snow flukes" at the AAFF, I liked the playfulness of it, but I am pleasantly blown away by the substance of your clips on your web site. You have a Buy/Rent link that isn't active... any way of seeing completed versions of your work?
During high school I went through an obsessive phase with French New Wave, much like most teenagers go through an intense Beatles or Jimmy Hendrix phase. When time permits, I look forward to reading your Truffaut thesis.
Our lives seem to be on a very similar coarse as filmmakers and working professionals. I have no doubt that our paths will cross some day (at a festival or darkened screening room somewhere) when I can shake your hand in person. Until that day, keep up the good work. Your artistic vision in film is very much needed.
Best--
--Brandon

seadot said...

Well, a big thanks indeed!

Yeah- "Snow Flukes" is very playful. It was a gift. It's one of those films that you kind of make, but don't really intend to show the world and next thing you know, the world is watching it! Not that I'm complaining, mind you...

My whole site is "in progress." The rent link will list The Film-maker's Coop, which has prints of "Gossamer Conglomerate" and "Munkphilm." It will also have the option of ordering directly from me (needs some PHP scripting, so it'll be a while). I am in the process of making Kodachrome prints for rent through Canyon and for sale through Pip Chodorov's film gallery. In the meantime, I'm just having people rent prints from me directly (unless it's one of the two at the Coop, then I prefer for them to make some money). I also have VHS and DVD copies of my work for sale. If you're interested in any of that, do let me know and I can give you more info on prices and such.

Yes, I remember riding high on the French New Wave ('course it wasn't that long ago). "The 400 Blows" remains one of my favorite films. I'm reformatting my thesis pages as well (they don't fit in most browsers and I wanted to include images).

I look forward to meeting you some day, and thanks again for the pat on the virtual back! Do you have any online film info?

-Courtney