The gorgeous radio sky

Although we all love to marvel and the wonder of those tantalizing images put out by Hubble, there is a whole other universe out there that our eyes just can’t see. A universe of supernova afterglows, black hole jets, molecular clouds, magnetic fields, and more teems at wavelengths much longer than what the eye can see. So we build radio telescopes, giants dishes or arrays of dishes, or even dipoles, that collect this radio light. Check out this year’s prettiest radio images at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s 2008 Image Contest! First prize went to a dazzling multi-wavelength view of the energetic heart of our Milky Way Galaxy:

(Adam Ginsburg and John Bally (Univ of Colorado – Boulder), Farhad Yusef-Zadeh (Northwestern), Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey team; GLIMPSE II team. Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI.)

Don’t forget to check out past contests from 2007, 2006, and 2005.

One of these years I’ll submit something, like I always say I will. But don’t ask my opinion on aesthetics, I still think blobby VLBI jets are beautiful.