Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Dense Packing



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the beautiful globular cluster Messier 5, between Libra and Serpens.

“He who cannot see gravity at work here has no soul.” (Richard Feynman)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Beware the Cometeers



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a stranger to our parts. A/2017 U1 was first thought to be a comet or asteroid from the far reaches of our solar system. Further analysis showed it to be the first (known) interstellar visitor. Remember: Ramans do everything in threes.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Spot the Spiral



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day features a rich field of distant objects. While centered on a star (HD 14771), and featuring a galaxy (NGC 891), this field also contains a galaxy cluster (Abell 347). How many galaxies can you spot?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The God Nebula



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a deep dive into NGC 2359 (found in Canis Major). Popularly known as "Thor's Helmet", we have a "tiny" bubble of gas being blown by the energetic "breath" of a young star.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Dark Web



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a simulation of our universe. What is dark matter? Where is dark matter? This simulation takes a look at this possible explanation for why we can't seem to match up observations with what the universe "should weigh". Calling Stephen Baxter...calling Stephen Baxter...

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Haunted Planetscape



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day combines geyser activity with auroral activity. Ridley Scott's latest attempt to ruin the Aliens franchise? An actual alien landscape like Titan? Enceladus? No...Earth!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ghosts in Spaaaaccce!



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 6369, The Little Ghost Nebula. A planetary nebula (that is not a planet) but a graveyard. How spooky!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Space Ghost



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day depicts an accidental astronomical pair. Mirach, a star in the Big Dipper dominates this field of view. Overwhelmed by both distance and the apparent magnitude of Mirach is NGC 404, a galaxy that is popularly known as Mirach's Ghost.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Bubble Nebula



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 7635, popularly known as The Bubble Nebula. In addition to this object, a long exposure over the wide field shows additional objects of interest, such as Messier 52, a open cluster of stars.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Hole in the Moon



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Marius Hills region of our own Moon. This classic Lunar Orbiter 2 image (with an insert courtesy of the current Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) shows this fascinating region of the Moon, home of signs of volcanic activity (volcanic domes). Further examination appears to have discovered what appears to be a "skylight" (hole) into a lava tube. Could this be utilized for a future base or colony on the Moon?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Origin Stories



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a familiar chart: the Periodic Table of the Elements. It's been modified to show where each element was created. You know the Carl Sagan phrase...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Optical Link



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day might be visual proof of an event in another spectrum. Is the fading dot in this far galaxy the light generated by what was first detected through gravitational waves?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dance of the Schwarzchild Radius



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day peers into the heart of active galaxy 3C 75. Two supermassive black holes do a gravitational dance that probably will not end well for the parent galaxy.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Full Trifid



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Trifid Nebula, Messier 20, in the constellation of Sagittarius. "Mouseover" the image in the link to compare this astronomical object to a Full Moon.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Classic Messier



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Messier 51 (known separately as NGC 5194 and NGC 5195). This astronomical wonder is relatively easy to find (see the text in the link) and a nice target for even small astronomical refractors.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dusty Chambers



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day peers into the birthing chambers of Corona Australis and the several reflection nebula of the region.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Fifth Dwarf



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows an artistic depiction of Haumea, the fifth object in our solar system to be designated as a "dwarf planet" (along with Pluto, Ceres, Eris and Makemake). Haumea was recently found to have not only a ring, but two moons of it's own (Hi'iaka and Namaka).

Monday, October 16, 2017

Echoes

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short conceptual video showing the death spiral of two neutron stars. The echoes of such an event—ripples of both gravity and electromagnetic radiation—were recently detected.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Make New Friends



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day examines the origin of gold (and other "heavy" metals) on our planet. Could the gold you wear as jewelry be a lucky accident of astronomical coordinates?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Around the Horizon



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a "all-sky" image of what appears to be auroral activity. Called Steve Arcs, they are less emissions from energetic electrons than thermal emissions from flowing gas. Steve Arcs are a good example of "citizen science" as the description in the link shows.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Under the Chilean Skies



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows The Large Magellanic Cloud over a cluster of instruments at the Las Campanas Observatory (did you know that Chile is home to the overwhelming bulk of ground-based aperture at this point—with those skies you can see why!). Oh, to be able to observe there even with my traveling refractor!