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05-11-2010, 09:57 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/hartleymontage1x5_epoxi900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/hartleymontage1x5_epoxi.jpg) Comet Hartley 2 Flyby
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), JPL-Caltech, UMD (http://epoxi.umd.edu/), EPOXI Mission (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/epoxi/index.html) Explanation: Follow these 5 frames clockwise starting from the top left to track the view from (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/epoxi/images/sunshine1.html) the EPOXI mission (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/epoxi/index.html) spacecraft as it approached, passed under, and then looked back at the nucleus of comet Hartley 2 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101026.html) on November 4. Its closest approach distance was about 700 kilometers. In fact, this encounter was the fifth time (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13576) a spacecraft from planet Earth has imaged a comet close-up. But Hartley 2's nucleus is definitely the smallest one so far, its long axis spanning (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/epoxi/images/sunshine-3.html) only about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles). Though Hartley 2 is small, these stunning images showing jets of dust and gas indicate an impressively active surface. The jets are seen originating from the rough surface areas, with sunlight illuminating the nucleus from the right. Remarkably, rough areas at both ends of the elongated nucleus are joined by a narrower, smooth waist. The EPOXI mission (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/epoxi/epoxi20101025.html) reuses the Deep Impact spacecraft that launched a probe impacting the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050915.html) in 2005.

05-11-2010, 09:58 AM

Herschel's hidden talent: digging up magnified galaxies

November 4, 2010 http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/herschelshid.jpgEnlarge (http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/herschelshid.jpg)
This image composite shows a warped and magnified view of a galaxy discovered by the Herschel Space Observatory, one of five such galaxies uncovered by the infrared telescope. Image credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Keck/SMA
(PhysOrg.com) -- It turns out the Herschel Space Observatory has a trick up its sleeve. The telescope, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions, has proven to be excellent at finding magnified, faraway galaxies. Like little kids probing patches of dirt for insects, astronomers can use these new cosmic magnifying lenses to study galaxies that are hidden in dust.

"I was surprised to learn that Herschel (http://www.physorg.com/tags/herschel/) is so good at finding these cosmic lenses," said Asantha Cooray of the University of California, Irvine. "Locating new lenses is an arduous task that involves slogging through tons of data. With Herschel, we can find a lot of them much more efficiently." Cooray is a co-author of a paper about the discovery, appearing in the Nov. 5 issue of the journal Science. The lead author is Mattia Negrello of the Open University in the United Kingdom.
A cosmic magnifying lens occurs when a massive galaxy (http://www.physorg.com/tags/massive+galaxy/) or cluster of galaxies (http://www.physorg.com/tags/galaxies/) bends light from a more distant galaxy (http://www.physorg.com/tags/distant+galaxy/) into a warped and magnified image. Sometimes, a galaxy is so warped that it appears as a ring -- an object known as an Einstein ring after Albert Einstein (http://www.physorg.com/tags/albert+einstein/) who first predicted the phenomenon, referred to as gravitational lensing. The effect is similar to what happens when you look through the bottom of a soda bottle or into a funhouse mirror.
These lenses are incredibly powerful tools for studying the properties of distant galaxies as well as the mysterious stuff -- dark matter and dark energy -- that makes up a whopping 96 percent of our universe.
"With these lenses, we can do cosmology and study galaxies that are too distant and faint to be seen otherwise," said Cooray.
Cooray and a host of international researchers made the initial discovery using Herschel. Launched in May 2009, this space mission is designed to see longer-wavelength light than that we see with our eyes -- light in the far-infrared and submillimeter portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (http://www.physorg.com/tags/electromagnetic+spectrum/). Scanning Herschel images of thousands of galaxies, the researchers noticed five never-before-seen objects that jumped out as exceptionally bright.

At that time, the galaxies were suspected of being magnified by cosmic lenses, but careful and extensive follow-up observations were required. Numerous ground-based telescopes around the world participated in the campaign, including the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and three telescopes in Hawaii: the W.M. Keck Observatory, the California Institute of Technology's Submillimeter Observatory, and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Submillimeter Array.
Enlarge (http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/1-herschelshid.jpg)
This diagram illustrates a cosmic phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, in which a galaxy magnifies a second, more distant galaxy, making it appear brighter and easier to study. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The results showed that all five of the bright galaxies were indeed being magnified by foreground galaxies. The galaxies are really far away -- they are being viewed at a time when the universe was only two to four billion years old, less than a third of its current age. The Herschel astronomers suspect that they are just scratching the surface of a much larger population of magnified galaxies to be uncovered. The images studied so far make up just two percent of the entire planned survey, a program called the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey, or Herschel-ATLAS.
"The fact that this Herschel team saw five lensed galaxies is very exciting," said Paul Goldsmith, the U.S. project scientist for Herschel at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "This means that we can probably pick out hundreds of new lensed galaxies in the Herschel data."
The five galaxies are young and bursting with dusty, new stars. The dust is so thick, the galaxies cannot be seen at all with visible-light telescopes. Herschel can see the faint warmth of the dust, however, because it glows at far-infrared and submillimeter wavelengths. Because the galaxies are being magnified, astronomers can now dig deeper into these dusty, exotic places and learn more about what makes them tick.

Provided by JPL/NASA (news (http://www.physorg.com/partners/jpl-nasa/) : web (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm))

06-11-2010, 09:29 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/IC1396RolfGeissinger_900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/IC1396RolfGeissinger.jpg) The Elephant's Trunk in IC 1396
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Rolf Geissinger (http://www.stern-fan.de/) Explanation: Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story (http://www.boop.org/jan/justso/), the Elephant's Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050908.html), in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/CEPHEUSO.HTM). Of course, the cosmic elephant's trunk is over 20 light-years long. This composite (http://www.stern-fan.de/Seiten/galerie_Bild_IC1396_Elefant-Detail.html) was recorded through narrow band (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071102.html) filters that transmit the light from ionized hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/absorption.html) in the region. The resulting image highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar (http://www-ssg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html) dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070218.html) contain the raw material for star formation (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/StarForm.html) and hide protostars within (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050409.html) the obscuring cosmic dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant (http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/cosmic/), the relatively faint IC 1396 complex (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1996A%26A...309..581W&db_key=AST&high=3af6c03e8102807) covers a large region (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050908.html) on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees. This dramatic close-up covers a 2 degree wide field, about the size (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061228.html) of 4 Full Moons.

07-11-2010, 10:36 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/cenA_hst.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/cenA_hst_big.jpg) The Center of Centaurus A
Credit: E.J. Schreier (%20eschreie%20at%20aui%20dot%20edu) (AUI (http://www.aui.edu/)) et al., Hubble (http://www.stsci.edu/hst/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/); Inset: NOAO (http://www.noao.edu/) Explanation: A fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds, and imposing dark dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/glossary.html#dust) lanes surrounds the central region of the active galaxy (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/active_galaxies.html) Centaurus A. This mosaic of Hubble Space Telescope images (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/1998/14/) taken in blue, green, and red light has been processed to present a natural color picture of this cosmic maelstrom. Infrared images (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/ir_tutorial/what_is_ir.html) from the Hubble have also shown that hidden at the center of this activity are what seem to be disks of matter spiraling into a black hole (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970516.html) with a billion times the mass of the Sun! Centaurus A (http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n5128.html) itself is apparently the result of a collision of two galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020202.html) and the left over debris is steadily being consumed by the black hole (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap971107.html). Astronomers believe (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1998/14/image/a/) that such black hole central engines (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020309.html) generate the radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray energy (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html) radiated by Centaurus A and other active galaxies (http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/quasars.html). But for an Active galactic nucleus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Centaurus A (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040624.html) is close, a mere 10 million light-years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) away, and is a relatively convenient laboratory for exploring these powerful sources of energy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000706.html).

11-11-2010, 12:44 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/bubble_fermi.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/bubble_fermi_big.jpg) Huge Gamma Ray Bubbles Found Around Milky Way
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/main/index.html), DOE (http://www.energy.gov/), Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope (http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/), LAT detector (http://www-glast.stanford.edu/), D. Finkbeiner (https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/%7Edfinkbei/) et al. (http://arxiv.org/abs/1005.5480) Explanation: Did you know that our Milky Way Galaxy has huge bubbles emitting gamma rays from the direction of the galactic center? Neither did anybody. As the data from the Earth-orbiting Fermi satellite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_Gamma-ray_Space_Telescope) began accumulating (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080828.html) over the past (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090321.html) two years (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100318.html), however, a large and unusual feature toward our Galaxy (http://cass.ucsd.edu/public/tutorial/MW.html)'s center became increasingly evident. The two bubbles (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/498884main_DF3_Fermi_bubble_art_labels.jpg) are visible together as the red and white spotted oval surrounding the center of the above all sky image, released yesterday (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/new-structure.html). The plane (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090926.html) of our Galaxy runs horizontally across the image center. Assuming the bubbles (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=27416141) emanate from our Galaxy's center, the scale of the bubbles is huge, rivaling the entire Galaxy in size, and spanning about 50,000 light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) from top to bottom. Earlier indications of the bubbles has been found on existing all sky maps in the radio (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050205.html), microwave (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030217.html), and X-ray (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990503.html). The cause of the bubbles is presently unknown (http://arxiv.org/abs/1005.5480), but will likely be researched for years to come.

11-11-2010, 12:45 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/ngc4452_hst.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/ngc4452_hst_big.jpg) NGC 4452: An Extremely Thin Galaxy
Credit: ESA (http://sci.esa.int/), Hubble (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: Why is there a line segment on the sky? In one of the more precise alignments known in the universe, what is pictured above is actually a disk galaxy being seen almost perfectly edge on. The image from the Hubble Space Telescope is a spectacular visual reminder of just how thin (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100225.html) disk (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060612.html) galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970228.html) can be. NGC 4452, a galaxy in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080708.html), is so thin that it is actually difficult to determine (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1989ApJ...339..783H) what type of disk galaxy it is. Its lack of a visible dust lane indicates that it is a low-dust Lenticular galaxy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, although it is still possible that a view from on top would reveal spiral structure. The unusual stellar line segment (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/11/08/galaxy-on-edge/) spans about 35,000 light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) from end to end. Near NGC 4452 (http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1029a/)'s center is a slight bulge of stars, while hundreds of background galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091209.html) are visible far in the distance. Galaxies that appear this thin are rare mostly because our Earth must reside (nearly) in the extrapolated planes (http://www.lon-capa.org/%7Emmp/applist/si/plane.htm) of their thin galactic disks. Galaxies that actually are this thin are relatively common -- for example our own Milky Way Galaxy (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html) is thought to be about this thin (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100215.html).

12-11-2010, 07:46 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/IRIS_IAC80_DLopez900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/IRIS_IAC80_DLopez.jpg) NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Daniel López (%20dlp%20at%20iac%20dot%20es), IAC (http://www.iac.es/) Explanation: Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/CEPHEUSO.HTM). Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023 (http://darkhorseobservatory.org/product.php?ProductID=146&CategoryID=31), this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080214.html). Still, this beautiful digital image (http://www.iac.es/telescopes/IAM/Nov10_ing.html) shows off the Iris Nebula's range of colors and symmetries in impressive detail. Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a hot, young star. The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue, characteristic of dust (http://leo.astronomy.cz/mix/mix.html) grains reflecting starlight. Central filaments (http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic0915/) of the dusty clouds glow with a faint reddish photoluminesence as some dust grains effectively convert (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1989ApJ...347L..25W&db_key=AST&high=3bc4bede8e21358) the star's invisible ultraviolet (http://imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ems/uv.html) radiation to visible red light. Infrared observations (http://cdsads.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?2000A%26A...354L..17M&db_key=AST&nosetcookie=1) indicate that this nebula may contain complex carbon molecules known as PAHs (http://legacy.spitzer.caltech.edu/features/articles/20050627.shtml). As shown here, the bright blue portion of the Iris Nebula is about six light-years across.

12-11-2010, 07:35 PM

2/3/05 - The Hubble Space Telescope’s latest image of the star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) reveals dramatic changes in the illumination of surrounding dusty cloud structures. The effect, called a light echo, has been unveiling never-before-seen dust patterns ever since the star suddenly brightened for several weeks in early 2002.

12-11-2010, 07:38 PM

As if to don a crown of heavenly jewels, the Cone Nebula rises 7 light-years into the Monoceros constellation. The column is destined to evolve into countless stars, and perhaps even generate some planets.

12-11-2010, 07:41 PM

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have helped settle a mystery that has puzzled scientists concerning the exact distance to the famous nearby star cluster known as the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters. The Pleiades cluster, named by the ancient Greeks, is easily seen as a small grouping of stars lying near the shoulder of Taurus, the Bull, in the winter sky. Although it might be expected that the distance to this well-studied cluster would be well established, there has been an ongoing controversy among astronomers about its distance for the past seven years. 6/1/2004

12-11-2010, 07:43 PM

Twenty years ago, astronomers witnessed one of the brightest stellar explosions in more than 400 years. The titanic supernova, called SN 1987A, blazed with the power of 100 million suns for several months following its discovery on Feb. 23, 1987. Observations of SN 1987A, made over the past 20 years by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and many other major ground- and space-based telescopes, have significantly changed astronomers’ views of how massive stars end their lives. Astronomers credit Hubble’s sharp vision with yielding important clues about the massive star’s demise

12-11-2010, 07:45 PM

In this detailed view from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the so-called Cat’s Eye Nebula looks like the penetrating eye of the disembodied sorcerer Sauron from the film adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings.” The nebula, formally cataloged NGC 6543, is every bit as inscrutable as the J.R.R. Tolkien phantom character. Though the Cat’s Eye Nebula was one of the first planetary nebulae to be discovered, it is one of the most complex such nebulae seen in space.

12-11-2010, 07:47 PM

So just what is in store for the Hubble Space Telescope? NASA hopes the iconic observatory will stay alive for at least another 5 years, to 2015, if not longer. It is now more powerful than ever before after its fifth and last overhaul in May 2009.

14-11-2010, 10:00 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/m66_croman_900c1.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/m66_croman_big.jpg) Spiral Galaxy M66
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Russell Croman (http://www.rc-astro.com/index.php) Explanation: Big beautiful spiral galaxy M66 (http://seds.org/messier/m/m066.html) lies a mere (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2010/37/) 35 million light-years away. About 100 thousand light-years across, the gorgeous island universe is well known to astronomers as a member of the Leo Triplet (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060309.html) of galaxies. In M66, pronounced dust lanes and young, blue star clusters sweep along spiral arms (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100413.html) dotted with the tell-tale glow of pink star forming regions. This colorful and deep view (http://www.rc-astro.com/photo/id1189.html) also reveals faint extensions beyond the brighter galactic disk. Of course, the bright, spiky (http://spider.ipac.caltech.edu/staff/kaspar/obs_mishaps/images/int_reflection2.html) stars lie in the foreground, within our own Milky Way Galaxy, but many, small, distant background galaxies (http://www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/bggalaxies.html) can be seen in the cosmic snapshot. Gravitational interactions (http://burro.case.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/backgrnd.html) with its neighboring galaxies have likely influenced the shape of spiral galaxy M66.

22-11-2010, 09:50 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/ngc6357_hst.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/ngc6357_hst_big.jpg) A Massive Star in NGC 6357
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/) and J. M. Apellániz (IAA (http://www.iaa.es/), Spain) Explanation: For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. One such massive star, near the center of NGC 6357 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061220.html), is framed above (http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic0619/) carving out its own interstellar castle with its energetic light from surrounding gas and dust. In the greater nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081009.html), the intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar winds (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/sun/wind.html), Radiation pressure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, magnetic fields (http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/whmfield.html), and gravity (http://www-scf.usc.edu/%7Ekallos/gravity.htm). The overall glow of the nebula results from the emission (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/emission_nebulae.html) of light from ionized (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/ionization.html) Hydrogen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia gas. Near the more obvious Cat's Paw (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100421.html) nebula, NGC 6357 houses the open star cluster Pismis 24 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_6357#Pismis_24), home to many of these tremendously bright and blue stars. The central part of NGC 6357 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004AJ....127.2826B) shown spans about 10 light years and lies about 8,000 light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) away toward the constellation of the Scorpion (http://www.windows2universe.org/the_universe/Constellations/summer/scorpio.html).

22-11-2010, 10:05 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/stephquintet_hwilson900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/stephquintet_hwilson2048.jpg) Stephan's Quintet
Image Data: Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/); Processing: Hunter Wilson (http://hwilson.zenfolio.com/f129011888) Explanation: The first identified compact galaxy group, Stephan's Quintet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is featured in this eye-catching image (http://hwilson.zenfolio.com/p187515715/h18520d37#h18520d37) constructed with data drawn from the extensive Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/). About 300 million light-years away, only four galaxies of the group are actually locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters. The odd man out is easy to spot (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2009/25/image/c/), though. The four interacting galaxies (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2001/22/video/) (NGC 7319, 7318A, 7318B, and 7317 (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2001/22/image/h/format/large_web/)) have an overall yellowish cast and tend to have distorted loops and tails (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090426.html), grown under the influence of disruptive gravitational tides (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081115.html). But the larger bluish galaxy, NGC 7320, is much closer than the others. Just 40 million light-years distant, it isn't part of the interacting group. In fact, individual stars in the foreground galaxy can be seen in the sharp Hubble view, hinting that it is much closer than the others. Stephan's Quintet lies within the boundaries of the high flying constellation Pegasus (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/peg/index.html).

22-11-2010, 10:13 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/cygnusNeb_geissinger800.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/cygnusNeb_geissinger1200.jpg) Nebulae in the Northern Cross
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Rolf Geissinger (http://www.stern-fan.de/)
Explanation: Explore a beautiful and complex region of nebulae strewn along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091125.html) in this widefield skyscape. The image emphasizes cosmic gas clouds in a 25 by 25 degree view centered on the Northern Cross, the famous asterism (http://www.seds.org/Maps/Const/asterism.html) in the constellation Cygnus. Bright, hot, supergiant star Deneb (http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/%7Ekaler/sow/deneb.html) at the top of the cross, Sadr (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070104.html) near the center, and beautiful Albireo (http://bf-astro.com/albireo/Albireo.htm) run diagonally through the scene. Popular telescopic tour destinations such as the North America (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090630.html) and Pelican (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061130.html) emission regions, the Butterfly Nebula (http://www.allaboutastro.com/Butterflynebula.html) (IC 1318), and the Crescent (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090915.html) and Veil nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100916.html) can be identified by placing your cursor over the image. Silhouetted by the glowing interstellar (http://espg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html) clouds and crowded star fields, the dark Northern Coal Sack (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070920.html) also stands out, part of a series of obscuring dust clouds forming the Great Rift (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100625.html) in the Milky Way. These Northern Cross nebulosities are all located about 2,000 light-years away. Along with the Sun, they lie within the Orion spiral arm (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/5000lys.html) of our galaxy.

22-11-2010, 10:20 PM
(http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/cygnusNeb_geissinger1200.jpg) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/pleiadesSky_JOhn600h.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/pleiadesSky_JOhn.jpg) Sisters of the Dusty Sky
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): John Davis (http://downthewormhole.blogspot.com/) Explanation: Hurtling through a cosmic dust cloud some 400 light-years away, the lovely Pleiades (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071122.html) or Seven Sisters (http://www.naic.edu/%7Egibson/pleiades/pleiades_myth.html) star cluster is well-known for its striking blue reflection nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011228.html). In the dusty sky toward the constellation Taurus and the Orion Arm (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/5000lys.html) of our Milky Way Galaxy, this Pleiades-Mosaic_Med | Flickr - Photo Sharing!@@AMEPARAM@@http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1430/5179785056_f38472107b_o.jpg@@AMEPARAM@@5179785056@ @AMEPARAM@@f38472107b shows the famous star cluster at the upper left. But lesser known dusty nebulae lie along the region's fertile molecular cloud (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/SHOW_DIG/Taurus_Molecular_Cloud.HTM), within the 10 degree wide field, including the bird-like visage of LBN 777 (http://tvdavisastropics.com/astroimages-1_000066.htm) near center. Small bluish reflection nebula VdB 27 at the lower right is associated with the young, variable star RY Tau (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050923.html). At the distance of the Pleiades, the 5 panel mosaic (http://downthewormhole.blogspot.com/2010/11/bird-and-sisters.html) spans nearly 70 light-years.

22-11-2010, 10:32 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/ngc7252_eso.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/ngc7252_eso_big.jpg) Atoms-for-Peace Galaxy Collision
Credit: ESO (http://www.eso.org/) Explanation: Is this what will become of our Milky Way Galaxy? Perhaps if we collide with the Andromeda Galaxy in a few billion years, it might. Pictured above is NGC 7252, a jumble of stars created by a Andromeda–Milky Way collision - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia between two large galaxies. The collision will take hundreds of millions of years and so is effectively caught frozen in time in the above image (http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1044/). The resulting pandemonium (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090802.html) has been dubbed the Atoms for Peace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia galaxy because of its similarity to a cartoon (http://www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/images/AtomLabeledLarge.gif) of a large atom (http://www.mhhe.com/physsci/astronomy/applets/Bohr/frame.html). The above image (http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1044/) was taken recently by the MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope (http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/lasilla/telescopes/2p2/) in Chile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. NGC 7252 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010MNRAS.407...43C) spans about 600,000 light years and lies about 220 million light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) away toward the constellation (http://www.iau.org/public/constellations/) of the Water Bearer (Aquarius). Since the sideways velocity of the Andromeda Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090510.html) (M31) is presently unknown, no one really knows for sure if the Milky Way will ever collide with M31 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008MNRAS.386..461C).

27-11-2010, 03:07 PM
The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D - YouTube

02-12-2010, 11:49 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/vdb13stardust_falesiedi900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/vdb13stardust_falesiedi.jpg) Stardust in Aries
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Alessandro Falesiedi (http://nuke.alessandrofalesiedi.com/Contact/tabid/529/Default.aspx) Explanation: This composition in stardust (http://stardustathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/) covers almost 2 degrees on the sky, close to the border of the zodiacal constellation Aries (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/ari/index.html) and the plane of our Milky Way (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090613.html) Galaxy. At the lower right of the gorgeous skyscape is a dusty blue reflection nebula surrounding a bright star cataloged as (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1966AJ.....71..990V) van den Bergh 13 (vdB 13), about 1,000 light-years away. At that estimated distance, the cosmic canvas (http://nuke.alessandrofalesiedi.com/HomePage/tabid/484/Default.aspx) is over 30 light-years across. Also surrounded by scattered blue starlight, vdB 16 lies toward the upper left, while dark dusty (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070511.html) nebulae sprawl across the scene. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/GMC.html), they can hide (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061006.html) newly formed stars (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/spitzer/multimedia/spitzer20070829b.html) and young stellar objects or protostars from prying optical telescopes. Collapsing due to self-gravity (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/gravc.html), the protostars form (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/StarForm.html) around dense cores embedded in the molecular cloud.

02-12-2010, 11:50 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/n2024_block900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/n2024_block.jpg) Flame Nebula Close-Up
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Adam Block (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/index.html), Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter (http://skycenter.arizona.edu/), U. Arizona (http://www.as.arizona.edu/) Explanation: Of course, the Flame Nebula is not on fire. Also known as NGC 2024 (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/B_WINTER/NGC2024.HTM), the nebula's suggestive reddish color is due to the glow of hydrogen (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/lib/lament.html) atoms at the edge of the giant Orion (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070125.html) molecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years away. The hydrogen atoms have been ionized (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/ionization.html), or stripped of their electrons, and glow as the atoms and electrons recombine. But what ionizes the hydrogen (http://casswww.ucsd.edu/public/tutorial/ISM.html) atoms? In this close-up view (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/n2024.shtml), the central dark lane of absorbing interstellar dust stands out in silhouette against the hydrogen glow (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080424.html) and actually hides the true source of the Flame Nebula's energy from optical telescopes. Behind the dark lane lies a cluster of hot, young stars, seen at infrared wavelengths (http://www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/flame.html) through the obscuring dust. A young, massive star in that cluster is the likely source (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0303029) of energetic ultraviolet radiation that ionizes the hydrogen gas in the Flame Nebula.

02-12-2010, 11:51 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/NGC4216_crawford900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/NGC4216_crawford.jpg) Star Streams of NGC 4216
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Ken Crawford (http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/Contact.html) (Rancho Del Sol Obs. (http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/)), Collaboration: David Martinez-Delgado (MPIA, IAC), et al. (http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.4860)
Explanation: Some 40 million light-years distant, edge-on (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100304.html) spiral galaxy NGC 4216 is nearly 100,000 light-years across, about the size of our own Milky Way (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080606.html). Found in the dense Virgo Galaxy Cluster (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galgrps/vir.html), NGC 4216 is centered in this deep telescopic portrait (http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/Galaxies/NGC4216/NGC4216.htm) flanked by fellow Virgo cluster members NGC 4206 (right) and NGC 4222. Like other large spirals, including the Milky Way, NGC 4216 has grown by cannibalizing (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/galaxy_cannibalism.html) smaller satellite galaxies. In fact, this view has caught it in the act, with still distinct satellite galaxies showing faint star streams extending (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080619.html) for thousands of light-years into the halo of NGC 4216. Taken as part of a survey hunting for star streams (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/stellar_stream_survey_science_highlights.html) in nearby spirals, the image was recorded with a small telescope and camera able to convincingly detect faint, extended features. Having trouble spotting the star streams? Slide your cursor over the image to see a composite negative (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070728.html) view. The streams should more easily stand out as dark swaths against a white background.

02-12-2010, 11:52 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/anticrepuscular_britton.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/anticrepuscular_britton_big.jpg) Anticrepuscular Rays Over Colorado
Credit & Copyright: John Britton Explanation: What's happening over the horizon? Although the scene may appear somehow supernatural (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Demon-Haunted_World), nothing more unusual is occurring than a setting Sun (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980526.html) and some well placed clouds. Pictured above are anticrepuscular rays (http://www.atoptics.co.uk/atoptics/anti1.htm). To understand them, start by picturing common crepuscular rays (http://www.ems.psu.edu/%7Edemark/471/CrepuscularRays.html) that are seen any time that sunlight pours (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050831.html) though scattered clouds. Now although sunlight indeed travels along straight lines (http://www.theory.caltech.edu/people/patricia/grelb.html), the projections of these lines onto the spherical sky (http://math.rice.edu/%7Epcmi/sphere/) are Great circle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Therefore, the crepuscular rays (http://www.allthesky.com/atmosphere/sunrays.html) from a setting (or rising) sun (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010313.html) will appear to re-converge on the other side of the sky. At the anti-solar point 180 degrees around from the Sun (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/sun.html), they are referred to as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticrepuscular_ray. Pictured above is a particularly striking set of anticrepuscular rays photographed in 2001 from a moving car just outside of Boulder, Colorado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, USA (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html).

02-12-2010, 11:52 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/jupiterstorm_gemini.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/jupiterstorm_gemini_big.jpg) Dark Belt Reappearing on Jupiter
Credit: NASA's JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), U. Oxford (http://www.ox.ac.uk/), UC Berkeley (http://www.ssl.berkeley.edu/), Gemini Obs. (http://www.gemini.edu/) (North), USC Philippines (http://www.usc.edu.ph/) Explanation: Why are planet-circling clouds disappearing and reappearing on Jupiter? Although the ultimate cause remains unknown, planetary meteorologists (http://www.ametsoc.org/careercenter/index.html) are beginning to better understand what is happening. Earlier this year, unexpectedly, Jupiter's dark Southern Equatorial Belt (SEB) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jupiter_cloud_bands.svg) disappeared. The changes were first noted by amateurs dedicated to watching Jupiter full time. The South Equatorial Band has been seen to change (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/11/25/astronomers-thankful-for-return-of-jupiters-belt/) colors before, although the change (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap001123.html) has never been recorded in such detail. Detailed professional observations revealed that high-flying light-colored Ammonia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia-based clouds formed over the planet-circling (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100124.html) dark belt. Now those light clouds are dissipating, again unveiling (http://www.universetoday.com/79931/how-jupiter-is-getting-its-belt-back/) the lower dark clouds. Pictured above (http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2010/11/24_jupiter_stripe.shtml) two weeks ago, far infrared (http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html) images -- depicted in false-color red -- show a powerful storm system active above the returning dark belt. Continued observations (http://cosmos4u.blogspot.com/2010/11/rapid-progress-in-sebs-revival-jupiter.html) of Jupiter's current cloud opera, and our understanding of it, is sure to continue.

02-12-2010, 11:53 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/thundercell_heavey.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/thundercell_heavey_big.jpg) A Supercell Thunderstorm Cloud Over Montana
Credit & Copyright: Sean R. Heavey (http://www.alconartz.com/AlconArtz/About.html) Explanation: Is that a spaceship or a cloud? Although it may seem like an alien mothership (http://www.ugo.com/movies/100-best-movie-spaceships), it's actually a impressive thunderstorm cloud called a Supercell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Such colossal storm systems center on Mesocyclone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -- rotating updrafts that can span several kilometers and deliver torrential rain and high winds including tornadoes (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060702.html). Jagged sculptured clouds adorn the supercell's edge (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080122.html), while wind swept dust and rain dominate the center. A tree waits patiently (http://media1.break.com/dnet/media/2008/10/67%20Bear%20Waiting%20Patiently%20For%20Picnic.jpg ) in the foreground. The above supercell cloud (http://www.alconartz.com/AlconArtz/Storm.html#1) was photographed in July west of Glasgow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow,_MT), Montana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, USA (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html), caused minor damage, and lasted several hours before moving on.

02-12-2010, 11:53 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/phoboslimb_marsexpress.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/phoboslimb_marsexpress_big.jpg) Martian Moon Phobos from Mars Express
Credit: G. Neukum (http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMGQOXLDMD_people_0_iv.html) (FU Berlin (http://www.fu-berlin.de/)) et al., Mars Express (http://www.esa.int/export/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMVQ95V9ED_0.html), DLR (http://www.dlr.de/pf), ESA (http://www.esa.int/); Acknowledgement: Peter Masek Explanation: Why is Phobos so dark? Phobos (moon) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the largest and innermost of two Martian moons, is the darkest moon in the entire Solar System (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/). Its unusual orbit and color indicate that it may be a captured asteroid (http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18014) composed of a mixture of ice and dark rock. The above picture (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=480&st=195&p=167059&#entry167059) of Phobos near the limb of Mars was captured (http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002791/) last month by the robot spacecraft Mars Express (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMFU55V9ED_0.html) currently orbiting Mars. Phobos (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080414.html) is a heavily cratered and barren (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031109.html) moon, with its largest crater (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080410.html) located on the far side. From images like this, Phobos (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061203.html) has been determined to be covered by perhaps a meter of loose dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980914.html). Phobos orbits so close to Mars that from some places it would appear to rise and set twice a day, but from other places it would not be visible at all. Phobos (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990313.html)' orbit around Mars is continually decaying -- it will likely break up (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008AGUFM.P51C1423H) with pieces crashing to the Martian surface in about 50 million years.

02-12-2010, 11:54 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/103P_101127ligustri900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/103P_101127ligustri.jpg) Hartley 2 Star Cluster Tour
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Rolando Ligustri (CARA Project (http://www.cara-project.org/index.php), CAST (http://www.castfvg.it/)) Explanation: Early in November, small but active (http://planetary.org/blog/article/00002781/) Comet Hartley 2 (103/P Hartley) became the fifth comet (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13576) imaged close-up by a spacecraft from planet Earth (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/epoxi/index.html). Continuing its own tour of the solar system (http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=103p&orb=1) with a 6 year orbital period (http://pdssbn.astro.umd.edu/comet_data/periodic_comets.html), Hartley 2 is now appearing in the nautical constellation (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/pup/index.html) Puppis. Still a target for binoculars or small telescopes from dark sky locations, the comet is captured in this composite image from November 27, sharing the rich 2.5 degree wide field of view (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/103P_101127ligustri_label.jpg) with some star clusters well known (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060910.html) to earthbound skygazers. Below and right of the comet's alluring green coma lies bright M47 (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m047.html), a young open star cluster some 80 milion years old, about 1,600 light-years away. Below and left open cluster M46 is (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m046.html) older, around 300 million years of age, and 5,400 light-years distant. Hartley 2's short, faint tail even extends up and right toward another fainter star cluster in the scene, NGC 2423. On November 27, Comet Hartley 2 was about 2.25 light-minutes (http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/universe/duguide/app_light_travel_time_dista.php) from Earth. Sweeping toward the bottom (http://picasaweb.google.com/astroligu/CometeDiRolandoLigustriCASTItalia#5545806047210206 514) of this field, by November 28 the comet's path (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/102632669.html) had carried it between M46 and M47.

20-12-2010, 12:07 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/ngc7000_pugh800.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/ngc7000_pugh.jpg) North America and the Pelican
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Martin Pugh (http://www.martinpughastrophotography.id.au/) Explanation: Here lie familiar shapes in unfamiliar locations (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/nebclust.html). On the left is an emission nebula (http://seds.org/messier/nebula.html) cataloged as NGC 7000, famous partly because it resembles our fair planet's continent of North America. The emission region to the right of the North America Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081028.html) is IC 5070, also known for its suggestive outlines as the Pelican Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061130.html). Separated by a dark cloud of obscuring dust, the two bright nebulae are about 1,500 light-years away. At that distance, the 4 degree wide field of view spans 100 light-years. This spectacular cosmic portrait (http://www.martinpughastrophotography.id.au/Nebulae/NGC7000.htm) combines narrow band images (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060324.html) of the region in a false-color palette to highlight bright ionization fronts (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100819.html) with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Emission from atomic hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen is captured in the narrow band data. These nebulae can be seen with binoculars from a dark location. Look northeast (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101119.html) of bright star Deneb in the constellation Cygnus the Swan.

20-12-2010, 12:08 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/lrg_ngc3031gabany900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/lrg_ngc3031gabany.jpg) M81 and Arp's Loop
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): R Jay GaBany (http://www.cosmotography.com/) - Collaboration: A. Sollima (IAC (http://www.iac.es/)),
A. Gil de Paz (U. Complutense Madrid (http://www.ucm.es/info/Astrof/)) D. Martínez-Delgado (IAC (http://www.iac.es/), MPIA (http://www.mpia.de/)), J.J. Gallego-Laborda (Fosca Nit Obs. (http://astrosurf.com/jordigallego/observatory.html)), T. Hallas (Hallas Obs. (http://www.astrophoto.com/)) Explanation: One of the brightest galaxies in planet Earth's sky and similar in size to the Milky Way (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html), big, beautiful spiral M81 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060707.html) lies 11.8 million light-years away in the northern constellation Ursa Major. This deep image (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/small_ngc3031.html) of the region reveals details in the bright yellow core, but at the same time follows fainter features along the galaxy's gorgeous blue spiral arms and sweeping dust lanes. It also follows the expansive, arcing feature, known as Arp's loop, that seems to rise from the galaxy's disk at the right. Studied in the 1960s, Arp's loop has been thought to be a tidal tail (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100926.html), material pulled out of M81 by gravitational interaction with its large neighboring galaxy M82 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100324.html). But a recent investigation (http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.1610) demonstrates that much of Arp's loop likely lies within our own galaxy. The loop's colors in visible and infrared (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/) light match the colors of pervasive (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080512.html) clouds of dust, relatively unexplored (http://www.galaxyimages.com/UNP_IFNebula.html) galactic cirrus only a few hundred light-years above the plane of the Milky Way. Along with the Milky Way's stars, the dust clouds lie in the foreground of this remarkable view. M81's dwarf companion galaxy, Holmberg IX (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2008/02/caption.html), can be seen just above and left of the large spiral. On the sky, this image spans about 0.5 degrees, about the size of the Full Moon.

20-12-2010, 12:10 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/m33_konrad_900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/m33_konrad.jpg) M33: Triangulum Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Manfred Konrad (http://www.astrofotografie-laupheim.de/) Explanation: The small, northern constellation Triangulum (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/tri/index.html) harbors this magnificent face-on spiral galaxy, M33. Its popular names include the Pinwheel Galaxy or just the Triangulum Galaxy (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m033.html). M33 is over 50,000 light-years in diameter, third largest in the Local Group (http://atlasoftheuniverse.com/localgr.html) of galaxies after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and our own Milky Way. About 3 million light-years from the Milky Way, M33 is itself thought to be a satellite of the Andromeda Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021021.html) and astronomers (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph?papernum=0506609) in these two galaxies would likely have spectacular views of each other's grand spiral star systems. As for the view from planet Earth, this sharp, detailed image (http://www.astrofotografie-laupheim.de/bilder.php?bild_anzeige=382&urubrik=) nicely shows off M33's blue star clusters and pinkish star forming (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061123.html) regions that trace the galaxy's loosely wound spiral arms. In fact, the cavernous NGC 604 (http://www.seds.org/messier/more/m033_n604.html) is the brightest star forming region, seen here at about the 4 o'clock position from the galaxy center. Like M31, M33's population of well-measured variable stars have helped make this nearby spiral a cosmic yardstick (http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/%7Ekstanek/DIRECT/) for establishing (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/bib_query?1926ApJ....63..236H) the distance scale (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/diamond_jubilee/debate96.html) of the Universe.

20-12-2010, 12:11 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/m82_hst.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/m82_hst_big.jpg) M82: Galaxy with a Supergalactic Wind
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), The Hubble Heritage (http://heritage.stsci.edu/) Team, (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/) / AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/))
Acknowledgement: M. Mountain (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2005/08/image/a) (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/institute/)), P. Puxley (NSF (http://www.nsf.gov/)), J. Gallagher (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Ejsg/) (U. Wisconsin (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/)) Explanation: What's lighting up the Cigar Galaxy? M82 (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m082.html), as this Irregular galaxy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060415.html) near large spiral (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/spiral_galaxies.html) galaxy M81 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101209.html). This doesn't fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas, however. Recent evidence (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1999ApJ...523..575L) indicates that this gas is being driven out by the combined emerging particle winds (http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wsolwind.html) of many stars, together creating a galactic superwind.. The above photographic mosaic (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2006/14/image/a) highlights a specific color of red light strongly emitted by ionized Hydrogen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia gas, showing detailed filaments of this gas. The filaments extend for over 10,000 light year (http://www.howstuffworks.com/question94.htm)s. The 12-million light-year distant Cigar Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040601.html) is the brightest galaxy in the sky in infrared (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/ir_tutorial/) light, and can be seen in visible light with a small telescope (http://www.howstuffworks.com/telescope.htm) towards the constellation (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/extra/constellations.html) of the Great Bear (Ursa Major - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

03-01-2011, 03:27 AM
Old photo but I find it amazing:

The latest photo from the Hubble Space Telescope, presented at the 2006 General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Prague this week, shows a star forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This sharp image reveals a large number of low-mass infant stars coexisting with young massive stars.



21-01-2011, 05:42 PM
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/6860/hubble.png (http://img717.imageshack.us/i/hubble.png/)

31-01-2011, 03:33 AM
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/6860/hubble.png (http://img717.imageshack.us/i/hubble.png/)

It's like a painting. Breathtaking!

31-01-2011, 03:50 AM
It's like a painting. Breathtaking!

Its a 42 bit color resolution HQ picture from Hubble and I had to make it little because this picture got uploaded in a resolution of 12298 x 5804.

11-02-2011, 12:45 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/ic342_henry900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/ic342_henry.jpg) Hidden Galaxy IC 342
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Ed Henry (Hay Creek Observatory (http://www.cvastro.org/clearview/)) Explanation: Similar (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101209.html) in size to other large, bright spiral galaxies, IC 342 (http://www.seds.org/%7Espider/spider/LG/i0342.html) is a mere 7 million light-years distant in the long-necked, northern constellation Camelopardalis (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/cam/index.html). A sprawling island universe (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051222.html), IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060413.html), but it is almost hidden from view behind the veil of stars, gas and dust clouds in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100320.html). Even though IC 342's light is dimmed by intervening cosmic clouds (http://www-ssg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html), this remarkably sharp telescopic image traces the galaxy's own obscuring dust, blue star clusters, and glowing pink star forming regions along spiral arms that Wind far from the galaxy's core. IC 342 (http://www.astro.spbu.ru/staff/dio/IC342/IC342E.html) may have undergone a recent burst (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0305552) of star formation activity and is close enough (http://seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/maffei1g.html) to have gravitationally influenced the evolution of the local group (http://seds.org/messier/more/local.html) of galaxies and the Milky Way.

11-02-2011, 12:45 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/tle2010_hetlage900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/tle2010_hetlage.jpg) The Solstice Moon's Eclipse
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Chris Hetlage (http://hetlage.com/aboutme.htm) Explanation: A big, bright, beautiful Full Moon slid (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080220.html) into planet Earth's shadow early Tuesday morning. Remarkably, the total lunar eclipse (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/17dec_solsticeeclipse/) coincided with the date of the December Solstice (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101221.html). During the eclipse (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101220.html), the best viewing in North America found the coppery lunar disc high in a cold winter sky, the Moon reddened by light filtering into the Earth's dark central shadow or umbra (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080820.html). The light comes from all the sunsets and sunrises, seen from a lunar perspective (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/04nov_lunareclipse2105/) around the edges of a silhouetted Earth (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070302.html). Passing closer to the center of the umbra, the Moon's southern hemisphere (left) appears darker in this eclipse image, recorded from Deerlick Astronomy (http://www.deerlickgroup.com/) Village, Georgia, USA. The picture is a digital composite, a separate longer exposure added to an eclipse frame to capture the surrounding star field.

11-02-2011, 12:46 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/M78LoopLDN1622_andreoHaLRGBh600.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/M78LoopLDN1622_andreoHaLRGB.jpg) Decorating the Sky
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Rogelio Bernal Andreo (http://blog.deepskycolors.com/about.html) Explanation: Bright stars, clouds of dust and glowing nebulae decorate (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081225.html) this cosmic scene, a skyscape just north of Orion's belt (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061229.html). Close to the plane of our Milky Way (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091225.html) Galaxy, the wide field view spans about 5.5 degrees. Striking bluish M78 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100302.html), a reflection nebula, is at the left. M78's tint is due to dust preferentially reflecting the blue light of hot, young stars. In colorful contrast, the red sash of glowing hydrogen gas sweeping through the center is part of the region's faint but extensive emission nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101023.html) known as Barnard's Loop. At right, a dark dust cloud forms a prominent silhouette cataloged as LDN 1622 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070511.html). While M78 and the complex Barnard's Loop are some 1,500 light-years away, LDN 1622 is likely to be much closer, only about 500 light-years distant from our fair planet Earth.

11-02-2011, 12:47 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/snowyorion_alexander.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/snowyorion_alexander_big.jpg) Sideways Orion Over Snowy Ireland
Credit & Copyright: Brendan Alexander (Donegal Skies (http://www.donegalskies.com/)) Explanation: Orion always comes up sideways (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=173537) ... and was caught in the act earlier this month by over a snowy landscape in Donegal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Republic of Ireland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. To compose this serene picture, the photographer found a picturesque setting (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101117.html) to the east, waited until after sunset, and then momentarily lit the foreground with a flashlight. The three bright stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061229.html) in Orion (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101023.html)'s belt stand in a nearly vertical line above the snow covered road at the bottom. Hanging from his belt, the stars and nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021220.html) of the Hunter's sword (http://www.glyphweb.com/esky/constellations/swordoforion.html) are visible lower and to the right. Yellow-orange Betelgeuse (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100106.html) is the brightest star on the image left. As winter progresses in Earth's northern hemisphere, Orion (http://youaskandy.com/questions-answers/25-article-series-1950/16922-why-can-we-see-orion-only-in-winter.html) will rise earlier and so appear continually higher in the sky at sunset.

11-02-2011, 12:48 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/milliongalaxies_2mass.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/milliongalaxies_2mass_big.jpg) One Million Galaxies
Credit: 2MASS (http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/2mass/), T. H. Jarrett (http://spider.ipac.caltech.edu/staff/jarrett/), J. Carpenter, & R. Hurt Explanation: Are the nearest galaxies distributed randomly? A plot of over one million of the brightest "extended sources" detected by the Two Micron All Sky Survey (http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/2mass/) (2MASS) shows that they are not. The vast majority of these infrared (http://imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ems/infrared.html) extended sources are galaxies (http://www.seds.org/messier/galaxy.html). Visible above (http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/2mass/gallery/showcase/allsky_gal/index.html) is an incredible tapestry of structure that provides limits (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003ApJ...585..161K) on how the universe (http://www.astro.ucla.edu/%7Ewright/cosmolog.htm) formed and evolved (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990905.html). Many galaxies (http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18005) are gravitationally bound together to form clusters (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100502.html), which themselves are loosely bound into superclusters (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/gclusters/superclusters.html), which in turn are sometimes seen to align over even larger scale structures (http://astron.berkeley.edu/%7Emwhite/whatarelss.html). In contrast, very bright stars inside our own Milky Way Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/milky_way.html) cause the vertical blue sash.

11-02-2011, 12:48 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/n2170_block900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1012/n2170_block.jpg) Still Life with NGC 2170
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Adam Block (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/index.html), Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter (http://skycenter.arizona.edu/), U. Arizona (http://www.as.arizona.edu/) Explanation: In this beautiful celestial still life (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/n2170.shtml) composed with a cosmic brush, dusty nebula NGC 2170 (http://spider.seds.org/ngc/revngcic.cgi?NGC2170) shines at the upper left. Reflecting the light of nearby hot stars, NGC 2170 is joined (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0608/ngc2170_seip_f56lbl.jpg) by other bluish reflection (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap041204.html) nebulae, a compact red emission (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040629.html) region, and streamers of obscuring dust against a backdrop of stars. Like the common household items still life painters (http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/s/still-life/1701-1850.html) often choose for their subjects, the clouds of gas, dust, and hot stars pictured here are also commonly found in this setting - a massive, star-forming molecular cloud (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101015.html) in the constellation Monoceros (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/mon/index.html). The giant molecular cloud (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/GMC.html), Mon R2, is impressively close, estimated (http://cdsads.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?2005A%26A...430..523W&db_key=AST&nosetcookie=1) to be only 2,400 light-years or so away. At that distance, this canvas would be about 15 light-years across.

11-02-2011, 12:49 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/n6946_block900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/n6946_block.jpg) Fireworks Galaxy NGC 6946
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Adam Block (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/index.html), Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter (http://skycenter.arizona.edu/), U. Arizona (http://www.as.arizona.edu/) Explanation: Celebrate the New Year with the Fireworks Galaxy! Also known as NGC 6946, the big, beautiful spiral galaxy (http://www.seds.org/messier/spir.html) is located just 10 million light-years away, behind a veil of foreground dust and stars in the high and far-off constellation of Cepheus (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/CEPHEUSO.HTM). From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080606.html), we see NGC 6946 face-on (http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n6946.html). In this colorful cosmic portrait (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/n6946.shtml), the galaxy's colors change from the yellowish light of old stars in the core to young blue star clusters and reddish star forming regions along the loose, fragmented spiral arms. NGC 6946 is bright in infrared light (http://dg-imaging.astrodon.com/gallery/display.cfm?imgID=223) and rich in gas and dust, exhibiting a furious rate of star formation. Nearly 40,000 light-years across, the nearby spiral is fittingly referred to as the Fireworks Galaxy (http://www.gemini.edu/node/116). Over the last 100 years, at least nine supernovae, the death explosions (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060728.html) of massive stars, were discovered (http://www.astrosurf.com/snweb2/2008/08S_/08S_Home.htm) in NGC 6946. By comparison, the average rate for supernovae in the Milky Way is about 1 per century.

11-02-2011, 12:50 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/winterhexagon_westlake_annotated.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/winterhexagon_westlake_big.jpg) Winter Hexagon Over Stagecoach Colorado
Credit & Copyright: Jimmy Westlake (http://www.jwestlake.com/) (Colorado Mountain College (http://faculty.coloradomtn.edu/jwestlake/)) Explanation: If you can find Orion, you might be able to find the Winter Hexagon. The Winter Hexagon involves some of the brightest stars (http://www.seds.org/Maps/Stars_en/) visible, together forming a large and easily found Hexagon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in the winter sky (http://my.execpc.com/60/B3/culp/astronomy/Winter/winter.html) of Earth (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100713.html)'s northern hemisphere (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/pmapN.html). The stars involved can usually be identified even in the bright night skies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010827.html) of a big city (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0208/earthlights02_dmsp_big.jpg), although here they appear over darker Stagecoach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Colorado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, USA.. The six stars that compose the Winter Hexagon are Aldebaran (http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/%7Ekaler/sow/aldebaran.html), Capella (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/hr/1708.html), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_%28star%29 (and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollux_%28star%29), Procyon (http://www.solstation.com/stars/procyon2.htm), Rigel (http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/blue-white-rigel-is-orions-brightest-star), and Sirius (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/sirius.html). Here, the band of our Milky Way Galaxy runs through the center of the Winter Hexagon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, while the Pleiades (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091014.html) open star cluster (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/open_clusters.html) is visible just above. The Winter Hexagon (http://newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1993/astron/AST015.HTM) asterism (http://www.seds.org/Maps/Const/asterism.html) engulfs several constellations (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/extra/constellations.html) including much of the iconic (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101117.html) steppingstone Orion (http://www.seds.org/Maps/Stars_en/Fig/orion.html).

11-02-2011, 12:51 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/eclipse110104_isstransit_legault800.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/eclipse110104_isstransit_legault.jpg) Eclipsing the Sun
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Thierry Legault (http://www.astrophoto.fr/) Explanation: Skywatchers (http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=22472) throughout much of Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia, were treated to the first eclipse of the new year on January 4, a partial eclipse of the Sun (http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2011.html#SE2011Jan04P). But traveling to the area around Muscat, capital city of Oman, photographer Thierry Legault planned to simultaneously record two eclipses on that date, calculating (http://www.calsky.com/) from that position, for a brief moment, both the Moon and the International Space Station could be seen in silhouette, crossing the Sun (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100523.html). His sharp, 1/5000th second exposure is shown here (http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/eclipse110104_solar_transit.html), capturing planet Earth's (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050430.html) two largest satellites against the bright solar disk. As the partial solar eclipse unfolded (http://shadowandsubstance.com/), the space station (above and left of center) zipped across the scene in less than 1 second, about 500 kilometers from the photographer's telescope and camera. Of course, the Moon was 400 thousand kilometers away. Complete with sunspots (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap991021.html), the Sun was 150 million kilometers distant.

11-02-2011, 12:52 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/helix_henry900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/helix_henry2000.jpg) NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Ed Henry (Hay Creek Observatory (http://www.cvastro.org/clearview/)) Explanation: A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius (http://hawastsoc.org/deepsky/aqr/index.html), a sun-like star is dying. Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n7293.html) (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary nebula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. A total of 10 hours of exposure time have gone in to creating this remarkably deep view (http://www.cvastro.org/clearview/helix.htm) of the nebula. It shows details of the Helix's brighter inner region (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030510.html), about 3 light-years across, but also follows fainter outer halo (http://www.ing.iac.es/%7Ercorradi/HALOES/) features that give the nebula a span of well over six light-years. The white dot at the Helix's center is this Planetary Nebula's hot, central star (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1997/38/background/#background-info-1). A simple looking nebula at first glance, the Helix is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2004/32/image/e/).

11-02-2011, 12:55 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/tarantula_salemme.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/tarantula_salemme_big.jpg) The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Marcelo Salemme (http://www.astromgs.com.ar/04-Historia.htm) Explanation: It is the largest and most complex star forming region in the entire galactic neighborhood. Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081219.html), a small satellite galaxy orbiting our Milky Way galaxy, the region's spidery appearance is responsible for its popular name, the Tarantula nebula (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/multiwavelength_astronomy/multiwavelength_museum/30dor.html). This tarantula, however, is about 1,000 light-years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) across. Were it placed at the distance of Milky Way's Orion Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050918.html), only 1,500 light-years distant and the nearest stellar nursery to Earth, it would appear to cover about 30 degrees (60 full moons (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051113.html)) on the sky. Intriguing details of the nebula are visible in the above image (http://www.astromgs.com.ar/fotos/ngc2070_Ha_SII_OIII_112010.html) shown in scientific colors (http://hubblesource.stsci.edu/services/articles/2005-02-10/). The spindly arms of the Tarantula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia nebula surround NGC 2070 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1995AstL...21..663S), a star cluster (http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18009) that contains some of the brightest, most massive stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070506.html) known, visible in blue on the right. Since massive stars live fast and die young (http://rebel-without-a-cause.blogspot.com/), it is not so surprising that the cosmic Tarantula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051212.html) also lies near the site of the closest recent supernova (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap951027.html).

11-02-2011, 12:56 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/SeaGullLHaRGB_sidonio800.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/SeaGullLHaRGB_sidonio1550.jpg) The Seagull Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Michael Sidonio (http://www.pbase.com/strongmanmike2002) Explanation: This broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090411.html), suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula (http://www.celestialwonders.com/nebulae/Gum_20090227.html). This portrait (http://www.pbase.com/strongmanmike2002/the_sea_gull_nebula) of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6 degree wide swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction (http://www.eanet.com/kodama/astro/2007/0216a/index.htm) of Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. Of course, the region includes objects with other catalog designations (http://galaxymap.org/cgi-bin/gum.py?s=1): notably NGC 2327 (http://www.skyfactory.org/ic2177/ic2177.htm), a compact, dusty emission region with an embedded massive star that forms the bird's head (aka the Parrot Nebula, above center). IC 2177 (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/B_WINTER/IC2177.HTM) forms the sweeping arc of the seagull's wings. Dominated by the reddish glow (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080424.html) of atomic hydrogen, the complex of gas and dust clouds with bright young stars spans over 100 light-years at an estimated 3,800 light-year distance.


11-02-2011, 12:57 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/NGC3521_hstGendler900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/NGC3521_hstGendlerL.jpg) NGC 3521 Close Up
Credit: Data - Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Processing - Robert Gendler (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/) Explanation: Gorgeous spiral galaxy NGC 3521 is a mere 35 million light-years distant, toward the constellation Leo (http://www.universetoday.com/21173/leo/). Spanning some 50,000 light-years, its central region is shown in this dramatic image (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/NGC3521-HST-Gendler.html), constructed from data drawn from the Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/). The close-up view highlights this galaxy's characteristic (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1982MNRAS.201.1021E) multiple, patchy, irregular spiral arms laced with dust and clusters of young, blue stars. In constrast (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101209.html), many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms. A relatively bright galaxy in planet Earth's sky, NGC 3521 is (http://www.astrosurf.com/antilhue/ngc3521.htm) easily visible in small telescopes, but often overlooked by amateur imagers in favor of other Leo spiral galaxies, like M66 and M65 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060309.html).

11-02-2011, 12:59 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/47Tuc_DW900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/47Tuc_DW.jpg) Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Dieter Willasch (http://astro-cabinet.com/about.php) (Astro-Cabinet (http://astro-cabinet.com/loggedon.php)) Explanation: Globular star cluster 47 Tucanae is a jewel of the southern sky. Also known as NGC 104 (http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n0104.html), it roams the halo (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/milkyway/components.html) of our Milky Way Galaxy along with some 200 other Globular cluster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The second brightest globular cluster (after Omega Centauri (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100331.html)) as seen from planet Earth, it lies about 13,000 light-years away and can be spotted naked-eye near the Small Magellanic Cloud (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100903.html) in the constellation of the Toucan (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/tuc/). The dense cluster is made up of several million stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080906.html) in a volume (http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/ask/a11508.html) only about 120 light-years across. Red giant stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081218.html) on the outskirts of the cluster are easy to pick out as yellowish stars in this sharp telescopic portrait (http://astro-cabinet.com/showimage.php?image=NGC104_60m_LRGB.jpg&lang=english). Globular cluster 47 Tuc is also home to exotic x-ray binary (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050721.html) star systems.

11-02-2011, 01:00 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/galaxygarden_lesage.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/galaxygarden_lesage_big.jpg) Kona Galaxy Garden
Credit & Copyright: Garden by Jon Lomberg (http://www.jonlomberg.com/); Kite Aerial Photography by Pierre and Heidy Lesage Explanation: How does your galaxy grow? Quite contrary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary,_Mary,_Quite_Contrary) to a typical galaxy, this one needs water to flourish. Pictured above (http://www.galaxygarden.net/) as it appears at the Paleaku Peace Gardens Sanctuary (http://www.paleaku.com/) in Kona (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kona_District,_Hawaii), Hawaii - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, USA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._states), a meticulously planned garden spanning about 30 meters provides a relatively accurate map (http://www.galaxygarden.net/mapping.html) of our Milky Way Galaxy. Different plants depict (http://www.galaxygarden.net/mapping.html) stars, globular clusters (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/globular_clusters.html), and even nebulas. Many bright stars visible in Earth's night sky are depicted on leaves (http://www.galaxygarden.net/tour.html) surrounding the marked location of the Sun. Plant rows were placed to represent arms of our Galaxy, including the Sun's Orion Arm (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/5000lys.html), the impressive Carina–Sagittarius Arm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and the little discussed (http://blogs.995themountain.com/files/2009/12/shhh.jpg) Norma Arm. A small bar (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080711.html) runs through our Galaxy's center (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080427.html), while a fountain (http://www.galaxygarden.net/mapping_gc.html) has been built to represent the central black hole (http://www.mpe.mpg.de/ir/GC/index.php). What a stellar use of space!

11-02-2011, 01:01 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/saturnestorm_dauvergnecassini_c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/saturnestorm_dauvergnecassini.jpg) Saturn Storm
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team (http://ciclops.org/), SSI (http://www.spacescience.org/), JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/); Color Composite: Jean-Luc Dauvergne (http://astrophotography.fr/) Explanation: Late last year, a new, remarkably bright storm erupted (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/112507364.html) in Saturn's northern hemisphere. Amateur astronomers (http://alpo-j.asahikawa-med.ac.jp/Latest/Saturn.htm) first spotted it in early December, with the ringed gas giant rising in planet Earth's predawn sky. Orbiting Saturn (http://www.ciclops.org/ir_index/133/In_Orbit), the Cassini spacecraft was able to record this close-up of the complex disturbance (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/12/28/a-saturnian-storm-larger-than-worlds/) from a distance of 1.8 million kilometers on December 24th. Over time, the storm has evolved (http://astrosurf.com/planetessaf/saturne/saturn_2010-NTrZ-storm.html), spreading substantially in longitude, and now stretches (http://saturn.cstoneind.com/) far around the planet. Saturn's (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Saturn&Display=OverviewLong) thin rings are also seen slicing across this space-based (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071023.html) view, casting broad shadows on the planet's southern hemisphere.

11-02-2011, 01:01 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/M31_XMM_HERSCHEL_r900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/M31_XMM_HERSCHEL.jpg) The Once and Future Stars of Andromeda
Credit and Copyright: ESA/Herschel/ (http://herschel.esac.esa.int/) PACS/SPIRE/J.Fritz(U.Gent) / XMM-Newton (http://xmm.esac.esa.int/)/EPIC/W.Pietsch(MPE) Explanation: The big, beautiful Andromeda Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061228.html), aka M31, is a spiral galaxy a mere 2.5 million light-years away. Two space-based observatories have combined to produce this intriguing composite image of Andromeda, at wavelengths outside the visible spectrum (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html). The remarkable view (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=48186) follows the locations of this galaxy's once and future stars (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=48188). In reddish hues, image data from the large Herschel infrared (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091016.html) observatory traces enormous lanes of dust, warmed by stars, sweeping along Andromeda's spiral arms. The dust, in conjunction with the galaxy's interstellar gas, comprises the raw material for future star formation (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101022.html). X-ray data from the XMM-Newton (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040130.html) observatory in blue pinpoint Andromeda's X-ray binary (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000121.html) star systems. These systems likely contain neutron stars or stellar mass black holes that represent final stages in stellar evolution. More than twice the size of our own Milky Way (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080606.html), the Andromeda Galaxy is over 200,000 light-years across.

11-02-2011, 01:02 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/MosaicCintOrio_martinez900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/MosaicCintOrio_martinez.jpg) Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Sergi Verdugo Martínez (http://astrophoto-sv.com/index.php) Explanation: Alnitak (http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/%7Ekaler/sow/alnitak.html), Alnilam (http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/%7Ekaler/sow/alnilam.html), and Mintaka (http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/%7Ekaler/sow/mintaka.html), are the bright bluish stars from east to west (left to right) along the diagonal in this gorgeous cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion (http://www.gb.nrao.edu/%7Ermaddale/Education/OrionTourCenter/belt.html), these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie about 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion's (http://www.gb.nrao.edu/%7Ermaddale/Education/OrionTourCenter/optical.html) well-studied interstellar clouds. In fact, clouds of gas and dust adrift in this region have intriguing and some surprisingly familiar shapes, including the dark Horsehead (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100513.html) Nebula and Flame Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101126.html) near Alnitak at the lower left. The famous Orion (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101023.html) Nebula itself lies off the bottom of this colorful star field. Recorded last December with a modified digital SLR camera and small telescope, the well-planned, two frame mosaic (http://astrophoto-sv.com/index.php?p=1_75) spans about 4 degrees on the sky.

11-02-2011, 01:03 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/NGC660_LRGB_leshin900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/NGC660_LRGB_leshin.jpg) Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Stephen Leshin (http://sleshin.startlogic.com/) Explanation: NGC 660 lies near the center of this intriguing skyscape (http://sleshin.startlogic.com/stargazergallery/main.php?g2_itemId=391&g2_imageViewsIndex=0), swimming in the boundaries of the Pisces (constellation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Over 20 million light-years away, its peculiar appearance marks it as a polar ring galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070216.html). A rare galaxy type, polar ring galaxies have a substantial population of stars, gas, and dust orbiting in rings (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990510.html) nearly perpendicular to the plane of the galactic disk. The bizarre configuration (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0301391) could have been caused by the chance capture of material from a passing galaxy by the disk galaxy, with the captured debris strung out in a rotating ring. The polar ring component (http://www.obspm.fr/actual/nouvelle/apr03/prg.en.shtml) can be used to explore the shape of the galaxy's otherwise unseen dark matter halo (http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/darkhalo.htm) by calculating the dark matter's (http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_astro/dark_matter/index.html) gravitational influence on the rotation of the ring and disk. Broader than the disk, NGC 660's ring spans about 40,000 light-years.

11-02-2011, 01:04 AM
Spectacular Meteor Caught on Video during Football Game - YouTube

Peekskill Fireball Video: Johnstown
Credit: J. Derr (WWCP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWCP-TV)) Explanation: The Peekskill meteor (http://uregina.ca/%7Eastro/mb_5.html) of 1992 was captured on 16 independent video (http://aquarid.physics.uwo.ca/%7Epbrown/Videos/peekskill.htm)s and then struck a car. Documented (http://nyrockman.com/peekskill.htm) as brighter than the full Moon (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020316.html), the spectacular fireball (http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/shadow/solar_system_level2/peekskill.html) crossed parts of several USA (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html) states during its 40 seconds of glory before landing in New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A video of the fireball beyond a high school football game in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnstown,_Pennsylvania), USA, is pictured above. The resulting meteorite is imaged here (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061119.html), and was found to be composed of dense rock and has the size and mass of an extremely heavy bowling ball. If you are lucky enough to find a Meteorite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia just after impact (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990711.html), do not pick it up -- parts of it are likely to be either very hot or very cold. Tracking meteors origins and destinations might be easier in this modern digital age, but many security cameras videos that likely caught a bright fireball are not preserved. If you would like to volunteer to help meteor science by locating images and videos of newly occurring fireballs within 48 hours after they occur, here is a place to sign up (http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=22715).

11-02-2011, 01:04 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/snr0509_hubble.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/snr0509_hubble_big.jpg) The Rippled Red Ribbons of SNR 0509
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), and the Hubble Heritage (http://heritage.stsci.edu/) Team (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/portal/)/AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)); Acknowledgment: J. Hughes (http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/%7Ejackph/) (Rutgers U. (http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/)) Explanation: What is causing the picturesque ripples of supernova remnant SNR 0509-67.5? The ripples, as well as the greater nebula, were imaged (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2010/27/image/) in unprecedented detail by the Hubble Space Telescope (http://hubblesite.org/the_telescope/hubble_essentials/) in 2006 and again late last year. The red color was recoded by a Hubble filter that left only the light emitted by energetic hydrogen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-alpha). The precise reason for the ripples remains unknown, with two considered origin hypotheses relating them to relatively dense portions of either ejected or impacted gas. The reason for the broader red glowing ring (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2010/27/) is more clear, with expansion speed and light echos relating it to a classic Type Ia supernova - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia explosion that must have occurred about 400 years earlier. SNR 0509 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008ApJ...680.1149B) currently spans about 23 light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) and lies about 160,000 light years away toward the constellation of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coryphaenidae (Dorado (http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/dorado.htm)) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100514.html). The expanding ring carries with it another great mystery, however: why wasn't this supernova seen 400 years ago when light from the initial blast should have passed the Earth?

11-02-2011, 01:05 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/m51ir_hubble.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/m51ir_hubble_big.jpg) The Whirlpool Galaxy in Infrared Dust
Credit: Infrared: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), M. Regan & B. Whitmore (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/portal/)), & R. Chandar (U. Toledo (http://www.utoledo.edu/as/physast/));
Optical: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), S. Beckwith (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/portal/)), & the Hubble Heritage (http://heritage.stsci.edu/) Team (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/portal/)/AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)) Explanation: How do spiral galaxies form stars? To help find out, the Hubble Space Telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090525.html) imaged the nearby photogenic spiral Whirlpool Galaxy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in infrared light (http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html) to highlight the dust that traces the dense gas that best forms stars. To further isolate the dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030706.html), much of the optical light from stars has also been digitally removed (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091101.html). The resulting unique image (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/03/image/a/) shows swirling and intricate patterns on the longest scales, while numerous bright clumps of previously hidden open star clusters (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/open_clusters.html) appear on the smaller scales. To see the detailed optical light image (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080614.html) for comparison, run your cursor over the above image. Anyone with a good pair of binoculars (http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/how_binoculars_work.html) can see the Whirlpool toward the constellation of the Hunting dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Canes Venatici (http://seds.org/Maps/Stars_en/Fig/canesvenatici.html)). M51 lies about 30 million light years away, while the above imaged area spans about 15,000 light years (http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae502.cfm) from top to bottom. Astronomers speculate that M51's spiral (http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18005) structure is primarily due to its gravitational interaction with a neighboring smaller galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100611.html).

11-02-2011, 01:06 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/M78WFI_chekalin900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/M78WFI_chekalin.jpg) Hidden Treasures of M78
Credit: ESO (http://www.eso.org/public/) / Igor Chekalin (http://www.fpsoftlab.com/gallery/) Explanation: M78 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051104.html) isn't really hiding in planet Earth's night sky. About 1,600 light-years away and nestled (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090211.html) in the nebula rich constellation Orion (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101023.html), the large, bright, reflection nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011228.html) is well-known to telescopic skygazers. But this gorgeous image of M78 was selected as the winner of the Hidden Treasures 2010 (http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1102/) astrophotography competition. Held by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the competition challenged amateur astronomers to process data from ESO's astronomical archive in search of cosmic gems. The winning entry (http://www.flickr.com/photos/igorfp/5164928669/lightbox/#/photos/igorfp/5164928669/) shows off amazing details within bluish (http://www.leosondra.cz/en/mix-your-own-reflection-nebula/) M78 (center) embraced in dark, dusty clouds, along with a smaller reflection nebula in the region, NGC 2071 (top). Yellowish and even more compact, the recently discovered, variable McNeil's Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040219.html) is prominent in the scene below and right of center. Based on data from ESO's WFI camera and 2.2 meter telescope at La Silla (http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/lasilla.html), Chile, this image spans just over 0.5 degrees on the sky. That corresponds to 15 light-years at the estimated distance of M78 (http://seds.org/messier/m/m078.html).

11-02-2011, 01:06 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/OpportunitySol2476_Kremer600hc.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/OpportunitySol2476_Kremer.jpg) Opportunity at Santa Maria Crater
Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), Cornell (http://athena.cornell.edu/); Image Processing: Marco Di Lorenzo, Kenneth Kremer (http://www.rittenhouseastronomicalsociety.org/Dr.Kremer/K.htm) Explanation: Celebrating 7 years (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mer/news/mer20110120.html) on the surface of the Red Planet (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Mars), Mars exploration rover Opportunity now stands near the rim of 90 meter wide Santa Maria crater (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13794). Remarkably, Opportunity and its fellow rover Spirit (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mer/spirit-update.html) were initially intended (http://xkcd.com/695/) for a 3 month long primary mission. Still exploring, the golf cart-sized robot and shadow (far right) appear in the foreground of this panoramic view of its current location (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/releases/oppy-santa-maria.php). The mosaic was constructed using images from the rover's navigation camera. On its 7 year anniversary (http://www.universetoday.com/82784/7-years-of-opportunity-on-mars-and-a-science-bonanza/), Opportunity can boast traversing (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/traverse_maps.html) a total of 26.7 kilometers along the martian surface (http://beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov/welcome). After investigating Santa Maria crater, controllers plan to have Opportunity resume a long-term trek toward Endeavour crater, a large, 22 kilometer diameter crater about 6 kilometers from Santa Maria. The rim of Endeavour is visible in the mosaic on the horizon at the right, just above the shadow of the rover's mast. During coming days, communication with the rover will be more difficult as Mars moves close to alignment with the Sun as seen from planet Earth's perspective (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mer/images.cfm?id=2673).

11-02-2011, 01:07 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/europa_galileo_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/europa_galileo_1200.jpg) Gibbous Europa
Credit: Galileo Project (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/galileo/), JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/); reprocessed by Ted Stryk (http://planetimages.blogspot.com/) Explanation: Although the phase (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010218.html) of this moon might appear familiar, the moon itself might not. In fact, this Lunar phase - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia shows part of Jupiter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia's moon Europa (http://www.planetary.org/explore/topics/jupiter/europa.html). The robot spacecraft Galileo (spacecraft) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia captured this image (http://planetimages.blogspot.com/2005/09/new-color-views-of-europa.html) mosaic during its mission orbiting Jupiter from 1995 - 2003. Visible are plains (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap981215.html) of bright ice (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000418.html), cracks (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980310.html) that run to the horizon, and dark patches (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970815.html) that likely contain both ice and dirt. Raised terrain (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980303.html) is particularly apparent near the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminator_%28solar%29, where it casts shadows (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap001225.html). Europa (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap961120.html) is nearly the same size as Earth's Moon (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020127.html), but much smoother, showing few highlands (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/moon/moon_surface.html) or large impact craters (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010809.html). Evidence and images from the Galileo spacecraft (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/galileo/), indicated that liquid oceans might exist (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980102.html) below the icy surface. To test speculation that these seas hold life, NASA and European Space Agency - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia have started preliminary development of the EJSM/Laplace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, a spacecraft proposed for launch around 2020 that would further explore Jupiter and in particular Europa. If the surface ice is thin enough, a future mission might drop hydrobots (http://www.nasaimages.org/luna/servlet/detail/NVA2%7E14%7E14%7E25039%7E124507:cryobot-hydrobot) to burrow into the oceans and search for life.

11-02-2011, 01:08 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/kountori2_iss_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1101/kountori2_iss_4256.jpg) Japan's Kounotori2 Supply Ship Approaches the Space Station
Credit: Expedition 26 (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition26/index.html) Crew, NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: The care package from Earth had arrived. Last week, Japan launched the robotic Kounotori2 (http://www.jaxa.jp/countdown/h2bf2/index_e.html) spacecraft to bring needed Toilet paper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, including food, to the International Space Station (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html) (ISS). Kountori2 launched from Japan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia's Tanegashima Space Center - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia a little over a week ago reached the ISS in low Earth late last week. Pictured above (http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-26/html/iss026e021017.html), Kountori2 approached (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080514.html) the ISS and was about to be grabbed by astronauts with the Canadarm2 (http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/iss/canadarm2/default.asp) and attached to the Harmony (ISS module) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In the above picture (http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-26/html/iss026e021017.html) as seen through a window on the ISS (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091207.html), the limb of the Earth is visible, including white clouds, blue water, and various tan colored landforms. In addition to launches including humans, as many as ten List of unmanned spaceflights to the International Space Station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, potentially including spacecraft from Russia (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040824.html), Johannes Kepler ATV - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Japan, and a Dragon (spacecraft) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in the USA.

11-02-2011, 01:09 AM
Powers of Tenâ„¢ - YouTube

Powers of Ten
Credit & Copyright: Charles & Ray Eames (Eames Office (http://www.eamesoffice.com/)) Explanation: How different does the universe look on small, medium, and large scales? The most famous short science film of its generation gives breathtaking comparisons. That film, Powers of Ten - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, originally created in the 1960s, has now been officially posted to YouTube and embedded above. Please click the above arrow to see the nine minute movie for yourself. From a picnic blanket near Chicago (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050724.html) out past the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080708.html), every ten seconds the film zooms out to show a square a factor of ten times larger on each side. The video then reverses, zooming back in a factor of ten every two seconds and ends up inside a single proton. The Powers of Ten sequence (http://www.eamesoffice.com/powers-of-ten) is actually based on the book Cosmic View - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia by Kees Boeke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in 1957, as is a similar but mostly animated film Cosmic Zoom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that was also created in the late 1960s. The changing perspectives are so enthralling (http://www.outofmygord.com/images/outofmygord_com/3d-audience.jpg) and educational that sections have been recreated (http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/) using more modern computerized techniques, including the first few minutes of the movie Contact, and in a short digital video called The Known Universe (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100120.html) created last year for the American Museum of Natural History (http://www.amnh.org/). Charles and Ray Eames - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Eames, the film's creators, were known as quite visionary spirits and even invented http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eames_Lounge_Chair_Wood_%28LCW%29.

11-02-2011, 01:10 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/Kepler11Compare_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/Kepler11Compare_full.jpg) Six Worlds for Kepler-11
Illustration Credit: Tim Pyle, NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: Six worlds orbit Kepler-11 (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/new_planetary_system.html), a sunlike star 2,000 light-years distant in the constellation Cygnus. The new discovery is based on data from NASA's planet hunting Kepler spacecraft (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/overview/index.html). Compared to our Solar System in this illustration, five of Kepler-11's planets orbit closer to their parent star than the Mercury-Sun distance, with orbital periods (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kepler.html) ranging from 10 to 47 days. All six are larger than Earth and are likely composed of mixtures of rocky material and gas. Their presence, sizes, and masses have been determined by carefully watching the planets dim the light of Kepler-11 while transiting or crossing (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=14471&media_id=58022301) in front of the star itself. In fact, in August 2010, Kepler's telescope and camera recorded a simultaneous transit of three of the planets in the system. As announced yesterday (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler_data_release.html), using the transit technique the Kepler mission has now identified over 1200 exoplanet candidates in a field of view (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=14471&media_id=58022301) that covers only about 1/400th of the sky. The tantalizing result suggests there are many undiscovered (http://www.planethunters.org/) planets orbiting the stars in our galaxy (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/multimedia/images/kepler-target-in-the-milkyway.html).

11-02-2011, 01:12 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/zetaoph_wise_900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/zetaoph_wise.jpg) Zeta Oph: Runaway Star
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), JPL-Caltech (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), WISE (http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/) Team Explanation: Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061124.html) Zeta Ophiuchi produces the arcing interstellar bow wave or bow shock seen in this stunning infrared portrait (http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/gallery_zeta_ophiuchi.html) from the WISE spacecraft. In the false-color view, bluish Zeta Oph, a star about 20 times more massive than the Sun, lies near the center of the frame, moving toward the top at 24 kilometers per second. Its strong stellar wind precedes it, compressing and heating the dusty interstellar material (http://espg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html) and shaping the curved shock front. Around it are clouds of relatively undisturbed material. What set this star in motion? Zeta Oph was likely once a member of a binary star system (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970219.html), its companion star was more massive and hence shorter lived (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/teachers/lessons/xray_spectra/background-lifecycles.html). When the companion Type II supernova - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia catastrophically losing mass, Zeta Oph was flung out of the system. About 460 light-years away, Zeta Oph is 65,000 times more luminous than the Sun and would be one of the brighter stars in the sky if it weren't surrounded by obscuring dust. The WISE (http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/education_class.html) image spans about 1.5 degrees or 12 light-years at the estimated distance of Zeta Ophiuchi (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/zetaoph.html).

11-02-2011, 01:16 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/unknownseti_cavan_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/unknownseti_cavan_607.jpg) An Anomalous SETI Signal
Credit & Copyright (http://www.setileague.org/press/photouse.htm): SETI League (http://www.setileague.org/) Explanation: No one knows for sure what caused this signal (http://www.setileague.org/software/unknown2.wav). There is a slight possibility that it just might originate from an extraterrestrial intelligence (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000123.html). The bright colors on the blue background indicate that an anomalous signal was received here on Earth by a radio telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap981129.html) involved in a Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (http://www.seti.org/) (SETI). A search for these signals is ongoing by several groups (http://www.setileague.org/otherweb/othrseti.htm) including volunteer members of the SETI League (http://www.setileague.org/general/faq.htm). Time labels the vertical axis of the above plot (http://www.setileague.org/photos/hits.htm), and frequency marks the horizontal axis. Although this strong signal (http://www.setileague.org/photos/hits.htm) was never positively identified, astronomers have identified in it many attributes characteristic of a more mundane and ultimately terrestrial origin. In this case (http://www.setileague.org/photos/hits.htm), a leading possibility is that the signal originates from an unusual modulation between a GPS satellite (http://www.howstuffworks.com/gps.htm) and an unidentified Earth-based source. Many unusual signals (http://www.setileague.org/photos/hits.htm) from space remain unidentified. No signal (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980917.html) has yet been strong enough or run long enough to be unambiguously identified as originating from an Extraterrestrial life - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

11-02-2011, 01:18 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/ngc2174_hst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/ngc2174_hst_1071.jpg) NGC 2174: Stars Versus Mountains
Credit: ESA (http://sci.esa.int/), Hubble (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: It's stars versus gas mountains in NGC 2174 and the stars are winning. More precisely, the energetic light and winds from massive newly formed stars are evaporating and dispersing the dark stellar nurseries (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061022.html) in which they formed. The structures of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_2174 are actually much thinner than air and only appear as mountains (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100426.html) due to relatively small amounts of opaque interstellar dust (http://espg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html#dust). A lesser known sight in the nebula-rich constellation Orion (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/constellations/orion.html), NGC 2174 can be found with binoculars near the head of the celestial hunter. About 6,400 light-years distant, the entire glowing cosmic cloud (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061208.html) covers an area larger than the full Moon and surrounds loose open clusters (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/open_clusters.html) of young stars. The above image (http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1106a/) from the Hubble Space Telescope (http://hubblesite.org/the_telescope/hubble_essentials/) shows a dense interior region which spans only about three light years while adopting a color map (http://hubblesite.org/gallery/behind_the_pictures/meaning_of_color/eagle.php) that portrays otherwise red hydrogen emission in green hues and emphasizes sulfur emission in red and oxygen in blue. Within a few million years, the stars will likely win out completely and the entire dust mountain will be dispersed.

11-02-2011, 01:19 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/hannyVWRP_hst_900h.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/hannyVWRP_hst.jpg) Hanny's Voorwerp
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), W. Keel (http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/) (Univ. Alabama), et al., Galaxy Zoo Team (http://www.galaxyzoo.org/) Explanation: Hanny's Voorwerp (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080625.html), Dutch for "Hanny's Object", is enormous, about the size (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/01/image/c/format/web/) of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Glowing strongly in the greenish light produced by ionized oxygen atoms, the mysterious voorwerp (http://hannysvoorwerp.zooniverse.org/the-story-so-far/) is below spiral galaxy IC 2497 in this view from the Hubble Space Telescope (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/01/). Both lie at a distance of some 650 million light-years in the faint constellation Leo Minor. In fact, the enormous green cloud is now suspected to be part of a tidal tail (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100926.html) of material illuminated by a quasar (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/01/image/d/format/web_print/) inhabiting the center of IC 2497. Powered by a massive black hole, the quasar suddenly turned off (http://arxiv.org/abs/1011.0427), leaving only galaxy and glowing voorwerp visible in telescopes at optical wavelengths. The sharp Hubble image also resolves a star forming region in the voorwerp, seen in yellow on the side near IC 2497. That region was likely compressed by an outflow of gas driven from the galaxy's core. The remarkable mystery object was discovered by Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel (http://www.hannysvoorwerp.com/) in 2007 while participating online in the Galaxy Zoo project. Galaxy Zoo enlists (http://www.galaxyzoo.org/story) the public to help classify galaxies found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and more recently in deep Hubble imagery.

11-02-2011, 01:38 AM

Giant ring of black holes

February 9, 2011 http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/giantringofb.jpg

X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/S.Rappaport et al, Optical: NASA/STScI
(PhysOrg.com) -- Just in time for Valentine's Day comes a new image of a ring -- not of jewels -- but of black holes.

This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (http://www.physorg.com/tags/hubble+space+telescope/) (red, green, blue) produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md.
Arp 147 contains the remnant of a spiral galaxy (http://www.physorg.com/tags/spiral+galaxy/) (right) that collided with the elliptical galaxy (http://www.physorg.com/tags/elliptical+galaxy/) on the left. This collision has produced an expanding wave of star formation that shows up as a blue ring containing in abundance of massive young stars. These stars race through their evolution in a few million years or less and explode as supernovas, leaving behind neutron stars (http://www.physorg.com/tags/neutron+stars/) and black holes.
A fraction of the neutron stars and black holes will have companion stars, and may become bright X-ray sources as they pull in matter from their companions. The nine X-ray sources scattered around the ring in Arp 147 are so bright that they must be black holes (http://www.physorg.com/tags/black+holes/), with masses that are likely ten to twenty times that of the Sun.

An X-ray source is also detected in the nucleus of the red galaxy on the left and may be powered by a poorly-fed supermassive black hole. This source is not obvious in the composite image but can easily be seen in the X-ray image. Other objects unrelated to Arp 147 are also visible: a foreground star in the lower left of the image and a background quasar as the pink source above and to the left of the red galaxy. Infrared observations with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (http://www.physorg.com/tags/spitzer+space+telescope/) and ultraviolet observations with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) have allowed estimates of the rate of star formation in the ring. These estimates, combined with the use of models for the evolution of binary stars have allowed the authors to conclude that the most intense star formation may have ended some 15 million years ago, in Earth's time frame.
These results were published in the October 1st, 2010 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. The authors were Saul Rappaport and Alan Levine from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Pooley from Eureka Scientific and Benjamin Steinhorn, also from MIT.

Provided by Chandra X-ray Center (news (http://www.physorg.com/partners/chandra-x-ray-center/) : web (http://chandra.harvard.edu/))

14-02-2011, 09:51 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/OrionColors_hackmann900h.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/OrionColors_hackmann.jpg) Star Colors in Orion
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Jens Hackmann (http://www.kopfgeist.com/) Explanation: What determines a star's color (http://outreach.atnf.csiro.au/education/senior/astrophysics/photometry_colour.html)? Its temperature. Red stars are cool, with surface temperatures of around 3,000 kelvins (K) (http://lamar.colostate.edu/%7Ehillger/temps.htm), while blue stars are hotter and can have temperatures over 30,000 K. Our own lovely "yellow" Sun's (http://casa.colorado.edu/%7Eajsh/colour/Tspectrum.html) temperature is a comforting 6,000 K. Differences in star colors are particularly easy to see in this intriguing composite view of the constellation Orion, made while experimenting with a star trail step-focus technique (http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/misc011.html). In it, a series of 35 consecutive exposures were combined to produce trails of stars moving left to right through the frame, while changing focus in steps. Beginning and ending with the camera out of focus produced a sharply focused exposure near the middle of the series and blurs the star trails into a bow tie shape. For the brighter stars, blurring produces more saturated colors in the images. At the upper left, Orion's cool red supergiant Betelgeuse (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100106.html) stands out from the other, hotter, bluish stars composing the body of the constellation (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030207.html). Not a star at all, the Orion Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081023.html) contributes a pinkish tint below center. Also remarkable in the field, the fainter step focus trail of cool, deep red carbon star W Orionis (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/wori.html) is near the center right edge, its red hue enhanced by a carbon-rich composition (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081218.html).

14-02-2011, 09:52 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/SH2_240_NobuhikoMiki.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/SH2_240_NobuhikoMiki.jpg) Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Nobuhiko Miki (http://www.miki-hosp.or.jp/BIND/index.html) Explanation: It's easy to get lost following the intricate filaments in this detailed mosaic image (http://www.miki-hosp.or.jp/BIND/pg147.html) of faint supernova remnant (http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/supernovas.html) Simeis 147. Also cataloged as Sh2-240 and seen towards (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101220.html) the constellation Taurus (http://www.allthesky.com/constellations/taurus/), it covers nearly 3 degrees (6 full moons) on the sky. That corresponds to a width of 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years. The remarkable composite includes image data taken through narrow-band filters to highlight emission from hydrogen and oxygen atoms tracing regions of shocked, glowing gas (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090108.html). This supernova remnant has an estimated age of about 40,000 years - meaning light from the massive stellar explosion first reached Earth 40,000 years ago. But this expanding remnant is not the only aftermath (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011026.html). The cosmic catastrophe also left behind (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0611068) a spinning neutron star or pulsar, all that remains (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/1996/22/astrofile/#2) of the original star's core.

14-02-2011, 09:53 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/rosette_lula_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/rosette_lula_1700.jpg) The Rosette Nebula
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Brian Lula (http://www.heavensgloryobservatory.com/) Explanation: Would the Rosette Nebula (http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n2244.html) by any other name (http://www.bartleby.com/100/138.28.22.html) look as sweet (ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/etext00/0ws1610.txt)? The bland New General Catalogue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia designation of NGC 2237 (http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&biw=1024&bih=974&gbv=2&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=%2Bsite%3Aapod.nasa.gov+Rosette&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=) doesn't appear to diminish the appearance of this (http://www.heavensgloryobservatory.com/Color_Jpegs/ngc2244NB03.jpg) flowery emission nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/emission_nebulae.html). Inside the nebula lies an open cluster (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/open_clusters.html) of bright young stars designated NGC 2244 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000822.html). These stars formed about four million years ago (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1993ApJ...414..664K) from the nebular material and their stellar winds (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000318.html) are clearing a hole in the nebula's center, insulated by a layer of dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030706.html) and hot gas. Ultraviolet light (http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/uv.html) from the hot cluster stars causes the surrounding nebula to glow. The Rosette Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000111.html) spans about 100 light-years (http://domeofthesky.com/clicks/lightyear.html) across, lies about 5000 light-years away (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2000A%26A...358..553H), and can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/extra/constellations.html) of the Unicorn (Monoceros (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/constellations/monoceros.html)).

16-02-2011, 07:15 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/northamerica_ir_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/northamerica_spitzer_3000.jpg) The North America Nebula in Infrared
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), JPL-Caltech (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), L. Rebull (http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/mission/profile/30-Luisa-Rebull) (SSC, Caltech (http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/)); Optical Rollover: DSS (http://archive.stsci.edu/dss/), D. De Martin Explanation: The North America Nebula can do what most North Americans cannot -- form stars. Precisely where in the nebula these stars are forming has been mostly obscured by some of the nebula's thick dust that is opaque to visible light. However, a new view (http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/3508-ssc2011-03a-Changing-Face-of-the-North-America-Nebula) of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_America_Nebula in infrared light (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/ir_tutorial/what_is_ir.html) by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope (http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/mission/32-Mission-Overview) has peered through (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mV4ecEbV1s#t=2m38s) much of the dust and uncovered thousands of newly formed stars. Rolling your cursor over the above scientifically-colored infrared image (http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/news/1249-ssc2011-03-New-View-of-Family-Life-in-the-North-American-Nebula) will bring up a corresponding optical image (http://www.skyfactory.org/ngc7000/ngc7000.htm) of the same region for comparison (http://s3.media.squarespace.com/production/465215/5327199/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/3705840490_b30241110d_b.jpg). The new infrared image (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011arXiv1102.0573R) neatly captures young stars in many stages of formation, from being imbedded in dense knots of gas and dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100919.html), to being surrounded by disks (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100703.html) and emitted jets (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100426.html), to being clear (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060206.html) of their birth cocoons. The North America Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000501.html) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_America_Nebula) spans about 50 light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) and lies about 1,500 light years away toward the Constellation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia of the Swan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_%28constellation%29). Still, of all the stars known in the North America Nebula, which massive stars emit the energetic light that gives the ionized red glow (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090630.html) is still debated (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005A%26A...430..541C).

28-02-2011, 08:42 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/ngc2841c_hst_sm.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/ngc2841c_hst_lg.jpg) Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841 Close Up
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), and the Hubble Heritage (http://heritage.stsci.edu/) (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/) / AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)) - ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/) / Hubble Collaboration Explanation: A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation of Ursa Major (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070108.html). This sharp view of the gorgeous island universe (http://cass.ucsd.edu/public/tutorial/Galaxies.html) shows off a striking yellow nucleus and galactic disk. Dust lanes, small, pink star-forming regions, and young blue star clusters are embedded in the patchy, tightly wound (http://casa.colorado.edu/%7Edanforth/science/spiral/) spiral (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030925.html) arms. In contrast (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091017.html), many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms with large star-forming regions. NGC 2841 has a diameter of over 150,000 light-years, even larger than our own (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html) Milky Way, but this close-up Hubble image (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/06/) spans about 34,000 light-years along the galaxy's inner region. X-ray images (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2006/n2841/) suggest that resulting winds and stellar explosions create plumes of hot gas extending into a halo around NGC 2841.

28-02-2011, 08:48 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/n1999_block900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/n1999_block.jpg) NGC 1999: South of Orion
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Adam Block (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/index.html), Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter (http://skycenter.arizona.edu/), U. Arizona (http://www.as.arizona.edu/) Explanation: South of the large star-forming region known as the Orion Nebula, lies bright blue reflection nebula NGC 1999 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000302.html). Also at the edge of the Orion molecular cloud (http://www.seds.org/messier/more/oricloud.html) complex some 1,500 light-years distant, NGC 1999's illumination is provided by the embedded variable star V380 Orionis. The nebula is marked with a dark sideways T-shape near center in this broad cosmic vista (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/n1999.shtml) that spans over 10 light-years. The dark shape was once assumed to be an obscuring dust cloud seen in silhouette against the bright reflection nebula. But recent infrared images (http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMFEAKPO8G_index_0.html) indicate the shape is likely a hole blown through the nebula itself by energetic young stars. In fact, this region abounds (http://www.noao.edu/outreach/latest/ngc1999about.html) with energetic young stars producing jets and outflows that create luminous shock waves. Cataloged as Herbig-Haro (HH) objects, named for astronomers George Herbig and Guillermo Haro, the shocks appear bright red in this view (http://skycenter.arizona.edu/news/109) that includes HH1 and HH2 just below NGC 1999. The stellar jets (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/1995/24/astrofile/) and outflows push through the surrounding material at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second.

28-02-2011, 08:51 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/NGC4449_hlaGendler900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/NGC4449_hlaGendlerL.jpg) NGC 4449: Close-up of a Small Galaxy
Credit: Data - Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/); Processing - Robert Gendler (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/) Explanation: Grand spiral galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071201.html) often seem to get all the glory. Their young, blue star clusters and pink star forming regions along sweeping spiral arms (http://casa.colorado.edu/%7Edanforth/science/spiral/) are guaranteed to attract attention. But small irregular galaxies form stars too, like NGC 4449 (http://www.seds.org/%7Espider/spider/Misc/n4449.html), about 12 million light-years distant. Less than 20,000 light-years across, the small island universe is similar in size, and often compared (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/26/supplemental.html) to our Milky Way's satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101016.html) (LMC). This remarkable Hubble (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/NGC4449-HST-Gendler.html) Space Telescope close-up of the well-studied (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0010515) galaxy was reprocessed to highlight the telltale reddish glow of hydrogen gas. The glow traces NGC 4449's widespread star forming regions, some even larger than those in the LMC (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060518.html), with enormous interstellar arcs and bubbles blown by short-lived, massive stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap991130.html). NGC 4449 is a member of a group of galaxies (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galgrps/cvni.html) found in the constellation Canes Venatici. Interactions with the nearby galaxies (http://seds.org/MESSIER/galaxy.html) are thought to have influenced star formation in NGC 4449.

28-02-2011, 08:55 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/Arp227friends_leshin900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/Arp227friends_leshin.jpg) Shell Galaxies in Pisces
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Stephen Leshin (http://sleshin.startlogic.com/) Explanation: This colorful cosmic skyscape (http://sleshin.startlogic.com/stargazergallery/main.php?g2_itemId=415) features a peculiar system of galaxies cataloged as (http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Arp/frames.html) Arp 227 some 100 million light-years distant. Swimming within (http://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?topic=2623.0) the boundaries of the constellation Pisces (http://www.pa.msu.edu/people/horvatin/Astronomy_Facts/constellation_pages/pisces.htm), Arp 227 consists of the two galaxies prominent (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/arp227field_leshin600.jpg) on the left; the curious shell galaxy NGC 474 and its blue, spiral-armed neighbor NGC 470. The faint, wide arcs or shells of NGC 474 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1999IAUS..186..191T) could have been formed by a gravitational encounter with neighbor NGC 470. Alternately the shells could be caused by a merger (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021111.html) with a smaller galaxy producing an effect analogous to ripples across the surface of a pond. Remarkably, the large galaxy on the right hand side of the deep image, NGC 467, appears to be surrounded by faint shells too, evidence of another interacting (http://burro.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/) galaxy system. Intriguing background galaxies are scattered around the field that also includes spiky (http://spider.ipac.caltech.edu/staff/kaspar/obs_mishaps/images/int_reflection2.html) foreground stars. Of course, those stars lie well within our own Milky Way Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080104.html). The field of view spans 25 arc minutes or about 1/2 degree on the sky (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/scale.html).

28-02-2011, 08:57 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/hyperion3_cassini_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1102/hyperion3_cassini_1024.jpg) Saturn's Hyperion: A Moon with Odd Craters
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team (http://ciclops.org/), SSI (http://www.spacescience.org/), JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: What lies at the bottom of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_%28moon%29's strange craters? Nobody's sure (http://www.ballet.co.uk/images/nycb/pk_the_concert_maria_kowroski_high_umbrella_shrug_ 500.jpg). To help find out, the robot Cassini spacecraft (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/spacecraft/index.html) now orbiting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_%28planet%29 swooped past the sponge-textured moon (http://www.oceanicresearch.org/education/wonders/sponges.html) in 2005 and 2010 and took images of unprecedented detail. An image from the 2005 pass, shown above (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07740) in false color, shows a remarkable world strewn with strange craters and a generally odd surface. The slight differences (http://www.johnmunsch.com/images/FiveDifferences.png) in color likely show differences in surface composition. At the bottom of most craters lies some type of unknown dark material (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2010/pdf/1541.pdf). Inspection of the image shows (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/science/moons/hyperion/) bright features indicating that the dark material might be only tens of meters thick in some places. Hyperion (http://www.planetary.org/explore/topics/saturn/hyperion.html) is about 250 kilometers across, rotates chaotically (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050726.html), and has a density so low that it might house (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010DPS....42.0603H) a vast system of Cave - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia inside.

05-03-2011, 11:51 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/california_noller_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/california_noller_1700.jpg) NGC 1499: The California Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Markus Noller (%20markus-noller%20@at@%20gmx%20.dot.%20de) (Deep Sky Images (http://www.deep-sky-images.de/)) Explanation: What's California doing in space? Drifting through the Orion Arm of the spiral Milky Way Galaxy, this cosmic cloud (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/nebulae/ngc1499.html) by chance echoes the outline of California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the west coast of the United States (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html). Our own Sun also lies within the Milky Way's Orion Arm (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/5000lys.html), only about 1,500 light-years from the California Nebula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Also known as NGC 1499 (http://www.seds.org/%7Espider/spider/Misc/n1499.html), the classic emission nebula is around 100 light-year (http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question19.html)s long. On many images, the most prominent glow of the California Nebula is the red light characteristic of hydrogen (http://periodic.lanl.gov/1.shtml) atoms recombining with long lost (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/lament.html) electrons, stripped away (ionized (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/ionization.html)) by energetic starlight. In the above image (http://www.deep-sky-images.de/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pid=239#top_display_media), however, hydrogen is colored green, while sulfur is mapped (http://bf-astro.com/hubbleP.htm) to red and oxygen mapped to blue. The star most likely providing the energetic starlight that ionizes much of the nebular gas is the bright, hot, bluish Xi Persei - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, just outside the right image edge. A regular target for astrophotographers, the California Nebula can be spotted (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090411.html) with a wide-field telescope under a dark sky toward the constellation of Perseus (constellation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, not far from the Pleiades (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091103.html).

05-03-2011, 11:52 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/NGC6914_peris_600h.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/NGC6914_peris.jpg) NGC 6914 Nebulae
Credit: Descubre Foundation (http://www.cienciadirecta.com/), CAHA (http://www.caha.es/), OAUV (http://observatori.uv.es/), DSA (http://www.astro-photographer.org/), Vicent Peris (OAUV (http://observatori.uv.es/)), Jack Harvey (SSRO (http://www.starshadows.com/)), Juan Conejero (PixInsight (http://pixinsight.com/gallery/NGC6914-CAHA/en.html)) Explanation: A dramatic study in contrasts, this colorful skyscape (http://pixinsight.com/gallery/NGC6914-CAHA/en.html) features stars, dust, and glowing gas in NGC 6914. The complex of nebulae lies some 6,000 light-years away, toward the high-flying northern constellation Cygnus and the plane (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070920.html) of our Milky Way Galaxy. With foreground dust clouds in silhouette, both reddish hydrogen emission nebulae (http://fusedweb.pppl.gov/cpep/chart_pages/5.plasmas/nebula/emission.html) and dusty blue reflection nebulae (http://fusedweb.pppl.gov/cpep/chart_pages/5.plasmas/nebula/reflection.html) fill the 1/2 degree wide field. The view spans nearly 50 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 6914. Ultraviolet radiation from the massive, hot, young stars of the extensive (http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.2463) Cygnus OB2 (http://stardate.org/radio/program/2009-08-26) association ionize the region's atomic hydrogen gas (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051223.html), producing the characteristic red glow as protons and electrons recombine. Embedded Cygnus OB2 stars also provide the blue starlight strongly reflected by the dusty clouds. Constructed as a two-panel mosaic, the image was processed to bring out (http://pixinsight.com/examples/NGC6914-CAHA/en.html) both bright and dim colors and detailed structures.

05-03-2011, 11:56 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/casa_main.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/casa_main.jpg) Cooling Neutron Star
Credit: X-ray: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) / CXC (http://chandra.harvard.edu/) / UNAM / Ioffe / D.Page (http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1011.6142), P.Shternin et al (http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1012.0045); Optical: NASA / STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/);
Illustration: NASA/CXC (http://chandra.harvard.edu/)/M.Weiss) Explanation: Supernova remnant (http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/supernovas.html) Cassiopeia A (Cass A) is a comfortable (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2003/0108supernova.html) 11,000 light-years away. Light from the Cass A supernova, the death explosion of a massive star, first reached Earth just 330 years ago. The expanding debris cloud spans about 15 light-years in this composite X-ray (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040826.html)/optical image, while the bright source near the center is a neutron star (http://www.astro.umd.edu/%7Emiller/nstar.html) (inset illustration (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2011/casa/more.html#casa1)) the incredibly dense, collapsed remains of the stellar core. Still hot enough to emit X-rays, Cass A's neutron star is cooling. In fact, 10 years of observations with the orbiting Chandra X-ray observatory find that the neutron star is cooling rapidly (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2011/casa/), so rapidly that researchers suspect a large part of the neutron star's core is forming a frictionless neutron superfluid (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2011/casa/more.html#casa3). The Chandra results represent the first observational evidence for this bizarre state (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223151943.htm) of matter.

18-03-2011, 04:44 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/asteroidstreak_hst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/asteroidstreak_hst_350.jpg) Asteroids in the Distance
Credit: R. Evans & K. Stapelfeldt (JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/)), WFPC2 (http://www.stsci.edu/hst/wfpc2), HST (http://www.stsci.edu/hst/HST_overview/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: Rocks from space hit Earth every day. The larger the rock, though, the less often Earth is struck. Many kilograms of space dust pitter to Earth daily. Larger bits appear initially as a bright meteor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteoroid#Meteor). Baseball-sized rocks and ice-balls streak through our atmosphere daily, most evaporating quickly to nothing. Significant threats (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/) do exist for rocks near 100 meters in diameter, which strike the Earth (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990711.html) roughly every 1000 years. An object this size could cause significant tsunamis were it to strike an ocean, potentially devastating even distant shores. A collision with a massive asteroid (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040619.html), over 1 km across, is more rare (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980313.html), occurring typically millions of years apart, but could have truly global consequences (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/doc/sentry.html). Many asteroids remain undiscovered (http://spacewatch.lpl.arizona.edu/). In fact, one was discovered in 1998 as the long blue streak in the above archival image (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/1998/10/) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. In 2002 June, the small 100-meter asteroid 2002 MN (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/3306216.html) was discovered only after it whizzed by the Earth, passing well within the orbit of the Moon. 2002 MN (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/2002mn.html) passed closer than any asteroid since 1994 XM1 (http://astrowww.phys.uvic.ca/media/press/1.htm), but not as close as 2004 MN4 (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news149.html) will pass in 2029. A collision (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050308.html) with a large asteroid would not affect Earth's orbit so much as raise dust that would Impact winter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. One likely result is a global extinction of many species of life, possibly dwarfing the ongoing extinction occurring now (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/2/l_032_04.html).

18-03-2011, 04:44 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/IC405FlamingstarDetail_geissinger900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/IC405FlamingstarDetail_geissinger1700.jpg) AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Rolf Geissinger (http://www.stern-fan.de/) Explanation: AE Aurigae (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/aeaur.html) is the bright star below and left of center in this evocative portrait of IC 405 (http://www.stern-fan.de/Seiten/galerie_Bild_IC405-Flamingstar.html), also known as the Flaming Star Nebula. Embedded in the cosmic cloud, the hot, variable O-type star (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070726.html) energizes the glow of hydrogen along convoluted filaments of atomic gas, its blue starlight scattered by interstellar (http://espg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html) dust. But AE Aurigae wasn't formed in the nebula it illuminates. Retracing the star's motion through space, astronomers conclude that AE Aurigae was probably born in the Orion Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090222.html). Close gravitational encounters with other stars ejected it from the region, along with another O star, Mu Columbae (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/mucol.html), over two million years ago. The runaway stars (http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/gallery_IC405.html) have drifted in opposite directions ever since, separating at about 200 kilometers per second. This sharp, detailed image of IC 405 spans over 5 light-years at the nebula's estimated distance of 1,500 light-years in the northern constellation Auriga (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100305.html), the Charioteer.

18-03-2011, 04:45 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/NGC3628crawford900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/NGC3628crawford.jpg) Sideways Galaxy NGC 3628
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Ken Crawford (http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/Contact.html) (Rancho Del Sol Obs. (http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/)) Explanation: Dark dust lanes cut across the middle of this gorgeous island universe (http://www.aip.org/history/cosmology/ideas/island.htm), a strong hint that NGC 3628 (http://seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n3628.html) is a spiral galaxy seen sideways (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010510.html). About 35 million light-years away in the northern springtime constellation Leo (http://www.pacificsites.com/%7Ehakuna/leo.html), NGC 3628 bears the distinction of being the only member of the well known Leo triplet (http://seds.org/messier/more/m066gr.html) of galaxies not in Charles Messier's famous catalog (http://seds.org/messier/xtra/history/m-cat.html). Otherwise similar in size to our Milky Way Galaxy (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html), the disk of NGC 3628 is clearly seen to fan out near the edges. A faint arm of material extends to the upper left. The distorted shape and faint tidal tail (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070727.html) suggest that NGC 3628 (http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/aat063.html) is interacting gravitationally with the other spiral galaxies in the Leo triplet, M66 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060902.html) and M65 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070601.html). The dusty disk of NGC 3628 is also dotted with the telltale reddish hues of star-forming regions in this sharp telescopic view. Explore the full resolution version here (http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/Galaxies/NGC3628/NGC3628.htm).

19-03-2011, 07:39 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/lrg_ngc4258gabany900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/lrg_ngc4258gabany.jpg) Messier 106
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): R Jay Gabany (http://www.cosmotography.com/index.html) Explanation: Close to the Great Bear (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/C_SPRING/BIGDIP.HTM) (Ursa Major) and surrounded by the stars of the Canes Venatici - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Canes Venatici), this celestial wonder was discovered (http://www.seds.org/messier/Mdes/dm106.html) in 1781 by the metric (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=52982) French astronomer Pierre Mechain (http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/history/pmechain.html). Later, it was added to the catalog of his friend and colleague Charles Messier as M106 (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m106.html). Modern deep telescopic views reveal it to be an island universe (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080124.html) -- a spiral galaxy around 30 thousand light-years across located only about 21 million light-years beyond the stars of the Milky Way. Along with a bright central core, this colorful composite image (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/small_close_ngc4258.html) highlights youthful blue star clusters and reddish stellar nurseries tracing the galaxy's spiral arms (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070411.html). It also shows off remarkable reddish jets of (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0703307) glowing hydrogen gas. In addition to small companion galaxy NGC 4248 (bottom right) background galaxies can be found scattered throughout the frame. M106 (aka NGC 4258) is a nearby example of the Seyfert class (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap981023.html) of active galaxies, seen across the spectrum (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/multiwavelength_astronomy/multiwavelength_astronomy/) from radio to x-rays. Active galaxies are believed to be powered by matter falling into a massive central black hole (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/supermassive_blackholes_drive_galaxy_evolution.htm l).

22-03-2011, 06:28 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/ngc6384_hst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/ngc6384_hst_3871.jpg) NGC 6384: Spiral Beyond the Stars
Credit: ESA (http://sci.esa.int/), Hubble (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: The universe is filled with galaxies (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18005). But to see them astronomers must look out (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061005.html) beyond the stars of our galaxy, the Milky Way (http://home.arcor-online.de/axel.mellinger/). For example, consider this (http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1108a/) colorful telescopic view of spiral galaxy NGC 6384, about 80 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. At that distance, NGC 6384 spans an estimated 150,000 light-years. The sharp image shows details in the distant galaxy's blue spiral arms and yellowish core. Still, the individual stars seen in the picture are all in the close foreground, well within our own galaxy (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html). The brighter Milky Way stars show noticeable crosses (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Beatles_-_Abbey_Road.jpg), or diffraction spikes (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010415.html), caused by the telescope itself.

24-03-2011, 12:26 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/redsquare_tuthill_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/redsquare_tuthill_1024.jpg) MWC 922: The Red Square Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Peter Tuthill (http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/%7Egekko/) (Sydney U. (http://physics.usyd.edu.au/)) & James Lloyd (Cornell (http://astro.cornell.edu/)) Explanation: What could cause a nebula to appear square? No one is quite sure. The hot star system known as MWC 922 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/316/5822/247.abstract), however, appears to be embedded in a nebula with just such a shape. The above image (http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/%7Egekko/redsquare.html) combines Infrared - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia exposures from the Hale Telescope (http://www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/hale.html) on Mt. Palomar (http://www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/) in California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and the Keck-2 Telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap971227.html) on Mauna Kea (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050704.html) in Hawaii - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A leading progenitor hypothesis for the square nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020618.html) is that the central star or stars somehow expelled cones of gas during a late developmental stage. For http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Square_Nebula, these cones happen to incorporate nearly Right angle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and be visible from the sides. Supporting evidence for the cone (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Cone.html) hypothesis includes radial spokes in the image that might run along the cone (http://www.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/5701896/2/istockphoto_5701896-cone-head-man.jpg) walls. Researchers speculate that the cones viewed from another angle would appear similar to the gigantic rings of supernova 1987A (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070107.html), possibly indicating that a star in MWC 922 might one day itself explode in a similar supernova (http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/snr.html).

24-03-2011, 09:50 PM

Suzaku shows clearest picture yet of Perseus Galaxy Cluster

March 24, 2011 (http://www.physorg.com/archive/24-03-2011/)

Suzaku explored faint X-ray emission of hot gas across two swaths of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. The images, which record X-rays with energies between 700 and 7,000 electron volts in a combined exposure of three days, are shown in two false-color strips. Bluer colors indicate less intense X-ray emission. The dashed circle is 11.6 million light-years across and marks the so-called virial radius, where cold gas is now entering the cluster. Red circles indicate X-ray sources not associated with the cluster. Inset: An image of the cluster's bright central region taken by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is shown to scale. Credit: NASA/ISAS/DSS/A. Simionescu et al.; inset: NASA/CXC/A. Fabian et al.
(PhysOrg.com) -- X-ray observations made by the Suzaku observatory provide the clearest picture to date of the size, mass and chemical content of a nearby cluster of galaxies. The study also provides the first direct evidence that million-degree gas clouds are tightly gathered in the cluster's outskirts.

Suzaku is sponsored by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) with contributions from NASA and participation by the international scientific community. The findings will appear in the March 25 issue of the journal Science.
Galaxy clusters are millions of light-years across, and most of their normal matter comes in the form of hot X-ray-emitting gas that fills the space between the galaxies.
"Understanding the content of normal matter in galaxy clusters is a key element for using these objects to study the evolution of the universe," explained Adam Mantz, a co-author of the paper at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Clusters provide independent checks on cosmological values established by other means, such as galaxy surveys, exploding stars and the cosmic microwave background, which is the remnant glow of the Big Bang. The cluster data and the other values didn't agree.
NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) explored the cosmic microwave background and established that baryons -- what physicists call normal matter -- make up only about 4.6 percent of the universe. Yet previous studies showed that galaxy clusters seemed to hold even fewer baryons than this amount.
Suzaku images of faint gas at the fringes of a nearby galaxy cluster (http://www.physorg.com/tags/galaxy+cluster/) have allowed astronomers to resolve this discrepancy for the first time.
The satellite's ideal target for this study was the Perseus Galaxy Cluster, which is located about 250 million light-years away and named for the constellation in which it resides. It is the brightest extended X-ray source beyond our own galaxy, and also the brightest and closest cluster in which Suzaku has attempted to map outlying gas.
"Before Suzaku, our knowledge of the properties of this gas was limited to the innermost parts of clusters, where the X-ray emission is brightest, but this left a huge volume essentially unexplored," said Aurora Simionescu, the study's lead researcher at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University.

http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/2011/1-suzakushowsc.jpgThis Hubble Space Telescope image shows NGC 1275, the galaxy located in the center of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. The red threadlike filaments are composed of cool gas suspended by a magnetic field. (Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration)
In late 2009, Suzaku's X-ray telescopes repeatedly observed the cluster by progressively imaging areas farther east and northwest of the center. Each set of images probed sky regions two degrees across -- equivalent to four times the apparent width of the full moon or about 9 million light-years at the cluster's distance. Staring at the cluster for about three days, the satellite mapped X-rays with energies hundreds of times greater than that of visible light. From the data, researchers measured the density and temperature of the faint X-ray gas, which let them infer many other important quantities. One is the so-called virial radius, which essentially marks the edge of the cluster. Based on this measurement, the cluster is 11.6 million light-years across and contains more than 660 trillion times the mass of the sun. That's nearly a thousand times the mass of our Milky Way galaxy.
The researchers also determined the ratio of the cluster's gas mass to its total mass, including dark matter -- the mysterious substance that makes up about 23 percent of the universe, according to WMAP. By virtue of their enormous size, galaxy clusters should contain a representative sample of cosmic matter, with normal-to-dark-matter ratios similar to WMAP's. Yet the outer parts of the Perseus cluster seemed to contain too many baryons, the opposite of earlier studies, but still in conflict with WMAP.
To solve the problem, researchers had to understand the distribution of hot gas in the cluster, the researchers say. In the central regions, the gas is repeatedly whipped up and smoothed out by passing galaxies. But computer simulations show that fresh infalling gas at the cluster edge tends to form irregular clumps.
Not accounting for the clumping overestimates the density of the gas. This is what led to the apparent disagreement with the fraction of normal matter found in the cosmic microwave background (http://www.physorg.com/tags/cosmic+microwave+background/).
"The distribution of these clumps and the fact that they are not immediately destroyed as they enter the cluster are important clues in understanding the physical processes that take place in these previously unexplored regions," said Steve Allen at KIPAC, the principal investigator of the Suzaku observations.
Goddard supplied Suzaku's X-ray telescopes and data-processing software, and it continues to operate a facility that supports U.S. astronomers who use the spacecraft.
Suzaku (Japanese for "red bird of the south") is the fifth Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite. It was launched as Astro-E2 on July 10, 2005, and renamed in orbit. The observatory was developed at JAXA's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in collaboration with NASA and other Japanese and U.S. institutions.

24-03-2011, 10:27 PM

Exploding stars and stripes

March 24, 2011 (http://www.physorg.com/archive/24-03-2011/)

http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/2011/explodingsta.jpgThis image comes from a very deep Chandra observation of the Tycho supernova remnant, produced by the explosion of a white dwarf star in our Galaxy. Low-energy X-rays (red) in the image show expanding debris from the supernova explosion and high energy X-rays (blue) show the blast wave, a shell of extremely energetic electrons. These high-energy X-rays show a pattern of X-ray "stripes" never previously seen in a supernova remnant. Some of the brightest stripes can be seen on the right side of the remnant pointing from the outer rim to the interior. The stellar background is from the Digitized Sky Survey and only shows stars outside the remnant. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/K. Eriksen et al.; Optical: DSS
The discovery of a pattern of X-ray "stripes" in the remains of an exploded star may provide the first direct evidence that a cosmic event can accelerate particles to energies a hundred times higher than achieved by the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth.

This result comes from a very long observation of the Tycho supernova remnant with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. It could explain how some of the extremely energetic particles bombarding the Earth, called cosmic rays, are produced.
"We've seen lots of intriguing structures in supernova remnants, but we've never seen stripes before," said Kristoffer Eriksen, a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University who led the study. "This made us think very hard about what's happening in the blast wave of this powerful explosion." This latest study from Chandra provides support for a theory about how magnetic fields can be dramatically amplified in such blast waves.
In this theory, the magnetic fields become highly tangled and the motions of the particles very turbulent near the expanding supernova shock wave at the front edge of the supernova remnant. High-energy charged particles can bounce back and forth across the shock wave repeatedly, gaining energy with each crossing. Theoretical models (http://www.physorg.com/tags/theoretical+models/) of the motion of the most energetic particles – which are mostly protons – are predicted to leave a messy network of holes and dense walls corresponding to weak and strong regions of magnetic fields, respectively.
The X-ray stripes discovered by the Chandra researchers are thought to be regions where the turbulence is greater and the magnetic fields more tangled than surrounding areas, and may be the walls predicted by the theory. Electrons become trapped in these regions and emit X-rays as they spiral around the magnetic field (http://www.physorg.com/tags/magnetic+field/) lines.
However, the regular and almost periodic pattern of the X-ray stripes was not predicted by the theory.
http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/2011/1-explodingsta.jpgHigh-energy X-rays in this image of the Tycho supernova remnant show a pattern of X-ray "stripes" never previously seen in a supernova remnant. These stripes may provide the first direct evidence that supernova remnants can accelerate particles to energies a hundred times higher than achieved by the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth, the Large Hadron Collider. The results could explain how some of the extremely energetic particles bombarding the Earth, called cosmic rays, are produced, and they provide support for a theory about how magnetic fields can be dramatically amplified in such blast waves. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/K. Eriksen et al.; Optical: DSS
"It was a big surprise to find such a neatly arranged set of stripes," said co-author Jack Hughes, professor of physics and astronomy at Rutgers. "We were not expecting so much order to appear in so much chaos. It could mean that the theory is incomplete, or that there's something else we don't understand."

Assuming that the spacing between the X-ray stripes corresponds to the radius of the spiraling motion of the highest energy protons in the supernova remnant, the spacing corresponds to energies about 100 times higher than reached in the Large Hadron Collider. These energies equal the highest energies of cosmic rays thought to be produced in our Galaxy.
Because cosmic rays are composed of charged particles, like protons and electrons, their direction of motion changes when they encounter magnetic fields throughout the galaxy. So, the origin of individual cosmic rays detected on Earth cannot be determined.
Supernova remnants have long been considered a good candidate for producing the most energetic cosmic rays in our Galaxy. The protons can reach energies that are hundreds of times higher than the highest energy electrons, but since they do not radiate efficiently like the electrons, direct evidence for the acceleration of cosmic ray protons in supernova remnants has been lacking.
These results also support the prediction that magnetic fields in interstellar space are greatly amplified in supernova remnants, but the difference between the observed and predicted structures means that other interpretations cannot be ruled out.
"We were excited to discover these stripes because they might allow us to directly track, for the first time, the origin of the most energetic particles produced in our galaxy," said Eriksen. "But, we're not claiming victory yet."
http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/2011/2-explodingsta.jpgX-ray stripes are thought to be regions where the turbulence is greater and the magnetic fields more tangled than surrounding areas. Electrons become trapped in these regions and emit X-rays as they spiral around the magnetic field lines. Regions with enhanced turbulence and magnetic fields were expected in supernova remnants, but the motion of the most energetic particles -- mostly protons -- was predicted to leave a messy network of holes and dense walls corresponding to weak and strong regions of magnetic fields, respectively. Credit: CXC/M. Weiss
The Tycho supernova remnant is named for the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who reported observing the supernova in 1572. Scientists think the explosion occurred when a white dwarf star grew in mass and exceeded its weight limit, forming a so-called Type Ia supernova. The Tycho remnant is located in the Milky Way, about 13,000 light years from Earth. "Supernova remnants (http://www.physorg.com/tags/supernova+remnants/) are our best cosmic laboratories for understanding how nature accelerates the highest energy cosmic rays (http://www.physorg.com/tags/cosmic+rays/)," said Roger Blandford of Stanford University, a noted expert in this field who was not involved with these findings. "These careful measurements provide a very strong clue as to what actually happens at these giant shock fronts."

More information: These results were published in the February 20th, 2011 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

25-03-2011, 07:39 PM

Magnetic fields in interstellar clouds

March 25, 2011 (http://www.physorg.com/archive/25-03-2011/)

The Flame Nebula seen in infrared light. New far infrared observations of molecular gas motions around a young stellar core in this nebula support models in which magnetic fields play a key role. Credit: 2MASS, UMass, and IPAC
(PhysOrg.com) -- Magnetic fields play an important role in the formation and evolution of stars, as they stretch around a hot medium like a rubber band and help to determine the flow of material onto or away from the star.

One key uncertainty is the amount of energy in the magnetic field (http://www.physorg.com/tags/magnetic+field/) as compared with the energy in turbulent motions of the gas. Unfortunately, magnetic fields are poorly understood, in part because they are very difficult to measure directly.
Observations during the past few years have dramatically improved our ability to detect and study magnetic fields in star-forming clouds. Former CfA postdoc Hua-bai Li and CfA astronomers Ray Blundell, Abigail Hedden, Scott Paine, and Edward Tong, together with a colleague, used a new instrument working at far infrared wavelengths (http://www.physorg.com/tags/infrared+wavelengths/) from a Chilean mountaintop to study the effects of magnetic fields.
This CfA Receiver Lab Telescope observed the emission from warm carbon monoxide (http://www.physorg.com/tags/carbon+monoxide/) gas with a velocity resolution able to categorize turbulent motions in the gas.
The scientists found evidence of magnetic fields in the molecular cloud (http://www.physorg.com/tags/molecular+cloud/) around a young stellar core by examining the distribution of velocities of the gas: magnetic fields should constrain gas motions, and the team was able to measure the extent of this influence as they probed the region around the core.
Additional evidence for magnetic fields comes from the shape of the cloud core, which appears to be elongated rather than spherical (an asymmetrical shape is expected if magnetic fields are constraining the medium).
The new results represent an important advance both in measuring the effects of magnetic fields, and in supporting theoretical models (http://www.physorg.com/tags/theoretical+models/) of their influence on the birth of new stars.

26-03-2011, 09:07 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/n1555block900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/n1555block.jpg) T Tauri and Hind's Variable Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Adam Block (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/index.html), Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter (http://skycenter.arizona.edu/), U. Arizona (http://www.as.arizona.edu/) Explanation: The yellowish star near center in this remarkable telescopic skyview (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/n1555.shtml) is T Tauri, prototype of the class of T Tauri variable (http://www.aavso.org/vsots_ttau) stars. Nearby it is a dusty yellow cosmic cloud historically (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/doi/10.1086/145232) known as Hind's Variable Nebula (NGC 1555). Over 400 light-years away, at the edge of a molecular cloud, both star and nebula are seen (http://mira.aavso.org/pipermail/aavso-discussion/2004-December/011285.html) to vary significantly in brightness but not necessarily at the same time, adding to the mystery of the intriguing region. T Tauri stars are now generally recognized as young (less than a few million years old), sun-like stars still in the early (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/gravc.html) stages of formation (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/StarForm.html). To further (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0406337) complicate the picture, infrared observations indicate that T Tauri itself is part of a multiple system and suggest that the associated Hind's (http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/H/Hind.html) Nebula may also contain a very young stellar object. The naturally colored image spans about 4 light-years at the estimated distance of T Tauri (http://www.astronomy.com/asy/default.aspx?c=a&id=2765).

27-03-2011, 08:47 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/marsglobe_viking_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/marsglobe_viking_1552.jpg) Valles Marineris: The Grand Canyon of Mars
Credit: Viking Project (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/viking.html), USGS (http://www.usgs.gov/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: The largest canyon in the Solar System (http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/) cuts a wide swath across the face of Mars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/mars.html). Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. By comparison, the Grand Canyon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in Arizona, USA is 800 kilometers long, 30 kilometers across, and 1.8 kilometers deep. The origin of the Valles Marineris - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia remains unknown, although a leading hypothesis holds that it started as a crack (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980310.html) billions of years ago as the planet cooled. Several geologic processes have been identified in the canyon (http://www.windows2universe.org/mars/interior/Valles_Marineris.html). The above mosaic (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/photo_gallery/photogallery-mars.html) was created (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/photo_gallery/caption/marsglobe1.txt) from over 100 images of Mars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/mars.html) taken by Viking (http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/welcome/viking.htm) Orbiters in the 1970s.

30-03-2011, 06:04 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/ngc5584_hst900r.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1103/ngc5584_hstr.jpg) NGC 5584: Expanding the Universe
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), A. Riess (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2011/08/bio/bio_primary.html) (STScI/JHU), L. Macri (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2011/08/bio/bio_primary.html) (Texas A & M Univ.) et al. (http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.2976), Hubble Heritage (http://heritage.stsci.edu/) (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/)/AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)) Explanation: Big, beautiful NGC 5584 (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2011/08/caption.html) is more that 50,000 light-years across and lies 72 million light-years away toward the constellation Virgo. The winding spiral arms of this gorgeous island universe (http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/March02/Gordon/Gordon2.html) are loaded with luminous young star clusters and dark dust lanes. Still, for earthbound astronomers NGC 5584 is not just another pretty face-on spiral galaxy. Home to some 250 Cepheid variable stars (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2011/08/supplemental.html) and a recent Type Ia supernova - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia explosion, key objects for astronomical distance determinations (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/cosmology/cosmicd.html), NGC 5584 is one of 8 galaxies used in a new study that includes additional Hubble Space Telescope observations to improve the measurement of Hubble's Constant (http://apod.nasa.gov/debate/debate96.html) - the expansion rate of the Universe. The results (http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.2976) of the study lend weight to the theory that dark energy really is responsible (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/08/full/) for accelerating the expansion of the Universe, restricting models that try to explain the observed acceleration without the mysterious dark energy. In this sharp Hubble image (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/08/fastfacts/) of NGC 5548, many of the small reddish smudges are distant background galaxies.

30-03-2011, 06:25 PM

The rose-red glow of star formation

March 30, 2011 (http://www.physorg.com/archive/30-03-2011/)

http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/2011/theroseredgl.jpg This picture of the star cluster and surrounding nebula NGC 371 was taken using the FORS1 instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. NGC 371 lies in the Small Magellanic Cloud, one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way. Credit: ESO/Manu Mejias
The vivid red cloud in this new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope is a region of glowing hydrogen surrounding the star cluster NGC 371. This stellar nursery lies in our neighboring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud.

The object dominating this image may resemble a pool of spilled blood, but rather than being associated with death, such regions of ionised hydrogen -- known as HII regions -- are sites of creation with high rates of recent star birth. NGC 371 is an example of this; it is an open cluster surrounded by a nebula. The stars in open clusters all originate from the same diffuse HII region, and over time the majority of the hydrogen is used up by star formation (http://www.physorg.com/tags/star+formation/), leaving behind a shell of hydrogen such as the one in this image, along with a cluster of hot young stars.
The host galaxy (http://www.physorg.com/tags/host+galaxy/) to NGC 371, the Small Magellanic Cloud, is a dwarf galaxy (http://www.physorg.com/tags/dwarf+galaxy/) a mere 200 000 light-years away, which makes it one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way. In addition, the Small Magellanic Cloud contains stars at all stages of their evolution; from the highly luminous young stars (http://www.physorg.com/tags/young+stars/) found in NGC 371 to supernova remnants of dead stars (http://www.physorg.com/tags/dead+stars/). These energetic youngsters emit copious amounts of ultraviolet radiation (http://www.physorg.com/tags/ultraviolet+radiation/) causing surrounding gas, such as leftover hydrogen (http://www.physorg.com/tags/hydrogen/) from their parent nebula, to light up with a colourful glow that extends for hundreds of light-years in every direction. The phenomenon is depicted beautifully in this image, taken using the FORS1 instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT).
Open clusters are by no means rare; there are numerous fine examples in our own Milky Way. However, NGC 371 is of particular interest due to the unexpectedly large number of variable stars it contains. These are stars that change in brightness over time. A particularly interesting type of variable star, known as slowly pulsating B stars, can also be used to study the interior of stars through asteroseismology, and several of these have been confirmed in this cluster. Variable stars play a pivotal role in astronomy: some types are invaluable for determining distances to far-off galaxies and the age of the Universe.
The data for this image were selected from the ESO archive by Manu Mejias as part of the Hidden Treasures competition. Three of Manu's images made the top twenty; his picture of NGC 371 was ranked sixth in the competition.

Provided by ESO (news (http://www.physorg.com/partners/eso/) : web (http://www.eso.org/public/))

31-03-2011, 12:27 AM

First Mercury images in orbit show lots of craters

March 30, 2011 (http://www.physorg.com/archive/30-03-2011/) By SETH BORENSTEIN , AP Science Writer

This WAC image showing a never-before-imaged area of Mercury’s surface was taken from an altitude of 450 km (280 miles) above the planet during the spacecraft’s first orbit with the camera in operation. The area is covered in secondary craters made by an impact outside of the field of view. Some of the secondary craters are oriented in chain-like formations. This image was taken during MESSENGER’s closest approach to the sunlit portion of the surface during this orbit, just before crossing over the terminator. The oblique illumination by the Sun causes the long shadows and accentuates topography. The highly elliptical orbit of MESSENGER brings the spacecraft down to a periapsis (MESSENGER’s closest approach to Mercury) altitude of 200 km (125 miles) and out to an apoapsis (MESSENGER’s farthest distance from Mercury) altitude of 15,000 km (9300 miles). Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Think the moon has many craters? New photos from the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury show the tiny inner planet has far more impressive battle scars from regular high-speed peltings by space rocks.

NASA's Messenger spacecraft (http://www.physorg.com/tags/messenger+spacecraft/), which began orbiting the planet less than two weeks ago, reveals a pock-marked planet full of craters from pieces of asteroids and comets.
"Mercury (http://www.physorg.com/tags/mercury/) has had an exposed surface for at least 3.5 to 4 billion years and some of those surfaces are extremely cratered to the point where there are so many craters they start to obscure one another," said mission chief scientist Sean Solomon.
He said it was surprising how many secondary craters there are. Those are craters created by the falling soil kicked up from space rock (http://www.physorg.com/tags/space+rock/) collisions.
Those initial space rock crashes "throw out a lot of material in the explosive process," Solomon said.
The wide-angle camera (WAC) is not a typical color camera. It can image in 11 colors, ranging from 430 to 1020 nm wavelength (visible through near-infrared). It does this with a filter wheel: the 11 narrow-band filters (plus one clear filter) are mounted onto a wheel that can be rotated to allow the camera to capture an image through each filter. In this image the 1000 nm, 750 nm, and 430 nm filters are displayed in red, green, and blue, respectively. Several craters appear to have excavated compositionally distinct low-reflectance (brown-blue in this color scheme) material, and the bright rays of Hokusai crater to the north cross the image. During MESSENGER’s orbital operations, we will typically use just eight of the WAC's filters. This decision was made to reduce the amount of data that must be stored on the spacecraft’s solid-state recorder before the information can be downlinked. It’s also quicker than cycling through all 11 filters - the spacecraft is moving rapidly over the surface, and there isn't much time to image the same spot on the surface 11 times over before moving to the next area of interest. The sets of color images will help us learn about the variation in composition from place to place on the planet. For example, some minerals such as olivine and pyroxene often absorb more light at longer wavelengths than at shorter ones, so we’ll be looking for their signatures in the reflectance spectra derived from each eight-color set. WAC images will be used in coordination with the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS), a hyperspectral instrument that provides reflectance information at many more wavelengths, but only for one spot on the surface at a time. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
One area of the far north of Mercury had never been seen by previous spacecraft on mere fly-bys. The new images show scatterings of secondary craters, almost like a loaded pizza, but not the primary crater that was first carved out. The region is also so far north that the sun barely gets above the horizon and casts long shadows. "It's heavily cratered," Solomon said Wednesday. "It may have happened on a particularly bad day."
The secondary craters usually are six miles wide but can be as much as 15 miles wide, much larger than secondary craters on the moon, Solomon said.
He said that could be because the chunks of asteroids and comets are moving faster as they get closer to the gravitational pull (http://www.physorg.com/tags/gravitational+pull/) of the sun so they smack Mercury harder, causing the soil to bounce higher and make bigger secondary craters. The fact that Mercury, unlike the moon, is shrinking and has a magnetic field (http://www.physorg.com/tags/magnetic+field/) could be another factor.
Mercury is also darker and appears more weather-beaten than the moon, because of "the constant bombardment of the surface by dust particles (http://www.physorg.com/tags/dust+particles/) and small meteoroids," Solomon said.

Messenger has been circling Mercury only since March 17. In its first day of photo transmission, the space probe sent back 224 pictures, Solomon said. By the end of this week, NASA will have received more than 15,000 pictures from the $446 million spacecraft.
The first imaged offered a glimpse of the planet's dark, frigid south pole, where scientists think there may be ice. But the photo isn't close enough to tell if radar images from Earth that hint at ice are correct, Solomon said. Photos of the poles are scheduled for later in the mission.
Messenger will spend at least a year circling Mercury and start mapping the planet on Monday, eventually crashing into the planet when the mission is over.
Mercury and Messenger are about 66 million miles from Earth.

More information: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/

31-03-2011, 08:50 PM

Hot massive stars

Hot stars are an important component of our research programme. They are typically ten thousand times brighter than our sun and they can be seen at great distances. Because they are so bright, they burn their nuclear fuel very quickly and havevery short lifetimes of only a few million years. Hence they are ideal for finding out about the current state of our own and other galaxies.

Hot stars are also found in the haloes of spiral galaxies, but are usually lower mass objects that are near the end of their lives. We are particularly interested in those that have exhausted their nuclear fuel and are starting to cool.

The programme is observationally led, with substantial allocations of observing time on large ground-based telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope satellite. The research also makes extensive use of our computer models of how stars emit light.
The image to the right shows the Tarantula Nebula, a spectacular star forming region in a nearby galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud, This is the primary target for a European Consortium of astronomers that have used the FLAMES spectrograph on the Very Large Telescopes at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to study how stars form, evolve and die in such galaxies. This was been awarded Large Programme status by ESO and builds on a very successful programme that used the same instrument to survey both the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds. This programme (often called FLAMES-1) was managed and led by QUB Staff.

Hot star researchers

Philip Dufton (https://habu.pst.qub.ac.uk/groups/philipdufton/wiki/welcome/Philip_Dufton.html)
Paul Dunstall
Morgan Fraser
Francis Keenan
Robert Ryans (https://habu.pst.qub.ac.uk/groups/robertspages/)
Stephen Smartt
Carrie Trundle

External Links

Link (http://star.pst.qub.ac.uk/%7Esjs/flames/) to results for original FLAMES survey (FLAMES-1)
Link (http://www.roe.ac.uk/%7Ecje/tarantula/) to the current Tarantula survey

02-04-2011, 11:54 AM
Rho Oph Dark Cloud - 2MASS (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/rhoophL.jpg) (100 KB)A three-color view of the Rho Oph dark cloud constructed with Montage from deep exposures made with the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) Extended Mission. Image courtesy of 2MASS.

02-04-2011, 11:55 AM
Large Magellanic Cloud - Spitzer (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/lmc_spitzer.jpg) (136 KB)
This Spitzer mosaic of the Large Magellanic Cloud was created as part of the "Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy's Evolution" (SAGE) legacy program. In this three-color composite covering more than seven degrees on a side, blue is 3.6 microns, green is 8 microns, and red is 24 microns. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Meixner (STScI) and the SAGE Legacy Team.

02-04-2011, 11:56 AM
Leo-I Galaxy - Sloan Digital Sky Survey (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/Leo-I.jpg) (3.64 MB)
(http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/Leo-I.jpg)Located just north of Regulus (seen as the bright spray off the bottom of the image), the Leo-I galaxy is a dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way and is the most distant of the fifteen Milky Way satellites known. This three-color view spans a 0.5 x 0.5-degree region and was created from 45 separate images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The SDSS g-, r-, and i-bands map to the image's blue, green, and red channels, respectively.

02-04-2011, 11:57 AM
NGC 1097 - Spitzer (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/ngc1097_sings.jpg) (170 KB)
(http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/ngc1097_sings.jpg)The SBb LINER galaxy NGC 1097 as taken with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. This image, part of the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxy Survey (SINGS), is a three-color mosaic preview comprised of 3.6 um (blue), 4.5 um (green), and 8.0 um (red) data.

02-04-2011, 11:58 AM
Helix Nebula (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/helix_largeL.jpg) (282 KB)
(http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/helix_largeL.jpg)The power of grid-enabled Montage software allows astronomers and star-gazers alike to feast their eyes on the Helix nebula in its entirety. Created with the Montage Web Service (http://hachi.ipac.caltech.edu:8080/montage/) and Montage v3.0.

02-04-2011, 11:59 AM
Barnard 92 (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/Barnard92.jpg) (679 KB)
(http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/Barnard92.jpg)This mosaic centers on the dark cloud Barnard 92. The dark clouds cataloged by Barnard contain so much dust they obscure the light of stars embedded in them and in the line of sight behind them. The clouds thus appear as holes in the sky. Stars become visible as the dust thins out in the periphery of the clouds. Their light assumes a reddish hue because dust grains preferentially extinguish blue light. This is particularly well viewed to the west (right) of the cloud. Another dark cloud, Barnard 93, is also seen along the eastern (left) side of the image. The image preserves the positional accuracy and intensities of a total of 92 input images, and is an example of the types of images astronomers use in their research. Image credit: Montage.

02-04-2011, 11:59 AM
Pleiades Mosaic - DSS (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/DSS_pleiades_mosaic.jpg) (3.25 KB)
(http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/DSS_pleiades_mosaic.jpg)Known throughout the world under various names -- Subaru to the Japanese, Matarii ("Little Eyes") to the natives of Tonga, Athur-ai ("The Stars of Hathor") to the ancient Egyptians -- the Pleiades (as it was known to the ancient Greeks) is a cluster of naked-eye stars located in the constellation Taurus, the Bull. This cluster is now known to be a collection of relatively young stars, their births having occurred only 100 to 125 million years ago. The brightest stars shown here are those visible to the naked eye on a clear winter's night and represent hot blue giants much more massive than our Sun; the faintest members of the cluster are faint red dwarfs only a tenth of the Sun's mass. The blue, green, and red channels of this three- color image were made from B-, R-, and I-band images, respectively, from the Digitized Sky Survey. Image credit: Inseok Song (University of Georgia).

02-04-2011, 12:00 PM
Portion of Galactic plane - GLIMPSE (Spitzer) (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/r9228544_3col_MOSAIC_sub2.jpg) (1.78 MB)
This is a section of the Galactic plane measured with the Spitzer Space Telescope. In this four-color composite, blue is 3.6 microns, green is 4.5 microns, orange is 5.8 microns, and red is 8.0 microns. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/E. Churchwell (University of Wisconsin).

02-04-2011, 12:01 PM
Galactic Plane Color Composite - 2MASS (http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/cropped-atlasmaker_galplane.jpg) (81 KB)
(http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/images/cropped-atlasmaker_galplane.jpg) This is a color composite of large-scale mosaics of the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) J, H, and K image data at full resolution (1 arcsecond/pixel). The entire image covers 44x8 degrees of the Galactic plane, centered on the Galactic center (158,400 x 28,800 pixels; 109.5 GB). If printed out, it would be eight feet high. Image credit: Dr. John Good (Caltech)

02-04-2011, 12:10 PM

Hidden Galaxy Photographed by Peeping Space TelescopeCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAA leggy cosmic creature, actually the "hiding galaxy" IC 342, comes out of hiding in this new infrared view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE

02-04-2011, 12:11 PM
Asteroid Spotted Passing in Front of Stunning Space CloudCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAA new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) showcases the Tadpole nebula, a star-forming hub in the Auriga constellation about 12,000 light-years from Earth. The asteroid, 1719 Jens, left, tracks across the image, seen as a line of yellow-green dots in the boxes near center. A second asteroid was also observed cruising by, as highlighted in the boxes near the upper left. Also, two satellites orbiting above WISE (highlighted in the ovals) streak through the image, appearing as faint green trails. Full Story (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/asteroid-tadpole-nebula-wise-telescope-100513.html)

02-04-2011, 12:12 PM
NASA Telescope Peers Into Heart and Soul of UniverseCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAThe Heart and Soul nebulae are seen in this infrared mosaic from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The image covers an area of the sky over ten times as wide as the full moon and eight times as high in the constellation Cassiopeia.

02-04-2011, 12:13 PM
Puffy Star Looks Like Cosmic JellyfishCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAWhat looks like a jellyfish floating in a sea of kelp is actually a cloud of material shed by a massive star, in this new image from WISE. Full story (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/puffy-star-cosmic-jellyfish-photo-100622.html) Image

02-04-2011, 12:13 PM
Southern Pinwheel Galaxy Shines In New PhotoCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE TeamThe southern Pinwheel Galaxy, or M83, shines in infrared in this new photo taken by NASA's WISE space observatory. Full Story (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/southern-pinwheel-galaxy-new-photo-100629.html).

02-04-2011, 12:14 PM
Prolific NASA Sky-Mapper Finds 25,000 Hidden AsteroidsCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAThis image shows the famous Pleiades cluster of stars as seen through the eyes of WISE, or NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The mosaic contains a few hundred image frames - just a fraction of the more than one million WISE captured during its first complete survey of the sky in infrared light.

02-04-2011, 12:15 PM
New Cosmic Photo Reveals Eye-Catching Rosette Nebula Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA [Full Story (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/rosette-nebula-wise-telescope-photo-100827.html)]A new image taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) shows the Rosette nebula located within the constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn). This flower-shaped nebula is a huge star-forming cloud of dust and gas in our Milky Way galaxy, about 4,500-5,000 light-years away.

02-04-2011, 12:15 PM
Misfit Failed Star Is Stinky, Cold and Glowing GreenCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA [Full Story (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/green-brown-dwarf-star-spotted-101110.html)]The green dot in the middle of this image is a dim star belonging to a class called brown dwarfs. NASA's WISE spacecraft snapped the image in infrared light.

02-04-2011, 12:16 PM
Cosmic Nebulas Dazzle in New Space Telescope PhotosCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE TeamAn image of the Flaming Star Nebula, taken in infrared light by NASA's WISE space telescope.

02-04-2011, 12:16 PM
Runaway Star Zeta OphiuchiCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team This infrared image from NASA's WISE telescope shows the runaway star Zeta Ophiuchi as it creates a bright shockwave (yellow arc) in an interstellar dust cloud as it zooms through space.

02-04-2011, 12:17 PM
NASA Telescope Spots Cosmic Rose in Deep SpaceCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAThis infrared image from NASA's WISE space telescope shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars, including the Berkeley 59 cluster and a supernova remnant. Read the full story (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/cosmic-rose-wise-telescope-100316.html).

02-04-2011, 12:18 PM
The StreakCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAThis gallery showcases the first images taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. Comet Siding Spring flashes across the sky impressively in this infrared image. Observers in Australia discovered the comet, also known as C/2007 Q3, in 2007.

02-04-2011, 12:18 PM
Just BornCredit: WISE credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA; Hubble credit: NASA/STScI/MPIA/Univ. of Heidelberg/Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignThis infrared image shows a star-forming cloud teeming with gas, dust and massive newborn stars. The inset shows detail of the very center of the cloud, a cluster of stars called NGC 3603 (taken in visible light by the Hubble Space Telescope).

02-04-2011, 12:19 PM
The Galaxy Next DoorCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAOur neighboring galaxy, Andromeda, also goes by the names Messier 31 or M31. Here, it is captured in full in this new image by WISE.

02-04-2011, 12:20 PM
Andromeda StrainedCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISEThis image from WISE displays the Andromeda galaxy's older stellar population in blue. The disk of the galaxy shows the aftermath of a collision with another galaxy, clear from the warp in the spiral arm at the upper left side.

02-04-2011, 12:20 PM
Dust in the Wind(ing Spiral Arms)Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAThis WISE image shows dust speckling the Andromeda galaxy's spiral arms. The hot dust, heated by newborn stars, outlines the thin arms to the center of the galaxy.

02-04-2011, 12:21 PM
Blue Light SpecialCredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAThis dense cluster of galaxies, captured by WISE, is known as Fornax because of its location in a constellation of the same name. It lies 60 million light-years from Earth, and is one of the closest galaxy clusters to the Milky Way.

02-04-2011, 12:22 PM
What Do You See? Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAShortly after NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) ejected its cover, it took this infrared snapshot of a region in the constellation Carina near the Milky Way. It was released Jan. 6, 2010.

02-04-2011, 12:23 PM
Southern Sky SplendorCredit: ESO/H.H. HeyerThe European Southern Observatory’s telescopes atop Cerro Paranal in Chile form the Paranal Observatory. Here they serve as the backdrop for fabulous views of the night sky. The Milky Way stretches across this rare 360-degree view of the night sky above the Paranal platform, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope. 37 individual frames make up the image.

02-04-2011, 12:24 PM
Shot Through the HeartCredit: ESO/Yuri BeletskyThree of the four 8.2-m telescopes forming ESO's VLT are seen dimly, with a laser beaming out from Yepun, Unit Telescope number 4. The laser points at the Galactic Center of the Milky Way, our galaxy. The bright object at center is Jupiter, while the other is Antares.

02-04-2011, 12:24 PM
Paranal-mal ActivityCredit: ESOThe Milky Way shines in all its majesty, as well as the Magellanic Clouds on the right. Some of the docking stations for the Auxiliary Telescopes of the VLTI lie in the foreground.

02-04-2011, 12:27 PM
Venus Kissed the MoonCredit: ESO/Y. BeletskyThe Moon and Venus shine in the skies of Cerro Paranal, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). Below them, the Milky Way glows crimson.

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02-04-2011, 08:10 PM

The other day, I posted a picture of the Orion Nebula (http://www.outerspaceuniverse.org/orion-nebula-image-2.html)that I took myself, using my Nikon D300 with a 200 mm lens. I thought you would enjoy seeing how the Hubble Space Telescope views this colorful nebula.

Orion is about 1,500 light years away, so it’s relatively close to us. It’s the nearest star forming region to the Earth and it has a lot to offer observers. I’d like to highlight a couple of areas in this beautifully detailed image.
There is a massive young star embedded in the bright glow in the upper left. This youngster is giving off immense amounts of ultraviolet light and is the only star that is shaping this part of the nebula. Notice the dense piller of dust just to the left of this star.
The real show in this nebula is the bright center. Within this region are four massive stars that are called the trapezium. If you look close, you can see that they are arranged in a trapezium shape. These big boys are blowing out the dust and gas around them forming the bright glowing shell. The edge of the shell can be seen as the red glowing pillar near the bottom left.
Other intriguing objects in the image include the faint red stars near the bottom of the image. These are brown dwarf stars that never made it to full stellar stature – they weren’t big enough to sustain nuclear fusion which is what powers a star.
Obviously, Hubble does a much better job of taking nebula pictures than I do! It’s amazing what a couple of hundred million dollars can do to enhance your photography skills!
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto ( Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

02-04-2011, 08:11 PM

NCG 6302 is known as the Butterfly Nebula. What makes this nebula so intriguing is that is has two distinct lobes – the butterfly wings – that surround one of the hottest white dwarf stars yet detected. The central star of this nebula is estimated to be over 220,000 degrees Celsius.

NGC 6302 is a planetary nebula (http://www.outerspaceuniverse.org/nebula-galactic-nursery-supernova-remnants.html). A planetary nebula is an emission nebula. This means that as a star nears the end of it’s life, it can expand into a red giant. As a red giant, it will begin blowing off it’s outer layers. This ejected material forms a shell of gas and dust around the star. The shell can glow when it becomes ionized by the ultraviolet radiation of the dying central star.
As I was looking at this image, I was drawn to the giant white pillars of dust that appear to be pointing back to the central star. Take a close look. It seems to me that they are clumps of dust that are resisting the pressure of stellar wind from the central white dwarf.
I’m always struck by the variety of shapes and complexity that you can find in planetary nebulae. The Butterfly Nebula is a great example and probably the most complex I’ve ever seen.
This nebula can be found in the constellation Scorpius.
This extraordinary image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope using the Wide Field Camera 3 in both visible and ultraviolet light.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

02-04-2011, 08:12 PM


Located about 5,000 light years away from Earth, the Boomerang Nebula is the coldest place found in the universe so far. The temperature of the nebula has been measured at -272.15 degrees Celsius/-457.87 degrees Fahrenheit. So what makes this nebula so cold?
The Boomerang Nebula, which is also known as the Bow Tie Nebula, was formed by the outflow of gas from an aging central star at speeds of nearly 600,000 kilometers per hour. It is thought the star is losing as much as one-thousandth of a solar mass of material per year for 1,500 years. This rapid expansion of gas has cooled molecules in the nebula to about one degree above absolute zero. This is even colder than the cosmic background radiation found throughout much of the universe.

The light from the nebula is from the central star and is being reflected by dust. It is believed that this beautiful nebula is still very young and will evolve into the more familiar planetary nebula with bubble like lobes. Planetary nebulae form around a bright, central star when it expels gas in the last stages of it’s life.

You can find the Boomerang Nebula in the constellation of Centaurus.

02-04-2011, 08:13 PM

NGC 2359, which is known as Thor’s Helmet Nebula is an emission nebula. It can be found in the constellation Canis Major – which is one of the hunting dog constellations near Orion. This nebula is about 15,000 light years away and is about 30 light years in size.
Thor’s Helmet is a lot like the Bubble Nebula. It has a Wolf-Rayet star in the center which is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a pre-supernova stage. The nebula gets it’s shape from the star’s interaction with a nearby large molecular cloud.

(http://www.outerspaceuniverse.org/media/Thor-helmet.jpg)Notice the similarity to Thor's Helmet

As you can see in the above image, the Wolf-Rayet star (GSC 5407:3417) has created a large bow shock in the nebula which gives the helmet it’s unique shape.
If you take a look at the picture to the right, you can see how this interesting nebula got it’s name!

02-04-2011, 08:14 PM

Now that the constellation Orion is visible in the winter night sky, it’s a good opportunity to highlight a very close and active star forming region – the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.

The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, or Orion Complex is located in and around Orion. The most active region can be found between Orion’s belt and sword. This is a good star gazing destination because it is easy to locate and the winter night sky is great for observing because of it’s clarity. Several components of this region are visible to the naked eye and binoculars. For example, the pink colored smear you can see in Orion’s sword is actually the beautiful Orion Nebula.
http://www.outerspaceuniverse.org/media/orion-molecular-cloud-2-140x200.jpgBarnard's Loop in the Orion Complex

The Orion Complex, which is about 1,300 light years from Earth, is called a molecular cloud because it composed of interstellar dust and gas. The density of the matter is quite high and hence, is a very active star forming region. This high level of activity has created some striking nebulae, worthy of your telescope time! Some of the interesting objects in this area include: The Orion Nebula (M42), The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434), Barnard’s Loop (Sh 2-276), and the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024).

02-04-2011, 08:16 PM


New pictures released from recently upgraded Hubble Space Telescope show amazing new detail within the spectacular Carina Nebula. This image was taken in both visible light and near infrared light. As you can see near the center of the image are two energetic jets spewing matter out of the pillar.
The Carina Nebula is also known as the Eta Carinae Nebula (NGC 3372) and can be found in the constellation Carina. Unfortunately, for you Northern Hemisphere dwellers, this awesome beauty can only be seen in the Southern Hemisphere. This is probably one of, if not the, largest diffuse nebula in our night sky. It is four times larger and brighter than my personal favorite, the Orion Nebula. It is estimated that the nebula lies between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth.

(http://www.outerspaceuniverse.org/media/carina-nebula-wide-view.jpg)The Carina Nebula

What makes the new image so interesting is the extraordinary detail that can be seen in the small section of the nebula pictured above. This structure is about two light years across. It’s twisted and boiling composition is caused by raging solar winds and radiation from several young, hot massive stars. The bottom half of the image clearly shows highly energetic jets emerging from a hidden infant start. Think of it as cosmic colic! These images were recently released by the Hubble Space Telescope and were made possible because of the newly installed Wide Field Camera 3.
Picture Credit: HST/NASA/ESA

02-04-2011, 08:17 PM


In my mind, there is nothing more beautiful in our universe than a nebula. Granted, sunsets are pretty nice, but hey- if you want beauty on a cosmic scale you have to look to the night sky. Nebulae are enormous clouds of interstellar dust and gas (usually hydrogen and helium). In the vastness of space, over long periods of time, dust and gas are often drawn together by their own weight and gravitational attraction. The gravitational attraction continues as more matter is drawn into the cloud and sometimes the mass gets so great that the cloud will collapse to form stars. The intense heat and radiation from these infant stars cause the remaining dust and gas to ionize and glow so that they can be seen. Probably the most famous example of this type of nebula has been called the “the Pillars of Creation” which can be found within the Eagle Nebula.

Another famous nebula is the Horsehead Nebula which is in the constellation Orion (quite possibly my favorite constellation, by the way)! The Horsehead Nebula can be located just below the star Alnitak in Orion’s belt.
There are many different types of Nebulae including Diffuse Nebulae – which have no clearly defined boundaries, Planetary Nebulae – which are gas shells ejected by white dwarf stars, and Supernova Remnants – which are created by the most violent act in the universe – the explosion of a star. Isn’t it ironic that the most beautiful thing in the universe can be created by the most violent event?

02-04-2011, 08:19 PM


Space dust, also known as cosmic dust, is a collection matter ranging from a few molecules to around .1 mm in size. While this dust was once considered by astronomers to simply be an annoying obstruction for those trying to observe objects in outer space, further research has shown that it is actually a key component to various astrophysical processes.

One of the most interesting aspects of space dust is that it actually is a key ingredient of the early formation of new stars and also of planets.

(http://www.outerspaceuniverse.org/media/new-planet-formation.jpg)Space Dust Collecting to Form a Planet

As the space particulate combines, it becomes denser and denser, acting as building blocks for the formation of new bodies. This process can be seen through a telescope, and often looks like a bright spiraling mass.
Besides being an important part of the formation of new stars and planets, space dust also plays other roles, including right here in our own solar system. It actually makes up the outer rings of the planets Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn, and is also responsible for the presence of a comet’s tail.

(http://www.outerspaceuniverse.org/media/zodiacal-light.jpg)Zodiacal Light Seen in the Night Sky

It also plays a huge role in the presence of Zodiacal Light, which is the yellowish / whitish glow that is often seen in the night sky that appears to extend outward near the location of the sun.
While it may initially seem relatively straightforward to detect space dust, in-depth detection and analysis of it requires specialized tools and a complex research techniques. Many spacecrafts have specialized dust detectors that can detect, analyze, and collect samples of various interplanetary and intergalactic space dusts.
Overall, it is clear that space dust plays a vital role in our universe and its importance goes far beyond simply taking up space in the night sky.

03-04-2011, 11:53 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/NGC6872_gemini_c800.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/NGC6872_gemini.jpg) Giant Galaxy NGC 6872
Image Credit: Sydney Girls High School Astronomy Club,
Travis Rector (Univ. Alaska (http://salt.uaa.alaska.edu/)), Ángel López-Sánchez (Australian Astronomical Obs./ Macquarie Univ.), Australian Gemini Office (http://ausgo.aao.gov.au/contest/) Explanation: Over 400,000 light years across NGC 6872 is (http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso9924b/) an enormous spiral galaxy (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0701291), at least 4 times the size of our own, very large, Milky Way. About 200 million light-years distant, toward the southern constellation Pavo, the Peacock, the remarkable galaxy's stretched out shape (http://burro.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/) is due to its ongoing gravitational interaction, likely leading to an eventual merger, with the nearby smaller galaxy IC 4970 (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2009/ngc6872/). IC 4970 is seen just below and right of the giant galaxy's core in this cosmic color portrait (http://www.gemini.edu/node/11625) from the 8 meter Gemini South telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030909.html) in Chile. The idea to image this titanic galaxy collision comes from a winning contest essay (http://ausgo.aao.gov.au/contest2010/) submitted last year to the Gemini Observatory (http://www.gemini.edu/index.php?q=node/132) by the Sydney Girls High School Astronomy Club. In addition to inspirational aspects and aesthetics, club members argued that a color image would be more than just a pretty picture. In their winning essay they noted that "If enough colour data is obtained in the image it may reveal easily accessible information about the different populations of stars, star formation, relative rate of star formation due to the interaction, and the extent of dust and gas present in these galaxies". (Editor's note: For Australian schools, 2011 contest information is here. (http://ausgo.aao.gov.au/contest/))

09-04-2011, 12:25 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/m74_baixauli_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/m74_baixauli_1806.jpg) M74: The Perfect Spiral
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Descubre Foundation (http://www.cienciadirecta.com/), Calar Alto Observatory (http://www.caha.es/), OAUV (http://observatori.uv.es/), DSA (http://astro-photographer.org/), V. Peris (OAUV), J. L. Lamadrid (CEFCA (http://cefca.es/)), J. Harvey (http://pegasusastronomy.com/) (SSRO (http://www.starshadows.com/)), S. Mazlin (SSRO), I. Rodriguez (PTeam (http://pixinsight.com/)), O. L. (PTeam), J. Conejero (PixInsight (http://pixinsight.com/)). Explanation: If not perfect, then this spiral galaxy (http://www.seds.org/messier/spir.html) is at least one of the most photogenic. An island universe (http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/March02/Gordon/Gordon2.html) of about 100 billion stars, 32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces (http://www.allthesky.com/constellations/pisces/constell.html), M74 presents (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m074.html) a gorgeous face-on view (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010427.html). Classified as Hubble sequence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia galaxy, the grand design (http://burro.cwru.edu/Academics/Astr222/Galaxies/Spiral/spiral.html) of M74's graceful spiral (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18005) arms are traced by bright blue star clusters (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990402.html) and dark cosmic dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071129.html) lanes. The above image (http://pixinsight.com/gallery/M74-CAHA/en.html) covers half the width of the full Moon and was obtained using 19 hours of exposure on the 1.23-meter telescope at Calar Alto Observatory (http://www.caha.es/) in the Sierra de Los Filabres - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia mountain range in Spain. Spanning (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2007/41/image/a/format/zoom/) about 30,000 light-years across the face of M74 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071201.html), it includes exposures recording emission from hydrogen atoms, highlighting (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/41/supplemental.html) the reddish glow of the galaxy's large star-forming regions.

09-04-2011, 12:26 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/NGC2438_IAC80_DLopez900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/NGC2438_IAC80_DLopez.jpg) Planetary Nebula NGC 2438
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Daniel López (%20dlp%20at%20iac%20dot%20es), IAC (http://www.iac.es/) Explanation: NGC 2438 (http://seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n2438.html) is a planetary nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110218.html), the gaseous shroud cast off by a dying sunlike star billions of years old whose central reservoir of hydrogen fuel has been exhausted. About 3,000 light-years distant it lies within the boundaries of the nautical constellation Puppis (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/pup/index.html). Remarkably, NGC 2438 also seems to lie on the outskirts of bright, relatively young open star cluster M46 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090326.html). But this planetary nebula's central star (http://www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/n2438.html) is not only much older than the stars of M46, it moves through space at a different speed than the cluster stars. Distance estimates also place NGC 2438 closer than M46 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101202.html) and so the nebula appears in the foreground, only by chance along the line-of-sight to the young star cluster. This deep image of NGC 2438 (http://www.iac.es/telescopes/IAM/2011/72_abr11_ngc2438.jpg.html) highlights a halo of glowing atomic gas over 4.5 light-years across, extending beyond the nebula's brighter inner ring. Similar haloes have been found in deep images of other planetary nebulae (http://www.ing.iac.es/%7Ercorradi/HALOES/), produced during the earlier active phases of their aging central stars.

13-04-2011, 10:14 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/cena_csiro_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/cena_csiro_1063.jpg) Centaurus Radio Jets Rising
Credit: Ilana Feain (%20Ilana.Feain%20@at@%20csiro.au), Tim Cornwell & Ron Ekers (CSIRO (http://www.csiro.au/org/OurHistory.html)/ATNF (http://www.atnf.csiro.au/)); ATCA northern middle lobe pointing courtesy R. Morganti (ASTRON); Parkes data courtesy N. Junkes (MPIfR); ATCA & Moon photo: Shaun Amy, CSIRO Explanation: What if you could see the huge radio jets of Centaurus A rising? The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cen_A radio jets are not only over a million light years long, they occupy an angular area over 200 times greater than the full Moon in Earth's sky. The jets are expelled by a violent black hole (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=21667) millions of times the mass of our Sun embedded deep in the center of nearby active galaxy (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/active_galaxies.html) Cen A (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080110.html). Somehow, the black hole creates the fast moving jets as other matter falls in. In this picture (http://www.csiro.au/news/Centaurus-A.html), radio telescopes from the Australian Telescope Compact Array (http://www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au/) (ATCA) near Narrabri, New South Wales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, New South Wales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia, were captured in front of a full Moon, with a radio image of Cen A (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101107.html) superposed at its real angular size in the background. The above picture (http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/mediarelease/mr09-111.html) includes the most detailed map yet of any galaxy-class radio jets in the universe, taking several years (http://www.tameyourmindmonkey.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Boredom-Cat1.jpg) and over 1,000 hours exposure time to complete. Details in the photo may yield clues as to how radio jets (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100314.html) interact with stars and intergalactic dust. The light dots in the image depict not stars, but typically other radio bright galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020226.html) in the even more distant universe

14-04-2011, 08:45 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/RhoOph_wise900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/RhoOph_wise.jpg) Young Stars in the Rho Ophiuchi Cloud
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), JPL-Caltech (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), WISE (http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/) Team Explanation: Dust clouds and embedded newborn stars glow at infrared wavelengths (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/ir_tutorial/what_is_ir.html) in this tantalizing false-color composition from WISE, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/index.html). The cosmic canvas features (http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/gallery_rho_ophiuchi.html) one of the closest star forming regions, part of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070903.html) some 400 light-years distant near the southern edge of the pronounceable (http://www.astronomyclub.org/learn/Say_What.htm) constellation Ophiuchus (http://hawastsoc.org/deepsky/oph/index.html). After forming along a large cloud (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/StarForm.html) of cold molecular hydrogen gas, young stars heat the surrounding dust to produce the infrared glow. Stars in the process of formation, called young stellar objects or Young stellar object - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, are embedded in the compact pinkish nebulae seen here, but are otherwise hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes. An exploration (http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.3492) of the region in penetrating infrared light has detected emerging and newly formed stars whose average age is estimated to be a mere 300,000 years. That's extremely young compared to the Sun's age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun#Life_cycle) of 5 billion years. The prominent reddish nebula at the lower right surrounding the star Sigma Scorpii (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/alniyat-s.html) is a reflection nebula produced by dust scattering starlight. This view from WISE spans (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/scale.html) almost 2 degrees and covers about 14 light-years at the estimated distance of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud.

15-04-2011, 08:48 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/M101HST-Gendler900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/M101HST-GendlerM.jpg) Messier 101
Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/); Processing and additional imaging - Robert Gendler (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/) Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is one of the last entries in Charles Messier's (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000311.html) famous catalog, but definitely not one of the least (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m102d.html). About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way galaxy. M101 was also one of the original spiral nebulae (http://www.seds.org/messier/more/m101_rosse.html) observed by Lord Rosse's large 19th century telescope, the Leviathan (http://labbey.com/Telescopes/Parsontown.html) of Parsontown. This mosaic of M101 (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/M101-HST-Gendler.html) was assembled from Hubble Legacy Archive data. Additional ground-based data was included to further define the telltale reddish emission from atomic hydrogen gas in this gorgeous galaxy's (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/SHOW_DIG/M101_Pinwheel_Galaxy.HTM) star forming regions. The sharp image shows stunning features in the galaxy's face-on disk of stars and dust along with background galaxies, some visible right through M101 itself. Also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101 (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m101.html) lies within the boundaries of the northern constellation Ursa Major - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, about 25 million light-years away.

16-04-2011, 08:15 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/IC410_hanson900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/IC410_hanson.jpg) The Tadpoles of IC 410
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Mark Hanson (http://www.btlguce.com/) Explanation: This telescopic close-up shows off the otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410 in striking false-colors. It also features two remarkable inhabitants of the cosmic pond of gas and dust above and left of center, the tadpoles (http://www.countrysideinfo.co.uk/metindex.htm) of IC 410. The picture is a composite of images taken through both broad and narrow band filters (http://hubblesite.org/gallery/behind_the_pictures/meaning_of_color/eagle.php). The narrow band data traces atoms (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060324.html) in the nebula, with emission from sulfur atoms in red, hydrogen atoms in green, and oxygen in blue. Partly obscured by foreground dust, the nebula itself (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060815.html) surrounds NGC 1893 (http://www.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph?papernum=9909065), a young galactic cluster of stars that energizes the glowing gas. Composed of denser cooler gas and dust the tadpoles are around 10 light-years long, potentially sites of ongoing star formation. Sculpted by (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050425.html) wind and radiation from the cluster stars, their tails trail away from the cluster's central region. IC 410 lies some 12,000 light-years away, toward the constellation Auriga (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100305.html).

26-04-2011, 03:16 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/arp273_hst900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/arp273_hst.jpg) Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), and the Hubble Heritage (http://heritage.stsci.edu/) Team (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/) / AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)) Explanation: The spiky (http://spider.ipac.caltech.edu/staff/kaspar/obs_mishaps/images/int_reflection2.html) stars in the foreground of this sharp cosmic portrait (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2011/11/index.html) are well within our own Milky Way Galaxy (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html). The two eye-catching galaxies lie far beyond the Milky Way (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070712.html), at a distance of over 300 million light-years. Their distorted appearance is due to gravitational tides as the pair engage in close encounters (http://burro.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/backgrnd.html). Cataloged as Arp 273 (http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0011.html) (also as UGC 1810), the galaxies do look peculiar (http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Arp/frames.html), but interacting galaxies are now understood to be common in the universe. In fact, the nearby large spiral Andromeda Galaxy is known to be some 2 million light-years away and approaching the Milky Way. Arp 273 may offer an analog of their far future encounter (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/galaxy/2002/09/). Repeated galaxy encounters on a cosmic timescale (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060323.html) can ultimately result in a merger into a single galaxy of stars. From our perspective, the bright cores of the Arp 273 galaxies are separated by only a little over 100,000 light-years. The release of this stunning vista celebrates (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/11/) the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit.

26-04-2011, 03:17 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/201103_VirgoGCM_andreo900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/201103_VirgoGCM_andreo.jpg) Virgo Cluster Galaxies
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Rogelio Bernal Andreo (http://blog.deepskycolors.com/about.html) Explanation: Well over a thousand galaxies are known members of the Virgo Cluster (http://www.seds.org/messier/more/virgo.html), the closest large cluster of galaxies to our own local group (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/localgr.html). In fact, the galaxy cluster is difficult to appreciate (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galgrps/vir.html) all at once because it covers such a large area on the sky. Spanning about 5x3 degrees, this careful mosaic of telescopic images (http://blog.deepskycolors.com/archive/2011/03/18/virgo-Cluster-Deep-Widefield.html) clearly records the central region of the Virgo Cluster through faint foreground dust (http://www.galaxyimages.com/UNP1.html) clouds lingering above the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. The cluster's dominant giant elliptical galaxy M87 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100520.html), is just below center in the frame. Above M87 is the famous interacting galaxy pair NGC 4438, also known as The Eyes (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070608.html). A closer examination of the image will reveal many Virgo cluster member galaxies as small fuzzy patches. Sliding your cursor over the image will label the larger galaxies using NGC catalog (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990429.html) designations. Galaxies are also shown with Messier catalog (http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/history/m-cat-i.html) numbers, including M84, M86 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080425.html), and prominent colorful spirals M88 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100130.html), M90 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap960316.html), and M91. On average, Virgo Cluster galaxies are measured to be about 48 million light-years away. The Virgo Cluster distance (http://adsbit.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?1996PASP%2E%2E108%2E1091V) has been used to give an important determination of the Hubble Constant and the scale of the Universe (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/diamond_jubilee/debate96.html). (Editor's Note: Labels courtesy of Astrometry.net (http://astrometry.net/).)

26-04-2011, 03:19 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/catseye4_hst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/catseye4_hst_1417.jpg) The Cat's Eye Nebula from Hubble
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html), ESA (http://www.esa.int/esaCP/index.html), HEIC (http://www.spacetelescope.org/about_us/heic/), and The Hubble Heritage Team (http://heritage.stsci.edu/index.html) (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/)/AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)) Explanation: Staring across interstellar space, the alluring Cat's Eye (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2004/27/) nebula lies three thousand light-years from Earth. A classic planetary nebula (http://www.seds.org/messier/planetar.html), the Cat's Eye (NGC 6543) represents a final, brief yet glorious phase (http://www.astro.washington.edu/balick/WFPC2/) in the life of a sun-like star. This nebula's dying central star may have produced the simple, outer pattern of dusty concentric shells (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0401056) by shrugging (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011003.html) off outer (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031101.html) layers (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100509.html) in a series of regular convulsions. But the formation of the beautiful, more complex inner structures is not well understood (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061112.html). Seen so clearly in this sharp Hubble (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2004/27/image/a/) Space Telescope image, the truly cosmic eye is over half a light-year across. Of course, gazing into the Cat's Eye (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031101.html), astronomers may well be seeing the fate of our sun, destined to enter its own http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_nebula of evolution ... in about 5 billion years (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/1997/38/astrofile/).

26-04-2011, 03:19 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/ic1396_barentsen_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/ic1396_barentsen_4000.jpg) Monsters of IC 1396
Credit & Copyright: Geert Barentsen (http://www.arm.ac.uk/%7Egba/) & Jorick Vink (Armagh Observatory (http://www.arm.ac.uk/)) & the IPHAS Collaboration (http://www.iphas.org/) Explanation: Is there a monster in IC 1396 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071018.html)? Known to some as the Elephant's Trunk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant#Trunk) Nebula, parts of the glowing gas and dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990509.html) clouds of this star formation region (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100328.html) may appear to take on foreboding forms, some nearly human (http://monsters.monstrous.com/). The entire nebula might even look like a face of a monster. The only real monster (http://www.strangescience.net/stmons.htm) here, however, is a bright young star (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1996ApJ...463L.105M) too far from Earth (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0011/earthlights2_dmsp_big.jpg) to be dangerous. Energetic light (http://imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ems/uv.html) from this star is eating away the dust of the dark cometary globule (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060314.html) at the top right of the image. Jets (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100426.html) and winds (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020313.html) of particles emitted (http://www.peripatus.gen.nz/Astronomy/SteWin.html) from this star are also pushing away ambient gas and dust (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast24apr_1.htm). Nearly 3,000 light-years (http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question19.html) distant, the IC 1396 complex (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/IC1396.HTM) is relatively faint and covers a region on the sky with an apparent width of more than 10 full moon (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990419.html)s. Recently, over 100 young stars have been discovered (http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.1646) forming in the nebula.

white horse
26-04-2011, 10:26 PM
Once more some truly awe inspiring pictures... thanks for sharing! :)

26-04-2011, 11:03 PM
Once more some truly awe inspiring pictures... thanks for sharing! :)

thanks you heaps :)... yes spoace is defently amazing.
i have got a high power telecope on order and should get it soon and then will start doing some exploreing of my own. hope i can hook up a camroa to it.

26-04-2011, 11:03 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/LMC_HaOIIILRGB_lorenzi900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/LMC_HaOIIILRGB_lorenzi2000c.jpg) Hydrogen in the LMC
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Marco Lorenzi (Star Echoes (http://astrosurf.com/lorenzi/index.htm)) Explanation: A satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an alluring sight (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081219.html) in dark southern skies and the constellation Dorado (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/dor/). A mere 180,000 light-years distant, the LMC is seen in amazing detail in this very deep 4 frame mosaic (http://astrosurf.com/lorenzi/ccd/LMC_HaOIIILRGB.htm) of telescopic images, a view that reveals the Milky Way's satellite (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/sattelit.html) to have the appearance of a fledgling barred spiral galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100820.html). The mosaic includes image data taken through a narrow filter that transmits only the red light of hydrogen atoms. Ionized (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/ionization.html) by energetic starlight, a hydrogen atom emits the characteristic red H-alpha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-alpha) light as its single electron is recaptured and transitions to lower energy states. As a result, this mosaic seems spattered with pinkish clouds of hydrogen gas surrounding massive, young stars. Sculpted by the strong stellar winds and ultraviolet radiation, the glowing hydrogen clouds (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/milkyway/ism.html) are known as H II (http://astrosun2.astro.cornell.edu/academics/courses//astro201/stromgren_sphere.htm) (ionized hydrogen) regions. Composed of many overlapping clouds, the sprawling Tarantula Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110111.html) left of center, is by far the LMC's largest star forming region. The Large Magellanic Cloud is about 15,000 light-years across.

white horse
26-04-2011, 11:12 PM
thanks you heaps :)... yes spoace is defently amazing.
i have got a high power telecope on order and should get it soon and then will start doing some exploreing of my own. hope i can hook up a camroa to it.

I envy you that if you are able to do so - it is not as easy at it may at first seem!

Are you getting a reflector or refractor?

I had a 7cm reflector - low end of the market* but filled me with awe looking at Saturn - clear enough to be able to see the oval of the rings; and Jupiter enough to be able to determine the colours of the bands and see the moons!! (it was similar to the sketches doen by Galileo!)

I loved it (had to sell it to buy festival tickets... :( )

Definitely need to get another one... :)

Good luck with your set up - are you expecting to reproduce something similar to the pics you are posting!! Lol! (sos, taking the piss, couldn't resist :D !!)

*I saw a photo of Patrick Moore's set up in his back garden and he had a model similar mine a 7cm as his guidescope attached to his actual telescope!! Bastard! :D

white horse
26-04-2011, 11:17 PM

Telescope and rock star envy in one pic :)

26-04-2011, 11:27 PM
I envy you that if you are able to do so - it is not as easy at it may at first seem!

Are you getting a reflector or refractor?

I had a 7cm reflector - low end of the market* but filled me with awe looking at Saturn - clear enough to be able to see the oval of the rings; and Jupiter enough to be able to determine the colours of the bands and see the moons!! (it was similar to the sketches doen by Galileo!)

I loved it (had to sell it to buy festival tickets... :( )

Definitely need to get another one... :)

Good luck with your set up - are you expecting to reproduce something similar to the pics you are posting!! Lol! (sos, taking the piss, couldn't resist :D !!)

*I saw a photo of Patrick Moore's set up in his back garden and he had a model similar mine a 7cm as his guidescope attached to his actual telescope!! Bastard! :D

lolz ahh well u are gunna have to save up and get ya self anuther one...
a shame had to sell it...

haha nah i dont think i will get satalite or deep space images :P.....

yeah patrick moore's set up was useing a low end telescope but the set up he had was producing images to rivial nasa.....

here is the telescope i am getting... oh yeah i am also getting a infered night vision HD video camra ;)

this is costing me $137 australian

any chance you would know of a better one for around the same price range... i am willing to spend upto $300

NEW Astronomical Telescope 114mm Aperture 675x Zoom

The item is a set of Brand New Stargazing Astronomical Telescope with Tripod.
This telescope comes with high quality objective lenses to deliver sharp images. Look up for the Stars, the Moon, the planets Jupiter, Saturn and more! The metal tripod is featured with slow motion control rod for easy vertical micro adjustment.


Aperture: 114mm(4.5")
Focal Length: 900mm,f/8
Finderscope: 6X30
Metal Tripod with Slow Motion Control Rod for Easy Vertical Micro Adjustment
Maximum Height: 125cm
Standard 1.25" Accessories Include:

Eyepiece: SR4mm,H12.5mm,H20mm
3 x Barlow Lens, 1.5 Erector

Magnification with 1.5X Erecting Eyepiece
Magnification with 3X Barlow Lens












27-04-2011, 12:05 AM
found onethat i might get insted.... depnds on what the one i have on oder turns out like.....


Celestron 60LCM Computerised Telescope

RRP $899.95
OUR PRICE $399.95

http://www.sherwoods-photo.com/celestron_scopes/celestron-logo.jpg Automatically Locates The Wonders Of The Universe With Its Motorised System & On Board Computer!
All glass, fully coated optics reveal the depths of our solar system and the wonders of the Universe. Fully adjustable tripod features a convenient accessory tray. Easy to use computerised hand control allows user to locate objects at the touch of a button.

60LCM Computerised Telescope - General Features

High quality 60 mm refractor
Lightweight Computerised Mount
Built-on StarPointer finderscope to help with alignment and accurately locating objects
Quick-release computerized base, optical tube and accessory tray for quick no tool set up
Sturdy aluminum tripod and accessory tray included
Good for terrestrial and celestial observing
Includes CD-ROM "The Sky" Astronomy Software which provides education about the sky and printable sky maps

60LCM Computerized Telescope - Computerised Mount Features

Proven NexStar computer control technology
Database allows telescope to locate over 4,000 celestial objects
SkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment process
Flash upgradeable hand control software and motor control units for downloading product updates over the Internet
Internal battery compartment to prevent cord wrap during use
Compatible with optional NexRemote telescope control software, for advanced control of your telescope via computer


Optical Design: Refractor
Aperture: 60 mm (2.36 in)
Focal Length: 700 mm (27.56 in)
Focal Ratio: 11.67
Finderscope: Built-on StarPointer
Mount: Motorized Altazimuth
Eyepiece 1: 25 mm (0.98 in)
Magnification 1: 28 x
Eyepiece 2: 9 mm (0.35 in)
Magnification 2: 78 x
Star Diagonal: 1.25 Erect Image
Accessory Tray: No Tool, Quick release
Tripod: Aluminum
CD ROM: "The Sky" X
Highest Useful Magnification: 142 x
Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 11.4
Resolution (Rayleigh): 2.32 arcsec
Resolution (Dawes): 1.93 arcsec
Light Gathering Power: 73 x
Angular Field of View: 1.6 °
Linear Field of View (@1000 yds): 84 ft (25.6 m)
Optical Coatings: Fully-Coated
Computer Hand Control: Fully Computerized / Flash Upgradeable
Slew Speeds: Nine slew speeds: 3°/sec, 2°/sec, 1°/sec, .64x, 32x, 16x, 8x, 4x, 2x
Tracking Rates: Sidereal, Solar and Lunar
Tracking Modes: Alt-Az, EQ North and EQ South
Alignment Procedures: SkyAlign, Auto 2-Star Align, 1-Star Align, 2-Star Align, Solar System Align
Database: 4,000 Object Database
Weight: 10 lb (4.54 kg)

27-04-2011, 03:43 AM
If you can afford it, this is what the big boys play with! :D


27-04-2011, 08:51 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/DarkTowerGoldmanF900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/DarkTowerGoldman.jpg) The Dark Tower in Scorpius
Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Don Goldman (http://dg-imaging.astrodon.com/) Explanation: In silhouette against a crowded star field toward the constellation Scorpius (http://hawastsoc.org/deepsky/sco/index.html), this dusty cosmic cloud evokes for some the image of an ominous dark tower (http://poetry.eserver.org/childe-roland.html). In fact, clumps of dust and molecular gas collapsing (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/StarForm.html) to form stars may well lurk within the dark nebula, a structure that spans almost 40 light-years across this gorgeous telescopic portrait (http://www.astrodonimaging.com/gallery/display.cfm?imgID=227). Known as a cometary globule (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070806.html), the swept-back cloud, extending from the lower right to the head (top of the tower) left and above center, is shaped by intense ultraviolet radiation from the OB association (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_association#Types) of very hot stars in NGC 6231 (http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/aat072.html), off the upper edge of the scene. That energetic ultraviolet light also powers the globule's bordering reddish glow of hydrogen gas (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051223.html). Hot stars embedded in the dust can be seen as bluish reflection nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011228.html). This dark tower, NGC 6231, and (http://panther-observatory.com/gallery/deepsky/doc/NGC6231_wide.htm) associated nebulae are about 5,000 light-years away.

white horse
27-04-2011, 09:12 PM
If you can afford it, this is what the big boys play with! :D



01-05-2011, 09:04 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/ngc4038_HagarOreshko900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/ngc4038HagarOreshko.jpg) The Antennae
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Acquisition and data reduction - Andrey Oreshko (Elena Remote Observatory),
Processing - Dietmar Hager (stargazer-observatory (http://www.stargazer-observatory.com/)) Explanation: Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly constellation Corvus (http://hawastsoc.org/deepsky/crv/index.html), two large galaxies collided (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/1997/34/). But the stars in the two galaxies, cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 (http://www.cv.nrao.edu/%7Ejhibbard/n4038/), don't collide in the course of the ponderous event (http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/%7Edubinski/antennae/antennae.html), lasting hundreds of millions of years. Instead, their large clouds of molecular gas (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/GMC.html) and dust do, triggering furious episodes of star formation near the center of the cosmic wreckage (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061024.html). Spanning about 500 thousand light-years, this stunning view (http://www.stargazer-observatory.com/ngc4038.html) also reveals new star clusters and matter flung far (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090426.html) from the scene of the accident by gravitational tidal (http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0307383) forces. Of course (http://burro.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/), the suggestive visual appearance of the extended arcing structures gives the galaxy pair its popular name - The Antennae.

01-05-2011, 09:05 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/tychosnr_chandra900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/tychosnr_chandra2000c.jpg) Tycho's Supernova Remnant
X-Ray Image Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) / CXC (http://chandra.harvard.edu/) / F.J. Lu (Chinese Academy of Sciences) et al. (http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.3829)
Poem: (http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41) Alice Allen (%20alice[dot]allen1[at]verizon[dot]net) (apologies to William Blake (http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15523)) Explanation:
Tycho! Tycho! (http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/discuss_apod.php?date=110430) burning bright
In the darkness of the night,
What exploding white dwarf star (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2011/tycho2/)
Did frame thy remnant from afar,

In the distant deep dark skies
Under gaze of human eyes?
Seen by mortals and their ma
Named for one called Tycho Brahe. (http://galileo.rice.edu/sci/brahe.html)

01-05-2011, 09:05 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/barnard163_wiyn_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/barnard163_wiyn_2000.jpg) Molecular Cloud Barnard 163
Credit & Copyright (http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/copyright.html): T. Rector (http://salt.uaa.alaska.edu/?d=rector.htm) (U. Alaska Anchorage (http://salt.uaa.alaska.edu/)), H. Schweiker, WIYN (http://www.noao.edu/wiyn/wiyn.html), NOAO (http://www.noao.edu/), AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/), NSF (http://www.nsf.gov/) Explanation: It may look to some like a duck, but it lays stars instead of eggs. In the center of the above image (http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im1030.html) lies Barnard 163, a nebula of Molecular cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030706.html) so thick that visible light can't shine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mV4ecEbV1s#t=2m39s) through it. With a Andean Condor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia measured in light years, Barnard 163's insides are surely colder than its exterior, allowing conditions where gas can clump and eventually form stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070218.html). Barnard 163 lies about 3,000 light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) from Earth toward the constellation of Cepheus (constellation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia the King. The red glow in the background results from IC 1396, a large emission nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/emission_nebulae.html) that houses the Elephant's Trunk Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081226.html). Finding Barnard 163 in an image of its greater emission nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050908.html) IC 1396 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110425.html) can be a challenge, but it's possible.

05-05-2011, 01:59 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/redspot_voyager1_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/redspot_voyager1_3072.jpg) Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/); Digital processing: Björn Jónsson (http://www.mmedia.is/bjj/feedback.html) (IAAA (http://iaaa.org/)) Explanation: It is a hurricane twice the size of the Earth. It has been raging at least as long as telescopes could see it, and shows no signs of slowing. It is Jupiter's Great Red Spot (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990718.html), the largest swirling storm system in the Solar System. Like most astronomical phenomena, the Great Red Spot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Red_Spot#Great_Red_Spot) was neither predicted nor immediately understood after its discovery. Still today, details of how and why the Great Red Spot (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060505.html) changes its shape, size, and color remain mysterious (http://forums.urbanpug.com/extensions/InlineImages/image.php?AttachmentID=75). A better understanding of the weather on Jupiter may help contribute to the better understanding of weather here on Earth. The above image (http://www.mmedia.is/bjj/images/index.html) is a recently completed digital enhancement of an image of Jupiter taken in 1979 by the Voyager 1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia as it zoomed by the Solar System's largest planet. At about 117 AU (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/glossary/au.html) from Earth, Voyager 1 is currently the most distant human made object in the universe and expected (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/28apr_voyager/) to leave the entire solar heliosheath (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031120.html) any time now.

05-05-2011, 02:01 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/m15_hst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/m15_hst_4089.jpg) Globular Cluster M15 from Hubble
Credit: ESA (http://www.esa.int/), Hubble (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: Stars, like bees, swarm around the center of bright globular cluster M15. This ball of over 100,000 stars (http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/universe_level2/stars.html) is a relic from the early years (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980719.html) of our Galaxy (http://www.seds.org/messier/more/mw.html), and continues to orbit the Milky Way's center (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060716.html). M15, one of about 150 globular clusters (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/globular_clusters.html) remaining, is noted for being easily visible with only binoculars (http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/binoculars1.html), having at its center one of the densest concentrations of stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000804.html) known, and containing a high abundance of variable stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070415.html) and pulsars (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/pulsars.html). This sharp image (http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1107a/), taken by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, spans about 120 Light-year - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It shows the dramatic increase in density of stars toward the cluster's center. M15 (http://www.astr.ua.edu/gifimages/m15r.html) lies about 35,000 light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) away toward the constellation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation#History) of the Winged Horse (Pegasus (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/constellations/Pegasus.html)). Recent evidence (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1998AJ....115..708D) indicates that a massive black hole (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/NumRel/BlackHoles.html) might reside as the center of M15 (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18009).

09-05-2011, 10:48 PM
Do you guys mind if I post some of my own images?

I recently upgraded my cell to one with a pretty good camera. It's able to focus in through the eyepieces that I use with my telescope pretty decently. It's hard for me to take a really clear/full picture as I'm basically trying to align a small pin-hole of light into the eye of my phone's camera - esp. at higher magnifications but I thought I'd share anyways.

Moon shots at varying magnifications:







My telescope:


white horse
10-05-2011, 12:10 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/redspot_voyager1_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/redspot_voyager1_3072.jpg)/apod/ap031120.html"]solar heliosheath[/URL] any time now.

holycrap that is awesome! Can you see the fractal nature of the image with lots of repeatable patterns... fantastic!

white horse
10-05-2011, 12:15 AM
Do you guys mind if I post some of my own images?

I recently upgraded my cell to one with a pretty good camera. It's able to focus in through the eyepieces that I use with my telescope pretty decently. It's hard for me to take a really clear/full picture as I'm basically trying to align a small pin-hole of light into the eye of my phone's camera - esp. at higher magnifications but I thought I'd share anyways.

Moon shots at varying magnifications:







My telescope:


Shit dude that is a truly awesome post!

Please tell me more about your set up - what are the specs of the telescope ur using?

Interesting that you use a phone - I hadn't thought of that tbh... very good idea...

Taking pics through a telescope is no mean task; I am very impressed! :cool:

10-05-2011, 04:08 AM
Shit dude that is a truly awesome post!

Please tell me more about your set up - what are the specs of the telescope ur using?

Interesting that you use a phone - I hadn't thought of that tbh... very good idea...

Taking pics through a telescope is no mean task; I am very impressed! :cool:

Thanks a lot for the encouraging words. Yes, it's quite difficult trying to take images with my phone, but hey, it works at least, lol.

Some specs:

Optical diameter: 130mm
Focal length: 900mm
Focal ratio: f/6.9
Resolving power: 0.89arc*sec
Limiting stellar magnitude: 13.2
Mount type: Equatorial

The eyepieces I have are:
I also have a 2x Barlow (doubles the magnification of any eye piece), and a moon filter.

Here are two shots I took tonight. The first was at 150x I believe, and the second was at 180x (10mm with 2x Barlow.) I was looking at the moon tonight with 300x magnification but for the life of me could not get an image.



I'm new to astronomy, but I'm already in love with it. I can tell I'll be dropping thousands on this hobby.:p

10-05-2011, 05:34 AM
holycrap that is awesome! Can you see the fractal nature of the image with lots of repeatable patterns... fantastic!

yes i often see this in space images... is almost like they are generated in a fractal image generator.... we see this kind of "patern makeing" in all manner of things threw out the universe's

10-05-2011, 06:04 AM
those are some awsome pictures of the moon u have captured.... keep up it up lol never know one day might see a alien looking back :P

10-05-2011, 11:22 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/vltsky_beletsky_2198.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/vltsky_beletsky_3114.jpg) Wonder and Mystery above the Very Large Telescopes
Credit: Yuri Beletsky (ybialets%20at%20eso.org) (ESO (http://www.eso.org/)) Explanation: What's that bright orange dot above the large telescope on the right? Even seasoned sky enthusiasts might ponder (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101213.html) the origin of the orange orb seen by scrolling (http://blogs.families.com/media/catncompuermouse.jpg) across this panoramic image (http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1119a/), taken last December. Perhaps identifying known objects will help. To start, on the far left is a diagonal band of light known as Zodiacal light - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, sunlight reflected off of dust orbiting in the inner Solar System. The bright white spot on the left, just above the horizon, is Venus (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101020.html), which also glows by reflected sunlight. Rising diagonally from the ground to the right of Venus is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy (http://casswww.ucsd.edu/archive/public/tutorial/MW.html). In the image, the band, which usually stretches dramatically overhead, appears to arch above the elevated Chile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaan landscape. Under the Milky Way arch, toward the left, lie both the Large (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/multiwavelength_astronomy/multiwavelength_museum/lmc.html) and Small Magellanic Clouds - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia galaxies, while toward the right lies the constellation of Orion surrounded by the red ring of Barnard's Loop (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101023.html). On the ground, each of the four Very Large Telescopes (http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/vlt.html) is busy keeping an eye on the distant universe. The orange spot -- it's the Moon. The image was taken during a total lunar eclipse (http://www.universetoday.com/81716/total-lunar-eclipse-december-21-2010/) when the normally bright full moon turned into a faint orb tinted orange (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/13feb_lunareclipse/) by the intervening Earth's atmosphere.

11-05-2011, 01:16 AM
those are some awsome pictures of the moon u have captured.... keep up it up lol never know one day might see a alien looking back :P

Haha thanks. I did see something silver fly by the moon once.

11-05-2011, 01:21 AM
Do you guys mind if I post some of my own images?

I would be interested in seeing what anyone has to post. Great images by the way! Not bad for a reflector with only a 5 inch primary.

11-05-2011, 01:29 AM
I would be interested in seeing what anyone has to post. Great images by the way! Not bad for a reflector with only a 5 inch primary.

I already want more. I should have started with an 8 inch. I know I would just want an 11 inch after that....they say to beware of the 'fever'.

12-05-2011, 10:02 AM
these are some of my fav things in space "nebula" they are so wonderfull :)

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/M8_rim2geminicrop600.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/M8_rim2geminicrop1024.jpg) The Southern Cliff in the Lagoon
Credit: Julia I. Arias and Rodolfo H. Barbá (Dept. Fisica, Univ. de La Serena (http://www.dfuls.cl/)), ICATE-CONICET (http://www.icate-conicet.gob.ar/), Gemini Observatory/AURA (http://www.gemini.edu/) Explanation: Undulating bright ridges and dusty clouds cross this close-up of the nearby star forming region M8 (http://www.gemini.edu/node/11631), also known as the Lagoon Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100805.html). A sharp, false-color composite of narrow band visible and broad band near-infrared data from the 8-meter Gemini South Telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060901.html), the entire view spans about 20 light-years through a region of the nebula sometimes called the Southern Cliff. The highly detailed image explores the association of many newborn stars imbedded in the tips of the bright-rimmed clouds and Herbig-Haro objects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbig-Haro_object). Abundant in star-forming regions, Herbig-Haro objects are produced as powerful jets emitted by young stars in the process of formation heat the surrounding clouds of gas and dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100819.html). The cosmic Lagoon is found some 5,000 light-years away toward constellation Sagittarius and the center (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090925.html) of our Milky Way Galaxy. (Editor's Note: For location and scale, check out this image (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/m8_barba_scale_gemini.jpg) superimposing the close-up region shown in today's APOD on the larger Lagoon Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021006.html). Scale image is courtesy R. Barbá.)

12-05-2011, 10:15 AM

Fermi telescope spots 'superflares' in the Crab Nebula (w/ video)

May 12, 2011 (http://www.physorg.com/archive/12-05-2011/)
http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/2011/fermitelesco.jpgA Hubble visible light image of the Crab Nebula inset against a full-sky gamma ray map showing the location of the nebula (croshairs). Credit: NASA
(PhysOrg.com) -- The famous Crab Nebula supernova remnant has erupted in an enormous flare five times more powerful than any flare previously seen from the object. On April 12, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope first detected the outburst, which lasted six days.
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The nebula is the wreckage of an exploded star that emitted light which reached Earth in the year 1054. It is located 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. At the heart of an expanding gas cloud (http://www.physorg.com/tags/gas+cloud/) lies what is left of the original star's core, a superdense neutron star that spins 30 times a second. With each rotation, the star swings intense beams of radiation toward Earth, creating the pulsed emission characteristic of spinning neutron stars (http://www.physorg.com/tags/neutron+stars/) (also known as pulsars).
Apart from these pulses, astrophysicists believed the Crab Nebula was a virtually constant source of high-energy radiation. But in January, scientists associated with several orbiting observatories, including NASA's Fermi, Swift and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, reported long-term brightness changes at X-ray energies.

There are strange goings-on in the Crab Nebula. On April 12, 2011, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected the most powerful in a series of gamma-ray flares occurring somewhere within the supernova remnant.
"The Crab Nebula (http://www.physorg.com/tags/crab+nebula/) hosts high-energy variability that we're only now fully appreciating," said Rolf Buehler, a member of the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) team at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, a facility jointly located at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. Since 2009, Fermi and the Italian Space Agency's AGILE satellite have detected several short-lived gamma-ray flares at energies greater than 100 million electron volts (http://www.physorg.com/tags/electron+volts/) (eV) -- hundreds of times higher than the nebula's observed X-ray variations. For comparison, visible light has energies between 2 and 3 eV.
On April 12, Fermi's LAT, and later AGILE, detected a flare that grew about 30 times more energetic than the nebula's normal gamma-ray output and about five times more powerful than previous outbursts. On April 16, an even brighter flare erupted, but within a couple of days, the unusual activity completely faded out.

Scientists hoped that NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory would locate X-ray sources correlated to the gamma-ray flares seen by Fermi and Italy's AGILE satellites. Two observations were made during the April 2011 superflare, but there's no clear evidence of them in the Chandra images. Credit: NASA/CXC/MSFC/M.Weisskopf and A. Tennant.
"These superflares are the most intense outbursts we've seen to date, and they are all extremely puzzling events," said Alice Harding at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "We think they are caused by sudden rearrangements of the magnetic field not far from the neutron star, but exactly where that's happening remains a mystery."
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The Crab's high-energy emissions are thought to be the result of physical processes that tap into the neutron star's rapid spin. Theorists generally agree the flares must arise within about one-third of a light-year from the neutron star, but efforts to locate them more precisely have proven unsuccessful so far.
Since September 2010, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory routinely has monitored the nebula in an effort to identify X-ray emission associated with the outbursts. When Fermi scientists alerted astronomers to the onset of a new flare, Martin Weisskopf and Allyn Tennant at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., triggered a set of pre-planned observations using Chandra.
"Thanks to the Fermi alert, we were fortunate that our planned observations actually occurred when the flares were brightest in gamma rays," Weisskopf said. "Despite Chandra's excellent resolution, we detected no obvious changes in the X-ray structures in the nebula and surrounding the pulsar that could be clearly associated with the flare."

Video of Crab flare sequence. Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT/R. Buehler
Scientists think the flares occur as the intense magnetic field near the pulsar undergoes sudden restructuring. Such changes can accelerate particles like electrons to velocities near the speed of light. As these high-speed electrons interact with the magnetic field, they emit gamma rays. To account for the observed emission, scientists say the electrons must have energies 100 times greater than can be achieved in any particle accelerator on Earth. This makes them the highest-energy electrons known to be associated with any galactic source. Based on the rise and fall of gamma rays during the April outbursts, scientists estimate that the size of the emitting region must be comparable in size to the solar system.

Provided by JPL/NASA (news (http://www.physorg.com/partners/jpl-nasa/) : web (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm))

14-05-2011, 06:15 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/tychosnr_chandra900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1104/tychosnr_chandra2000c.jpg) tycho's supernova remnant
x-ray image credit: nasa (http://www.nasa.gov/) / cxc (http://chandra.harvard.edu/) / f.j. Lu (chinese academy of sciences) et al. (http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.3829)
poem: (http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmid/41) alice allen (%20alice[dot]allen1[at]verizon[dot]net) (apologies to william blake (http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmmid/15523)) explanation:
tycho! Tycho! (http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/discuss_apod.php?date=110430) burning bright
in the darkness of the night,
what exploding white dwarf star (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2011/tycho2/)
did frame thy remnant from afar,

in the distant deep dark skies
under gaze of human eyes?
Seen by mortals and their ma
named for one called tycho brahe. (http://galileo.rice.edu/sci/brahe.html)


16-05-2011, 12:00 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/ngc6514_gabany_crop900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/ngc6514_gabany.jpg) A Beautiful Trifid
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): R Jay Gabany (http://www.cosmotography.com/index.html) Explanation: The beautiful Trifid Nebula (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m020.html) is a cosmic study (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/cosmic_nurseries.html) in colorful contrasts. Also known as M20, it lies about 5,000 light-years (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/5000lys.html) away toward the nebula rich (http://www.seds.org/messier/map/Sgr.html) constellation Sagittarius. A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy, the Trifid illustrates three different types of astronomical nebulae; red emission nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080424.html) dominated by light emitted by hydrogen atoms, blue reflection nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090521.html) produced by dust reflecting starlight, and dark nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090522.html) where dense dust clouds appear in silhouette. The bright red emission region, roughly separated into three parts by obscuring, dark dust lanes, lends the Trifid its popular name. In this well met scene (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/small_ngc6514.html), the red emission is also juxtaposed with the telltale blue haze of reflection nebulae. Pillars and jets sculpted by newborn stars, below and left of the emission nebula's center, appear in Hubble Space Telescope close-up images (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071226.html) of the region. The Trifid Nebula is about 40 light-years across.

16-05-2011, 12:00 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/mp_2011-05_LittleDipperAndreo.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/mb_2011-05_LittleDipperAndreo.jpg) The Little Dipper
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Rogelio Bernal Andreo (http://blog.deepskycolors.com/about.html) Explanation: At 2nd magnitude, Polaris (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/polaris.html) is far from the brightest star in the night sky. But it is the brightest star at the left of this well-composed, starry mosaic (http://blog.deepskycolors.com/archive/2011/05/12/little-Dipper.html) spanning about 23 degrees across the northern sky asterism (http://www.deep-sky.co.uk/asterisms.htm) dubbed the Little Dipper. Polaris is famous as the North Pole Star, a friend to navigators (http://www.onr.navy.mil/focus/spacesciences/observingsky/constellations4.htm) and astrophotographers (http://blog.deepskycolors.com/archive/2010/11/10/polaris-and-the-North-Celestial-Pole.html) alike, but it's not located exactly at the North Celestial Pole (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101224.html) (NCP) either. It's presently (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/thuban.html) offset from the NCP by 0.7 degrees. Sliding your cursor over the picture will locate Polaris and the NCP as well as other stars of the Little Dipper. The stars are shown with their proper names preceded by their greek alphabet designations within the ancient Ursa Minor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the Little Bear. Dust clouds (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/image_galleries/IRAS/north.html) suspended above the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy are also faintly visible throughout the wide field of view.

16-05-2011, 12:01 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/sombrero_hst_1071.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/sombrero_hst_3215.jpg) The Sombrero Galaxy from Hubble
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), and the Hubble Heritage (http://heritage.stsci.edu/) Team (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/) / AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)) Explanation: What's going on in the center of this spiral galaxy? Named the Sombrero Galaxy for its hat-like resemblance, M104 features a prominent dust lane and a bright halo of stars and globular clusters (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18009). Reasons for the Sombrero (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m104.htm)'s hat (http://www.dogcostumeideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/706981-300x300.jpg)-like appearance include an unusually large and extended central bulge of stars, and dark prominent dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030706.html) lanes that appear in a disk that we see nearly edge-on (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020703.html). Billions of old stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap991103.html) cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge. Close inspection of the bulge in the above (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2003/28/caption.html) photograph (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2003/28/image/a) shows many points of light that are actually globular clusters (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/globular_clusters.html). Sombrero Galaxy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia's spectacular dust ring (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050511.html)s harbor many younger and brighter stars, and show intricate details astronomers don't yet fully understand (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1995A%26A...303..673E). The very center of the Sombrero - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia glows across the electromagnetic spectrum (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html), and is thought to house a large black hole (http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/abholes.html). Fifty million-year-old light from the Sombrero Galaxy (http://www.hawastsoc.org/messier/fslide121.html) can be seen with a small telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011014.html) towards the constellation (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/extra/constellations.html) of Virgo (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/constellations/Virgo.html).

17-05-2011, 10:19 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/aurora_vetter_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/aurora_vetter_2000.jpg) A Starry Night of Iceland
Credit: Stephane Vetter (%20stephane%20dot%20vetter%20at%20wanadoo%20dot%2 0fr) (Nuits sacrees (http://www.nuitsacrees.fr/)) Explanation: On some nights, the sky is the best show in town. On this night, the sky was not only the best show in town, but a composite image of the sky won an international competition (http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/news.asp?newsID=6065) for landscape astrophotography. The above winning image (http://www.nuitsacrees.fr/DP/Jokusarlon1_2000.jpg) was taken two months ago over Jökulsárlón - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the largest Glacial lake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in Iceland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The photographer combined six exposures to capture not only two green auroral rings (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021015.html), but their reflections off the serene lake. Visible in the distant background sky is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html), the Pleiades (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081209.html) open (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/open_clusters.html) clusters (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18009) of stars, and the Andromeda galaxy. A powerful coronal mass ejection (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070206.html) from the Sun caused auroras (http://spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01mar11_page3.htm) to be seen as far south as Wisconsin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, USA. As the Sun progresses toward solar maximum (http://2012wiki.com/index.php?title=Solar_Maximum) in the next few years, many more spectacular (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100917.html) images (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091219.html) of (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071009.html) aurora (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050807.html) are expected.

19-05-2011, 09:22 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/NGC253-HST-Gendler3M.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/NGC253-HST-Gendler3LL.jpg) NGC 253: Close Up
Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/); Processing and additional imaging - Robert Gendler (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/) Explanation: This dusty island universe is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in planet Earth's sky (http://www.warrenastro.org/was/newsletter/wasp9811.html#1cont). Seen nearly edge-on, NGC 253 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091121.html) is only 13 million light-years away, the largest member of the Sculptor Group (http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/sclgr.html) of galaxies, neighbor to (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2008/35/) our own local galaxy group (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galgrps.html). The detailed close-up view is a five frame mosaic (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/NGC253-HST-Gendler.html) based on data assembled from the Hubble Legacy Archive. Beginning on the left near the galaxy's core, the sharp panorama follows dusty filaments, interstellar gas clouds, and even individual stars toward the galaxy's edge at the right. The magnificent vista spans nearly 50,000 light-years. The frame at the far right has been compressed slightly to bring into view an intriguing interacting pair of background galaxies. Designated a starburst galaxy because of its frantic star forming (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0509430) activity, NGC 253 features tendrils of dust rising from a galactic disk laced with young star clusters and star forming regions. NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energy x-rays (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010607.html) and gamma rays, likely due to massive black holes near the galaxy's center.

white horse
20-05-2011, 12:25 AM
[URL="http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/sombrero_hst_3215.jpg"] http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/sombrero_hst_1071.jpg

Kinnel you never cease to amaze me NJ! :cool:

(I mean, yeah, I know you're not perosnally responsible for the pics,) :D tee hee!

That's just... incredible...

I've seen loads of pics of the Sombrero Galaxy before but that is really really deep - I also assume that for both scientific and/or aesthetic reasons the pictures are heavily altered with false colour.

But I don't take that as a bad thing. It's entirely necessary. Most astronomers openly acknowledge it along with the photo to illustrate how and why false colour was used. Quite often it's to exagerate features ro get a better look at them; and there is also the posibility that the colour in a photo is also providing all sorts of other information like material properties, distance, size and velocity.

(And after all - when you are talking about 'taking a photograph' of an entire galaxy or a cluster or extreme distant structures who knows what it actually looks like colour wise!?! It's at such extremes of our physical realm that it's impossible to see it without passing it through multiple layered filters and processors.)


Beautiful presentation you got going MJ...

An infinite playground as well! :D

20-05-2011, 08:09 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/AllSkySurvey_Risinger1500.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/3000_CC_BY-NC.jpg) A Journey Through the Night Sky
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Nick Risinger (Photopic Sky Survey (http://skysurvey.org/)) Explanation: Majestic nebulae and stars of our Milky Way (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090613.html) Galaxy stretch across this panoramic image of the entire night sky. At full resolution, the 5 gigapixel mosaic was stitched together from over 37,000 images, the result of a season following, year long effort and 60,000 travel miles in search of still dark skies in the American west and the western Cape of South Africa. The well-planned project (http://skysurvey.org/) combined many exposures from the dark sites, intended to produce an inspiring view of the night to rival the brightness of day. An interactive (http://media.skysurvey.org/interactive360/index.html) journey through the scene (http://media.skysurvey.org/openzoom.html) will uncover a congeries of innumerable stars (http://cosmology.carnegiescience.edu/timeline/1610/countless-stars) with vast clouds of gas and dust strewn (http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/heic1007d/) along the galactic plane and central bulge, too faint to see with the unaided eye (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galchart.html). Even galaxies of stars beyond (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091120.html) our Milky Way can be found within the cosmic vista.

21-05-2011, 05:35 AM

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

23-05-2011, 02:23 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/ioprometheus_galileo_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/ioprometheus_galileo_1000.jpg) Io: The Prometheus Plume
Credit: Galileo Project (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/galileo/), JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: What's happening on Jupiter's moon Io? Two sulfurous eruptions are visible on Jupiter's volcanic moon Io (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101003.html) in this color composite image (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00703) from the robotic Galileo (spacecraft) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003. At the image top, over http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Io_%28moon%29's limb, a bluish plume rises about 140 kilometers above the surface of a Caldera - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia known as Pillan Patera (http://www.nasaimages.org/luna/servlet/detail/nasaNAS%7E4%7E4%7E16596%7E120238:Changes-at-Pillan-Patera). In the image middle, near the night/day shadow line, the ring shaped Prometheus plume is seen rising about 75 kilometers above Io (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030120.html) while casting a shadow below the volcanic (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051002.html) vent. Named for the Greek god (http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/prometheus.html) who gave mortals fire (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/fire/onfire.html), the Prometheus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia plume is visible in every image ever made of the region dating back to the Voyager flybys (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/imgcat/html/object_page/vg1_1636836.html) of 1979 - presenting the possibility that this plume has been (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970428.html) continuously active for at least 18 years. The above digitally Unsharp masking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia image of Io was originally recorded in 1997 from a distance of about 600,000 kilometers. Recent analyses (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/05/11/science.1201425) of Galileo data has uncovered evidence (http://www.universetoday.com/85615/magma-ocean-flows-beneath-ios-surface/) of a magma ocean beneath Io (http://planetary.org/blog/article/00003031/)'s surface.

23-05-2011, 02:24 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/crabflare_fermi_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/crabflare_fermi_3000.jpg) An Unexpected Flare from the Crab Nebula
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), DOE (http://www.energy.gov/), Fermi (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/main/index.html) LAT (http://www-glast.stanford.edu/), R. Buehler (http://www-public.slac.stanford.edu/phonebook/dirsearch.aspx?lf=1&url=&gone=active&NAME=buehler) (SLAC (http://www.slac.stanford.edu/), KIPAC (http://www-group.slac.stanford.edu/kipac/)) Explanation: Why does the Crab Nebula flare? No one is sure. The unusual behavior, discovered (http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=2855) over the past (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011Sci...331..739A) few years, seems only to occur (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010ATel.2861....1B) in very high energy light -- Gamma ray - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. As recently as one month ago, gamma-ray observations of the Crab Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091025.html) by the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_Space_Telescope showed an unexpected increase (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/crab-nebula-surprise.html) in gamma-ray brightness, becoming about (http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/objects/heapow/archive/transients/crabflare_fermi.html) five times the nebula's usual gamma-ray brightness, and fading again (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/may/HQ_11-146_Crab_Nebula_Flare.html) in only a few days. Now usually the faster the variability, the smaller the region involved. This might indicate that the powerful pulsar at the center of the Crab, a compact Neutron star - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia rotating 30 times a second, is somehow involved. Specifically, speculation (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=21399) is centered on the changing magnetic field that surely surrounds the powerful pulsar. Rapid changes in this field might lead to waves of rapidly accelerated electrons which emit the flares, possibly in ways (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031029.html) similar to our Sun (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110307.html). The above image (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/crab-flare.html) shows how the Crab Nebula normally appears (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap950624.html) in gamma rays, as compared to the Geminga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia pulsar, and how it then appeared during the recent brightening.

23-05-2011, 05:13 PM

25-05-2011, 11:18 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/shuttleplume_sts134_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/shuttleplume_sts134_2502.jpg) Space Shuttle Rising
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: What's that rising from the clouds? The space shuttle. If you looked out the window of an airplane at just the right place and time last week, you could have seen something very unusual -- the space shuttle Endeavour launching to orbit. Images (http://twitpic.com/4yg4ur) of the rising shuttle and its plume became widely circulated over the web shortly after Endeavour's final launch (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110518.html). The above image (http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-134/html/sts134-s-061.html) was taken from a shuttle training aircraft and is not copyrighted (http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/05/23/6703177-that-famous-space-shuttle-photo-when-is-sharing-stealing). Taken well above the clouds, the image can be matched with similar images of the same shuttle plume taken below the clouds (http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-134/html/sts134-s-013.html). Hot glowing gasses expelled by the engines are visible near the rising shuttle, as well as a long smoke plume. A shadow of the plume (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070603.html) appears on the cloud deck, indicating the direction of the Sun. The shuttle Endeavour remains docked (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-134) with the International Space Station (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html) and is currently scheduled to return to Earth next week.

31-05-2011, 09:53 AM
Credit:NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

31-05-2011, 10:28 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/cenAjets_many_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/cenAjets_many_1280.jpg) Jets from Unusual Galaxy Centaurus A
Credit: ESO (http://www.eso.org/public/)/WFI (http://www.eso.org/lasilla/instruments/wfi/index.html) (visible); MPIfR (http://www.mpifr-bonn.mpg.de/)/ESO (http://www.eso.org/public/)/APEX (http://www.apex-telescope.org/)/A. Weiss et al. (microwave); NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/)/CXC (http://cxc.harvard.edu/)/CfA (http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/)/R. Kraft et al. (X-ray); Inset: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/)/TANAMI (http://pulsar.sternwarte.uni-erlangen.de/tanami/team/)/C. Müller et al. (radio) Explanation: Jets of streaming http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_%28physics%29 expelled by the central black hole of a massive spiral galaxy light up this composite image of Centaurus A (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060704.html). The jets emanating from Cen A (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110413.html) are over a million light years long. Exactly how the central black hole expels infalling matter is still unknown. After clearing the galaxy, however, the jets (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030501.html) inflate large radio bubbles (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050628.html) that likely glow for millions of years. If excited by a passing front, radio bubbles can even light up again after a billion years. X-ray light (http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_astro/xrays.html) is depicted in the above composite image (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/radio-particle-jets.html) in blue, while microwave light (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven#History) is false-colored orange. The inset image (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/550300main_Cen_A_inner_jet_English_labels.jpg) in radio light shows newly imaged, never seen-before details (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011A%26A...530L..11M) of the innermost light year of the central jet.

05-06-2011, 04:49 PM

Antares region, taken with Canon 300mm f/4 lens and sbig ST11000 camera. L,R,V and B= 12x5 minute exposure time each


C2001 NEAT Q4 comet taken with Takahashi epsilon 200 astrograph and SBIG ST8 CCD camera. Exposure time L=30minutes.

05-06-2011, 05:31 PM
M45, The Pleiades;

M45, Pleiades open cluster, taken with a Takahashi FSQ telescope (diam 106mm f/5) and a Canon 20Da camera, 100x 2 minute exposures;

06-06-2011, 11:10 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/aurora_vetter_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1105/aurora_vetter_2000.jpg) A Starry Night of Iceland
Credit: Stephane Vetter (%20stephane%20dot%20vetter%20at%20wanadoo%20dot%2 0fr) (Nuits sacrees (http://www.nuitsacrees.fr/)) Explanation: On some nights, the sky is the best show in town. On this night, the sky was not only the best show in town, but a composite image of the sky won an international competition (http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/news.asp?newsID=6065) for landscape astrophotography. The above winning image (http://www.nuitsacrees.fr/DP/Jokusarlon1_2000.jpg) was taken two months ago over Jökulsárlón (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6kuls%C3%A1rl%C3%B3n), the largest glacial lake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacial_lake) in Iceland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland). The photographer combined six exposures to capture not only two green auroral rings (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021015.html), but their reflections off the serene lake. Visible in the distant background sky is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html), the Pleiades (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081209.html) open (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/open_clusters.html) clusters (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18009) of stars, and the Andromeda galaxy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2PCFsY521o). A powerful coronal mass ejection (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070206.html) from the Sun caused auroras (http://spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01mar11_page3.htm) to be seen as far south as Wisconsin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin), USA. As the Sun progresses toward solar maximum (http://2012wiki.com/index.php?title=Solar_Maximum) in the next few years, many more spectacular (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100917.html) images (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091219.html) of (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071009.html) aurora (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050807.html) are expected.

Quality. Took my breath away.

08-06-2011, 05:30 PM
A picture of a massive coronal mass ejection taken yesterday by the SOHO satellite.


here's a video of it taken by the NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.


09-06-2011, 11:58 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/NGC3372_gendlerhannahoe900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/NGC3372_gendlerhannahoe.jpg) The Great Carina Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Robert Gendler (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/) (Processing), Ryan Hannahoe (http://ryanhannahoe.nmskies.com/) (Acquisition)
Additional data from the ESO (http://www.eso.org/public/)/Danish 1.5m telescope at La Silla (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040923.html), Chile (R.Gendler, J.-E.Ovaldsen, C.Thöne, C.Feron). Explanation: A jewel of the southern sky (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100514.html), the Great Carina Nebula (http://seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n3372.html), also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy's (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110520.html) largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090826.html), the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This gorgeous telescopic portrait (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/NGC3372-AU-Composite.html) reveals remarkable details of the region's glowing filaments of interstellar gas (http://www-ssg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html) and obscuring cosmic dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100919.html) clouds. Wider than the Full Moon in angular size (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/scale.html), the field of view (http://ryanhannahoe.nmskies.com/?p=410) stretches nearly 100 light-years across the nebula. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the still enigmatic variable Eta Carinae - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, a star with well over 100 times the mass of the Sun. Eta Carinae (http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/%7Ekaler/sow/etacar.html) is the brightest star at the left, near (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/16/supplemental.html) the dusty Keyhole Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060316.html) (NGC 3324). While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2011/carina/).

12-06-2011, 10:16 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/M51SNe_2panel_gabany1.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/M51SNe_3panel_gabany1.jpg) Supernovae in the Whirlpool
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): R Jay Gabany (http://www.cosmotography.com/index.html) Explanation: Where do spiral galaxies keep their supernovae? Near their massive star forming regions, of course (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/supernova.html), and those regions tend to lie along sweeping blue spiral arms. Because massive stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100626.html) are very short-lived (http://casswww.ucsd.edu/archive/public/tutorial/StevII.html), they don't have a chance to wander far from their birth place. Remarkably, in the last 6 years two Type II supernova - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, representing the death explosions of massive stars, have been detected in nearby spiral M51 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110611.html). Along with a third supernova seen in 1994, that amounts to a supernova bonanza (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110101.html) for a single galaxy. As demonstrated in these (http://www.cosmotography.com/images/small_supernova_comparison_ngc5194.html) comparison images, SN2005cs, the supernova discovered in 2005, and more recently SN2011dh (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110605.html), the exceptionally bright supernova first recorded just last month, both lie along M51's grand spiral arms. Perhaps the original (http://www.seds.org/messier/more/m051_rosse.html) spiral nebula, M51 is also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080105.html).

12-06-2011, 10:17 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/m64_hst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/m64_hst_897.jpg) M64: The Sleeping Beauty Galaxy
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) and the Hubble Heritage Team (heritage@stsci.edu) (AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)/STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/)), S. Smartt (IoA (http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/)) & D. Richstone (http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/%7Edor/) (U. Michigan (http://helios.astro.lsa.umich.edu/)) et al. (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2004/04/bio/bio_primary.html) Explanation: The Sleeping Beauty galaxy may appear (http://www.pitt.edu/%7Edash/type0410.html) peaceful at first sight but it is actually tossing and turning. In an unexpected twist, recent observations (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/bib_query?1994AJ....107..173R) have shown that the gas in the outer regions of this photogenic spiral (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18005) is rotating in the opposite direction from all of the stars! Collisions between gas in the inner and outer regions are creating many hot blue stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031227.html) and pink emission nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/emission_nebulae.html). The above image (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2004/04/caption.html) was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010806.html) in 2001 and released (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2004/04/image/a) in 2004. The fascinating internal motions of M64 (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m064.html), also cataloged as NGC 4826 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070802.html), are thought to be the result of a collision (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020506.html) between a small galaxy and a large galaxy where the resultant mix has not yet settled down (http://geniusbeauty.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/sleeping-cat-dog.jpg).

21-06-2011, 09:42 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/NGC5139_mandell900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/NGC5139_mandell.jpg) Millions of Stars in Omega Centauri
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Gordon Mandell (http://mandellgl.smugmug.com/Astrophotography) Explanation: Featured in this sharp telescopic image (http://mandellgl.smugmug.com/Astrophotography/Deep-Sky-Objects/Star-Clusters/1964648_X7x5M#1256269600_GgfjV4L), globular star cluster Omega Centauri (http://earthsky.org/clusters-nebulae-galaxies/omega-centauri-milky-ways-prize-star-cluster) (NGC 5139) is some 15,000 light-years away. Some 150 light-years in diameter, the cluster is packed (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080906.html) with about 10 million stars much older than the Sun. Omega Cen (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/multiwavelength_astronomy/multiwavelength_museum/omegacen.html) is the largest of 200 or so known Globular cluster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that roam the halo (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/milkyway/components.html) of our Milky Way galaxy. Though most star clusters consist of stars with the same age and composition, the enigmatic Omega Cen exhibits the presence of different (http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.4176) stellar populations with a spread of ages and chemical abundances. In fact, Omega Cen may be (http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/html/heic0809.html) the remnant core of a small galaxy merging with the Milky Way.

21-06-2011, 09:43 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/2011Jun15TLEpan_tafreshi600h.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/2011Jun15TLEpan_tafreshi.jpg) Eclipsed Moon in the Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Babak Tafreshi (http://www.twanight.org/tafreshi) (TWAN (http://www.twanight.org/)) Explanation: On June 15, the totally eclipsed Moon (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/eclipse-video.html) was very dark, with the Moon itself positioned on the sky toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110520.html). This simple panorama captures totality from northern Iran in 8 consecutive exposures each 40 seconds long. In the evocative scene (http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/gallery.asp?Gallery=Eclipses&page=1), the dark of the eclipsed Moon competes with the Milky Way's faint glow. The tantalizing red lunar disk (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070308.html) lies just above the bowl of the dark Pipe Nebula, to the right of the glowing Lagoon and Trifid (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070804.html) nebulae and the central Milky Way dust clouds. At the far right (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090708.html), the wide field is anchored by yellow Antares and the colorful clouds of Rho Ophiuchi. To identify other sights of the central Milky Way just slide your cursor over the image. The total phase of this first lunar eclipse of 2011 (http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2011.html#LE2011Jun15T) lasted an impressive 100 minutes. Parts of the eclipse were visible from most of planet Earth (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=23957), with notable exceptions of North and Central America.

21-06-2011, 09:45 PM
The eclipsed moon panorama shot is stunning.
one of the best space pics I've ever seen.

21-06-2011, 11:43 PM
The eclipsed moon panorama shot is stunning.
one of the best space pics I've ever seen.

this is one of my new fav's also... would love to be able to take photo's like that :D

24-06-2011, 09:25 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/2011-05Andreo_BigDipper900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/2011-05Andreo_BigDipper7k.jpg) The Big Dipper
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Rogelio Bernal Andreo (http://blog.deepskycolors.com/about.html) Explanation: The best known asterism in northern skies, The Big Dipper is easy to recognize (http://homepage.mac.com/kvmagruder/bcp/aster/general/dipper.htm), though some might see The Plough. Either way, the star names and the familiar outlines will appear in this thoughtfully composed 24 frame mosaic (http://blog.deepskycolors.com/archive/2011/05/14/The-Big-Dipper.html) when you slide your cursor over the image. Dubhe (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/dubhe.html), alpha star of the dipper's parent constellation Ursa Major is at the upper right. Together with beta star Merak (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/merak.html) below, the two form a line pointing (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070108.html) the way to Polaris and (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110514.html) the North Celestial Pole off the top edge of the field. Notable too (http://www.backyard-astro.com/deepsky/top100/07.html) in skygazing lore (http://www.leosondra.cz/en/mizar/) Mizar, second star from the left in the dipper's handle, forms a vision-testing (http://www.surveyophthalmol.com/article/S0039-6257%2808%2900119-7/abstract) visual double star with apparently close Alcor. Also identified in the famous star field are Messier catalog (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110415.html) objects. Download the higher resolution image (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/fap/image/1106/2011-05Andreo_BigDipper7k.jpg) to hunt for exquisite views of some of Messier's distant spiral galaxies and a more local owl (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090515.html).

27-07-2011, 11:18 PM

Hubble Telescope Finds Adorably Tiny Fourth Moon Orbiting Pluto (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/hubble-telescope-finds-fourth-moon-orbiting-pluto)

By Rebecca Boyle (http://www.popsci.com/category/popsci-authors/rebecca-boyle) Posted 07.20.2011 at 11:30 am 17 Comments (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/hubble-telescope-finds-fourth-moon-orbiting-pluto?page=#comments)

http://www.popsci.com/files/imagecache/article_image_large/articles/Picture%2010_5.png Pluto's New Moon NASA

Peering at Pluto in preparations for a satellite visit in 2015, the Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a fourth moon (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/pluto-moon.html) orbiting the dwarf planet. The wee moon doesn’t even have a name yet — it’s called P4 for now — and its estimated diameter is between 8 and 21 miles.
That’s right, Hubble spotted something the size of a city from a distance of more than 3 billion miles away.
Pluto’s new moon is smaller than the dwarf planet’s other companions; the big one, Charon, is 648 miles across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter, according to NASA. Hubble discovered those moons back in 2005.

P4 is located between the orbits of Nix and Hydra. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 ultraviolet visible instrument, which was installed on the telescope’s final servicing mission (http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-amp-space/article/2009-05/look-inside-nasas-custom-hubble-repair-toolkit) two years ago, first picked it up on June 28, and then confirmed it in follow-up pictures taken July 3 and July 18. It may appear as a faint smudge in images from 2006, NASA reports, but no one noticed because it was too obscured. This recent set of photos was taken with longer exposures, allowing P4 to resolve more clearly. Charon, first discovered back in 1978 and first imaged in 1990, is one of the reasons why Pluto was demoted from planet status. It’s about half the size of Pluto, and the two bodies act as a binary system, rotating around a common center of gravity. Some astronomers referenced this during debates about planetary classification back in 2006.
Scientists believe Charon and the other moons formed when another object sheared off a huge chunk of Pluto, much the same way that our moon formed when a Mars-sized object sheared off a piece of Earth.
Astronomers planning for the 2015 arrival of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft were excited about the discovery, because now they can plan closeup observations. And NASA was also excited about the discovery’s importance for Hubble — “it's a powerful reminder of Hubble's ability as a general purpose astronomical observatory to make astounding, unintended discoveries,” said Jon Morse, astrophysics division director at NASA headquarters.
Given that it may be on its own for a while (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/report-house-subcommittees-budget-bill-axes-james-webb-space-telescope), that's a nice reminder.
[NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/pluto-moon.html)]
http://www.popsci.com/files/imagecache/article_image_large/articles/pluto3.jpgPluto's New Neighborhood: NASA/Hubble Space Telescope

27-07-2011, 11:19 PM

X-Ray Astronomy Uncovers A Pretty Cosmic Anomaly (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/x-ray-astronomy-uncovers-cosmic-anomaly)

By Jennie Walters Posted 07.26.2011 at 10:12 am 7 Comments (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/x-ray-astronomy-uncovers-cosmic-anomaly?page=#comments)

http://www.popsci.com/files/imagecache/article_image_large/articles/PSC0711_MP_337.jpg Order In Chaos Click here to get a bigger view of this amazing x-ray. (http://www.popsci.com/files/x-ray.jpg) Courtesy Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center

In March, astronomers at Rutgers University studying the supernova remnant Tycho revealed a surprise. Using the Chandra orbiting x-ray telescope, they found unexpectedly structured patterns within Tycho. Normally supernova remnants are chaotic, says Kristoffer Eriksen, who worked on the project. The scientists had anticipated a complicated network of holes and walls inside the royal-blue shock wave, but instead they saw regularly spaced light-blue stripes. The presence of the stripes could be the closest thing to direct evidence that supernova remnants are able to produce cosmic rays, the origins of which are still poorly understood. Eriksen, along with his co-author Jack Hughes, would like to observe Tycho again in a few years to measure how far the stripes move.

27-07-2011, 11:20 PM

Amateur Astronomer Discovers Blue-Raspberry-Shaped Planetary Nebula (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/amateur-astronomer-discovers-blue-raspberry-shaped-planetary-nebula)

Posted 07.26.2011 at 5:30 pm 11 Comments (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/amateur-astronomer-discovers-blue-raspberry-shaped-planetary-nebula?page=#comments)

http://www.popsci.com/files/imagecache/article_image_large/articles/nebula1.jpg Planetary Nebula Kronberger 61 Click here to see the newly-discovered nebula in more detail. (http://www.popsci.com/files/20110725_k61_planetary_nebula.jpg) Gemini Observatory/AURA

Combing through the night sky and looking for possible planetary nebulae is tough, tedious work. NASA actually works with several amateur astronomy groups to examine the findings from its Kepler space observatory, so sometimes, the big discoveries are made by amateurs--including this one, the newest known planetary nebula, named Kronberger 61.
This image, provided by the Gemini Observatory (http://www.gemini.edu/node/11656), shows the "ionized shell of expelled gas," colored blue due to the double-ionization of the oxygen. If you look closely, you can see the star at the center of the system--it's the bright bluish dot near the center of the blue-raspberry-like shell.
The Kepler mission's goal (http://www.popsci.com/category/tags/kepler) is to find Earth-like planets, so the discovery of a new planetary nebula opens up the possibility for some exciting new discoveries. It'll take a lot more examination to find out if there are any "Goldlocks planets (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-02/kepler-telescope-team-announces-exoplanet-cornucopia-more-doubling-current-cosmic-census)," close enough but not too close to a star to foster the kind of life we have on Earth, but the discovery certainly opens the door for that kind of study.
The star was discovered by, and named for, an amateur Austrian astronomer named Matthias Kronberger, who works with a group of other amateurs known as Deep Sky Hunters.
[via Wired (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/07/kronberger-61/)]

27-07-2011, 11:28 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/ngc3132_hst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/ngc3132_hst_935.jpg) NGC 3132: The Eight Burst Nebula
Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), and the Hubble Heritage Team (http://heritage.stsci.edu/commonpages/infoindex/ourproject/moreproject.html) (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/institute/)/AURA (http://www.aura-astronomy.org/)) Explanation: It's the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of NGC 3132 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1997AAS...191.1508S) that created this odd but beautiful planetary nebula (http://www.seds.org/messier/planetar.html). Nicknamed the NGC 3132 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and the Southern Ring Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060625.html), the glowing gas originated in the outer layers (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010301.html) of a star like our Sun (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18012). In this representative color picture (http://heritage.stsci.edu/1998/39/supplemental.html), the hot blue pool of light seen surrounding this binary system (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970219.html) is energized by the hot surface of the faint star. Although photographed to explore (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1998/39/image/a/) unusual symmetries, it's the asymmetries that help make this planetary nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/planetary_nebulae.html) so intriguing. Neither the unusual shape of the surrounding cooler shell nor the structure and placements of the cool filamentary dust lanes (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020703.html) running across NGC 3132 are well understood.

27-07-2011, 11:30 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/ngc6727_julio_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/ngc6727_julio_1929.jpg) Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis
Credit & Copyright: Leonardo Julio (http://astronomiapampeana.com.ar/contacto.html) (Astronomia Pampeana (http://astronomiapampeana.com.ar/)) Explanation: Cosmic dust clouds sprawl across a rich field of stars in this sweeping telescopic vista (http://astronomiapampeana.com.ar/foto/77/NGC-6727-Dust-and-Gas-in-Corona-Australis.html) near the northern boundary of Corona Australis (http://www.botproductions.com/stellar/corona_australis.html), the Southern Crown. Probably less than 500 light-years away and effectively blocking light (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090425.html) from more distant, background stars in the Milky Way (http://members.nova.org/%7Esol/chview/chv5.htm), the densest part of the dust cloud is about 8 light-years long. At its tip (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0407/ngc6726_wide_tanlbl1.jpg) (upper right) is a group of lovely reflection nebulae cataloged as NGC 6726, 6727, 6729 (http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/aat073.html), and IC 4812. A characteristic blue color is produced as light from hot stars is reflected by (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011228.html) the cosmic dust. The smaller yellowish nebula (NGC 6729) surrounds young (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031226.html) variable star R Coronae Australis (http://www.solstation.com/stars/r-coraus.htm). Magnificent globular star cluster (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040511.html) NGC 6723 is toward the upper right corner of the view. While NGC 6723 appears (http://www.seds.org/%7Espider/spider/MWGC/n6723.html) to be part of the group, it actually lies nearly 30,000 Light-year - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia away, far beyond the Corona Australis dust clouds.

27-07-2011, 11:32 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/BetelgeuseCircumstellar_eso900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/BetelgeuseCircumstellar_esoFull.jpg) Stardust and Betelgeuse
ESO (http://www.eso.org/), Pierre Kervella (LESIA, Observatoire de Paris (http://www.lesia.obspm.fr/)), et al. (http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.5041) Explanation: An expansive nebula of dust (http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1121/) is seen to surround red supergiant (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap001222.html) star Betegeuse in this remarkable high resolution composite, an infrared VLT (http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/vlt.html) image from the European Southern Observatory. Betelgeuse itself (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090805.html) is outlined by the small, central red circle. If found in our own solar system its diameter (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100106.html) would almost encompass the orbit of Jupiter. But the larger envelope of circumstellar dust extends some 60 billion kilometers into space, equivalent to about 400 times the Earth-Sun distance. The dust is (http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.5041) likely formed as the swollen atmosphere of the supergiant sheds material into space, a final phase in the evolution of a massive star (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/redsup.html#c1). Mixing with the interstellar medium (http://espg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html), the dust could ultimately form rocky (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090923.html) terrestrial planets like Earth (http://arnett.us.com/psc/pbd.html). The central bright portion of the outer image has been masked to reveal fainter extended structures. The field of view is 5.63 arcseconds (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/scale.html) across.

27-07-2011, 11:33 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/abell2744_hst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/abell2744_hst_4000.jpg) Abell 2744: Pandora's Cluster of Galaxies
Image Credit: NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.spacetelescope.org/), J. Merten (ITA (http://www.ita.uni-heidelberg.de/ita-index_e.shtml?lang=en), AOB (http://www.bo.astro.it/)), & D. Coe (STScI (http://www.stsci.edu/portal/)) Explanation: Why is this cluster of galaxies so jumbled? Far from a smooth distribution, Abell 2744 (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2011/a2744/) not only has knots of galaxies, but the X-ray (http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/xrays.html) emitting hot gas (colored red) in the cluster appears distributed differently than the Dark matter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The dark matter, taking up over 75 percent of the Galaxy groups and clusters - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia mass and colored blue in the above image (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/17/image/a/), was inferred by that needed to create the distortion of background galaxies by gravitational lensing (http://www.astrophysicsspectator.com/topics/generalrelativity/GravitationalLensPointSim.html). The jumble appears to result from the slow motion collision of at least four smaller galaxy clusters over the past few billion years. The above picture combines (http://imgsrc.hubblesite.org/hu/db/images/hs-2011-17-b-web_print.jpg) optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010806.html) and the Very Large Telescope (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000707.html) with X-ray images from the Chandra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandra_X-ray_Observatory) X-Ray Observatory. Abell 2744, dubbed Pandora's box - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia's cluster, spans over two million light years and can best be seen with a really large telescope toward the constellation of the Sculptor (http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/sculptor.htm).

27-07-2011, 11:42 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/esoM17c900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1106/esoM17b2000.jpg) Star Factory Messier 17
Credit: ESO (http://www.eso.org/), INAF-VST (http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1119c/), OmegaCAM (http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1119d/)
Acknowledgement: OmegaCen/Astro-WISE/Kapteyn Institute Explanation: Sculpted by (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030821.html) stellar winds and radiation, the star factory known as Messier 17 (http://seds.org/messier/m/m017.html) lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/sgr/index.html). At that distance, this degree wide field of view (http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1119a/) spans almost 100 light-years, courtesy of the European Southern Observatory's new VLT Survey Telescope and OmegaCAM (http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1119/). The sharp, false color image includes both optical and infrared data, following faint details of the region's gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110520.html) stars. Stellar winds and energetic light from hot, massive stars formed from M17's stock of cosmic gas and dust have slowly carved away at the remaining interstellar material producing the cavernous appearance and undulating (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040828.html) shapes. M17 is also (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/multiwavelength_astronomy/multiwavelength_museum/m17.html) known as the Omega Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040208.html) or the Swan Nebula.

27-07-2011, 11:43 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/varHubblepanel_hst800.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/varHubblepanel_hst.jpg) VAR!
Credit: E. Hubble (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap960217.html), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://hubblesite.org/), R. Gendler (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/), Z. Levay and the Hubble Heritage Team (http://heritage.stsci.edu/) Explanation: In the 1920s, examining photographic plates from the Mt. Wilson Observatory's (http://www.mtwilson.edu/vir/100/) 100 inch telescope, Edwin Hubble (http://www.spacetelescope.org/about/history/the_man_behind_the_name/) determined the distance to the Andromeda Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100109.html), decisively demonstrating the existence of other galaxies far beyond the Milky Way. His notations are evident on the historic plate image inset at the lower right, shown in context with ground based and Hubble Space Telescope images of the region made nearly 90 years later (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/15/). By comparing different plates, Hubble searched for novae, stars which underwent a sudden increase in brightness. He found several on this plate, indicating their position with lines and an "N". Later, discovering that the one near the upper right corner was actually a type of variable star known (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/15/fastfacts/) as a cepheid (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080212.html), he crossed out the "N" and wrote "VAR!". Thanks to the work of Harvard astronomer Henrietta Leavitt (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000903.html), cepheids, regularly varying pulsating stars, could be used as standard candle distance indicators (http://www.aavso.org/cosmic-distance-ladder). Identifying such a star allowed Hubble to show that Andromeda was not a small cluster of stars and gas within our own galaxy, but a large galaxy in its own right at a substantial distance from the Milky Way. Hubble's discovery (http://heritage.stsci.edu/2011/15/caption.html) is responsible for establishing our modern concept of a Universe filled with galaxies (http://adsbit.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?1995PASP..107.1133T).

27-07-2011, 11:44 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/alphacen_eso_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/alphacen_eso_3878.jpg) Alpha Centauri: The Closest Star System
Image Credit: 1-Meter Schmidt Telescope (http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/lasilla/national.html), ESO (http://www.eso.org/) Explanation: The closest star system to the Sun is the Alpha Centauri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Of the three stars in the system, the dimmest -- called Proxima Centauri (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020715.html) -- is actually the nearest star (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/nearstar.html). The bright stars Alpha Centauri (http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/%7Ekaler/sow/rigil-kent.html) A and B form a close binary (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970219.html) as they are separated by only 23 times the Earth- Sun distance (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/glossary/au.html) - slightly greater than the distance between Uranus (http://www.nineplanets.org/uranus.html) and the Sun (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18012). In the above picture (http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso0307/), the brightness of the stars overwhelm the photograph causing an illusion of great size, even though the stars are really just small points of light. The Alpha Centauri system is not visible in much of the northern hemisphere. Alpha Centauri A, also known as Rigil Kentaurus (http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/hr/5459.html), is the brightest star in the constellation of Centaurus (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/constellations/centaurus.html) and is the fourth brightest star in the night sky. Sirius (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000611.html) is the brightest even thought it is more than twice as far away. By an exciting coincidence, Alpha Centauri (http://www.solstation.com/stars/alp-cent3.htm) A is the same type of star as our Sun (http://www.nineplanets.org/sol.html), causing many to speculate (http://www.universetoday.com/13123/if-alpha-centauri-has-earth-like-planets-we-can-detect-them/) that it might contain planets that harbor life.

27-07-2011, 11:45 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/Arp78_leshin900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/Arp78_leshin.jpg) Arp 78: Peculiar Galaxy in Aries
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Stephen Leshin (http://sleshin.startlogic.com/) Explanation: Peculiar (http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Arp/frames.html) spiral galaxy Arp 78 is found within the boundaries of the head strong constellation Aries (http://hawastsoc.org/deepsky/ari/index.html), some 100 million light-years beyond (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070712.html) the stars and nebulae of our Milky Way galaxy. Also known as NGC 772, the island universe is over 100 thousand light-years across and sports a single prominent outer spiral arm in this detailed (http://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?topic=2786.0) cosmic portrait (http://sleshin.startlogic.com/stargazergallery/main.php?g2_itemId=439&g2_imageViewsIndex=0). Its brightest companion galaxy (http://burro.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/mmerger.html), compact NGC 770, is toward the upper right of the larger spiral. NGC 770's fuzzy, elliptical appearance contrasts nicely with a spiky foreground Milky Way star in matching yellowish hues. Tracking along sweeping dust lanes and lined with (http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.1748) young blue star clusters, Arp 78's large spiral arm is likely due to gravitational tidal interactions. Faint streams (http://sleshin.startlogic.com/stargazergallery/main.php?g2_itemId=451&g2_imageViewsIndex=1) of material seem to connect Arp 78 with its nearby companion galaxies.

27-07-2011, 11:46 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/PIA12825_2panelcrop2.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/PIA12825.jpg) Saturn Storm Panoramas
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team (http://ciclops.org/), SSI (http://www.spacescience.org/), JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/) Explanation: These tantalizing panoramas follow a remarkable giant storm encircling (http://www.ciclops.org/view_event/159/Saturns_Giant_Northern_Storm) the northern hemisphere of ringed planet Saturn (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Saturn&Display=OverviewLong). Still active, the roiling storm clouds (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/newsreleases/newsrelease20110706/) were captured in near-infrared images recorded by the Cassini spacecraft on February 26 and stitched into the high resolution, false-color mosaics. Seen late last year (http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/saturnblog/?p=31) as a prominent bright spot by amateur astronomers when Saturn rose in predawn skies, the powerful storm has grown (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110317.html) to enormous proportions. Its north-south extent is nearly 15,000 kilometers and it now stretches completely around the gas giant's northern hemisphere some 300,000 kilometers. Taken about one Saturn day (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12825) (11 hours) apart, the panoramas show the head of the storm at the left and cover about 150 degrees in longitude. Also a source of radio noise from lightning (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/video/videodetails/?videoID=234), the intense storm may be related to seasonal changes as Saturn experiences (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091110.html) northern hemisphere spring.

27-07-2011, 11:46 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0709/milkywayband_gleason.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0709/milkywayband_gleason.jpg) A Milky Way Band
Credit & Copyright (http://www.celestialimage.com/page41a.html): John P. Gleason (dvj%20at%20earthlink%20dot%20net), Celestial Images Explanation: Most bright stars in our Milky Way Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980523.html) reside in a disk. Since our Sun (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/sun.html) also resides in this disk, these stars appear (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040409.html) to us as a diffuse band (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040313.html) that circles the sky. The above panorama of a northern band (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030909.html) of the Milky Way's disk (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap971229.html) covers 90 degrees and is a digitally created mosaic of several independent exposures. Scrolling right will display the rest of this spectacular picture. Visible are many bright stars (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap960925.html), dark dust lanes (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090708.html), red emission nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090630.html), blue reflection nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap081031.html), and clusters of stars (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18009). In addition to all this matter that we can see, astronomers (http://aas.org/education/careers.php) suspect there exists even more dark matter (http://xrtpub.harvard.edu/xray_astro/dark_matter/index5.html) that we cannot see.

27-07-2011, 11:47 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/abell426_franke_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/abell426_franke_1800.jpg) The Perseus Cluster of Galaxies
Image Credit & Copyright: Bob Franke (http://bf-astro.com/) Explanation: Here is (http://bf-astro.com/abell426/abell426.htm) one of the largest objects (http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/galaxy_clusters.html) that anyone will ever see on the sky. Each of these fuzzy blobs is a galaxy, together making up the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseus_Cluster, one of the closest clusters of galaxies (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18005). The cluster is seen through a foreground of faint stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020923.html). Near the cluster center, roughly 250 million light-years away, is the cluster's dominant galaxy NGC 1275, seen above (http://bf-astro.com/apod/abell426big.jpg) as a large galaxy on the image left. A prodigious source of x-rays (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051208.html) and radio emission, NGC 1275 accretes (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030505.html) matter as gas and galaxies fall into it. The Perseus Cluster of Galaxies (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1997ApJ...475....1T), also cataloged as Abell 426, is part of the Pisces-Perseus supercluster (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110614.html) spanning over 15 degrees and containing over 1,000 galaxies. At the distance of NGC 1275, this view covers about 15 million light-years (http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question19.html).

27-07-2011, 11:48 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/NGC3314_HLApugh900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/NGC3314_HLApugh.jpg) NGC 3314: When Galaxies Overlap
Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/), ESA (http://www.esa.int/), NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/); Processing - Martin Pugh (http://www.martinpughastrophotography.id.au/) Explanation: NGC 3314 (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2000/14/) is actually two large spiral galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110406.html) which just happen to almost exactly line up. The foreground spiral is viewed nearly face-on (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080815.html), its pinwheel shape defined by young bright star clusters. But against the glow of the background galaxy, dark swirling lanes of interstellar dust (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030706.html) appear to dominate the face-on spiral's structure. The dust lanes (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990821.html) are surprisingly pervasive, and this remarkable pair (http://www.astr.ua.edu/white/pairs/individual.html) of overlapping galaxies is one of a small number of systems in which absorption of light from beyond a galaxy's own stars can be used to directly explore its distribution (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0106056) of dust. NGC 3314 is (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2000/14/fastfacts/) about 140 million light-years (background galaxy) and 117 million light-years (foreground galaxy) away in the multi-headed constellation Hydra (http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/hya/index.html). The background galaxy would span nearly 70,000 light-years at its estimated distance. A synthetic third channel was created to construct this dramatic new composite (http://www.martinpughastrophotography.id.au/NGC3314.jpg) of the overlapping galaxies from two color image data in the Hubble Legacy Archive.

27-07-2011, 11:49 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/NGC2403-Subaru-HST-S900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/NGC2403-Subaru-HST-L.jpg) NGC 2403 in Camelopardalis
Credit: Image Data - Subaru Telescope (http://subarutelescope.org/) (NAOJ (http://www.nao.ac.jp/)), Hubble Legacy Archive (http://hla.stsci.edu/); Processing - Robert Gendler (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/) Explanation: Magnificent island universe NGC 2403 stands (http://seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n2403.html) within the boundaries of the long-necked constellation Camelopardalis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Some 10 million light-years distant and about 50,000 light-years across, the spiral galaxy also seems to have more than its fair share of giant star forming H II region - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, marked by the telltale reddish glow of atomic hydrogen gas. In fact, NGC 2403 closely resembles another galaxy with an abundance of star forming regions that lies within our own local galaxy group, M33 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091017.html) the Triangulum Galaxy (http://www.skyfactory.org/m33/). Of course, supernova explosions follow close (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110611.html) on the heels of the formation of massive, short-lived stars (http://casswww.ucsd.edu/archive/public/tutorial/StevII.html) and in 2004 one of the brightest supernovae discovered in recent times was found in NGC 2403. Easy to confuse with a foreground star in our own Milky Way Galaxy, the powerful supernova (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2004/23/) is seen here as the spiky, bright "star" at the left edge (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/NGC2403-Subaru-HST-SN2004dj800.jpg) of the field. This stunning cosmic portrait (http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/NGC2403-Subaru-HST.html) is a composite of space and ground-based image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive and the 8.2 meter Subaru Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051220.html).

27-07-2011, 11:50 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/milkykilns_mcewan_1200.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/milkykilns_mcewan_3600.jpg) Milky Way Over Abandoned Kilns
Image Credit: Tom McEwan (%20info%20at%20getradar%20dot%20com) Explanation: What's that below the Milky Way? Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Built in the 1870s in rural Nevada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, USA to process local wood into Charcoal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the kilns were soon abandoned due to a town fire and flooding, but remain in good condition even today. The above panorama is a digital conglomerate of five separate images taken in early June from the same location. Visible above the unusual Kiln - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is a colorful star field, highlighted by the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy (http://cassfos02.ucsd.edu/public/tutorial/MW.html) appearing along a diagonal toward the lower right. Many famous sites in our Galaxy are visible, including the Pipe Nebula (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090925.html) and the Dark River to Antares (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090708.html), seen to the right of the Milky Way. The origin of the green mist on the lower left, however, is currently unexplained (http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=110725).

27-07-2011, 11:50 PM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/ngc474_cfht_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/ngc474_cfht_1769.jpg) Galaxy NGC 474: Cosmic Blender
Image Credit & Copyright: P.-A. Duc (http://www.iau.org/administration/membership/individual/9453/) (CEA (http://irfu.cea.fr/), CFHT (http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/)), Atlas 3D Collaboration (http://www-astro.physics.ox.ac.uk/atlas3d/) Explanation: What's happening to galaxy NGC 474? The multiple layers of emission appear strangely complex and unexpected given the relatively featureless appearance of the Elliptical galaxy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in less deep images. The cause of the shells is currently unknown, but possibly tidal tails (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100926.html) related to debris left over from absorbing numerous small galaxies in the past billion years. Alternatively the shells (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021111.html) may be like ripples in a pond, where the ongoing collision with the spiral galaxy just above NGC 474 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1999IAUS..186..191T) is causing density waves to Object moved though the galactic giant. Regardless of the actual cause, the above image (http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/en/news/EllGal/) dramatically highlights the increasing consensus that at least some elliptical galaxies (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18005) have formed in the recent past, and that the outer halos of most large galaxies (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061011.html) are not really smooth but have complexities induced by frequent interactions with -- and accretions of -- Local Group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The halo of our own Milky Way - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is one example of such unexpected complexity (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050529.html). NGC 474 spans about 250,000 light years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) and lies about 100 million light years distant toward the constellation of the Fish (Pisces (constellation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

02-08-2011, 03:36 AM
MASSSSSIVE interactive map of the universe... enjoy

02-08-2011, 04:21 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/NGC6188lorenzi900c.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/NGC6188lorenzi2000.jpg) NGC 6188 and NGC 6164
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Marco Lorenzi (Glittering Lights (http://www.glitteringlights.com/)) Explanation: Fantastic shapes (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100716.html) lurk in clouds of glowing hydrogen gas in NGC 6188. The emission nebula (http://fusedweb.llnl.gov/CPEP/Chart_Pages/5.Plasmas/Nebula/Emission.html) is found near the edge of a large molecular cloud, unseen at visible wavelengths, in the southern http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ara_%28constellation%29, about 4,000 light-years away. Massive, young stars of (http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.3629) the embedded Ara OB1 association (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_association#Stellar_associations) were formed in that region only a few million years ago, sculpting (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080313.html) the dark shapes and powering the nebular glow with stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation. The recent star formation (http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/StarForm.html) itself was likely triggered by winds and supernova explosions, from previous generations of massive stars, that swept up and compressed the molecular gas. Joining NGC 6188 on this cosmic canvas (http://astrosurf.com/lorenzi/ccd/ngc6188.htm) is rare emission nebula NGC 6164 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090507.html), also created by one of the region's massive O-type stars. Similar in appearance to many planetary nebulae (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110218.html), NGC 6164's striking, symmetric gaseous shroud and faint halo surround its bright central star at the upper right. The field of view spans about two full Moons, corresponding to 70 light years at the estimated distance of NGC 6188.

02-08-2011, 04:22 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/DoubleGalactic_tezelguisard600h.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1107/DoubleGalactic_tezelguisard.jpg) A Tale of Two Hemispheres
Image Credit & Copyright (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply): Tunç Tezel (http://www.twanight.org/tezel) and Stéphane Guisard (http://astrosurf.com/sguisard/) (TWAN (http://www.twanight.org/)) Explanation: A quest (http://www.eso.org/%7Esguisard/Pagim/darkest_sky.html) to find planet Earth's darkest night skies led to this intriguing panorama. In projection, the mosaic view sandwiches the horizons visible in all-sky images taken (http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/photos.asp?ID=3003290) from the northern hemisphere's Canary Island of La Palma (top) and the south's high Atacama Desert between the two hemispheres of the Milky Way Galaxy. The photographers' choice of locations offered locally dark skies enjoyed by La Palma's Roque de los Muchachos (http://www.iac.es/eno.php?op1=2&lang=en) Observatory and Paranal Observatory (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061104.html) in Chile. But it also allowed the directions to the Milky Way's (http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galchart.html) north and south galactic poles to be placed near the local zenith. That constrained the faint, diffuse glow of the plane of the Milky Way (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090613.html) to the mountainous horizons. As a result, an even fainter S-shaped band of light, sunlight scattered by dust (http://www.astropix.com/HTML/H_OTHER/ZLITE.HTM) along the solar system's ecliptic plane (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100710.html), can be completely traced through both northern and southern hemisphere night skies.

02-08-2011, 05:31 PM
MASSSSSIVE interactive map of the universe... enjoy

Google Sky's amazing for looking at space.

21-08-2011, 11:32 PM

A Dusty Iris Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Máximo Ruiz
Explanation: These clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023, this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers. Surrounding it, obscuring clouds of dust and cold molecular gas are also present and can suggest other convoluted and fantastic shapes. Within the Iris, the dusty nebular material surrounds a hot, young star. The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Central filaments of the cosmic dust glow with a faint reddish photoluminesence as some dust grains effectively convert the star's invisible ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Infrared observations indicate that this nebula may contain complex carbon molecules known as PAHs. At the estimated distance of the Iris Nebula this remarkable wide field view is over 30 light-years across.

21-08-2011, 11:36 PM

The Fairy of Eagle Nebula
Image Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, NASA
Explanation: The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating. As powerful starlight whittles away these cool cosmic mountains, the statuesque pillars that remain might be imagined as mythical beasts. Pictured above is one of several striking dust pillars of the Eagle Nebula that might be described as a gigantic alien fairy. This fairy, however, is ten light years tall and spews radiation much hotter than common fire. The greater Eagle Nebula, M16, is actually a giant evaporating shell of gas and dust inside of which is a growing cavity filled with a spectacular stellar nursery currently forming an open cluster of stars. The above image in scientifically re-assigned colors was released in 2005 as part of the fifteenth anniversary celebration of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.

07-09-2011, 12:49 AM
Portrait of NGC 281
Image Credit & Copyright: J-P Metsävainio (Astro Anarchy)
Explanation: Look through the cosmic cloud cataloged as NGC 281 and it's almost easy to miss stars of open cluster IC 1590. But, formed within the nebula, that cluster's young, massive stars ultimately power the pervasive nebular glow. The eye-catching shapes looming in this portrait of NGC 281 are sculpted columns and dense dust globules seen in silhouette, eroded by intense, energetic winds and radiation from the hot cluster stars. If they survive long enough, the dusty structures could also be sites of future star formation. Playfully called the Pacman Nebula because of its overall shape, NGC 281 is about 10,000 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. This composite image was made through narrow-band filters, but combines emission from the nebula's hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms in a visible spectrum palette. It spans over 80 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 281.

08-09-2011, 10:54 AM
My words will not due these visions justice.
Thank you.

17-10-2011, 06:48 AM
Apollo 15: Jim Irwin retrieves data canisters from a bay en route back to Earth.
Photos were taken of the activity but none included the moon in background so this artwork was constructed later by Nat Geographic magazine.
(Note paint bubbles caused by thrusters heat blast)


18-10-2011, 01:08 AM
hi y'all.. i know i have not posted any space pics for a long time now.. i have been a very bizy person getting my life in order and stuff...

i will be posting more very soon.. so not to worry i have not forgotten about ys's :D

18-10-2011, 01:24 AM
I took this with my little digicam on full 10x zoom and then ran it through my PC to enlarge/enhance it with the free Irfanview imaging prog. It'd be much clearer without the atmosphere blurring things-


This is the cam, it only cost 110 GB pounds (173 US dollars) and is a little beauty, only about 4 inches wide-

PS- I'm going to have a crack at Saturn with it sometime, hopefully i can capture the rings, whereabouts in the sky is Saturn anyway?

18-10-2011, 02:53 PM
Its behind the sun at the moment but rises just before the sun, your best bet to get a go at photographing Saturn will be in June next year.

Install Stellarium its free.

Why not have a go at Jupiter you cant miss it, its so bright at the moment.

19-10-2011, 02:42 AM
..Why not have a go at Jupiter you cant miss it, its so bright at the moment.

Thanks but my first attempt just failed (sniffle), all i got was a blurry point of light, and a crick in my neck, i shall juggle aperture and exposure length and stuff and psyche myself up for another go..

21-10-2011, 04:24 AM
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1108/leotriplet_vst_900.jpg (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1108/leotriplet_vst_4000.jpg) The Leo Triplet Galaxies from VST
Image Credit: ESO (http://www.eso.org/), INAF-VST (http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1119c/), OmegaCAM (http://www.astro-wise.org/%7Eomegacam/index.shtml);
Acknowledgement: OmegaCen (http://www.astro.rug.nl/%7Eomegacen/), Astro-WISE (http://www.astro-wise.org/), Kapteyn I. (http://www.rug.nl/sterrenkunde/index) Explanation: This popular group is famous as the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Triplet - a gathering of three magnificent galaxies in one field of view. Crowd pleasers (http://data.whicdn.com/images/4888787/tumblr_l7w5s18RbI1qctvlmo1_400_large.jpg) when imaged with even modest telescopes, these galaxies can be introduced individually as NGC 3628 (left), M66 (bottom right), and M65 (top right). All three are large spiral galaxies (http://cassfos02.ucsd.edu/public/tutorial/Galaxies.html). They tend to look dissimilar because their galactic (http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18005) disks are tilted at different angles to our line of sight. NGC 3628 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050408.html) is seen edge-on (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010510.html), with obscuring dust lanes cutting across the plane of the galaxy, while the disks of M66 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101113.html) and M65 are (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070601.html) both inclined enough to show off their spiral structure. Gravitational interactions between galaxies in the group have also left telltale (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070727.html) signs, including the warped (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030607.html) and inflated disk of NGC 3628 and the drawn out spiral arms of M66 (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100413.html). This gorgeous deep view (http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1126a/) of the region was taken by the new http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VLT_Survey_Telescope (VST) and spans about one degree (two full moons) on the sky. The field covers over 500 thousand light-years (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html) at the trio's estimated distance of 30 million light-years.