Comet ZTF: Orbital Plane Crossing

APOD: 2023 January 27 - Comet ZTF: Orbital Plane Crossing Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 27 Comet ZTF: Orbital Plane Crossing Image Credit &Copyright:Dan Bartlett Explanation: The current darlingof thenorthern night,Comet C/2022 E3 ZTFis captured in this telescopic image from a dark sky locationat June Lake, California, USA.Of course Comet ZTFhas beengrowing brighterin recent days,headed for its closest approach to Earth on February 1. But this view was recorded on January 23, very close to the timeplanet Earth crossed the orbital plane oflong-periodComet ZTF.The comet's broad, whitish dust tail is still curved andfanned outaway from the Sun as Comet ZTF sweeps along its orbit.Due to perspective near theorbital planecrossing, components of the fanned out dust tail appearon both sides of the comet's green tinted coma though, to lendComet ZTF a visually striking (left)anti-tail.Buffeted by solar activitythe comet's narrower ion tail also streams awayfrom the coma diagonally to the right,across the nearly three degree wide field of view. Comet ZTF Gallery: Notable Submissions to APOD Tomorrow's picture: over the mountain <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD|...

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Comet ZTF over Mount Etna

Comet ZTF over Mount Etna

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Active Galaxy NGC 1275

APOD: 2023 January 26 - Active Galaxy NGC 1275 Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 26 Active Galaxy NGC 1275 Image Credit: NASA,ESA, Hubble Heritage,A. Fabian (University of Cambridge, UK) Explanation: ActivegalaxyNGC 1275 is the central, dominant member of the large andrelatively nearbyPerseus Cluster of Galaxies.Wild-looking at visible wavelengths, the active galaxy is also aprodigious source ofx-raysandradio emission.NGC 1275 accretesmatter as entire galaxies fall into it, ultimatelyfeeding a supermassive black hole at the galaxy's core.This color compositeimage made from Hubble Space Telescopedata recorded during 2006.It highlights the resultinggalactic debrisand filaments of glowing gas,some up to 20,000 light-years long.The filaments persistin NGC 1275, even thoughthe turmoil of galactic collisions should destroy them. What keeps the filaments together?Observationsindicate that the structures, pushed outfrom the galaxy's center by the black hole's activity, areheld together by magnetic fields.Also known as Perseus A,NGC 1275 spans over 100,000 light years andlies about 230 million light years away. Tomorrow's picture: crossing the plane <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights...

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Comet ZTF: Orbital Plane Crossing

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 27 Comet ZTF: Orbital Plane Crossing Image Credit &Copyright:Dan Bartlett Explanation: The current darlingof thenorthern night,Comet C/2022 E3 ZTFis captured in this telescopic image from a dark sky locationat June Lake, California.Of course Comet ZTFhas beengrowing brighterin recent days,headed for its closest approach to Earth on February 1. But this view was recorded on January 23, very close to the timeplanet Earth crossed the orbital plane oflong-periodComet ZTF.The comet's broad, whitish dust tail is still curved andfanned outaway from the Sun as Comet ZTF sweeps along its orbit.Due to perspective near theorbital planecrossing, components of the fanned out dust tail appearon both sides of the comet's green tinted coma though, to lendComet ZTF a visually striking (left)anti-tail.Buffeted by solar activitythe comet's narrower ion tail also streams awayfrom the coma diagonally to the right,across the nearly three degree wide field of view. Tomorrow's picture: over the mountain <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific...

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Active Galaxy NGC 1275

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 26 Active Galaxy NGC 1275 Image Credit: NASA,ESA, Hubble Heritage,A. Fabian (University of Cambridge, UK) Explanation: ActivegalaxyNGC 1275 is the central, dominant member of the large andrelatively nearbyPerseus Cluster of Galaxies.Wild-looking at visible wavelengths, the active galaxy is also aprodigious source ofx-raysandradio emission.NGC 1275 accretesmatter as entire galaxies fall into it, ultimatelyfeeding a supermassive black hole at the galaxy's core.This color compositeimage made from Hubble Space Telescopedata recorded during 2006.It highlights the resultinggalactic debrisand filaments of glowing gas,some up to 20,000 light-years long.The filaments persistin NGC 1275, even thoughthe turmoil of galactic collisions should destroy them. What keeps the filaments together?Observationsindicate that the structures, pushed outfrom the galaxy's center by the black hole's activity, areheld together by magnetic fields.Also known as Perseus A,NGC 1275 spans over 100,000 light years andlies about 230 million light years away. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and...

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Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82

APOD: 2023 January 20 - Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82 Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 20 Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82 Image Credit &Copyright: Andreas Aufschnaiter Explanation: The two dominant galaxies near centerare far far away, 12 million light-years distanttoward the northern constellation of the Great Bear.On the right, with grand spiral arms and bright yellow core isspiral galaxy M81.Also known as Bode's galaxy, M81 spans some 100,000light-years.On the left is cigar-shaped irregular galaxy M82. The pair have been locked in gravitational combat for a billion years.Gravityfrom each galaxy has profoundly affected the other duringa series of cosmic close encounters. Their last go-round lasted about 100 million years andlikely raised density waves rippling around M81, resulting in the richness of M81'sspiral arms. M82was left with violent star forming regions and colliding gas clouds so energetic that the galaxyglows in X-rays. In the next few billion years, theircontinuing gravitational encounters will result in a merger, and asingle galaxy will remain.This extragalactic scenario also includes other members of the interactingM81 galaxy groupwith NGC 3077 below and right of the large spiral, andNGC...

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Naked Eye Comet ZTF

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 21 Naked-eye Comet ZTF Image Credit &Copyright: Óscar Martín Mesonero (Organización Salmantina de la Astronáutica y el Espacio) Explanation: Comet C/2022E3 (ZTF) is no longer too dim to require a telescope for viewing.By January 19, itcould just be seenwith the naked eye in thisrural sky with little light pollution from a location about 20 kilometersfrom Salamanca, Spain.Still, telescopic imagesare needed to show any hint of the comet's pretty greencoma, stubby whitish dust tail, and long ion tail.Its faint ion tailhas been buffeted byrecent solar activity.This visitor from thedistant Oort cloudrounded the Sun on January 12.and is now sweeping through stars near thenorthern boundaryof the constellation Bootes.Outward boundbut still growing brighter, Comet ZTF makes its closest approachon February 2, coming to within about 2.4 light-minutes of our fair planet. Tomorrow's picture: in green company <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA Science Activation&...

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The Seagull Nebula

APOD: 2023 January 19 - The Seagull Nebula Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 19 The Seagull Nebula Image Credit &Copyright: Carlos Taylor Explanation: A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presentsa bird-like visage to astronomersfrom planet Earth,suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula.Using narrowband image data,this 3-panel mosaic of the cosmic birdcovers a 2.5 degree swath across the plane of the Milky Way,near the direction of Sirius,alpha starof the constellation Canis Major.Likely part of a larger shell structureswept up by successive supernova explosions,the broad Seagull Nebula is cataloged as Sh2-296 and IC 2177.The prominent bluish arc below and right of center is a bow shock fromrunaway starFN Canis Majoris.This complex of gas and dust clouds with other stars of theCanis Majoris OB1association spans over 200 light-years at the Seagull Nebula's estimated3,800 light-year distance. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

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Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 20 Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82 Image Credit &Copyright: Andreas Aufschnaiter Explanation: The two dominant galaxies near centerare far far away, 12 million light-years distanttoward the northern constellation of the Great Bear.On the right, with grand spiral arms and bright yellow core isspiral galaxy M81.Also known as Bode's galaxy, M81 spans some 100,000light-years.On the left is cigar-shaped irregular galaxy M82. The pair have been locked in gravitational combat for a billion years.Gravityfrom each galaxy has profoundly affected the other duringa series of cosmic close encounters. Their last go-round lasted about 100 million years andlikely raised density waves rippling around M81, resulting in the richness of M81'sspiral arms. M82was left with violent star forming regions and colliding gas clouds so energetic that the galaxyglows in X-rays. In the next few billion years, theircontinuing gravitational encounters will result in a merger, and asingle galaxy will remain.This extragalactic scenario also includes other members of the interactingM81 galaxy groupwith NGC 3077 below and right of the large spiral, andNGC 2976 at upper right in...

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The Seagull Nebula

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 19 The Seagull Nebula Image Credit &Copyright: Carlos Taylor Explanation: A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presentsa bird-like visage to astronomersfrom planet Earth,suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula.Using narrowband image data,this 3-panel mosaic of the cosmic birdcovers a 2.5 degree swath across the plane of the Milky Way,near the direction of Sirius,alpha starof the constellation Canis Major.Likely part of a larger shell structureswept up by successive supernova explosions,the broad Seagull Nebula is cataloged as Sh2-296 and IC 2177.The prominent bluish arc below and right of center is a bow shock fromrunaway starFN Canis Majoris.This complex of gas and dust clouds with other stars of theCanis Majoris OB1association spans over 200 light-years at the Seagull Nebula's estimated3,800 light-year distance. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

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Young Star Cluster NGC 346

APOD: 2023 January 13 - Young Star Cluster NGC 346 Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 13 Young Star Cluster NGC 346 Image Credit:Science -NASA,ESA,CSA,Olivia C. Jones (UK ATC), Guido De Marchi (ESTEC), Margaret Meixner (USRA)Processing - Alyssa Pagan (STScI), Nolan Habel (USRA),Laura Lenkić (USRA), Laurie E. U. Chu (NASA Ames) Explanation: The most massive young star cluster in theSmall Magellanic Cloud is NGC 346,embedded in our small satellite galaxy's largest star forming regionsome 210,000 light-years distant.Of course themassive stars of NGC 346 are short lived, but veryenergetic. Their winds and radiationsculpt the edgesof the region's dusty molecular cloud triggeringstar-formation within.The star forming region also appears tocontain a large population of infant stars.A mere 3 to 5 million years old and not yetburning hydrogenin their cores, theinfant starsare strewn about the embedded star cluster.This spectacular infrared viewof NGC 346 isfrom the James Webb Space Telescope'sNIRcam.Emission from atomic hydrogen ionized by the massive stars' energeticradiation as well as molecular hydrogen and dustin the star-forming molecular cloud is detailed in pink and orange hues.Webb's sharp imageof the young star-forming regionspans 240 light-years at...

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Perihelion Sun 2023

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 14 Perihelion Sun 2023 Image Credit &Copyright: Peter Ward(Barden Ridge Observatory) Explanation: Perihelion for 2023,Earth's closest approach to the Sun,was on January 4 at 16:17 UTC.That was less than 24 hours after thissharp image of the Sun's diskwas recorded with telescope andH-alpha filter from Sidney, Australia, planet Earth. An H-alpha filtertransmits a characteristic red light from hydrogen atoms.In views of the Sun it emphasizes the Sun's chromosphere,a region just abovethe solar photosphere or normally visible solar surface.In this H-alpha image of theincreasingly active Sunplanet-sized sunspot regions are dominatedby bright splotches called plages.Dark filaments of plasmasnaking across the solar disk transitionto bright prominences when seenabove the solar limb. Tomorrow's picture: cosmic crustacean <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

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Stardust in Perseus

APOD: 2023 January 12 - Stardust in Perseus Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 12 Stardust in Perseus Image Credit &Copyright: Jack Groves Explanation: This cosmic expanseof dust, gas, and stars covers some 6 degreeson the sky in the heroic constellation Perseus.At upper left inthe gorgeous skyscapeis the intriguing young star clusterIC 348 andneighboring Flying Ghost Nebulawith clouds of obscuring interstellar dust catalogedas Barnard 3 and 4.At right, another active star formingregion NGC 1333 isconnected by dark and dusty tendrils on the outskirtsof the giantPerseusMolecular Cloud, about 850 light-years away.Other dusty nebulae are scattered around the field of view,along with the faintreddish glow of hydrogen gas.In fact, the cosmic dusttends to hide the newly formed starsand young stellar objects or protostars fromprying optical telescopes.Collapsing due toself-gravity, theprotostars formfrom the dense coresembedded in the molecular cloud.At the molecular cloud'sestimated distance, this fieldof view would span over 90 light-years. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and...

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Young Star Cluster NGC 346

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 13 Young Star Cluster NGC 346 Image Credit:Science -NASA,ESA,CSA,Olivia C. Jones (UK ATC), Guido De Marchi (ESTEC), Margaret Meixner (USRA)Processing - Alyssa Pagan (STScI), Nolan Habel (USRA),Laura Lenkić (USRA), Laurie E. U. Chu (NASA Ames) Explanation: The most massive young star cluster in theSmall Magellanic Cloud is NGC 346,embedded in our small satellite galaxy's largest star forming regionsome 210,000 light-years distant.Of course themassive stars of NGC 346 are short lived, but veryenergetic. Their winds and radiationsculpt the edgesof the region's dusty molecular cloud triggeringstar-formation within.The star forming region also appears tocontain a large population of infant stars.A mere 3 to 5 million years old and not yetburning hydrogenin their cores, theinfant starsare strewn about the embedded star cluster.This spectacular infrared viewof NGC 346 isfrom the James Webb Space Telescope'sNIRcam.Emission from atomic hydrogen ionized by the massive stars' energeticradiation as well as and molecular hydrogen and dustin the star-forming molecular cloud is detailed in pink and orange hues.Webb's sharp imageof the young star-forming regionspans 240 light-years at the distance of the...

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Stardust in Perseus

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 12 Stardust in Perseus Image Credit &Copyright: Jack Groves Explanation: This cosmic expanseof dust, gas, and stars covers some 6 degreeson the sky in the heroic constellation Perseus.At upper left inthe gorgeous skyscapeis the intriguing young star clusterIC 348 andneighboring Flying Ghost Nebulawith clouds of obscuring interstellar dust catalogedas Barnard 3 and 4.At right, another active star formingregion NGC 1333 isconnected by dark and dusty tendrils on the outskirtsof the giantPerseusMolecular Cloud, about 850 light-years away.Other dusty nebulae are scattered around the field of view,along with the faintreddish glow of hydrogen gas.In fact, the cosmic dusttends to hide the newly formed starsand young stellar objects or protostars fromprying optical telescopes.Collapsing due toself-gravity, theprotostars formfrom the dense coresembedded in the molecular cloud.At the molecular cloud'sestimated distance, this fieldof view would span over 90 light-years. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service...

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Space Stations in Low Earth Orbit

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 7 Space Stations in Low Earth Orbit Image Credit &Copyright: Zarcos Palma Explanation: On January 3, two space stationsalready illuminated by sunlight in low Earth orbitcrossed this dark predawn sky.Moving west to east (left to right) across the compositedtimelapse imageChina's Tiangong Space Stationtraced the upper trail capturedmore than an hour before the local sunrise.Seen against a starry backgroundTiangong passes just belowthe inverted Big Dipper asterism of Ursa Majornear the peak of its bright arc,and above north pole star Polaris.But less than five minutes before, theInternational Space Stationhad traced its own sunlit streak across the dark sky.Its trail beginsjust above the W-shape outlined by the brightstars of Cassiopeia near the northern horizon.The dramatic foreground spans an abandoned mine at Achada do Gamoin southeastern Portugal. Tomorrow's picture: where you come from <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

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Moon O'Clock 2022

APOD: 2023 January 6 - Moon O'Clock 2022 Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 6 Moon O'Clock 2022 Image Credit &Copyright: Niveth Kumar Explanation: The first Full Moon of 2023is inthe sky tonightopposite the Sun at 23:08UTC.Big and beautiful, the Moon at itsbrightest phase should be easy to spot.Still, for quick reference images captured near the times ofall the full moons of 2022 are aranged in thisdedicated astro-imaging projectfrom Sri Lanka, planet Earth.The day, month, and a traditional popular name for 2022's twelve full moonsare given in the chart.The apparent size of each full moon dependson how close the full lunar phase is toperigee or apogee,the closest or farthest point in the Moon's elliptical orbit.Like the 2022 Wolf Moon at the 1 o'clock position,tonight's Full Moon occurs within about two days of apogee.But unlike in 2022,the year 2023will have 13 full moons thatwon't all fit nicely on the twelve hour clock. Tomorrow's picture: stations in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights...

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Messier 45: The Daughters of Atlas and Pleione

APOD: 2023 January 5 - Messier 45: The Daughters of Atlas and Pleione Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 5 Messier 45: The Daughters of Atlas and Pleione Image Credit &Copyright: Stefan Thrun Explanation: Hurtling through acosmic dust cloud a mere 400 light-yearsaway, thelovely Pleiadesor Seven Sisters open star cluster is well-known for its striking bluereflection nebulae.It lies in the night sky toward the constellation Taurus and theOrion Arm of our Milky Way galaxy.The sister starsare not related to the dusty cloud though.They just happen to be passing through the same region of space.Known since antiquity as a compact grouping of stars,Galileo first sketchedthe star cluster viewed through his telescopewith stars too faint to be seen by eye.Charles Messier recordedthe position of the cluster asthe 45th entry in his famous catalog of things which are not comets.In Greek myth, thePleiades were seven daughtersof the astronomical titan Atlas and sea-nymph Pleione.Their parents names are included in thecluster's nine brightest stars.This well-processed, color-calibratedtelescopic image featurespin-point stars and detailed filaments of interstellar dust capturedin over 9 hours of exposure.It spans more than 20 light-years...

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Moon O Clock 2022

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 6 Moon O'Clock 2022 Image Credit &Copyright: Niveth Kumar Explanation: The first Full Moon of 2023is inthe sky tonightopposite the Sun at 23:08UTC.Big and beautiful, the Moon at itsbrightest phase should be easy to spot.Still, for quick reference images captured near the times ofall the full moons of 2022 are aranged in thisdedicated astro-imaging projectfrom Sri Lanka, planet Earth.The day, month, and a traditional popular name for 2022's twelve full moonsare given in the chart.The apparent size of each full moon dependson how close the full lunar phase is toperigee or apogee,the closest or farthest point in the Moon's elliptical orbit.Like the 2022 Wolf Moon at the 1 o'clock position,tonight's Full Moon occurs within a about two days of apogee.But unlike in 2022,the year 2023will have 13 full moons thatwon't all fit nicely on the twelve hour clock. Tomorrow's picture: stations in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy...

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Messier 45: The Daughters of Atlas and Pleione

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2023 January 5 Messier 45: The Daughters of Atlas and Pleione Image Credit &Copyright: Stefan Thrun Explanation: Hurtling through acosmic dust cloud a mere 400 light-yearsaway, thelovely Pleiadesor Seven Sisters open star cluster is well-known for its striking bluereflection nebulae.It lies in the night sky toward the constellation Taurus and theOrion Arm of our Milky Way galaxy.The sister starsare not related to the dusty cloud though.They just happen to be passing through the same region of space.Known since antiquity as a compact grouping of stars,Galileo first sketchedthe star cluster viewed through his telescopewith stars too faint to be seen by eye.Charles Messier recordedthe position of the cluster asthe 45th entry in his famous catalog of things which are not comets.In Greek myth, thePleiades were seven daughtersof the astronomical titan Atlas and sea-nymph Pleione.Their parents names are included in thecluster's nine brightest stars.This well-processed, color-calibratedtelescopic image featurespin-point stars and detailed filaments of interstellar dust capturedin over 9 hours of exposure.It spans more than 20 light-years across the Pleiades star cluster. Tomorrow's picture: pixels...

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