Monday, April 30, 2018
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Friday, April 27, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a photograph representing data on 1.7 billion stars. The ESA's Gaia satellite has been making measurements and has accumulated so much data that it is being released in order to take care of the wider scientific resources of those trained—but also to enable citizen-scientists to work with the data as well.
Coming down the road: an even bigger data dump!
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is of a very rarely caught snow event. It's a view from the ESA's Rosetta vehicle of "snow" around Comet 67P, Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Click on the image in the link to see a short loop of the snowfall.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a detailed view (courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope, long may it operate!) of Jupiter. What's that blemish on the face? It's the Great Red Spot, a massive storm system that has been observed for 150 years. Alas, of late, the Great Red Spot has faded and shrunk and seems to be going away. As you can see from the image, it is not the only storm that you can see when observing Jupiter (and maybe one of them would grow), but the loss of the GRS would be a sad thing for all of us who have observed it.
One of my most intense times observing as an amateur was a night when the atmosphere on our planet coincided with a observation of Jupiter that included the GRS transiting the face of Jupiter with bonus appearances of both moons and moon shadows across the face. I watched, fascinated, and then wondered why I was so cold and my legs were so stiff. It turned out that I had spent most of a cold January night outside, watching the skies.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an interactive look at data collected by the Cassini Orbiter during the epic exploration of the mini planetary system that is Saturn. "Mouseover" the image in the link to "play" the rings (!).
Monday, April 23, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day peeks with the infrared end of the spectrum at the Horsehead Nebula (IC 4592) in the constellation of Orion. The normally blue-tinted nebula takes on distinctly "warmer Fall" colors as a result.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station earlier in the week. The launch was to deliver the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) into space to begin checkout and movement to science operations.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a detailed look at NGC 7635, The Bubble Nebula. Wisps of red and white against a red-black background. Imagine cruising the interstellar void and chancing upon such a sight!
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day has the arch of the Milky Way stretched over the dunes of Deadvlei in Namibia. Dessicated trees from a wetter time show themselves between the sand and the stars.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a Hubble Space Telescope look at Messier 57, The Ring Nebula (found in the constellation of Lyra. Visible even in small telescopes (the view is enhanced with a special filter), along with others such as the Dumbbell Nebula (Messier 27), it is a favorite target of mine.
Monday, April 16, 2018
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is the view from 250 kilometers up courtesy of the NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Shadows and peaks, seasonal frost and so much to explore.
Friday, April 13, 2018
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows you my early morning view as I walk our (still new) dog, Mr. Jasper. Saturn and Mars are passing through the densest part of the night sky, the region of Sagittarius (with a view towards the galactic center). Also visible is one of the real treasures in a region full of treasures, Messier 22, a globular cluster.
Whether it is with a low-power, rich-field telescope or "just" a pair of binoculars, this region of the sky is worth exploring. A higher power telescope will bring out details of the planets passing through (even a modest scope will bring a view of the rings of Saturn that will take your breathe away), but a low power view can bring you hours of delight.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Does today's Astronomy Picture of the Day show us the furthest star ever detected? Thanks to gravitational lensing, the Hubble Space Telescope (still ticking along!) may have spotted a supergiant 100 times further away than any previously detected star.
Note the dates: first image on the right, 2011. Second image on the right, 2016. Astronomers are swimming in data. Perhaps this is another case where "citizen science" as well as AI would be of assistance?
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 6960, more popularly known as the Witch's Broom Nebula. This nebula is part of the much larger Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant that provides many nooks and crannies such as this for astronomers to seek out.
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a JunoCam image that has been processed to make it more "artlike". With or without enhancement, the images coming from the Juno orbiter are pretty amazing.
Friday, April 6, 2018
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 289 in the constellation of Sculptor. Larger than our home galaxy, NGC 289 is nicely placed to show us from the trailing wisps of the arms to the heart of the core.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Pictured in the current Astronomy Picture of the Day is Intrepid Crater on Mars. This was imaged in 2010 by Mars Rover Opportunity. Originally planned as a 90 day mission, Opportunity recently passed 5,000 (!!!) days of operations on Mars.
Five thousand days into a ninety day mission. What an achievement!
Click on that image in the link. It's worth a long look.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Seven Strong Men in the Ural Mountains. However, if you look at what lies beyond, the Seven Strong Men are actually seven very small men compared to the rest of the universe.