Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hidden in the Dark



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a good example of some of the wonders that are hidden in our night sky. The Gum Nebula, covering areas of the constellations of Vela and Puppis, covers such a large field of view that it ought to be visible to the unaided eye, but is so dim that it needs to be teased out with aid.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trainwreck



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 4038 and NGC 4039. Two spiral galaxies are in the process of a very slow collison (or an aggressive merger). More popularly known as The Antennae, it can be found in the constellation of Corvus.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Waning Moon



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a waning last quarter Moon. The terminator (the line between day and night) shows the jagged surface into sharp detail thanks to shadows. Is the Moon grey? Is the Moon white? Look carefully and you'll see a variety of colors in this image.

Is the Moon a boring object in the night sky? Not at all! It's a great target for the backyard amateur. As the level of light changes, different details appear and change. The Moon "rocks" slightly, so from time to time you'll see objects on the edge (or limb) that are normally hidden. Give it a try!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cloudtops

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video taken from the Juno Orbiter. The clouds of Jupiter: infinite patterns and fractals. Makes you wish for a continuous feed along with an ambient Brian Eno soundtrack!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Spider



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day uses our space-based astronomical resources to peer into the heart of the Tarantula Nebula, NGC 2070.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Reflections Of



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Moon and Venus (both in crescent phase) above the Atlantic in the skies of Italy. Below each is a reflection in the water.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Attacking the Guide Star



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the European Southern Observatory apparently firing lasers into the sky. Yes, that's what is happening: the observatory is employing a method of firing a laser at the sky in order to determine sky conditions and allow for adjustment of atmospheric blurring.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Galaxy vs. Atmosphere



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the sky above Las Campanas Observatory. The arch of the Milky Way competes with "sky glow" over what is a dark sky location.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Clockwise Counterclockwise



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day takes data gathered from the Gaia satellite depicting the rotation of stars in one of our galactic satellites, the Large Cloud of Magellan.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

Pumice Moon



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Saturn's icy moon Hyperion. Somewhat potato-shaped, it has the appearance of a sponge or a piece of pumice.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Dark Swarms



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a swarm of singularities (black holes) observed in the x-ray bands at the heart of the Milky Way.

Friday, May 11, 2018

A Sign of Spring



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an egg in a cosmic nest. NGC 1360, found in the constellation of Fornax is more commonly known as the Robin's Egg Nebula.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Take Me to the River



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a flood of galaxies in the constellation of Eridanus (The River). Two are "interacting" (in other words, one is being absorbed by the other).

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Red, Red Skies



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a Hubble Space Telescope image of  the Red Rectangle Nebula in Monoceros. We're looking at a short-lived (only a few million years) phenomena, down the timestream we will probably see it blossom into a more "ordinary" planetary nebula.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

To the Edge



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day stretches from our solar system to the edges of the observable universe. Quite a lot of landscape!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Don't Throw Rocks



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a wonderful image courtesy of the overlooked Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (launched to pave the wave for one of the previous returns to the Moon, which then was backwatered because we were going to Mars, then we were going to capture an asteroid, but now we're going back to the Moon, but let's not mention the cancellation of a mission which could have been a key to a sustained effort there...). We zoom in on Tycho, one of the easiest to spot of craters (you see it every time you look at the Moon near at at full phase). What's that sitting there in Tycho? One heck of a boulder!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Summer Triangle



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the sky above Bryce Canyon in Utah. The arch of the Milky Way leaps above the deeps of the canyon.

That Which Is Not Dead...



On Episode 49 of The Three Hoarsemen, Jeff Patterson (in person), John Stevens (in spirit) and I talk to returning guests Paul Weimer and Patrick Hester about what they've been up to since they last appeared on the podcast.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Cratered Potato



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an image of Phobos, one of the tiny moons of Mars, centering on Stickney Crater. Named for Chloe Angeline Stickney, mathematician, it was imaged by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Meddle



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Messier 101 in the constellation of Ursa Major. As you look at this beautiful spiral seen from above, can you spot other extra-galactic objects in the field of view?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Evening Glow



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the light of the rising Moon through the trees, the green Belt of Venus and the Evening Star of Jupiter (with three Galilean moons visible).

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Heart of the Sunrise



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings a new perspective to auroral activity. From the perch of the International Space Station, astronauts and cosmonauts can look down at the thin layer of atmosphere and the play of the aurora.