Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pinwheel



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Messier 33, the Triangulum or Pinwheel Galaxy, in the constellation of (surprise) Triangulum.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Great Nebula



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us my favorite winter observing object, certainly not as I have ever seen it! Messier 42, The Great Nebula of Orion.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Jovian Superstorms



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an image from the Juno orbiter, currently on a (alas) short-term mission around Jupiter. What a picture!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Seconds

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video depicting human existence. Timespan: a few beats of the cosmic heart.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gems of the Belt



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us to the jewels that make up the Belt of Orion: Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka.

What else can you spot in this image? The Horsehead? Pillars of Creation? Bubbles?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Dipping In



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Ursus Major, The Big Bear, The Plough, call it what you will: The Big Dipper. "Mouseover" the image in the link for a guide.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Red Rover



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a "selfie" courtesy of one of the two working rovers on the surface of Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity, working it's way to Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons).

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sky Fall



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a fireball over the skies of Italy. The dinosaurs, luckily, were spared this time.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Boris the Spider



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day spins a web of gas and dust across more than a thousand light-years. Would a ship be ensnared in the tendrils of The Tarantula Nebula, NGC 2070?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Rose of Caroline



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 7789, discovered by Caroline Lucretia Herschel. Caroline is often overshadowed by her brother, which is a shame, as she not only was a fine observational astronomer, but carried the burden of the household in many ways. Could William functioned as he did without her help?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

More Than Meets the Eye



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows one of our familiar (northern hemisphere) winter sights: Messier 45), but gives us a deeper look than our naked (or assisted) eye can see: the Pleiades with the dust and debris that we normally miss.

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro' the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.

(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Locksley Hall)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sun Diver



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Comet 96P/Machholz as it dives towards our home star. There are swarms of comets who do the suicide run (for a icy body, making a close approach to a fusion furnace should not be a life goal!) like this yearly. The venerable SOHO spacecraft helps us to study these cosmic Icarus's.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017

False Moon



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day sheds a new light on an familiar face: our Moon, color enhanced in order to highlight mineral deposits. Such maps may lead us to target areas of interest for future exploration (and actual use).

Friday, November 10, 2017

Extended Wisp



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day show the remnants of a star's final fury: after effects of a supernova that stretch across the constellation of Cygnus. Williamina Fleming discovered the nebula, so it is tagged as Williamina's Triangular Wisp.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Cetan Spiral



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 1055 in Cetus. This image shows much fine detail that reveals star-forming regions, dust lanes and even a halo around the galaxy.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Variable Ghost



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 2261, Hubble's Variable Nebula, found near Monoceros. Even relatively modest "amateur" instruments can be used to track the changes that one can see in this astronomical object.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Can I Get It On A Watch?



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the famous astronomical clock in Prague. An astounding mechanism and a beautiful piece of art to boot!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Active Bodies



Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows activity on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as imaged by the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft which explored that comet for an extended period.

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.