M57: The Ring Nebula from Hubble

APOD: 2021 August 17 - M57: The Ring Nebula 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. 2021 August 17 M57: The Ring Nebula from Hubble Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Legacy Archive; Processing: Judy Schmidt Explanation: Except for the ringsof Saturn, the RingNebula (M57) is probably the most famous celestial circle.Its classic appearance isunderstood to be due to our own perspective, though.The recent mapping of theexpanding nebula's3-D structure, based in part onthis clear Hubble image,indicates thatthe nebula is a relatively dense, donut-like ring wrappedaround the middle of a (American) football-shaped cloud of glowing gas.The view from planet Earth looks down the long axis of the football,face-on to the ring.Of course, in this well-studied example of aplanetary nebula, the glowing materialdoes not come from planets.Instead, the gaseous shroud represents outer layers expelledfrom the dying,oncesun-like star, now a tiny pinprick of lightseen at the nebula's center.Intense ultraviolet light from the hot central starionizes atoms in the gas.The Ring Nebula is about one light-yearacross and 2,500 light-years away. Share the Sky: NASA Open API for APOD Tomorrow's picture: rings upon Ring <| Archive| Submissions |...

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The Daily Facepalm

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Perseid Meteor, Red Sprites, and Nova RS Oph

APOD: 2021 August 16 - Perseid Meteor, Red Sprites, and Nova RS Oph 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. 2021 August 16 Perseid Meteor, Red Sprites, and Nova RS Ophiuchus Image Credit & Copyright: Daniel Korona Explanation: This was an unusual sky.It wasn't unusual because of the central band the Milky Way Galaxy, visible along the image left. Most dark skies show part of the Milky Way.It wasn't unusual because of the bright meteor visible on the upper right.Many images taken during last week's Perseid Meteor Shower show meteors, although this Perseid was particularly bright.This sky wasn't unusual because of the red sprites, visible on the lower right.Although this type of lightning has only been noted in the past few decades, images of sprites are becoming more common.This sky wasn't unusual because of the nova, visible just above the image center.Novas bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye occur every few years, with pictured Nova RS Ophiuchus discovered about a week ago. What was most unusual, though, was to capture all these things together, in a single night, on a single...

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Perseid Rain

APOD: 2021 August 15 - Perseid Rain 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. 2021 August 15 Perseid Rain Image Credit & Copyright: Luo Hongyang Explanation: Comet dust rained down on planet Earth last week, streakingthrough dark skies in the annual Perseid meteor shower.The featured picture is a composite of many images taken from the same locationover the peak night of the Perseids.The umbrella was not needed as a shield from meteors, since they almost entirely evaporate high in the Earth's atmosphere.Many of the component images featured individual Perseids, while one image featured the foreground nearJiuquan City, Gansu Province, China.The stellar background includes the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, appearing nearly vertical, as well as the planets Jupiter and Saturn on the left.Although the comet dust particles are traveling parallel to each other, the resulting shower meteors clearly seem to radiate from a single point on the sky -- the radiant in the eponymous constellation Perseus.The image captured so long an angular field that the curvature of the sky is visible in the trajectory of the Perseids. Notable APOD Image Submissions: Perseid...

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Island Universe, Cosmic Sand

APOD: 2021 August 14 - Island Universe, Cosmic Sand 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. 2021 August 14 Island Universe, Cosmic Sand Image Credit &Copyright: Marzena Rogozinska Explanation: Stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy are scattered through thiseye-catching field of view.From the early hours after midnight on August 13,the 30 second exposure of the night sky over Busko-Zdroj, Polandrecords thecolorful and bright trail of aPerseid meteor.Seen near the peak of theannual Perseid meteor shower itflashes from lower left to upper right.The hurtling grain of cosmic sand, a piece of dust fromperiodic comet Swift-Tuttle,vaporized as it passed through planet Earth's atmosphereat almost 60 kilometers per second.Just above and right of center, well beyond the stars ofthe Milky Way, lies the island universeknown as M31 or the Andromeda Galaxy.The Andromeda Galaxyis the most distant object easily visible to the naked-eye,about 2.5 million light-years away.The visible meteor trail begins only about100 kilometersabove Earth's surface, though.It points back to the meteor shower radiantin the constellation Perseus off the lower left edge of the frame.Follow this bright perseid meteor trail below and left tothe stars of NGC...

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The Daily Facepalm

Do as I say, as they say... (then go get a Concellation shirt! https://shirts.concellation.com)

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A Perfect Spiral

APOD: 2021 August 13 - A Perfect Spiral 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. 2021 August 13 A Perfect Spiral Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Processing: Mehmet Hakan Ozsarac Explanation: If not perfect then thisspiralgalaxy is at least one of the most photogenic.An island universe of about 100 billion stars,32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces,M74 presentsa gorgeous face-on view.Classified asan Sc galaxy,the grand design of M74's graceful spiralarms are traced by bright bluestar clusters and dark cosmic dustlanes.This sharp compositewas constructed from image data recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope'sAdvanced Camera for Surveys.Spanning about 30,000 light-years across theface of M74, it includes exposures recording emission fromhydrogen atoms, highlighting the reddish glow of thegalaxy's large star-forming regions.With a lower surface brightness than most galaxies in theMessier catalog,M74 is sometimes known as thePhantom Galaxy. Notable APOD Image Submissions: Perseid Meteor Shower 2021 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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The Daily Facepalm

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A Beautiful Trifid

APOD: 2021 August 12 - 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. 2021 August 12 A Beautiful Trifid Image Credit &Copyright: Mike Selby Explanation: The beautiful Trifid Nebulais a cosmicstudy in contrasts.Also known as M20, it lies about5,000light-years away 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, below and left ofthe emission nebula's center, appear in famous Hubble Space Telescopeclose-upimages of the region.The Trifid Nebula is about 40 light-years across.Just too faint to be seen by the unaided eye, it almost covers thearea of a full moon in planet Earth's sky. Tomorrow's picture: a perfect spiral<| 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...

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The Daily Facepalm

Or, at that, your ability to tell the genuine article from a counterfeit. I know this guy who makes incredible fake souls...

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Mammatus Clouds over Saskatchewan

APOD: 2021 August 11 - Mammatus Clouds over Saskatchewan 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. 2021 August 11 Mammatus Clouds over Saskatchewan Image Credit & Copyright: Michael F Johnston Explanation: When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles?Normally, cloud bottoms are flat.This is because moist warm airthat rises and cools will condense into water droplets at a specific temperature, which usually corresponds to a very specific height. As waterdroplets grow, an opaque cloud forms. Under some conditions, however, cloud pockets can develop that contain large droplets of water or ice that fall into clear air as they evaporate. Such pockets may occur in turbulent air near a thunderstorm. Resulting mammatus clouds can appear especially dramatic if sunlit from the side. The mammatus clouds pictured here, lasting only a few minutes, were photographed over Regina,Saskatchewan, Canada,just after a storm in 2012. Meteor Shower Tonight: Peak of the Perseids Tomorrow's picture: a beautiful trifid <| 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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The Daily Facepalm

Save early. Save often.

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Fire in Space

APOD: 2021 August 10 - Fire in Space 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. 2021 August 10 Fire in Space Image Credit: NASA Explanation: What does fire look like in space?In the gravity on Earth, heated air rises and expands, causing flames to be teardrop shaped.In the microgravity of the air-filled International Space Station (ISS), however, flames are spheres.Fire is the rapid acquisition of oxygen, and space flames meet new oxygen molecules when they float by randomly from all directions -- creating the enveloping sphere. In the featured image taken in the ISS's Combustion Integration Rack, a spherical flame envelopes clusters of hot glowing soot. Without oxygen, say in the vacuum of empty space, a fire would go out immediately. The many chemical reactions involved with fire are complex, and testing them in microgravity is helping humanity not only to better understand fire -- but how to put out fire, too. Tomorrow's picture: bubble cloud row <| 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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The Daily Facepalm

Cats aren't indecisive - they know darn well what they want. They just won't let *you* know. Unless they want wet food. Then they'll let you know. Space cats are no different.

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Perseus and the Lost Meteors

APOD: 2021 August 9 - Perseus and the Lost Meteors 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. 2021 August 9 Perseus and the Lost Meteors Image Credit & Copyright: Tomas Slovinsky (Slovakia) & Petr Horalek (Czech Republic;Institute of Physics in Opava) Explanation: What's the best way to watch a meteor shower? This question might come up later this week when the annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks.One thing that is helpful is a dark sky, as demonstrated in the featured composite image of last year's Perseids. Many more faint meteors are visible on the left image, taken through a very dark sky in Slovakia, than on the right image, taken through a moderately dark sky in the Czech Republic. The band of the Milky Way Galaxy bridges the two coordinated images, while the meteor shower radiant in the constellation of Perseus is clearly visible on the left.In sum, many faint meteors are lost through a bright sky.Light pollution is shrinking areas across our Earth with dark skies, although inexpensive ways to combat this might be implemented. Notable Perseids Submissions to APOD: 2018, 2019, 2020 Tomorrow's...

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The Daily Facepalm

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A Perseid Below

APOD: 2021 August 8 - A Perseid Below 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. 2021 August 8 A Perseid Below Image Credit: NASAISS Expedition 28 Crew,Ron Garan Explanation: Earthlings typically watch meteor showers by looking up.But thisremarkable view, captured on August 13, 2011 by astronaut Ron Garan, caught a Perseid meteor by looking down.From Garan'sperspective onboard theInternational Space Stationorbiting at an altitude of about 380 kilometers,the Perseid meteors streak below,swept up dustleft from comet Swift-Tuttle heated to incandescence.The glowing comet dustgrains are traveling atabout 60 kilometers per second throughthe denser atmosphere around 100 kilometers above Earth's surface.In this case, the foreshortened meteor flash is right of frame center,below the curving limb of the Earth and a layer of greenishairglow, just below bright starArcturus.Want to look up at a meteor shower? You're in luck, as the 2021 Perseids meteor shower peaks this week.This year, even relatively faint meteors should be visible through clear skies from a dark location as the bright Moon will mostly absent. Notable Perseids Submissions to APOD: 2018, 2019, 2020 Tomorrow's picture: perseids from perseus <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search|...

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Jezero Crater: Raised Ridges in 3D

APOD: 2021 August 7 - Jezero Crater: Raised Ridges in 3D 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. 2021 August 7 Jezero Crater: Raised Ridges in 3D Image Credit:NASA,JPL-Caltech,Ingenuity Explanation: Get out your red-blue glasses andhover over the surface of Mars.Taken on July 24, the 3D color view is from the MarsIngenuity Helicopter's 10thflight above the Red Planet.Two images from Ingenuity's color camera,both captured at an altitude of 12 meters (40 feet), but a few meters apartto provide a stereo perspective, were used to construct the color anaglyph.Ingenuity's stereo images were made at the request of the MarsPerseverancerover science team.The team is considering a visitto these raised ridges on the floor of Jezero Crater during Perseverance'sfirst science campaign. Tomorrow's picture: meteor below<| 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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Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis

APOD: 2021 August 6 - Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis 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. 2021 August 6 Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis Image Credit &Copyright:Vikas Chander Explanation: Cosmic dust clouds cross a rich field of stars inthis telescopic vista near the northern boundary ofCorona Australis, the Southern Crown.Less than 500 light-years away the dust cloudseffectively block light frommore distant background stars in theMilky Way.Top to bottom the frame spans about 2 degrees or over 15 light-years atthe clouds' estimated distance.At top right is a groupof lovely reflection nebulae cataloged asNGC 6726, 6727, 6729,and IC 4812.A characteristic blue color is produced as lightfrom hot stars is reflected bythe cosmic dust.The dust also obscures from view starsin the regionstill in the process of formation.Just above the bluish reflection nebulae a smaller NGC 6729 surroundsyoung variable starR Coronae Australis.To its right are telltale reddish arcs and loops identified asHerbig Haro objectsassociated with energetic newborn stars.Magnificent globular star cluster NGC 6723is at bottom left in the frame.Though NGC 6723 appearsto be partof the group,its ancient stars actually lie nearly 30,000 light-years away,far beyond...

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Tycho and Clavius

APOD: 2021 August 5 - Tycho and Clavius 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. 2021 August 5 Tycho and Clavius Image Credit &Copyright:Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau Explanation: South is upin this detailed telescopic view across the Moon's ruggedsouthern highlands.Captured on July 20, the lunar landscape features the Moon's young and old,the large craters Tycho and Clavius.About 100 million years young,Tycho isthe sharp-walled 85 kilometerdiameter crater near center, its 2 kilometer tall central peakin bright sunlight anddark shadow.Debris ejected during the impact that created Tycho still make it thestandout lunar crater when theMoon is near full, producinga highly visible radiating system of light streaks,bright rays that extend across much of the lunar near side.In fact, some of the material collected at the Apollo 17 landing site,about 2,000 kilometers away, likely originatedfrom the Tycho impact. One of the oldest and largest craters on the Moon's near side,225 kilometer diameterClavius is due south(above) of Tycho.Clavius crater'sown ray system resulting from its original impact eventwould have faded long ago.The old crater's worn walls and smooth floor are now overlayed bysmaller craters from impacts that occurred after Clavius wasformed.Observations...

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