Sunday, August 4, 2019

On the Trail of the Dark


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a supernova in spiral galaxy NGC 4526, part of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. There's a long trail leading from speculation to theory to a Nobel Prize to more data to...where? We shall see!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Friday, August 2, 2019

Deep in the Dark


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an image of the Chamaeleon II Dark Nebula, a dark star-forming region near the celestial South Pole.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

No Night Without Stars


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a nebular region seemingly without stars. They are there...they just haven't been born yet.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Shifting


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us "visible" and infrared views of the North American Nebula in the constellation of Cygnus. "Mouseover" the image in the link to switch between the views.


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Fire To The Moon


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII lofting India's Chandrayaan 2 mission (orbiter, lander and rover) to the Moon.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Erosion of the System


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day captures zodiacal light, dust in our solar system, possibly created by eroding comets (so to speak).

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Wind Between the Stars


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us Messier 82, the Cigar Galaxy, enhanced and processed to show filments of gas and dust being driven by a galactic superwind.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Shadow Crossing


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the shadow of the Earth crossing the face of the Moon during last week's lunar eclipse.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Active Moon


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is from the Sea of Tranquility during the mission of Apollo 11. Buzz Aldrin stands near the deployed Passive Seismic Experiment. It seems that our "dead" moon is surprisingly active. What causes this activity? Meteor hits? Collapsing faults? Giant moon beasts?

Friday, July 19, 2019

Tranquility Base


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a panoramic view from Tranquility Base, landing site of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969.

Why haven't we been back? Or gone further?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Shadows


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Moon, cast in a reddish light due to the shadow of the Earth, obscured by a shadowy mountain.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

First Landing


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video of the descent of Eagle (Apollo 11) to the Sea of Tranquility. (Artwork above by Robert McCall, depicting the descent, including inset views of what would have been seen from the windows of the Lunar Module. Artwork below by Pierre Mion showing the unexpected obstacle in the final part of the descent, when the Lunar Module came dangerously close to landing in a rock field)


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Go For Launch


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video showing the launch of Apollo 11, bringing humans to another sphere for the last time. Why haven't we been back?

Monday, July 15, 2019

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Northern Eagle


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an image of auroral activity over the skies of Norway. If might be worth the long winters just for such a sight!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Dimensional Eagle


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an anaglyph (three-dimensional image) of the ascent stage of the Eagle, the Lunar Module that first brought humans to the surface of another sphere. Fifty. Years. Ago.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Irregulars


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an image of a class of galaxy known as "irregular", meaning it does not have the familiar spiral shape. What causes this shift in galaxies such as NGC 55 or our satellite galaxies of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Passages or collisions with other galaxies? Galaxy-wide singularities? The Great Old Ones?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Halo Effect


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day focuses on NGC 3242, popularly known as The Ghost of Jupiter. This "planetary" nebula is actually the remnant of a nova. Not as easily seen by the "backyard observer" are the extended waves of nebular matter outside the central nebula: sucessive shockwaves of gas traveling out from the central star.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Beyond the Home System


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video depicting the locations of the over 4,000 (yes, four thousand) planets (exoplanets) found outside of our solar system. These have been discovered using procedures such as microlensing, using both ground-based and space-based systems (such as Kepler and TESS).

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Monday, July 8, 2019

MeerKATs Online


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an image built from data at the radio range (hence, not "visible" to the ordinary person). The MeerKAT array peers at the center of our galaxy to see what is lurking there. "Mouseover" the image in the link for details.

The MeerKAT is only the precursor for the Square Kilometer Array. Can't wait to find out what that learns when it comes online!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Saturn's Shadow


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a partial (crescent) Saturn plus the long shadow cast by the planet upon the ring system. Views like these can only come courtesy of visitors that fly past (e.g., Pioneer or Voyager) or orbit (Cassini). Here's hoping somebody funds another orbiter like Cassini!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Chasing Shadows


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the point of totality during the solar eclipse of July 2, 2019. The image was taken from a rather unique vantage point: a chase plane which was following the shadow of the Moon during the eclipse.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Eclipse Sequence


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the July 2, 2019 solar eclipse from first contact to last from the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Dragonfly


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video showing one of the proposed missions for the next generation of solar system exploration. The Dragonfly mission would deploy a small helicopter to Saturn's moon Titan, home to an atmosphere with a rich and interesting chemistry, weather, lakes (just not of water) and possibly...life (?).

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Rich Fields


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a processed image from the Hubble Space Telescope (there seems to be quite an industry of "amateur" astronomers working with data from professional instruments!) of NGC 1566, a face-on spiral in the constellation of Dorado (the "Dolphinfish"). Another beautiful spiral with dust lanes, blue clusters and red star-forming regions! I could look at these for hours and hours.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Coronal Activity


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows coronal activity, solar prominences and even the faint face of the Moon in this image from the August 2017 solar eclipse.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Ruby Pinwheel


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an image combining data from several instruments of Messier 83, The Southern Pinwheel, studded by dust lanes, blue star clusters and red star-forming regions.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Koyaanisqatsi


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an image of a solargraph, a picture taken by a pinhole camera in a fixed position over a period of six months.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Smoke on the Water


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows noctilucent clouds above and below, as the wispy strands in the sky are reflected in the waters of a lake in the Netherlands.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Degrees of Magnitude


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the twenty-five brightest (visible to the naked eye) stars of the sky in their true colors.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Across the Universe


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a wide view from The Hubble Space Telescope of the rich regions of the Carina Nebula. "Mouseover" the image in the link for a guide.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Friday, June 21, 2019

Thursday, June 20, 2019