This Week's Night Vision: Glorious Galaxies

Posted February 5, 2019

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The Andromeda Galaxy, photo by Kees Scherer.
The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. (Image credit: Kees Scherer)

During the first two weeks of January in 1610, Galileo pointed a telescope, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, up at the night sky. He observed, among other things, the never-ending stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy. But this father of astronomy could never have imagined the things we would find centuries later from the Hubble Space Telescope, both about our own galaxy and the innumerable other galaxies throughout our universe.

Before we discovered that we were living in just one of millions of galaxies, we thought that those fuzzy balls of light in the nighttime sky were nothing more than nebulae in a spiral shape. Over time, however, technology has allowed us to view the sky with radio waves, x-rays, infrared and many other types of light. We’ve since learned that galaxies come in numbers too high to count, and in many sizes and shapes, such as Seyfert, Peculiar, Elliptical, and Irregular.

If you’ve ever wondered how galaxies came to be, how they got their shapes, and what their futures—and our own—might be, then this week's Night Vision is for you.

Join us on Thursday, February 7th or Saturday, February 9th at 6:45 PM. Tickets are just $2.00 per person for the public, and free for members of Clark Planetarium. Get your tickets now.