APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

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APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby APOD Robot » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:05 am

Image Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073

Explanation: Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a modest central bar. Prominently barred spiral galaxy NGC 1073, pictured above, was captured in spectacular detail in this recently released image taken by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. Visible are dark filamentary dust lanes, young clusters of bright blue stars, red emission nebulas of glowing hydrogen gas, a long bright bar of stars across the center, and a bright active nucleus that likely houses a supermassive black hole. Light takes about 55 million years to reach us from NGC 1073, which spans about 80,000 light years across. NGC 1073 can be seen with a moderately-sized telescope toward the constellation of the Sea Monster (Cetus), Fortuitously, the above image not only caught the X-ray bright star system IXO 5, visible on the upper left and likely internal to the barred spiral, but three quasars far in the distance.

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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby geckzilla » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:10 am

Wouldn't have guessed that the annotated quasars were what they are. They look just like stars.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Laurie » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:02 am

"... the X-ray bright star system IXO 5, visible on the upper left and likely internal to the barred spiral..."

There's a lot of astronomy that I totally don't understand, but as a regular reader of APOD for several years now, I can usually at least understand what's being said, even if I don't understand how it works. But this one's got me stumped - it's probably a semantic thing, rather than an astronomical thing, but nevertheless, I'm stuck!

Is this sentence saying that IXO 5 is *inside* NGC 1073? It doesn't look like it is!

Thanks for any clarification you all can offer a newbie!
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:33 am

Laurie wrote:Is this sentence saying that IXO 5 is *inside* NGC 1073? It doesn't look like it is!

It is saying that IXO 5 is likely a part of NGC 1073, unlike the three labeled quasars on the right which are far distant background galaxies.

heic1202 wrote:
While Hubble’s image of NGC 1073 is in some respects an archetypal portrait of a barred spiral, there are a couple of quirks worth pointing out.

One, ironically, is almost — but not quite — invisible to optical telescopes like Hubble. In the upper left part of the image, a rough ring-like structure of recent star formation hides a bright source of X-rays. Called IXO 5, this X-ray source is likely to be a binary system featuring a black hole and a star orbiting each other. Comparing X-ray observations from the Chandra spacecraft with this Hubble image, astronomers have narrowed the position of IXO 5 down to one of two faint stars visible here. However, X-ray observations with current instruments are not precise enough to conclusively determine which of the two it is.

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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Ann » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:34 am

Laurie wrote:"... the X-ray bright star system IXO 5, visible on the upper left and likely internal to the barred spiral..."

There's a lot of astronomy that I totally don't understand, but as a regular reader of APOD for several years now, I can usually at least understand what's being said, even if I don't understand how it works. But this one's got me stumped - it's probably a semantic thing, rather than an astronomical thing, but nevertheless, I'm stuck!

Is this sentence saying that IXO 5 is *inside* NGC 1073? It doesn't look like it is!

Thanks for any clarification you all can offer a newbie!


I don't know anything specific about IXO 5, and it is probable that astronomers aren't sure either. That said, it wouldn't be impossible at all for an X-ray system to belong to a galaxy like NGC 1073.

An X-ray star system implies that this is not a single star, but at least a binary. (There could be other components as well.) One component is dumping gas on a more compact source, a neutron star or a black hole. This leads to the formation of an accretion disk around the neutron star or the black hole. The accretion disk gets so hot that it emits X-rays.

The most famous star system of this kind in the Milky Way is Cygnus X-1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_X-1 wrote:

Cygnus X-1 (abbreviated Cyg X-1)[12] is a well-known galactic X-ray source[13] in the constellation Cygnus. It was discovered in 1964 during a rocket flight and is one of the strongest X-ray sources seen from Earth, producing a peak X-ray flux density of 2.3×10−23 Wm−2Hz−1 (2.3×103 Jansky).[14][15] Cygnus X-1 was the first X-ray source widely accepted to be a black hole candidate and it remains among the most studied astronomical objects in its class. It is now estimated to have a mass about 8.7 times the mass of the Sun[7] and has been shown to be too compact to be any known kind of normal star or other likely object besides a black hole. If so, the radius of its event horizon is probably about 26 km.[16]

Cygnus X-1 belongs to a high-mass X-ray binary system about 6,100 light years from the Sun that includes a blue supergiant variable star designated HDE 226868 which it orbits at about 0.2 AU, or 20% of the distance from the Earth to the Sun. A stellar wind from the star provides material for an accretion disk around the X-ray source.[17] Matter in the inner disk is heated to millions of kelvins (K), generating the observed X-rays.[18][19] A pair of jets, arranged perpendicular to the disk, are carrying part of the infalling material away into interstellar space.[20]


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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Pluto patrol » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:37 am

Just curious... about how far is this NGC 1073 located from Earth? That looks like some amazing detail from such far distance away, as depicted from the Youtube vid..
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby neufer » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:45 am

Laurie wrote:"... the X-ray bright star system IXO 5, visible on the upper left and likely internal to the barred spiral..."

There's a lot of astronomy that I totally don't understand, but as a regular reader of APOD for several years now, I can usually at least understand what's being said, even if I don't understand how it works. But this one's got me stumped - it's probably a semantic thing, rather than an astronomical thing, but nevertheless, I'm stuck!

Is this sentence saying that IXO 5 is *inside* NGC 1073? It doesn't look like it is!


Image

IXO 5 (#3) is in an anomalous (radial) galactic arm
and it has the same redshift distance as NGC 1073:


Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:48 am

Pluto patrol wrote:Just curious... about how far is this NGC 1073 located from Earth? That looks like some amazing detail from such far distance away, as depicted from the Youtube vid..

About 55 million light years away.

APOD Robot wrote: Light takes about 55 million years to reach us from NGC 1073, which spans about 80,000 light years across.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Ann » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:33 am

Art wrote:
IXO 5 (#3) is in an anomalous (radial) galactic arm


Note that at the start of this anomalous arm, there is a round blue stellar association with a small bright cluster at the center. It looks like a bulls-eye. You can find it at about 10 o'clock, to the upper left of a blue-white foreground star with diffraction spikes. To the lower left of this round association of stars is a yellow background galaxy, shining through the arm.

Personally I wonder if this large association has anything at all to do with the fact that an anomalous arm appears to spout from the general location of it. There are some interesting dust lanes in the vicinity, too, which help "launch the arm" as well as define the association.

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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Laurie » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:39 am

neufer wrote:
Laurie wrote:"... the X-ray bright star system IXO 5, visible on the upper left and likely internal to the barred spiral..."

There's a lot of astronomy that I totally don't understand, but as a regular reader of APOD for several years now, I can usually at least understand what's being said, even if I don't understand how it works. But this one's got me stumped - it's probably a semantic thing, rather than an astronomical thing, but nevertheless, I'm stuck!

Is this sentence saying that IXO 5 is *inside* NGC 1073? It doesn't look like it is!

IXO 5 (#3) is in an anomalous (radial) galactic arm
and it has the same redshift distance as NGC 1073:



Wow - thanks, bystander, Ann & Art for your instantaneous, multitudinous & erudite responses! I may be asking more questions in the future, now that I see how easy it is to get answers! :D
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby zbvhs » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:44 pm

I am continually amazed that Hubble can resolve individual stars in these faraway objects. What will we be able to see when the Webb ST comes on line? Will it be able to resolve objects like IXO 5 or is it optimized more for really distant objects?
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby orin stepanek » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:17 pm

Wow! I'm impressed that the video can zoom in with such clarity something that isn't even a spec in the sky! 8-) I hate to think of Hubble ever being retired! :cry:
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:22 pm

I was 10 years old when President Kennedy took office and 18 years old when Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon. Our generation grew up believing that space travel was our destiny. Astronauts, much like sports stars, were our heroes.

FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY, February 20, 1962, Astronaut John Glenn (age 40), on-board Project Mercury capsule Friendship 7, circled the Earth three times. A savvy test pilot, Glenn took manual control of the spacecraft during the first orbit and maintained control for the remainder of the flight, when the automatic stabilization and control system failed.

So why are we looking at Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073?
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby owlice » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:57 pm

Here ya go: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=27376

And why barred spiral galaxy NGC 1073? Because we can.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby alphachapmtl » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:40 pm

orin stepanek wrote:Wow! I'm impressed that the video can zoom in with such clarity something that isn't even a spec in the sky! 8-) I hate to think of Hubble ever being retired! :cry:


I hate to think of Hubble ever being retired!, but I can't wait for The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), previously known as Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST). A 2020 launch date is expected.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope
http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/print.html
http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/images_jwst.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasawebbtelescope/sets/

http://i41.tinypic.com/2n15hcw.jpg
Image
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby geckzilla » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:45 pm

zbvhs wrote:I am continually amazed that Hubble can resolve individual stars in these faraway objects. What will we be able to see when the Webb ST comes on line? Will it be able to resolve objects like IXO 5 or is it optimized more for really distant objects?


Are there any individual stars "resolved" (which, in this case, I think zbvhs means simply split off as an individual point source rather than resolved) in this galaxy? I thought that what appears to be individual stars are actually fairly large clumps of them.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:59 pm

Guest wrote:FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY, February 20, 1962, Astronaut John Glenn (age 40), on-board Project Mercury capsule Friendship 7, circled the Earth three times. A savvy test pilot, Glenn took manual control of the spacecraft during the first orbit and maintained control for the remainder of the flight, when the automatic stabilization and control system failed.

So why are we looking at Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073?

Not much has ever really come directly from manned space flight. But there was a strong political will to make that happen (got to stay ahead of those Russkies, you know...), and the technology and skills developed flowed into unmanned space exploration, which has produced a vast increase in human knowledge of the Universe. Today's APOD is a much better piece to highlight the legacy of the early space program than yet another historical photo of Friendship 7, like just about every other publication on Earth is running today!
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:06 pm

zbvhs wrote:I am continually amazed that Hubble can resolve individual stars in these faraway objects. What will we be able to see when the Webb ST comes on line? Will it be able to resolve objects like IXO 5 or is it optimized more for really distant objects?

Technically, HST can't "resolve" stars in other galaxies. Only a few stars have been optically resolved, and all are close to the Earth. With a sufficiently large aperture, telescopes can have high enough resolution to separate individual stars from the stars around them in other galaxies. This doesn't require a telescope in space- ground-based scopes have much higher resolution.

Stars "resolved" in this way in other galaxies are generally somewhat isolated. If you have a bunch of stars near each other, there just isn't enough resolution with current optical systems to separate them.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby neufer » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:32 pm

owlice wrote:
Guest wrote:
FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY, February 20, 1962, Astronaut John Glenn (age 40), on-board Project Mercury capsule Friendship 7, circled the Earth three times. A savvy test pilot, Glenn took manual control of the spacecraft during the first orbit and maintained control for the remainder of the flight, when the automatic stabilization and control system failed.

So why are we looking at Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073?

Why barred spiral galaxy NGC 1073? Because we can.
http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/letters/p ... 24620.html wrote:
<<When your slice of bread falls on the floor, everyone anxiously looks to see if it landed jelly side up or jelly side down. Simple probability gives a 50-50 chance either way, but it seems more correlated to the difficulty of cleaning that particular section of flooring.

On space station the probabilities are still the same, but the results are different. I fumbled my bread after spreading a generous layer of my favorite concoction, peanut butter and honey. It sped toward the overhead panel and hit it before I could intervene. Fortunately, it landed jelly side out (it’s interesting how many figures of speech have gravity-oriented references), so the 50-50 odds were in my favor this time.

Unfortunately, it ricocheted and sped off in a different direction. I noticed that the angle of incidence equaled the angle of reflection. My earth-honed intuition anticipated a different motion, so I was not able to keep up with the errant slice. Like a real-life version of the game “asteroids,” it went on to hit a second panel. Jelly side was out again, so the 50-50 statistics were still in my favor. One more time my hand was lagging the trajectory. Like failing to flip heads three times in a row, the third collision was jelly side in, which immediately halted all motion. And just like on Earth, the outcome seemed related to the difficulty of cleaning the landing zone. After having hit two easy-to-clean aluminum panels, it landed on a white fabric covering on a patch of Velcro pile.

The fatalist in me accepts the inevitable Zero-G result of landing jelly side “down,” so I decided to make sure the probability would always be 100%. Realizing that the bread is merely a vehicle for conveying peanut butter and honey, I decided to spread it on both sides. In weightlessness, it’s easy to balance your slice on its edge so that it can be parked on the galley table without any fuss. And the result is pure tastebud heaven. I do it this way because I am in space, and I can.>>
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:05 pm

Image

Another Astronomy Picture of the Day...
FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY, February 20, 1962. An Atlas rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, boosting John Glenn's Mercury capsule into orbit.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:26 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Guest wrote:FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY, February 20, 1962, Astronaut John Glenn (age 40), on-board Project Mercury capsule Friendship 7, circled the Earth three times. A savvy test pilot, Glenn took manual control of the spacecraft during the first orbit and maintained control for the remainder of the flight, when the automatic stabilization and control system failed.

So why are we looking at Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073?

Not much has ever really come directly from manned space flight. But there was a strong political will to make that happen (got to stay ahead of those Russkies, you know...), and the technology and skills developed flowed into unmanned space exploration, which has produced a vast increase in human knowledge of the Universe. Today's APOD is a much better piece to highlight the legacy of the early space program than yet another historical photo of Friendship 7, like just about every other publication on Earth is running today!



Apollo 11
The lunar module Eagle landed at Mare Tranquillitatis on July 16, 1969. The site was chosen because it was relatively free of craters and boulders. The astronauts collected 22 kg of material including 50 rocks, soil samples, and 2 core tubes which contained material from a depth of 13 cm and less.

Two main kinds of rocks were collected, basalts and breccias. Samples showed no evidence of any water or any living organisms.

Basalts are volcanic and contain solidified molten lava. They are found on the Earth, also.

Breccias are made up of fragments of older rocks. The older rocks have already been fragmented by the bombardment of meteorites. The heat and pressure of the impacts can subsequently fuse these older fragments into newer rocks, and these newer rocks are called breccias.

Apollo 12
Again in a relatively smooth area of few craters and boulders, the Apollo 12 made a precision landing on Oceanus Procellarum on November 19, 1969, only 600 meters from the Surveyor III spacecraft, which had landed on the Moon on November 19, 1969. The success of this precision landing cleared the way for future landings in more difficult terrain.

34 kg of samples were collected including 45 rocks, soil samples, and several core tubes. The majority of rocks were basalts, and only 2 breccias were returned. The basalts proved to be 3.1 to 3.3 billion years old. That was 500 million years younger than the basalts returned with Apollo 11, suggesting that volcanic activity on the Moon did not occur in a single event.

A rock which came to be known as KREEP was found near the landing site. It was rich in potassium (K), rare earth elements (REE) and phosphorus (P). More KREEP specimens were found on later missions. KREEP is believed to come from an early time in lunar evolution, during the solidification of the Moon’s molten stage.

Apollo 14
Lunar landing was made at Fra Mauro highlands on January 31, 1971. This area was formed by material ejected by the impact that formed the Imbrium Basin. As expected, most of the 42 kg of rocks and soil collected were breccias. Many of the breccias were enriched with KREEP.

Some basalts were collected. They were usually clasts (i.e., fragments) in breccias. These basalts were 4.0 to 4.3 billion years old, the oldest volcanic activity in any mare location demonstrated during the Apollo program.

Apollo 15
Lunar landing took place on July 30, 1971 on the edge Imbrium Basin where the Apennine Mountains form a rim of the Imbrium Basin. Nearby Hadley Rille, a channel in the mare, was thought to be formed by volcanic activity. A mass of 77 kg was collected, including 370 individual rock and soil samples.

The surface of Mare Imbrium was composed of basalt. Pyroclastic glass beads were also found at the landing site. These glass beads are formed by a process, which also occurs on Earth, where lava is explosively hurled high above the surface and then cools very quickly. The most common glass beads were green in color, due to large amounts of magnesium.

The Apennine Mountains were formed by the by the Imbrium basin impact, and it was hoped that samples collected there might contain ancient rocks. These rocks showed that the impact occurred 3.84 to 3.87 billion years ago.

The astronauts collected an anorthosite, a rock composed almost entirely of the mineral plagioclase, at Spur Crater on Mount Hadley Delta. This became known as the Genesis Rock. Early in the evolution of the Moon, the outer layers were molten. This stage is known as the magma ocean. Anorthosite, rich in plagioclase, floated on the surface as the magma ocean cooled. The Genesis Rock was dated to 4.0 billion years, but it may have undergone metamorphic alteration at that time and could be considerably older.

Apollo 16
The lunar module Orion landed alongside the Descartes Mountains on April 21, 1972. 96 kg, including 731 rock and soil samples were returned.

Nearly every rock collected during the Apollo 16 mission was a breccia, indicating that this area was covered by impact debris and not volcanic planes. Two anorthosite specimens were found. One of these proved to be 4.44 to 4.51 billion years old, nearly the age of the Moon itself.

Apollo 17
On December 11, 1972, the Apollo 17 lunar module landed in Taurus-Littrow, a deep, narrow valley in the Montes Taurus, mountains that form the rim of the Serenitatis basin. This was the only mission to actually have a geologist on board.

11 kg were returned, including 741 rock and soil samples. One sample was a deep drill specimen. Material as deep as 3 meters below the lunar surface was obtained. It was hoped that ancient rocks might be found in the highlands, while the floor of the valley might show evidence of young volcanic activity.

As expected, rocks from the floor of the Taurus-Littrow valley were mostly basalts. As with the Apollo 15 mission, volcanic glass was also found. The famous “orange soil” found at the rim of Shorty Crater, turned out to be a mixture of orange and black volcanic beads.

Several kinds of old rocks were collected in the mountains both to the north and the south of the landing site. Impact melts, melted by the heat of a very large impact event, were 3.89 billion years old. They formed during the creation of the Serenitatis basin. Norite, troctolite, and dunite, also found in the mountains, were found to be 4.2 to 4.5 billion years old.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:28 pm

Guest wrote:Another Astronomy Picture of the Day...
FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY, February 20, 1962. An Atlas rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, boosting John Glenn's Mercury capsule into orbit.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=27376
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:31 pm

Guest wrote:Apollo 11
The lunar module Eagle landed at Mare Tranquillitatis on July 16, 1969. The site was chosen because it was relatively free of craters and boulders. The astronauts collected 22 kg of material including 50 rocks, soil samples, and 2 core tubes which contained material from a depth of 13 cm and less...

Nothing that was done by the astronauts on the Moon couldn't have been done as well or better, and much cheaper, by unmanned missions. I can't think of a single scientific advance produced by manned space programs that couldn't have come about cheaper by other methods.

I'll stick by my original assertion: the real value of manned space flight was in firing up the public imagination and political spirit enough to actually make the funding available, and in the consequent spinoffs to unmanned space exploration.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby FloridaMike » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:51 pm

Just think what we could accomplish if we educated our children with as much vigor (and $'s) as we undertook the space program in the 60's.
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Re: APOD: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073 (2012 Feb 20)

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:13 pm

FloridaMike wrote:Just think what we could accomplish if we educated our children with as much vigor (and $'s) as we undertook the space program in the 60's.

I was well educated, as were many in my generation... precisely because we went to school in the 1960s, and fear of Russian dominance (the same thing that drove the space program) meant that teaching science and math became a priority. A shame we've lost that!
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