Monday, July 7, 2014

Fair use of Hubble Images

Hubble images, especially those pretty ones made available through the Hubble Heritage (link), are free to use by everyone. Sometimes by some kind-of-fringy people or plain astrologers. I have seen some professional astronomers lose their cool as their image got sued for a Astrology ad for example.

My attitude is: "Hey, the public paid for these images and everyone in that public gets to use them. Any and all of them. That's fair use."

So imagine my surprise when I got an email regarding my occulting galaxy image (the wallpaper of this blog etc etc) by an author of an alternative galaxy evolution model.

Here is the excerpt he sent me that talked about the overlapping pair:

Case Study of 2MASX J00482185-2507365.    You are on your own, Lil’ Doggy.
In the next illustration the secondarily formed nucleus is considerably smaller than the primary body.  A case of mitosis?  If it is, then a fragment or the tail end of a bar nucleus was dislocated and forcefully and speedily flung for some distance from the galaxy’s center.  It lodged there above the ‘mother’ galaxy, where it has begun to construct its own galaxy of stars.  So small, but it seems to have retained a preference for the bar shape. [Any suggested names for this ‘newbie’ galaxy?]  
 Birth book cover image Image of 2MASX J00482185-2507365. Credit  NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI, AURA, B. Holwerda, Space Telescope Science Institute, J. Dalcanton U. of Washington
            Before reaching its present location this ‘offspring’ galaxy was a clump of heavy black holes. Perhaps less than 10% of the original nucleus, it still weighed as much as several hundred thousand Suns, perhaps millions.  As it soared through the inner most galaxy and partially through the spiral rings it caused some minor alteration of the star orbits in those areas, which is apparent in the image, minor effects because of its great speed.  Run-away stars and black holes have been well documented.  These are the losers of a gravity contest between two or more big boss bodies.  So, this junior galaxy quickly got to where it wanted to be, then slowed enough to start its own family of stars.  Again, runaways are slowed by the capture of dark matter and increasing weight.  Its present site is ideal for capturing inflowing dark matter.  (Dark matter is instrumental in star formation.)
[Someone want to calculate how long it took to reach the present location?] 
(It is asserted here that the Milky Way nucleus is preparing for a similar event.  See The Case of the Twisted Ring at the Center of the Milky Way, July 20, 2011.)
[Reminder:  Scientists state that no such action is possible because the nucleus is just one oversized black hole that never breaks up or decomposes.  (Except for some vague exceptions.)]

One of the characteristics that distinguish Mitosis from the more common merger of galaxies is the absence of gravitational or pressure waves.  The two entities do not interfere with each other.  Reasons given elsewhere.  


I will not even pretend I understand the logic but I am flattered that someone got inspired by the picture I helped create (props really go to JD and the Hubble Heritage team) and I appreciate being told about its use. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I think it's fair to say that none of *my* HST data will appear on the cover of alt-science books. I guess that's the up side of being a spectroscopist ;-)