Union and Reunion

Splendid, isn’t it. It’s UGC 8335 — one name, so once it was apparently mistaken for one thing though obviously it’s two. They’re spiral galaxies in the process of running into and through each other. This is a photograph by the Hubble Space Telescope; the galaxies are really there; this is real.  You could think […]

How Numbers Feel

This picture is a still shot from a movie, and the little parade of galaxies marching diagonally across it is a section of one filament in a vast network of galaxies.  Before I get to the point, let us pause a moment and reflect:  these are fucking galaxies. They’re all Milky Ways of 10 billion solar […]

Making a Really Big Galaxy

This is how astronomers think giant galaxies form super-massive black holes (the adjectives are the astronomers’).  Way back at the beginning, maybe a billion years after the birth of a 14 billion year old universe, enormous galaxies a hundred times bigger than the Milky Way were born, pulling themselves together out of clouds of stars […]