Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Precusor



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Eta Carinae. Where's the star? What's going on? A long slow match leading to an eventual explosion: maybe we'll be lucky to catch the flash.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Falling Skies



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day continues the series of images combining meteor showers and observatories. Here we have the Geminids (above) and the Xinglong Observatory (below).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

Flash



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a pretty amazing story. A supernova is spotted. Then a chance alignment is spotted and thanks to gravitational lensing, we can see the supernova take place.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sprites



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the solar panels of the International Space Station above the night skies of Earth. Can you find the red sprite?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Godwhale



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 4631 in the constellation of Canes Venatici. Cosmic whales (do we have cosmic whaling ships?)!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Clouds in the Dark



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Herbig-Haro 24 (HH 24) in the constellation of Orion. It's amazing how much is in that constellation!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

More Radiants



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a view of the Geminids over the skies of Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. "Mouseover" the image (in the link) in order to get a constellation guide.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Full-On Horse



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a really wonderful shot of the Horsehead Nebula in the constellation of Orion. Not only do we get a sharp image in "natural" light, but we get context: how this nebula fits in with other wonders of the constellation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Chaos in the Outer Darkness



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows mountains and plains on "dwarf" planet Pluto, as imaged by New Horizons 2015 on its whirlwind tour of the edge of our system.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Radiance



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows us Geminid meteors over the skies of the Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Rendezvous



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the dance between the morning planets and the Moon, with a new partner: Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) joins the party.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dwarf Planet



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is one of the best views of the mysterious bright spots on "dwarf planet" Ceres (in the Asteroid Belt). A number of theories have been floated since the bright patches were spotted; consensus seems to be...believe it or not...epsom salts.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Conjunction



There's been a cosmic dance in the morning skies the last few months between Mars, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon. The three planets have been drawing closer together and further apart as the Earth traces its orbit and the Moon has cycled through the gathering each month as it traces its own orbit.

In today's Astronomy Picture of the Day we see the latest installment of this dance as Venus passes behind the waning Moon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Galactic Internactions



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is combination of several Hubble Space Telescope images showing interacting galaxies (NGC 3808 A and B) with a "bridge" of material between them. NGC 3808 A and B are also listed as Number 87 in the Arp Catalogue.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cosmic Curtains



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows auroral activity over Iceland. "Mouseover" the image (in the link) to get a constellation guide.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Catalina Rising



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) after rounding the Sun and on its closest approach to Earth.

Full Earth



Hey, kids! Remember when we flew to the Moon and saw things like this? Maybe someday we'll do that again!

Launch!

Orbital ATK is back in business (using a new vehicle, at least for now) with resupply missions to the International Space Station! This launch was from Florida, so, for me, not visible like the Virginia launches were.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Energy



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a tiny representation of a possible future source of energy. The Casimir Effect, dark energy and tiny sticky parts, oh my!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Lord of the Rings



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us to Saturn Space (and Beyond the Infinite). Water moon Enceladus seems to hover above the Rings. Enjoy the sights, folks: Cassini is on a countdown and there's no follow up mission for quite a while.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Flashing

I was told once by a ship's captain that the only way I'd ever see a green flash was to look at the setting sun through the bottom of a Heineken bottle. Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video that shows otherwise.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Autumnal Reds

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the subtle reds of nebular clouds in a number of regions in the constellation of Aurigae.