HEAPOW: Art and Science, Truth and Beauty (2023 May 01)

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HEAPOW: Art and Science, Truth and Beauty (2023 May 01)

Post by bystander » Mon May 01, 2023 9:06 pm

Image Art and Science, Truth and Beauty

No matter how you view it, there's an awesome beauty in the cosmos. We are exceedingly fortunate to live in a time when technology exposes this beauty for our appreciation, study and wonder. The beauty of the cosmos shines brightly all throughout the electromagnetic spectrum: dramatic radio images of distorted shadows cast by black holes, ancient galaxies unearthed in the infrared by JWST, astounding nebulae in the visible. Perhaps the most dramatic phenomena in the cosmos are the terrible events revealed by X-ray and gamma-ray observations: stellar explosions lighting up the sky (and wrinkling the fabric of spacetime), dead stars whirling at unimaginable rates, the final gasps of stars falling into black holes, torn apart, never to return. Artists have used all these strange happenings as inspiration. The image above is a stylized stained-glass depiction of the enormous, mysterious bubbles near the center of the Milky Way revealed by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. These weird bubbles of high-energy gamma-ray emission indicate some distant, enormous outpouring of energy near the center of our Galaxy. The cause is a matter of debate: a giant eruption from Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the Galaxy's center? a near-simultaneous supernova of a cluster of stars? the combined effect of strong winds from living and dead stars? The Universe, like beauty itself, is open to interpretation.

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