Night Vision: Glorious Galaxies

During the first two weeks of January 1610, Galileo pointed a telescope approximately 1.5 inches in diameter up at the night sky and observed, among other things, some of the never-ending number of stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy. But this father of astronomy could never have imagined the things we would learn about our own galaxy and the existence of the innumerable additional galaxies in our universe when NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image from the International Space Station and posted it to social media on Sept. 28, 2014, writing, "The Milky Way steals the show from Sahara sands that make the Earth glow orange."

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image from the International Space Station and posted it to social media on Sept. 28, 2014, writing, “The Milky Way steals the show from Sahara sands that make the Earth glow orange.”
Image Credit: NASA/Reid Wiseman

Before we discovered that we are living in just one of millions of galaxies we thought that these fuzzy balls of light were nothing more than nebulae that presented in a spiral shape. But over time, technology allowed us to view the sky with radio waves, infrared light, and x-rays, among other types of light and we’ve 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 these galaxies came to be, how they got their shapes, and what their futures, and our own, may be, then Night Vision: Glorious Galaxies is for you.

Join us in the Hansen Dome Theatre on Thursday, January 14th and Saturday, January 16th, to dip into the galaxy that we call home and to examine those we can only hope to someday see up close and personal. Tickets are just $2 and are free for planetarium members.

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