I work out of our office on One Market Street in San Francisco. My standup-desk is right across from our Gallery at One Market. One of our newer exhibits is called Powers of Design. It was first featured at the Technology Entertainment & Design (TED) conference last year. Powers of Design depicts the size of everything from the inconceivably small to the mind-blowingly large. I thought I'd cover the exhibit elements, one at a time, over a few months. I started small and am working my way up.
1 Million Light-years
6 Million Light-years
You know all those galaxies, clusters, and stars we've been talking about? Well, they're positively petite. IC 1101 is a super-giant galaxy 1.07 billion light-years away in the constellation of Serpens (“the serpent” in, of course, ancient Greek).
With a diameter of 6 million light-years, IC 1101 is the largest known galaxy in existence. Being more than 50 times the size of the Milky Way and 2,000 times as massive, if it were in place of our own galaxy, it would swallow up the Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloud, Andromeda Galaxy, and Triangulum Galaxy, which is just another way of saying it’s a real monster.
A galaxy is a collection of matter. A nebula is also a collection of matter. So what's the difference? I was able to find the answer on a site called wiki.answers.com. What are the odds?
"A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants interspersed with a medium of gas, dust, and dark matter."
"A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium, and other gases.
"In some older astronomy literature, all 'fuzzy objects' were called nebula, even if they were technically galaxies. This is because scientists had not yet established that galaxies were, in fact, objects outside the Milky Way. They were presumed to be among the local gas and dust objects in our own galaxy. Edwin Hubble made the essential determination that some 'nebulae' were considerably further away than other objects in the Milky Way and were, in fact, separate galaxies."
Thanks to Global Content Manager, Matt Tierney, for the images and text that comprise the exhibit element. This is just one of the many exhibits in the gallery at One Market in San Francisco. The gallery is open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Previous posts on this topic include:
- 10-15 Protons and Neutrons
- 10-14 Atomic Nucleus of a Uranium Atom
- 10-13 Nada, Zilch, Zero, Zip
- 10-12 Gamma Rays
- 10-11 Fluorine Ion
- 10-10 Wavelength of Hard X-Rays
- 10-9 Carbon Nanotubes
- 10-8 Molecular Transport Nano Robot
- 10-7 HIV Virus
- 10-6 Red Blood Cells
- 10-5 Sand
- 10-4 Microelectromechanical Systems
- 10-3 Sonata Silicium Watch Components
- 10-2 Lego
- 10-1 Prosthetic Fairing
- 100 Biome Concept Car
- 101 Ma'erkang Housing Reconstruction
- 102 Shanghai Tower
- 103 Bay Bridge
- 104 Masdar City
- 105 Palm Islands
- 106 The Moon
- 107 Earth
- 108 Jupiter
- 109 The Sun
- 1010 Distance Light Travels in 34 Seconds
- 1011 Distance from Jupiter to the Sun
- 1012 Distance from Pluto to the Sun
- 1013 Voyager 2
- 1014 The Solar System
- 1015 Cat's Eye Nebula
- 1016 Pillars of Creation
- 1017 Great Orion Nebula
- 1018 M15 Globular Cluster
- 1019 Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy
- 1020 Triangulum Galaxy
- 1021 The Milky Way
Future blog posts will cover:
- 1023 Local Group of Galaxies
- 1024 The Local Supercluster
- 1025 3C 273
- 1026 Outer Limit of the Universe
Measurement is alive in the lab.