Thursday, August 16, 2018
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the (early!) Sunday morning launch of a Delta IV Heavy carrying the Parker Solar Probe. There's just something spectacular about a night launch!
No space frog caught photobombing the launch this time!
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a cluster of galaxies, Messier 86 (also known as The Eyes Galaxies and Arp 120), in a larger cluster of galaxies, the Virgo Cluster, and part of Markarian's Chain of galaxies. What is in the image, ghostlike? Is it a bridge between two of the galaxies?
"Mouseover" the image in the link for a guide to the objects in the picture. This is also an area worth exploring, from binoculars to larger low power/rich field telescopes. Just wander around and look what you can find!
Monday, August 13, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us NGC 2736, in the constellation of Vela. Popularly known as The Pencil Nebula (look at the images in that second link), this nebula is the result of a supernova which occurred some 11,000 years ago.
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Friday, August 10, 2018
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Moon at moonrise, rising in a state of eclipse, over the Alps in France. Did you know there are also Alps on the Moon? (There are, however, no goats known to be on the Moon—enlarge the image to see what I mean!)
Monday, August 6, 2018
Sunday, August 5, 2018
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Friday, August 3, 2018
Thursday, August 2, 2018
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the southern polar cap of Mars. Made up of mainly frozen carbon dioxide, the ESA's Mars Express has detected what might be a sizeable body of liquid water over 1 kilometer under the ground. What lies beneath? Salty water? Life? Let's go and see!
Just don't drink the water...
Monday, July 30, 2018
Sunday, July 29, 2018
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Friday, July 27, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is the tale of two oppositions: Mars during a close approach in 2016 and in 2018. The globe-trotting dust storms have managed to obscure most of the surface features (can you hear the grinding of teeth of amateur astronomers everywhere?).
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows us a common celestial object (a spiral galaxy) but seen but a less common vantage (edge on). Think about it. The most famous (or familiar) images of spirals are usually at an angle such that we look over and into the galaxy from above (or below...it's all relative!), not along the side.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us a merging of our world and the universe beyond: clouds of the skies of Earth (water vapor), clouds of the universe (clusters and streams and spiral arms, oh my).
Monday, July 23, 2018
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an image of data collected by the ESA's Planck satellite which spent 2009 to 2013 to map our universe. As a result, we've been able to stretch the estimated age of the universe back to 13.8 billion years.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
It took a while for us to see the crisp images from Apollo 11, such as today's Astronomy Picture of the Day, as the initial images were somewhat grainy black and white television shots. I still remember that thrill (and the bigger thrill of the audio-only landing in which we ignorant "civilians" did not know of the drama of rocks and craters on the ground and computer overloads and low fuel warnings in the craft) and the thrill when the newspapers and magazines (especially Life and National Geographic) published the beautiful color images.
Drink it in. Dream mighty things.
Friday, July 20, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Death Valley (in the United States) at Teakettle Junction (suitably decorated). Adding to the grounded teapots is the asterism found in the constellation of Sagittarius (a great place to explore when it is visible—with either binoculars or telescopes!) known as the Teapot. Saturn and Mars are currently moseying through the area as well.
"Mouseover" the image in the link for a guide. Or look below!
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day focuses in on Cerealia Facula, on Dwarf Planet Ceres. As the Dawn vehicle reaches the end of its mission (fuel supplies are not infinite!), it has been put into a lower orbit around Ceres to make the most of the remainder of the mission. The object seen is (alas) not ice (as I had hoped) but deposits of salt (15 kilometers wide)
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. What is happening on Mars? Whether it is dust, dry ice or actual liquid water or...spilled ink pots...nobody is 100% sure. Let's go and camp out and see it live!
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the recent conjunction between the Moon and Venus as both head towards setting. Seen in the still "just past new" phase, the Moon will brighten towards full with a eclipse (total, if you're in the path) on July 27.
Monday, July 16, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an artist depiction of a blazing quasar (blazar) where it is thought a neutrino, an elusive odd particle, has been confirmed to have been detected linked to a cosmological event. Neutrino Drive, anyone?