Meteor before Galaxy

APOD: 2022 August 7 - Meteor before Galaxy 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. 2022 August 7 Meteor before Galaxy Image Credit & Copyright: FritzHelmut Hemmerich Explanation: What's that green streak in front of the Andromeda galaxy?A meteor.While photographing the Andromeda galaxy in 2016, near the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, a small pebble from deep space crossed right in front of our Milky Way Galaxy's far-distant companion.The small meteor took only a fraction of a second to pass through this 10-degree field. The meteor flared several times while braking violently upon entering Earth's atmosphere. The green color was created, at least in part, by the meteor's gas glowing as it vaporized.Although the exposure was timed to catch a Perseid meteor, the orientation of the imaged streak seems a better match to a meteor from the Southern Delta Aquariids, a meteor shower that peaked a few weeks earlier. Not coincidentally, the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks later this week, although this year the meteors will have to outshine a sky brightened by a nearly full moon. Tomorrow's picture: celestial lagoon <| Archive| Submissions...

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Stereo Phobos

APOD: 2022 August 6 - Stereo Phobos 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. 2022 August 6 Stereo Phobos Image Credit: G.Neukum (FU Berlin) et al.,Mars Express, DLR, ESA Explanation: Get out your red/blue glassesand float next to Phobos, grooved moon of Mars!Captured in 2004 by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on boardESA's Mars Express spacecraft, the image data wasrecorded at a distance of about 200 kilometers from the martian moon.This tantalizingstereo anaglyph viewshows the Mars-facing side of Phobos.It highlights theasteroid-like moon'scratered and grooved surface.Up to hundreds of meters wide, themysterious groovesmay be related to the impact that createdStickney crater,the large crater at the left.Stickney crater is about 10 kilometers across, whilePhobos itselfis only around 27 kilometers across at its widest point. Tomorrow's picture: a galaxy and a grain of sand<| 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 ScienceActivation& Michigan Tech. U.

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A Beautiful Trifid

APOD: 2022 August 5 - A Beautiful Trifid 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. 2022 August 5 A Beautiful Trifid Image Credit &Copyright:Vikas Chander Explanation: The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a cosmicstudy in contrasts.Also known as M20, it lies about5,000 light-yearsaway toward the nebula richconstellation Sagittarius.A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy,the Trifid does illustrate three different types ofastronomical nebulae;red emission nebulae dominated bylight from hydrogen atoms,blue reflection nebulae producedby dust reflecting starlight, anddark nebulae wheredense dust clouds appear in silhouette.But the red emission region, roughly separated into threeparts by obscuring dust lanes, is what lends the Trifid itspopular name.Pillars and jets sculpted by newborn stars, above and right ofthe emission nebula's center, appear in famous Hubble Space Telescopeclose-upimages of the region.The Trifid Nebula is about 40 light-years across.Too faint to be seen by the unaided eye, it almost covers thearea of a full moon in planet Earth's sky.Open star cluster M21 just peeks into this telescopic field of view along the bottom right edge of the frame. Tomorrow's picture: the grooved moon of Mars<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search|...

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M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

APOD: 2022 August 4 - M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules 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. 2022 August 4 M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules Image Credit &Copyright:Joan Josep Isach Cogollos Explanation: In1716, English astronomerEdmond Halley noted,"This is but a little Patch, but it shows itself to the naked Eye, whenthe Sky is serene and the Moon absent."Of course, M13is now less modestly recognized as the Great Globular Cluster inHercules, one of the brightestglobularstar clusters in the northern sky.Sharp telescopic views like this onereveal the spectacular cluster'shundreds of thousands of stars.At a distance of 25,000 light-years, thecluster stars crowdinto a region 150 light-years in diameter.Approaching the cluster coreupwards of 100 stars could be containedin a cube just 3 light-years on a side.For comparison, theclosest star to the Sun is over4 light-years away.The remarkable range of brightnessrecorded in this imagefollows stars into the dense cluster core.Distant background galaxies in the medium-wide field of viewinclude NGC 6207 at the upper left. Tomorrow's picture: A Beautiful Trifid<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert...

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Halo of the Cats Eye

APOD: 2022 August 3 - Halo of the Cats Eye 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. 2022 August 3 Halo of the Cat's Eye Image Credit & Copyright: Bray Falls Explanation: What created the unusual halo around the Cat's Eye nebula?No one is sure.What is sure is that the Cat's Eye Nebula(NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae on the sky. Although haunting symmetries are seen in the bright central region, this image was taken to feature its intricately structured outer halo, which spans over three light-years across. Planetarynebulae have long been appreciated as a final phasein the life of a Sun-like star.Only recently however, have some planetaries beenfound to have expansive halos, likely formed from material shrugged off during earlier puzzling episodes in the star's evolution.While the planetary nebula phase is thought to last for around 10,000 years,astronomers estimate the age of the outer filamentary portions of the Cat's Eye Nebula's halo to be 50,000 to 90,000 years. Tomorrow's picture: herculean stars <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert...

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A Moon Dressed Like Saturn

Why does Saturn appear so big?

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Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula

APOD: 2022 August 1 - Mountains of Dust in the Carina 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. 2022 August 1 Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Proccessing: Javier Pobes Explanation: It's stars versus dust in the Carina Nebula and the stars are winning.More precisely, the energetic light and winds from massive newly formed stars are evaporating and dispersing the dusty stellar nurseries in which they formed.Located in the Carina Nebula and known informally as Mystic Mountain, these pillar's appearance is dominated by the dark dust even though it is composed mostly of clear hydrogen gas.Dust pillars such as these are actually much thinner than air and only appear as mountains due to relatively small amounts of opaque interstellar dust. About 7,500 light-years distant, the featured image was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and highlights an interior region of Carina which spans about three light years.Within a few million years, the stars will likely win out completely and the entire dust mountain will evaporate. Tomorrow's picture: saturnic lunacy <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS|...

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Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble

APOD: 2022 July 31 - Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble 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. 2022 July 31 Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA Explanation: Why does this galaxy have a ring of bright blue stars? Beautiful island universeMessier 94 lies a mere 15 million light-yearsdistant in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs(CanesVenatici).A popular target for Earth-based astronomers,the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across,with spiral arms sweeping through theoutskirts of its broad disk.But this Hubble Space Telescope field of view spans about7,000 light-years across M94's central region.The featured close-up highlights the galaxy's compact,bright nucleus, prominent inner dust lanes, and the remarkable bluish ring of young massive stars.The ring stars are all likely less than 10 million years old, indicating that M94 is a starburst galaxy that is experiencing an epoch of rapid star formationfrom inspiraling gas.The circular ripple of blue stars is likely a wave propagating outward, having been triggered by the gravity and rotation of a oval matter distributions.Because M94 is relatively nearby, astronomers can better exploredetails of its starburst ring. Tomorrow's picture: space...

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The Eagle Rises

APOD: 2022 July 30 - The Eagle Rises 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. 2022 July 30 The Eagle Rises Image Credit: Apollo 11, NASA -Stereo Image Copyright:John Kaufmann (ALSJ) Explanation: Get out yourred/blue glasses andcheck out this stereo view from lunar orbit.The 3Danaglyphwas created from two photographs(AS11-44-6633,AS11-44-6634)taken by astronaut Michael Collins during the 1969Apollo 11 mission.It features the lunar module ascent stage, dubbed The Eagle, rising tomeet the command module in lunar orbit on July 21.Aboard the ascent stage areNeil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first towalk on the Moon.The smooth, dark area on the lunarsurface is Mare Smythii locatedjust below the equator on the extreme eastern edge of the Moon'snear side. Poised beyond the lunar horizon isour fair planet Earth. Tomorrow's picture: starburst galaxy<| 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 ScienceActivation& Michigan Tech. U.

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SOFIA s Southern Lights

APOD: 2022 July 29 - SOFIA s Southern Lights 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. 2022 July 29 SOFIA's Southern Lights Image Credit &Copyright: Ian Griffin(Otago Museum) Explanation: SOFIA, theStratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy,is a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry alarge reflecting telescopeinto the stratosphere.The ability of the airborne facility to climbabove about 99 percent of Earth's infrared-blocking atmospherehas allowed researchers to observe from almost anywhere over the planet.On a science missionflying deep into the southern auroral oval,astronomer Ian Griffin, director of New Zealand’s Otago Museum,captured this viewfrom the observatory's south facing starboard side on July 17.Bright star Canopus shines in the southern nightabove curtains ofaurora australis, or southern lights.The plane wasflyingfar south of New Zealand at the time atroughly 62 degrees southern latitude.Unfortunately,after a landing at Christchurchsevere weather damaged SOFIArequiring repairs and the cancellation of the remainder ofits final southern hemisphere deployment. Tomorrow's picture: an eagle rises<| 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...

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North Celestial Tree

An ancient tree seems to reach out and touch Earth's

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Crepuscular Moon Rays over Denmark

APOD: 2022 July 27 - Crepuscular Moon Rays over Denmark 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. 2022 July 27 Crepuscular Moon Rays over Denmark Image Credit & Copyright: Ruslan Merzlyakov (astrorms) Explanation: This moon made quite an entrance.Typically, a moonrise is quiet and serene. Taking a few minutes to fully peek above the horizon, Earth's largest orbital companion can remain relatively obscure until it rises high in the nighttime sky.About a week ago, however, and despite being only half lit by the Sun, this rising moon put on a show -- at least from this location.The reason was that, as seen from Limfjord in Nykøbing Mors, Denmark, the moon rose below scattered clouds near the horizon. The result, captured here in a single exposure, was that moonlight poured through gaps in the clouds to created what are called crepuscular rays. These rays can fan out dramatically across the sky when starting near the horizon, and can even appear to converge on the other side of the sky.Well behind our Moon, stars from our Milky Way galaxy dot the background, and our galaxy's largest...

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Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea

APOD: 2022 July 26 - Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea 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. Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea Video Credit & Copyright: Paolo Girotti Explanation: This sight was worth getting out of bed early. Two years ago this month, Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) rose before dawn to the delight of northern sky enthusiasts awake that early.Up before sunrise on July 8th, the featured photographer was able to capture in dramatic fashion one of the few comets visible to the unaided eye this century, an inner-Solar System intruder that has become known as the Great Comet of 2020. The resulting video detailed Comet NEOWISE from Italy rising over the Adriatic Sea.The time-lapse video combines over 240 images taken over 30 minutes. The comet was seen rising through a foreground of bright and undulating noctilucent clouds, and before a background of distant stars. Comet NEOWISE remained unexpectedly bright until 2020 August, with its ion and dust tails found to emanate from a nucleus spanning about five kilometers across. Astrophysicists: Browse 2,800+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library...

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Find the New Moon

APOD: 2022 July 25 - Find the New Moon 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. 2022 July 25 Find the New Moon Image Credit & Copyright: Mohamad Soltanolkotabi Explanation: Can you find the Moon?This usually simple task can be quite difficult. Even though the Moon is above your horizon half of the time, its phase can be anything from crescent to full.The featured image was taken in late May from Sant Martí d'Empúries, Spain, over the Mediterranean Sea in the early morning.One reason you can't find this moon is because it is very near to its new phase, when very little of the half illuminated by the Sun is visible to the Earth.Another reason is because this moon is near the horizon and so seen through a long path of Earth's atmosphere -- a path which dims the already faint crescent.Any crescent moon is only visible near the direction the Sun, and so only locatable near sunrise or sunset.The Moon runs through all of its phases in a month (moon-th), and this month the thinnest sliver of a crescent -- a new moon...

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Saturn in Infrared from Cassini

APOD: 2022 July 24 - Saturn in Infrared from Cassini 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. 2022 July 24 Saturn in Infrared from Cassini Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SSI; Processing: Maksim Kakitsev Explanation: Many details of Saturn appear clearly in infrared light. Bands of clouds show great structure, including long stretching storms. Also quite striking in infrared is the unusual hexagonal cloud pattern surrounding Saturn's North Pole. Each side of the dark hexagon spans roughly the width of our Earth.The hexagon's existence was not predicted, and its origin and likely stability remains a topic of research. Saturn's famous rings circle the planet and cast shadows below the equator.The featured image was taken by the robotic Cassini spacecraft in 2014 in several infrared colors. In 2017 September, the Cassini mission was brought to a dramatic conclusion when the spacecraft was directed to dive into ringed giant. Explore Your Universe: Random APOD Generator Tomorrow's picture: find the moon <| 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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Apollo 11 Landing Panorama

APOD: 2022 July 23 - Apollo 11 Landing Panorama 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. 2022 July 23 Apollo 11 Landing Panorama Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11, NASA Explanation: Have you seena panorama fromanother world lately? Assembled from high-resolution scansof the original film frames, this one sweeps acrossthe magnificent desolation of the Apollo 11 landing siteon the Moon's Sea of Tranquility.The images were taken byNeil Armstronglooking out his window of the Eagle Lunar Module shortly after theJuly 20, 1969 landing.The frame at the far left (AS11-37-5449) is thefirst picture taken by a person on another world.Toward the south, thruster nozzles can be seen in theforeground on the left, whileat the right, the shadow of the Eagle is visible to the west.For scale, the large, shallow crater on the righthas a diameter of about 12 meters.Frames taken from the Lunar Module windows about anhour and a half after landing, beforewalking on the lunar surface,were intended to initially document the landing site in casean early departure was necessary. Tomorrow's picture: hexagon and rings<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors...

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Spiral Galaxy M74: A Sharper View

APOD: 2022 July 22 - Spiral Galaxy M74: A Sharper View 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. 2022 July 22 Spiral Galaxy M74: A Sharper View Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA,STScI;Processing Copyright: Robert Eder Explanation: Beautiful spiral galaxy Messier 74(also known as NGC 628) lies some 32 million light-years awaytoward the constellation Pisces.An island universe of about 100 billion starswith two prominent spiral arms, M74 has long been admired by astronomers as aperfect exampleof a grand-design spiral galaxy.M74's central region isbrought into a stunning, sharp focus in thisrecently processed imageusingpublicly available datafrom theJames Webb Space Telescope.The colorized combination of image data sets is from two of Webb'sinstrumentsNIRcam andMIRI,operating at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths. It reveals cooler stars and dusty structuresin the grand-design spiral galaxyonly hinted at in previousspace-based views. Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend<| 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 ScienceActivation& Michigan Tech. U.

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Messier 10 and Comet

APOD: 2022 July 21 - Messier 10 and Comet 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. 2022 July 21 Messier 10 and Comet Image Credit &Copyright: German Penelas Perez Explanation: Imaged on July 15 2022,comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS)had aMessier moment, sharing this wide telescopic field of viewwith globular star cluster Messier 10.Of course M10 was cataloged by 18th century comet hunterCharles Messier as the 10th object on hislist of things that were definitely not comets.While M10 is about 14 thousand light-years distant, this comet PanSTARRS was about 15 light-minutesfrom our fair planet following its July 14 closest approach.Its greenish coma and dust tailentertaining 21st century comet watchers,C/2017 K2 is expected to remain a fine telescopic comet innorthern summer skies.On a maiden voyage from our Solar System's remoteOort Cloudthis comet PanSTARRS was discovered in May 2017when it was beyond the orbit of Saturn.At the time that made it the mostdistant active inbound cometknown.Its closest approach to the Sun will be within 1.8astronomical unitson December 19, beyond the orbital distance of Mars. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About...

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Jupiter and Ring in Infrared from Webb

APOD: 2022 July 20 - Jupiter and Ring in Infrared from Webb 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. 2022 July 20 Jupiter and Ring in Infrared from Webb Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA,STScI; Processing & License: Judy Schmidt Explanation: Why does Jupiter have rings? Jupiter's main ring was discovered in 1979 by NASA's passing Voyager 1 spacecraft, but its origin was then a mystery. Data from NASA's Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003, however, confirmed the hypothesis that this ring was created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons. As a small meteoroid strikes tiny Metis, for example, it will bore into the moon, vaporize, and explode dirt and dust off into a Jovian orbit.The featured image of Jupiter in infrared light by the James Webb Space Telescope shows not only Jupiter and its clouds, but this ring as well.Also visible is Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS) -- in comparatively light color on the right, Jupiter's large moon Europa -- in the center of diffraction spikes on the left, and Europa's shadow -- next to the GRS. Several features in...

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Pleiades over Half Dome

APOD: 2022 July 19 - Pleiades over Half Dome 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. 2022 July 19 Pleiades over Half Dome Image Credit & Copyright: Dheera Venkatraman Explanation: Stars come in bunches. The most famous bunch of stars on the sky is the Pleiades, a bright cluster that can be easily seen with the unaided eye. The Pleiades lies only about 450 light years away, formed about 100 million years ago, and will likely last about another 250 million years.Our Sun was likely born in a star cluster, but now, being about 4.5 billion years old, its stellar birth companions have long since dispersed.The Pleiades star cluster is pictured over Half Dome, a famous rock structure in Yosemite National Park in California, USA.The featured image is a composite of 28 foreground exposures and 174 images of the stellar background, all taken from the same location and by the same camera on the same night in October 2019.After calculating the timing of a future juxtaposition of the Pleiades and Half Dome, the astrophotrographer was unexpectedly rewarded by an electrical blackout, making the background...

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