A space observatory is any instrument in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects.
A large number of observatories have been launched into orbit, and most of them have greatly enhanced our knowledge of the cosmos.
Performing astronomy from the Earth’s surface is limited by the filtering and distortion of electromagnetic radiation due to the Earth’s atmosphere.
This makes it desirable to place astrononomical observation devices into space.
As a telescope orbits the Earth outside the atmosphere it is subject neither to twinkling (distortion due to thermal turbulences of the air) nor to light pollution from artificial light sources on the Earth.
But space-based astronomy is even more important for frequency ranges which are outside of the optic window and the radio window, the only two wavelength ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum that are not severely attenuated by the atmosphere.
For example, X-ray astronomy is nearly impossible when done from the Earth, and has reached its current important stand within astronomy only due to orbiting satellites with X-ray telescopes such as the Chandra observatory or XMM-Newton observatory.
Infrared and ultraviolet are also greatly blocked..
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties (luminosity, density, temperature and chemical composition) of astronomical objects such as stars, galaxies, and the interstellar medium, as well as their interactions..
The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a glowing emission nebula with a greenish hue and is situated below Orion’s Belt.
It is one of the brightest nebulae visible to the naked eye in the night sky.
M42 is one of the brightest diffuse nebula that can be seen in the night sky..
Galaxy formation and evolution
The formation of galaxies is still one of the most active research areas in astrophysics; and, to some extent, this is also true for galaxy evolution.
Some ideas, however, are now widely accepted.
After the Big Bang, the universe had a period when it was remarkably homogeneous, as can be observed in the Cosmic Microwave Background, the fluctuations of which are less than one part in one hundred thousand.
The most accepted view today is that all the structure we observe today was formed as a consequence of the growth of primordial fluctuations.
The primordial fluctuations caused gas to be attracted to areas of denser material, and star clusters and stars.
One consequence of this model is that the location of galaxies indicates areas of higher density of the early universe.
Hence the distribution of galaxies is closely related to the physics of the early universe..
“This article is brought to you by Gus Woltmann”.