Tuesday, March 30, 2010

593)Currently 14 Billion Years Old,The Universe At 4 Billion Years Old, Containing Much Hydrogen+Dust, Shows Intense Dynamism And Early Star Formation

"In Islamic belief, knowledge is two-fold. There is that revealed through the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) and that which man discovers by virtue of his own intellect. Nor do these two involve any contradiction, provided man remembers that his own mind is itself the creation of God. Without this humility, no balance is possible. With it, there are no barriers. Indeed, one strength of Islam has always lain in its belief that creation is not static but continuous, that through scientific and other endeavours, God has opened and continues to open new windows for us to see the marvels of His creation"(Aga Khan IV, Aga Khan University, 16 March 1983, Karachi, Pakistan)

"The creation according to Islam is not a unique act in a given time but a perpetual and constant event; and God supports and sustains all existence at every moment by His will and His thought. Outside His will, outside His thought, all is nothing, even the things which seem to us absolutely self-evident such as space and time. Allah alone wishes: the Universe exists; and all manifestations are as a witness of the Divine Will"(Memoirs of Aga Khan III, 1954)

"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (Here) indeed are Signs for the people of intellect"(Noble Quran)

Chapter 30, Verse 27: He originates creation; then refashions it - for Him an easy task. His is the most Sublime Symbol in the heavens and the earth(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter 21, Verse 30: Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together before We clove them asunder, and of water fashioned every thing? Will they not then believe?(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter 51, verse 47: We built the heavens with might, and We expand it wide(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter79, verse 30: And then he gave the earth an oval form(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter 86, verse 11: I swear by the reciprocating heaven.....(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

"And the more we discover, the more we know, the more we penetrate just below the surface of our normal lives – the more our imagination staggers. Just think for example what might lie below the surfaces of celestial bodies all across the far flung reaches of our universe. What we feel, even as we learn, is an ever-renewed sense of wonder, indeed, a powerful sense of awe – and of Divine inspiration"(Aga Khan IV, Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, Ottawa, Canada, December 6th 2008)

"The second great historical lesson to be learnt is that the Muslim world has always been wide open to every aspect of human existence. The sciences, society, art, the oceans, the environment and the cosmos have all contributed to the great moments in the history of Muslim civilisations. The Qur’an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God’s creation"(Closing Address by His Highness Aga Khan IV at the "Musée-Musées" Round Table Louvre Museum, Paris, France, October 17th 2007)

"......The Quran tells us that signs of Allah’s Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation - in the heavens and the earth, the night and the day, the clouds and the seas, the winds and the waters...."(Aga Khan IV, Kampala, Uganda, August 22 2007)

"God has given us the miracle of life with all its attributes: the extraordinary manifestations of sunrise and sunset, of sickness and recovery, of birth and death, but surely if He has given us the means with which to remove ourselves from this world so as to go to other parts of the Universe, we can but accept as further manifestations the creation and destructions of stars, the birth and death of atomic particles, the flighting new sound and light waves. I am afraid that the torch of intellectual discovery, the attraction of the unknown, the desire for intellectual self-perfection have left us"(Aga Khan IV,Speech, 1963, Mindanao, Phillipines)


Cosmic telephoto lens shows intense, early star formation

Recently discovered galaxy gives detailed view of stellar birth in the young universe

By Ron Cowen

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

STARS BIRTH: A fortuitous alignment of celestial objects allowed astronomers to snap their sharpest image to date of star-making regions in a galaxy about 10 billion light-years from Earth. Large bright clouds in this artist’s rendering of the distant galaxy SMM J2135-0102 are sites of vigorous star formation.

Thanks to some gravitational sleight of hand, astronomers have obtained their sharpest view yet of individual star-making factories in a distant galaxy, 10 billion light-years from Earth. The study reveals that the concentration of new stars in these giant clouds of gas and dust is 100 times higher than that of similar regions in the Milky Way today.

Mark Swinbank of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University in England and his colleagues were able to home in on star birth regions only 300 light-years across because of a chance alignment with a massive cluster of nearer galaxies that lies along the same line of sight but much closer to Earth. Because heavy objects bend light, the massive foreground cluster acts like a telephoto lens, enlarging the more distant galaxy 16-fold. Swinbank and his collaborators report their findings in a Nature article posted online March 21.

EnlargeIntergalactic blowupThis false-color composite image shows the foreground galaxy cluster (center of left image) that acts as a gravitational lens, the magnified view of the remote galaxy SMM J2135-0102 (top right image, in red) and individual star-forming clouds in the galaxy (bottom right). The magnification of the distant galaxy by the foreground cluster creates a mirage, doubling the actual number of star-forming clouds.

The astronomers discovered the galaxy, SMMJ2135-0102, using the submillimeter-wavelength Atacama Pathfinder Experiment Telescope in northern Chile. Follow-up observations with the Submillimeter Array on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea produced the sharp images that revealed four star-forming blobs in the galaxy. The smallest blob is about 300 light-years across, and most of the patches are about three times bigger than those in the galaxy Arp 220, a rare example of intense star formation in the universe today.

Observing at submillimeter wavelengths — which lie between infrared and radio waves on the electromagnetic spectrum — was critical for assessing the true star formation rate, because the radiation easily penetrates dusty, star-forming regions, notes Swinbank. Visible light emitted by stars is absorbed by surrounding dust and re-emitted at submillimeter and infrared wavelengths. That’s why “it is virtually impossible to derive accurate star-formation rates from optical imaging alone,” comments Fabian Walter of the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany.

Previous lower-resolution studies, both in visible light and at submillimeter wavelengths, have found vigorous star formation in galaxies even more distant from Earth, which hail from even further back in time. “All of these results are pointing at the same picture: much more intense star formation in the distant universe than we expected, given how stars form locally,” says Swinbank.

The galaxy SMMJ2135-0102, observed as it appeared when the universe was about 3 billion years old, comes from the era when cosmic star formation was at its peak. James Dunlop of the University of Edinburgh suggests that such galaxies formed stars so abundantly because the galaxies still had plenty of gas — the raw material for making stars — and the gravity of the galaxies had had enough time to pull the gas together into cold, compact regions. Before about 10 billion years ago, gravity hadn’t yet drawn enough clumps of gas together, while at later times most galaxies had already run out of gas, he suggests.


Related Posts:
A Collection of Posts on Astronomy; Quotes of Noble Quran, Aga Khan IV, Aga Khan III, Nasir Khusraw, Abu Yakub Al Sijistani and Aristotle

Basics on the vast distances and sizes in Astronomy.

Easy Nash

In Shia Islam, intellect is a key component of faith. Intellect allows us to understand the creation of God: Aga Khan IV(2008)
The Qur'an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
The Quran tells us that signs of Allah's Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
The Holy Qu'ran's encouragement to study nature and the physical world around us gave the original impetus to scientific enquiry among Muslims: Aga Khan IV(1985)
The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql): Prophet Muhammad(circa 632CE)