This "supergiant" galaxy just over 1 billion light years from Earth is known by the unflattering name IC 1101, and is about 5.5 million light years across (the Milky Way stretches a mere 100,000 light years), containing an estimated 100 trillion stars (we've only got 0.25 trillion here). Great! It's also pretty boring looking in these blurry photos, but then these blobbish "lenticular" galaxies don't tend to have the pizazz of a nice spiral galaxy when seen from afar. But it's really big, so huzzah for IC 1101.
Hmmm I wonder how big a black hole it might have at its center? And would they have to invent a new name for one that size (assuming its relatively big), like "supermassivegiant" or something?
Well continuing the theme of space extremes from yesterday, I also recently came across what might be the oldest galaxy human science has found so far: UDFj-39546284, which *may* have been a galaxy of blue stars 13.2 billion years ago, just 480 million years after the Big Bang; I say "may" because it hasn't yet been spectroscopically confirmed, so it could be a galaxy of red stars much closer to Earth, if the interpretation of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field data was incorrect. Anyway, here it is:
If it *is* that old, then according to the above-linked Wikipedia article, it's a bit of a surprise, since, comparing it with galaxies we can observe from several hundred million years later, it implies that star birth increased by a factor of ten during that time.
It's also a nice demonstration of red shift: a galaxy that old would *only* be visible in the Hubble survey if it was bright blue stars to begin with, because the huge redshift caused by the expansion of the universe since that time would have rendered any other visible wavelength invisible. To look much further back than that, you'd need a telescope that sees in infrared, like the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, due to be launched toward a solar orbit in 2014 or 15.
Hey, if you're like me and you find that listening to podcasts about making webcomics while you're making webcomics is a good idea (I find it reassuring somehow, I think), check out The Webcomics Company, a now-weekly podcast done by four (lately five) British webcomic authors, in which they discuss various topics related to making webcomics.
Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:15 am
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:21 am Posts: 1
I'm loving this, the revelation of the secretary has gotten this morning off to a good start! Keep it up, you're a real inspiration.
Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:24 am
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm Posts: 2856
Comments like this get my day off to a good start. :) Thanks, and welcome to the forum!
Okay, that sentence *will* be wrapped up in the next page, promise!
Today is the sort of random day of the week on which I tell you to go check out this past weekend's new Princess and the Giant page--that would be my Sunday fairy tale comic. You can get there by clicking this preview banner:
I apologize for only managing the one page today (at least Selenis finally got to complete her thought); I let myself get tempted by social networking yesterday, and ended up staying up all night trying to Facebook's "Like Button" widget installed and working to my satisfaction on A*'s comic and art gallery pages. And once I'd finally got it installed and working as well as it would work, I decided I hated it and removed it. :P So much time was wasted! I did improve the flexibility of a few of my scripts, as I was trying to jam the Like Button into the layout, and I now have a spot beneath the comics that's all ready for some additional widget to occupy, but it would have to be a darn fine widget indeed.
I also spent some time in another round of A* t-shirt design, and--after a bunch of attempts at sandwiching existing A* comic art onto various shirts--came to the conclusion that the only t-shirt design I'm at all comfortable with right now is a nice, minimalistic, small A* logo up in the corner design, like so:
with customizable colors, so if you wanted to go nuts for instance:
Anyway I have a prototype on its way to me now so I can make sure the materials and printing are good, and that I get the logo in the correct Star Trek communicator / polo lizard size and position (it might be a little too big right now?); once I get that worked out, unless I get some other hair-brained clothing scheme into my head (not unlikely I suppose), I'll finally get the t-shirt shop officially hooked up, with a "store" link replacing the "support A*" link on the A* top menu. Woo.
For some reason--oh, I'd come across a picture of his late-life muse, Amanda Lear, while image Googling some other singer that came up on Pandora--I also plunged a fair amount of time yesterday in reading several longarticles on Spanish surrealist extraordinaire, Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol, aka Salvador Dalí, who was apparently quite a hoot
in ways that I don't know if anyone before or since has been. And I was thinking that maybe that level of sublime bizarreness just isn't possible anymore because the inevitable rounds of high-definition interviews every celebrity and near-celebrity goes through these days strip away every vestige of mystery and grandeur about anyone, so it isn't really possible to seem larger than life anymore, but then in looking up a quote I'd seen in that first article, I was reminded that he was indeed in high-profile TV interviews: on The Tonight Show, he apparently carried a leather rhinoceros with him, and wouldn't sit on anything else, and on 60 Minutes, he flummoxed Mike Wallace by referring to himself only in the third person, and with such statements as "Dalí is immortal and will not die." And here he is stumping Hollywood celebrities on "What's My Line":
So his surrealism did survive television, which is certainly impressive. He was also extremely prolific as an artist, and aside from his whole life being something of a performance piece, he also found time to make over 1000 paintings, not to mention hundreds of other things like sculptures and drawings and installations; there's a rather impressively complete online gallery of maybe most of them here that I'm going to have to find the time to go through at some point.