Terminator Moon

APOD: 2022 February 15 - Terminator 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 February 15 Terminator Moon Image Credit: NASA, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, SVS; Processing & Copyright: Jai & Neil Shet Explanation: What's different about this Moon?It's the terminators.In the featured image, you can't directly see any terminator -- the line that divides the light of day from the dark of night.That's because the image is a digital composite of 29 near-terminator lunar strips. Terminator regions show the longest and most prominent shadows -- shadows which, by their contrast and length, allow a flat photograph to appear three-dimensional.The original images and data were taken near the Moon by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Many of the Moon's craters stand out because of the shadows they all cast to the right.The image shows in graphic detail that the darker regions known as maria are not just darker than the rest of the Moon -- they are flatter. Dial-A-Moon: Find the phase of the Moon on your birthday. Tomorrow's picture: eroding sun tower <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss|...

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In the Heart of the Heart Nebula

APOD: 2022 February 14 - In the Heart of the Heart 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 February 14 In the Heart of the Heart Nebula Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Jensen Explanation: What excites the Heart Nebula?First, the large emission nebula dubbedIC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart. Its shape perhaps fitting of the Valentine's Day, this heart glows brightly in red lightemitted by its most prominent element: excited hydrogen. The red glow and the larger shape are all created by asmall group of stars near thenebula's center. In the heart of the Heart Nebula are young stars from the open star cluster Melotte 15 that are eroding away several picturesque dust pillars with their energetic light and winds.The open cluster of stars contains a fewbright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun,many dim stars only a fraction of the mass of our Sun, and anabsent microquasarthat was expelled millions of years ago. The Heart Nebula is located about 7,500 light years away toward theconstellation of the mythological Queen of Aethiopia (Cassiopeia). Tomorrow's picture: terminator moon...

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Earth at Night

APOD: 2022 February 13 - Earth at Night 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 February 13 Earth at Night Image Credit: NASA, Suomi NPP VIIRS; Data: Miguel Román (NASA GSFC); Processing: Joshua Stevens Explanation: This is what the Earth looks like at night. Can you find your favorite country or city? Surprisingly, city lights make this task quite possible. Human-made lights highlight particularly developed or populated areas of the Earth's surface, including the seaboards of Europe, the eastern United States, and Japan. Many large cities are located near rivers or oceans so that they can exchange goods cheaply by boat. Particularly dark areas include the central parts of South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.The featured image, nicknamed Black Marble, is actually a composite of hundreds of pictures remade in 2016 from data taken by the orbiting Suomi NPP satellite. Tomorrow's picture: space for the heart <| 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& Michigan Tech....

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Aurora by Moonlight

APOD: 2022 February 12 - Aurora by Moonlight 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 February 12 Aurora by Moonlight Image Credit &Copyright: P-M Hedén(Clear Skies,TWAN) Explanation: The icewas singingas light from a bright gibbous Moon cast shadows across thisfrozen lake,about 20 kilometers north of Stockholm, Sweden, planet Earth.In the alluring night skyscape captured onFebruary 10,shimmering auroral curtains of light dance in the evening sky.On that northern night nature's performance includedthe auroral displays fostered by a minor geomagnetic storm.Stormy space weatherwas the result of acoronal mass ejection, erupting from a solar prominence daysearlier and brushing our fair planet's magnetosphere. Tomorrow's picture: planet in the dark <| 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& Michigan Tech. U.

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IC 342: The Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis

APOD: 2022 February 11 - IC 342: The Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis 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 February 11 IC 342: The Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis Image Credit &Copyright: Daniel Feller Explanation: Similarin size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood,IC 342is a mere 10 million light-yearsdistant in the long-necked,northern constellation Camelopardalis.A sprawling island universe,IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky,but it is hidden from clear view and onlyglimpsed through the veil of stars, gas and dust cloudsalong the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy.Even though IC 342's light is dimmed and reddened by interveningcosmic clouds,thissharptelescopic image traces the galaxy's own obscuring dust,young star clusters, and glowing pink star forming regions along spiralarms that wind far fromthe galaxy'score.IC 342 may have undergone a recent burst ofstar formation activity and isclose enough to have gravitationallyinfluenced the evolution of thelocal groupof galaxies and the Milky Way. Tomorrow's picture: northern 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...

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T Tauri and Hind's Variable Nebula

APOD: 2022 February 10 - T Tauri and Hind's Variable 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 February 10 T Tauri and Hind's Variable Nebula Image Credit &Copyright: Dawn Lowry,Gian Lorenzo Ferretti, Ewa Pasiak and Terry Felty Explanation: The star with an orange tint near top center in this dustytelescopic frameis T Tauri, prototype of the class of T Tauri variable stars. Next to it (right) is a yellow cosmic cloudhistoricallyknown as Hind's Variable Nebula (NGC 1555).About 650 light-years away,at the boundaryof thelocal bubbleand the Taurus molecular cloud, both star and nebulaare seen to vary significantly in brightnessbut not necessarily at the same time,adding to the mystery of the intriguing region.T Tauri stars are now generallyrecognizedas young (less than a few million years old), sun-like stars still in theearlystages of formation.To furthercomplicate the picture, infrared observations indicatethat T Tauri itself is part of a multiple system andsuggest that the associatedHind'sNebula may also contain a very young stellar object.The well-composed image spans about 8 light-years at the estimateddistance of T Tauri. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar|...

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Eta Car: 3D Model of the Most Dangerous Star Known

APOD: 2022 February 9 - Eta Car: 3D Model of the Most Dangerous Star Known 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. Eta Car: 3D Model of the Most Dangerous Star Known Video Credit: NASA, CXC, April Hobart; Text: Michael F. Corcoran (NASA, Catholic U., HEAPOW) Explanation: What's the most dangerous star near earth? Many believe it's Eta Carinae, a binary star system about 100 times the mass of the Sun, just 10,000 light years from earth. Eta Carinae is a ticking time bomb, set to explode as a supernova in only a few million years, when it may bathe the earth in dangerous gamma rays. The star suffered a notorious outburst in the 1840s when it became the brightest star in the southern sky, only to fade to obscurity within decades. The star was not destroyed, but lies hidden behind a thick, expanding, double-lobed structure called the Homunculus which now surrounds the binary. Studies of this ejecta provide forensic clues about the explosion. Using observations from NASA satellites we can now visualize the 3D distribution of the shrapnel, all the way from the...

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Aurora and Light Pillars over Norway

APOD: 2022 February 8 - Aurora and Light Pillars over Norway 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 February 8 Aurora and Light Pillars over Norway Image Credit & Copyright: Alexandre Correia Explanation: Which half of this sky is your favorite?On the left, the night sky is lit up by particles expelled from the Sun that later collided with Earth's upper atmosphere — creating bright auroras. On the right, the night glows with ground lights reflected by millions of tiny ice crystals falling from the sky — creating light pillars. And in the center, the astrophotographer presents your choices.The light pillars are vertical columns because the fluttering ice-crystals are mostly flat to the ground, and their colors are those of the ground lights.The auroras cover the sky and ground in the green hue of glowing oxygen, while their transparency is clear because you can see stars right through them.Distant stars dot the background, including bright stars from the iconic constellation of Orion. The featured image was captured in a single exposure two months ago near Kautokeino, Norway. Favorite sky half: Left half (aurora)...

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NGC 4651: The Umbrella Galaxy

APOD: 2022 February 7 - NGC 4651: The Umbrella 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 February 7 NGC 4651: The Umbrella Galaxy Image Credit & Copyright: CFHT, Coelum, MegaCam, J.-C. Cuillandre (CFHT) & G. A. Anselmi (Coelum) Explanation: It's raining stars. What appears to be a giant cosmic umbrella is now known to be a tidal stream of stars stripped from a small satellite galaxy.The main galaxy, spiral galaxy NGC 4651, is about the size of our Milky Way, while its stellar parasol appears to extendsome 100 thousand light-years above this galaxy's bright disk.A small galaxy was likely torn apart by repeated encounters asit swept back and forth on eccentric orbits through NGC 4651.The remaining stars will surely fall back and become part of a combined larger galaxy over the next few million years.The featured image was captured by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in Hawaii, USA. The Umbrella Galaxy lies about 50 million light-years distant toward the well-groomed northern constellationComaBerenices. Almost Hyperspace: Random APOD Generator Tomorrow's picture: vote the sky <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD|...

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Blue Marble Earth

APOD: 2022 February 6 - Blue Marble Earth 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 February 6 Blue Marble Earth Image Credit: NASA, Apollo 17 Crew Explanation: Welcome to planet Earth, the third planet from a star named the Sun. The Earth is shaped like a sphere and composed mostly of rock. Over 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water. The planet has a relatively thin atmosphere composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen. The featured picture of Earth, dubbed The Blue Marble, was taken from Apollo 17 in 1972 and features Africa and Antarctica. It is thought to be one of the most widely distributed photographs of any kind. Earth has a single large Moon that is about 1/4 of its diameter and, from the planet's surface, is seen to have almost exactly the same angular size as the Sun. With its abundance of liquid water, Earth supports a large variety of life forms, including potentially intelligent species such as dolphins and humans. Please enjoy your stay on planet Earth. Tomorrow's picture: galactic rain <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS|...

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Symbiotic R Aquarii

APOD: 2022 February 5 - Symbiotic R Aquarii 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 February 5 Symbiotic R Aquarii Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. Montez et al.; Optical: Data: NASA/ESA/STScI, Processing: Judy Schmidt (CC BY-NC-SA) Explanation: Variable star R Aquariiis actually an interacting binary star system, two stars thatseem to have a close symbiotic relationship.Centered in thisspace-based optical/x-raycomposite image it lies about 710 light years away.The intriguing system consists of a cool red giant starand hot, densewhite dwarf starin mutual orbit around their common center of mass.With binoculars you can watch as R Aquariisteadily changes its brightness over the course of a year or so.The binary system's visible light is dominated by the red giant,itself a Mira-type long period variable star.But material in the cool giant star's extended envelopeis pulled by gravityonto the surface of the smaller, denser white dwarf,eventually triggeringa thermonuclear explosion, blasting material into space.Astronomers have seen such outbursts over recent decades.Evidence for much older outbursts is seen inthese spectacular structuresspanning almost a light-year asobserved by the Hubble Space Telescope (in red and blue).Data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (in purple)...

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Moons at Twilight

APOD: 2022 February 4 - Moons at Twilight 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 February 4 Moons at Twilight Image Credit &Copyright:Robert Fedez Explanation: Even though Jupiterwas the only planet visible in the evening sky on February 2, itshared the twilightabove the western horizon with the Solar System'sbrightest moons.In a single exposure made just after sunset, the Solar System'sruling gas giant is at the upper right inthis telephoto field-of-view from Cancun, Mexico.The snapshot also captures our fair planet's own natural satellitein its young crescent phase.The Moon's disk looms large, itsfamiliar face illuminatedmostly byearthshine.But the four points of light lined-up with Jupiter are Jupiter'sown largeGalilean moons.Top to bottom are Ganymede, [Jupiter], Io, Europa, and Callisto.Ganymede, Io, and Callisto are physically larger than Earth's Moon whilewater world Europais only slightly smaller. 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& Michigan Tech. U.

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Embraced by Sunlight

Embraced by Sunlight

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The Galactic Center in Radio from MeerKAT

APOD: 2022 February 2 - The Galactic Center in Radio from MeerKAT 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 February 2 The Galactic Center in Radio from MeerKAT Image Credit: Ian Heywood (Oxford U.), SARAO; Color Processing: Juan Carlos Munoz-Mateos(ESO) Explanation: What's happening at the center of our galaxy?It's hard to tell with optical telescopes since visible light is blocked by intervening interstellar dust.In other bands of light, though, such as radio, the galactic center can be imaged and shows itself to be quite an interesting and active place. The featured picture shows the latest image of our Milky Way's center by the MeerKAT array of 64 radio dishes in South Africa.Spanning four times the angular size of the Moon (2 degrees), the image is impressively vast, deep, and detailed. Many known sources are shown in clear detail, including many with a prefix of Sgr, since the galactic center is in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. In our Galaxy's Center lies Sgr A, found here in the image center, which houses the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole. Other sources in the...

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Moon Phases 2022

APOD: 2022 February 1 - Moon Phases 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. Moon Phases 2022 Video Credit: Data: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter ; Animation: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio; Music: Build the Future (Universal Production Music), Alexander Hitchens Explanation: What will the Moon phase be on your birthday this year? It is hard to predict because the Moon's appearance changes nightly. As theMoon orbits theEarth,the half illuminated by theSunfirst becomes increasingly visible, then decreasingly visible.The featured video animates images and altitude data taken by NASA's Moon-orbiting Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to show all 12 lunations that appear this year, 2022 --as seen from Earth's northern (southern)hemisphere.A single lunation describes one full cycle of our Moon, including all of its phases.A fulllunation takes about 29.5 days, just under a month(moon-th).As each lunation progresses, sunlight reflects from theMoon at different angles, and so illuminates different features differently. During all of this, of course, the Moonalways keeps the same face toward the Earth.What is less apparent night-to-night is that the Moon's apparent size changes slightly,and that a slight wobble called alibration occurs as the Moon progresses along...

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Carina Nebula North

APOD: 2022 January 31 - Carina Nebula North 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 January 31 Carina Nebula North Image Credit & Copyright: Roberto Colombari Explanation: The Great Carina Nebula is home to strange stars and iconic nebulas.Named for its home constellation, the huge star-forming region is larger and brighter than the Great Orion Nebula but less well known because it is so far south -- and because so much of humanity lives so far north. The featured image shows in great detail the northern-most part of the Carina Nebula.Visible nebulas include the semi-circular filaments surrounding the active star Wolf-Rayet 23 (WR23) on the far left. Just left of center is the Gabriela Mistral Nebula consisting of an emission nebula of glowing gas (IC 2599) surrounding the small open cluster of stars (NGC 3324).Above the image center is the larger star cluster NGC 3293, while to its right is the relatively faint emission nebula designated Loden 153. The most famous occupant of the Carina Nebula, however, is not shown.Off the image to the lower right is the bright, erratic, and doomed star...

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The Fornax Cluster of Galaxies

APOD: 2022 January 29 - The Fornax Cluster of Galaxies 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 January 29 The Fornax Cluster of Galaxies Image Credit &Copyright:Marco Lorenzi,Angus Lau,Tommy Tse Explanation: Named for the southern constellationtoward which most of its galaxies can be found, theFornaxCluster is one of the closest clusters of galaxies.About 62 million light-years away, it is almost 20 times moredistant than our neighboringAndromeda Galaxy, andonly about 10 percent farther than the better known and morepopulated Virgo Galaxy Cluster.Seen across this two degree wide field-of-view, almost everyyellowish splotch on the image is an elliptical galaxy in the Fornaxcluster.Elliptical galaxiesNGC 1399 and NGC 1404are the dominant, bright cluster members toward the upper left(but not the spiky foreground stars).A standout barred spiral galaxyNGC 1365is visible on the lower right as a prominent Fornax cluster member. Tomorrow's picture: miasma of plasma <| 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& Michigan Tech. U.

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Western Moon, Eastern Sea

APOD: 2022 January 28 - Western Moon, Eastern 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. 2022 January 28 Western Moon, Eastern Sea Image Credit &Copyright:Tom Glenn Explanation: The Mare Orientale,Latin for Eastern Sea, is one of the most strikinglarge scale lunar features.The youngest of the large lunar impact basins it's very difficult to see from anearthbound perspective.Still, taken during a period of favorable tilt, or libration of the lunarnearside, the Eastern Sea can be found near top center in this sharptelescopic view, extremely foreshortenedalong the Moon's western edge.Formed by the impact of an asteroid over 3 billion yearsago and nearly 1000 kilometers across, theimpact basin'sconcentric circular features are ripples in the lunar crust.But they are a little easier to spot inmore direct images of the region taken fromlunar orbit.So why is the Eastern Sea at the Moon's western edge?The Mare Orientale lunar feature was named before 1961.That's when the convention labelingeast and west on lunar mapswas reversed. Tomorrow's picture: galaxies in the furnace <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell...

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South of Orion

APOD: 2022 January 27 - South of Orion 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 January 27 South of Orion Image Credit &Copyright:Vikas Chander Explanation: South of the large star-forming region known as theOrion Nebula, lies bright blue reflection nebulaNGC 1999.At the edge of theOrion molecularcloud complex some 1,500 light-years distant, NGC 1999'sillumination is provided by the embedded variable star V380 Orionis.The nebula is marked with a dark sideways T-shape at center right inthis telescopic vistathat spans about two full moons on the sky.Its dark shape was once assumed tobe an obscuring dust cloud seen in silhouette.But infrared datasuggest the shape is likely a hole blown through the nebulaitself by energetic young stars.In fact,this region aboundswith energetic young starsproducing jets and outflows with luminous shock waves.Cataloged as Herbig-Haro (HH) objects, named for astronomersGeorge Herbig and Guillermo Haro,the shocks have intense reddish hues.HH1 and HH2 are just below and right of NGC 1999.HH222, also known as theWaterfall nebula,looks like a red gash near top right in the frame.To create the shocks stellar jets push throughthe surrounding material at speeds ofhundreds of kilometers per second....

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Stars, Dust, and Gas Near Antares

APOD: 2022 January 26 - Stars, Dust, and Gas Near Antares 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 January 26 Stars, Dust, and Gas Near Antares Image Credit & Copyright: Mario Cogo (Galax Lux) Explanation: Why is the sky near Antares and Rho Ophiuchi so dusty yet colorful? The colors result from a mixture of objects and processes. Fine dust -- illuminated from the front by starlight -- produces bluereflection nebulae.Gaseous clouds whose atoms are excited by ultraviolet starlight produce reddish emission nebulae.Backlit dust clouds block starlight and soappear dark. Antares,a red supergiant and one of the brighter stars in the night sky, lights up the yellow-red clouds on the lower right of the featured image.The Rho Ophiuchi star system lies at the center of the blue reflection nebula on the top left. The distant globular cluster of starsM4 is visible above and to the right of Antares.These star clouds are even more colorful than humans can see,emitting light across the electromagnetic spectrum. Tomorrow's picture: open space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors:...

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