Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Safety First!

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short (humorous) video about being safe around black holes. Safety first when traveling interstellar danger zones!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hunter in Repose


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Orion the Hunter from the perspective of Brazil, where he seems to be somewhere between horizontal repose and starting to stand on his head (vs. my usual northern hemisphere perspective).

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019

da Vinci Glow


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the New Moon embraced in the arms of the Old Moon. The "dark side" of the moon (the night side) is lit by earthshine. Leonardo da Vinci was probably not the first to observe this, but was the first that we know of to write of it.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Making the Star Stuff


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows IC 5070, The Pelican Nebula, in the constellation of Cygnus. We are all star stuff, especially stars, which are being created in regions such as this.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Martian Frosting


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the northern hemisphere of Mars, where frozen carbon dioxide and water are sublimating off dune fields. Poke around and find other images from the polar regions of Mars during this kind of event. There are some amazing images to be seen around this (let along the rest of the planet!).

Monday, September 23, 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Warped Planet


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows...a landscape warped by a close-passing singularity? Cosmic strings bending local space? A breakdown between dimensions? Stitched photos creating so-called Little Planet projections can get really mind-bending!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Night Flowers


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Tulip Nebula, found in the constellation of Cygnus (the Swan). The night sky is full of flowers.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Traveling the Veil


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows one portion of the Veil Nebula, an expanding supernova remnant in the constellation of Cygnus.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Water


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an artist conception of K2-18b, an exoplanet around the star K2-18, near the constellation of Leo. What makes this exoplanet unique? A "significant amount" of water vapor has been detected at this exoplanet, a necessary component for life (as, they say, we know it).

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Icy Heart


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows IC 1805, The Heart Nebula, near the constellation of Cassiopeia. More like a cave, than a heart, to me.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

A Bit of Pluto


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a "true color" image of Pluto, as taken by the New Horizons 2015 vehicle. I'm still astounded by this, not only the mission (and the success of the mission), but these images. If only Clyde Tombaugh had been around to see this.


Monday, September 9, 2019

Spiral in Andromeda


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Messier 31, the Great Galaxy in Andromeda. Under dark backyard skies, you can see this galaxy as a hazy cloud in the night sky, with astronomical equipment and long exposure times, the structure of the galaxy comes into view.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Saturday, September 7, 2019

The Lair of the Wolf


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the rich star fields, emission and reflection nebula, and young blue stars of Wolf's Lair, a nebular complex in the constellation of Cepheus.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Out of Old, New


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a image that combines data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope to show the debris cloud (containing gas, dust and even bits of heavier elements caused in the event) from the Cassiopeia A supernova.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Under Southern Climes


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows one of our nearest extra-galactic neighbors, The Large Magellanic Cloud, in the constellation of Dorado. This featured in a favorite science fiction tale of my misbegotten youth.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Colliding States of Matter

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video depicting what might have been observed by the LIGO and Virgo gravity detectors at S190814by. Did we see collision between a neutron star and a black hole?

Monday, September 2, 2019

From the Mountains to the Moon


Today's Astronomy of the Day shows the Moon rising over the Alps (did you know there are also Alps on the Moon?). Off to the side of the Moon, a small star. Wait...that's no star...that's a giant planet!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sisters in Shroud


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us the Pleiades star cluster, visible from the naked eye to binoculars to rich-field telescopes, in the constellation of Taurus.

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West.

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

(Locksley Hall by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Orion in a Different Light


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a Spitzer Space Telescope image of Messier 42, The Great Nebula in Orion. Spitzer continues to operate, but because it ran out of helium coolant in 2009, the instrumentation is now restricted to two channels. The venerable instrument is scheduled to be retired in January of 2020. Too bad we don't have a space infrastructure to service such instruments!

How far we've come in looking at one of my favorite astronomical sights!


Friday, August 30, 2019

Cluster and Dust


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an image of NGC 7129 and NGC 7142, a reflection (or dusty) nebula and an open cluster in the area of the constellation of Cepheus. Open clusters can vary from tight to very dispersed, even looking like a swarm of bees in some cases. There are wonders to hunt in the sky, even with a modest telescope by an "amateur" astronomer.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A High Bar


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day combines data from several telescopic sources to produce a stunning image of face-on barred spiral galaxy, Messier 61 (part of a rich field of galaxies to hunt as an amateur, the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies).

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Towards the Core


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day takes us in the direction of the galactic core: clouds of dust and gas and an galactic-orbiting globular cluster (Messier 4) in the region of Rho Ophiuchi and Antares.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Omega


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is NGC 5139, better known as globular cluster Omega Centauri. 10 million stars in a volume of 150 light years, what a setting for a science fiction story.

Friday, August 23, 2019

California Dreaming


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is NGC 1499, near the constellation of Perseus. Popularly known as the California Nebula, this astronomical wonder is spread across a significant part of the sky. Imagine if it were bright enough to be seen with the naked eye!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

If We Could See Deeper


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the constellation of Orion—if we could see "deeper". What wonderful structures! What vibrant colors! "Mouseover" the image in the link for a guide.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

At the Blue Event Horizon

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video depicting the region around a black hole, the accretion disc of gas and dust and debris falling into the singularity at the center. What lies beyond the blue event horizon?


Monday, August 19, 2019

Not a Saucer


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a...saucer? No, lenticular clouds over Mount Etna, lit by both the fires of the volcano and the reflected light of the Moon.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Early Image


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day dates from 1901. Astronomer and telescope designer George Ritchey captured this image of Messier 42, The Great Nebula of Orion, with a "sharpened" 24 inch reflecting telescope.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Winding Star Stuff


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us IC 1396, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, a complex of dust and gases and protostars in the constellation of Cepheus.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Plough and the Cows


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows falling Perseids against the background of The Plough or The Big Dipper while a herd of cows gaze serenely on.