How Far Out There is Out There?

Have you ever wondered how far away is the farthest visible galaxy?  Or what is the heaviest balck hole so far observed>  How about what is the fastest orbital speed of an object revolving around another stellar object?

Being a life-long nerd I enjoy nothing better than to see the latest high-end astrophotography and reading the highest exponential distances, masses and speeds tacked onto these images.

Well Astronomy Magazine has an article called “The most extreme celestial objects in the universe.” that answers some of those questions with lots of beautiful and intriguing astro-photos and other visuals.

Well, sometimes we have to step back from politics and smell the roses or gawk at the latest eye-candy taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  After all this is Orion’s Cold Fire.

 

 

 

Behold Arrokoth! The Jeb Bush of the Solar System

Out beyond Pluto in the Kuiper Belt, in the doldrums of the solar system, the forces of gravity were powered by a tepid gruel of space dust so thin that when this material accreted into larger bodies the collisions were so “low energy” that you end up with a dumbell formed by two nearby planetoids colliding in super slow motion.  In recognition of its defining characteristic I think it should be renamed Jeb!

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse!

Forgive the jocularity but Alpha Orionis (aka Betelgeuse) is of course of great interest at Orion’s Cold Fire.  Sporting such an alarmist title as “Is Betelgeuse About To Explode?” I should condemn this article but as a general interest essay and coming around the time of the Star of the Magi I felt I should link to it.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/12/25/is-betelgeuse-about-to-explode/#69d9c21d47bf

 

Have You Ever Wondered Why Uranus is Lopsided?

That wasn’t meant as an insult!

https://apnews.com/d1e2c440af57450ab82b62d035adac61

Apparently several billions of years ago it was side-swiped by a planet at least twice as big as Earth and has been out of kilter ever since.  Probably a female planet like Venus not paying attention to the road (sorry Camera Girl, I had to say it).

Interesting article.  They even tackle the embarrassing alternate pronunciation for the planet’s name.