Friday, September 28, 2007

working towards employment

i'm so far in the depths of job applications that i can hardly think of anything else. one fellowship i'm applying for has a significant education and public outreach portion in addition to the scientific part. i'm very interested in talking to as many people as i can about astronomy, so this fellowship really appeals to me! the unfortunately ironic thing is that i've been spending so much time writing the proposal, describing how much i'd like to receive support to continue this blog... that i havent had enough time to spend composing actual in depth entries for the blog. :(

so i'll give you a quickie...

aside from writing about wanting to write for my blog, i've been thinking and writing about this galaxy cluster, unromantically named XMMU J2235.3-2557:

nearly all the little smudges you see are individual galaxies that each harbor billions of stars. the orange and red galaxies close together at the center of the image are actually close together in space too! they form an example of the most massive structures that exist in the universe: a galaxy cluster. there are hundreds of galaxies in this cluster all orbiting in circles around each other, stuck together by the force of gravity.

the red image that flashes every so often, shows the really hot gas that lives between the galaxies. detecting this red, X-ray light was how the cluster was initially found. the galaxies in the cluster appear in this image as they existed over 8 billion years ago, when the universe was less than 5 billion years old!

this galaxy cluster is one of the most distant ever detected, and i'm hoping to spend the next couple years exploring every detail of it that i can! back to work...

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