Most big galaxies fit into one of two camps: pinwheel-shaped spiral galaxies and blobby elliptical galaxies. Spirals like the Milky Way are hip and happening places, with plenty of gas and dust to birth new stars. Ellipticals are like cosmic retirement villages, full of aging residents in the form of red giant stars. Now, astronomers have discovered that one well-known elliptical has a split personality. Centaurus A is hiding a gassy spiral in its center.
The point at which one drop becomes two… This captured moment is part of the National Academy of Sciences art collection, featured in a new book from NAS called Convergence. You can read the whole thing online, for free, and take a tour through some amazing historical and modern science art. (via Discover Magazine)