Sunday, September 12, 2010

Image of the Day: An Unusual Spiral Galaxy at the Far Edge of the Universe

Image of the Day: An Unusual Spiral Galaxy at the Far Edge of the Universe from The Daily Galaxy

The magnificent spiral NGC 4921 is about 320 million light-years from Earth located near the center of the Coma cluster . The galaxy has a nucleus with a bar structure that is surrounded by a distinct ring of dust that contains recently formed, hot blue stars. The outer part consists of unusually smooth, poorly distinguished spiral arms. Ihas been informally dubbed anemic because of its low rate of star formation and low surface brightness. Visible in the image are, from the center, a bright nucleus, a bright central bar, a prominent ring of dark dust, blue clusters of recently formed stars, several smaller companion galaxies, unrelated galaxies in the far distant universe, and unrelated stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
In May 4, 1959, a supernova explosion was observed in this galaxy by M. L. Humason at the Palomar Observatory. It appeared "quite far from the center" of the galaxy,and reached an estimated peak magnitude of 18.5. The light curve proved similar to supernova SN 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud, and it displayed "unusual photometric behavior".
Located more than five times farther away from the Sun than the prominent Virgo Cluster of galaxies, astronomers have estimated that more than 3,000 galaxies within a diameter of 20 million light years are part of the Coma Supercluster (below), making it extremely rich and dense. Nearly spherical, Coma is composed of mostly elliptical and lenticular galaxies within a one-megaparsec diameter, with some spiral galaxies towards the outer reaches. Most of these galaxies have been estimated to be as old as the Cosmos, as much as 13+ billion years old. About 90% of the mass of the Coma cluster is believed to be dark matter.

Moroni's Beehive: The Mormon Church and Freemasonry

Moroni's Beehive: The Mormon Church &Freemasonry

The Mormon Church and Freemasonry

By Bro. Terry Chateau
Mormonism and Freemasonry are so intimately interwoven and interrelated that the two can never be dissociated. Mormonism was born in the throes of the holocaust provoked by the Anti-Masonic Morgan affair of 1826. What I shall attempt to cover is the period from the beginning of Mormonism is the 1820's, with its early Masonic ties, through social and political upheaval in New York State tied into the so-called Morgan Affair, the establishment and marriage of Freemasonry and Mormonism in Nauvoo, Illinois; the assassination of Joseph Smith by members of the Masonic Fraternity, the subsequent exodus to Utah by Brigham Young, the rejection of Mormonism by Utah Freemasonry, and finally the coming of universal Freemasonry to Utah.
The seeker of light on the subject of the interface between Masonry and Mormonism quickly becomes frustrated. The so-called literature pertaining to this subject is generally biased, prejudiced, unscholarly but most alarming is that written by individuals without the requisite background of each of the two organizations.
The Joseph Smith family was known and acknowledged to have been a close knitted one, where strong individual affection and loyalty existed between each of the members. It was a Masonic family which lived by and practiced the estimable and admirable tenets of Freemasonry. The father, Joseph Smith, Sr., was a documented member in upstate New York. He was raised to the degree of Master Mason on May 7, 1818 in Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York. An older son, Hyrum Smith, was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge No. 112, Palmyra New York. Numerous attempts have been made to prove that Joseph Smith and his family where depraved, degenerate and disreputable persons. These documented facts, namely, the Masonic membership of Joseph Smith, Sr., in the Lodge in Canandaigua, and Hyrum's membership in Palmyra Lodge, are of the most significant importance. Being the elite institution it was recognized by the public to be at that time, and their active membership in two of the Masonic lodges of the area is convincing evidence of the stature and high esteem the members of the family enjoyed in the eyes and opinions of those who knew them best. As touched on previously, the founding of Mormonism or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, took place under the strikingly peculiar circumstances associated with the turbulent, tenuous atmosphere then gripping west central and up-state New York. This community unrest was primarily due to the vicious anti-Masonic furor which was triggered by the controversial disappearance of William Morgan. A booklet attributed to the vanished William Morgan appeared in Batavia, New York, in October of 1826 titled "Illustrations of Masonry," by one of the Fraternity who has devoted thirty years to the subject.