The Pencil Nebula Supernova Shock Wave

APOD: 2024 February 23 - The Pencil Nebula Supernova Shock Wave 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. 2024 February 23 The Pencil Nebula Supernova Shock Wave Image Credit &Copyright: Helge Buesing Explanation: This supernova shock wave plows through interstellar space at over 500,000 kilometers per hour.Centered and moving upward in thesharply detailed color compositeits thin, bright, braided filaments are actually long ripples in a cosmic sheet of glowing gas seen almost edge-on.Discovered in the 1840s bySir John Herschel,the narrow-looking nebulais sometimes known as Herschel's Ray.Cataloged as NGC 2736, its pointed appearance suggests its modern popular name, the Pencil Nebula.The Pencil Nebulais about 800 light-years away.Nearly 5 light-years long it represents only a small part of theVela supernova remnant though.The enormous Vela remnant itselfis around 100 light-years in diameter, the expandingdebris cloud of a starthat was seen to explode about 11,000 years ago.Initially, the section of theshock wave seen as the Pencil nebula was movingat millions of kilometersper hour but has slowed considerably, sweeping upsurrounding interstellar material. Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors...

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To the Moon

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. 2024 February 24 To the Moon Image Credit: Intuitive Machines Explanation: Intuitive Machines'robotic lander Odysseushas accomplished the firstU.S. landing on the Moon since theApollo 17 mission in 1972.Launched on a SpaceX rocket on February 15, the phone booth sizedlander reached lunar orbit on the 21st and toucheddown on the lunar surfaceat 6:23 pm ET on February 22nd.Its landing region is about 300 kilometers north of theMoon's south pole,near a crater designated Malapert A.The lander is presently collecting solar power and transmittingdata back to the Intuitive Machines' mission control center in Houston.The mission marks the first commercial uncrewed landing on the Moon.Prior to landing, Odysseus’ camera capturedthis extreme wide angle image (landing legs visible at right) as it flew overSchomberger cratersome 200 kilometers from its landing site.Odysseus was still about 10 kilometers above the lunar surface. Tomorrow's picture: Phoenix over Iceland <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Amber StraughnSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service...

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A View Toward M106

APOD: 2024 February 22 - A View Toward M106 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. 2024 February 22 A View Toward M106 Image Credit &Copyright: Kyunghoon Lim Explanation: Big, bright, beautiful spiral, Messier 106dominates this cosmic vista.The nearly two degree widetelescopicfield of view looks toward the well-trained constellationCanes Venatici, near the handle of the Big Dipper.Also known as NGC 4258, M106 is about 80,000 light-years across and23.5 million light-years away, the largest member of theCanesII galaxy group.For a far far away galaxy, the distance to M106 is well-knownin part because it can bedirectly measuredby tracking this galaxy's remarkable maser, or microwave laser emission.Very rare but naturally occurring, themaser emissionis produced by water molecules in molecular clouds orbiting itsactive galactic nucleus.Another prominent spiral galaxy on the scene, viewed nearlyedge-on,is NGC 4217 below and right of M106.The distance to NGC 4217 is much less well-known, estimatedto be about 60 million light-years, but the brightspikystars are in the foreground, well inside our own Milky Way galaxy. Tomorrow's picture: pencils in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors &...

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The Pencil Nebula Supernova Shock Wave

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. 2024 February 23 The Pencil Nebula Supernova Shock Wave Image Credit &Copyright: Helge Buesing Explanation: This supernova shock wave plows through interstellar space at over 500,000 kilometers per hour.Centered and moving upward in thesharply detailed color compositeits thin, bright, braided filaments are actually long ripples in a cosmic sheet of glowing gas seen almost edge-on.Discovered in the 1840s bySir John Herschel,the narrow-looking nebulais sometimes known as Herschel's Ray.Cataloged as NGC 2736, its pointed appearance suggests its modern popular name, the Pencil Nebula.The Pencil Nebulais about 800 light-years away.Nearly 5 light-years long it represents only a small part of theVela supernova remnant though.The enormous Vela remnant itselfis around 100 light-years in diameter, the expandingdebris cloud of a starthat was seen to explode about 11,000 years ago.Initially, the section of theshock wave seen as the Pencil nebula was movingat millions of kilometersper hour but has slowed considerably, sweeping upsurrounding interstellar material. Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell...

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A View Toward M106

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. 2024 February 22 A View Toward M106 Image Credit &Copyright: Kyunghoon Lim Explanation: Big, bright, beautiful spiral, Messier 106dominates this cosmic vista.The nearly two degree widetelescopicfield of view looks toward the well-trained constellationCanes Venatici, near the handle of the Big Dipper.Also known as NGC 4258, M106 is about 80,000 light-years across and23.5 million light-years away, the largest member of theCanesII galaxy group.For a far far away galaxy, the distance to M106 is well-knownin part because it can bedirectly measuredby tracking this galaxy's remarkable maser, or microwave laser emission.Very rare but naturally occurring, themaser emissionis produced by water molecules in molecular clouds orbiting itsactive galactic nucleus.Another prominent spiral galaxy on the scene, viewed nearlyedge-on,is NGC 4217 below and right of M106.The distance to NGC 4217 is much less well-known, estimatedto be about 60 million light-years, but the brightspikystars are in the foreground, well inside our own Milky Way galaxy. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry...

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Meteor over the Bay of Naples

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. 2024 February 17 Meteor over the Bay of Naples Image Credit &Copyright: Wang Letian (Eyes at Night) Explanation: A cosmic dust grain plowing throughthe upper atmosphere much faster thana falling leafcreated this brilliantmeteor streak.In a serendipitous moment, the sublime night sky view wascaptured from the resort island of Capri, in the Bay of Naples,on the evening of February 8.Looking across the bay, the camera faces northeast towardthe lights of Naples and surrounding cities.Pointing toward the horizon, themeteor streakby chance ends above the silhouette of Mount Vesuvius.One of planet Earth's most famous volcanos, an eruption ofMount Vesuviusdestroyed the city of Pompeiiin 79 AD. Tomorrow's picture: nearly perfect <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Amber StraughnSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

Structure in the Tail of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks

APOD: 2024 February 16 - Structure in the Tail of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks 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. 2024 February 16 Structure in the Tail of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks Image Credit &Copyright: Dan Bartlett` Explanation: Heading for its next perihelion passage on April 21,Comet 12P/Pons-Brooksis growing brighter.The greenish coma of this periodic Halley-type comethas become relatively easy to observe in small telescopes.But thebluish ion tailnow streaming from the active comet's coma and buffeted by the solar wind, is faint and difficult to follow.Still,in this imagestacked exposures made on the night of February 11reveal the fainter tail's detailed structures.The frame spans over two degrees across abackground of faint stars and background galaxiestoward the northern constellation Lacerta.Of courseComet 12P's April 21 perihelion passage will be onlytwo weeks after the April 8 total solar eclipse, puttingthe comet in planet Earth's sky along with atotally eclipsed Sun. 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: Amber StraughnSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA Science Activation& Michigan...

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NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe

APOD: 2024 February 15 - NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe 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. 2024 February 15 NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe Image Credit &Copyright: Steve Crouch Explanation: Shiny NGC 253is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one ofthe dustiest. Some call it the Silver Coin Galaxy for its appearance in smalltelescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location withinthe boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor. Discovered in 1783 by mathematician and astronomerCaroline Herschel,the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years away.About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest member ofthe SculptorGroup of Galaxies, the nearest to our ownLocal Group ofGalaxies. In addition to its spiral dust lanes, tendrils of dust seem to berising from its galactic disklaced with young star clusters and star forming regions inthiscolorful galaxy portrait.The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation,earningNGC 253 the designation of astarburst galaxy.NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energyx-raysandgamma rays,likely due to massive black holes near the galaxy's center. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space <| Archive| Submissions | Index|...

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Structure in the Tail of Comet 12P/Pons Brooks

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. 2024 February 16 Structure in the Tail of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks Image Credit &Copyright: Dan Bartlett` Explanation: Heading for its next perihelion passage on April 21,Comet 12P/Pons-Brooksis growing brighter.The greenish coma of this periodic Halley-type comethas become relatively easy to observe in small telescopes.But thebluish ion tailnow streaming from the active comet's coma and buffeted by the solar wind, is faint and difficult to follow.Still,in this imagestacked exposures made on the night of February 11reveal the fainter tail's detailed structures.The frame spans over two degrees across abackground of faint stars and background galaxiestoward the northern constellation Lacerta.Of courseComet 12P's April 21 perihelion passage will be onlytwo weeks after the April 8 total solar eclipse, puttingthe comet in planet Earth's sky along with atotally eclipsed Sun. 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: Amber StraughnSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe

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. 2024 February 15 NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe Image Credit &Copyright: Steve Crouch Explanation: Shiny NGC 253is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one ofthe dustiest. Some call it the Silver Coin Galaxy for its appearance in smalltelescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location withinthe boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor. Discovered in 1783 by mathematician and astronomerCaroline Herschel,the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years away.About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest member ofthe SculptorGroup of Galaxies, the nearest to our ownLocal Group ofGalaxies. In addition to its spiral dust lanes, tendrils of dust seem to berising from its galactic disklaced with young star clusters and star forming regions inthiscolorful galaxy portrait.The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation,earningNGC 253 the designation of astarburst galaxy.NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energyx-raysandgamma rays,likely due to massive black holes near the galaxy's center. Tomorrow's picture: volcano world <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD|...

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When Roses Aren t Red

APOD: 2024 February 9 - When Roses Aren t Red 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. 2024 February 9 When Roses Aren't Red Image Credit &Copyright: Tommy Lease(Denver Astronomical Society) Explanation: Not all roses are redof course,but they can still be very pretty.Likewise, the beautifulRosetteNebula and other star forming regions are often shown inastronomical images with a predominately red hue,in part because the dominant emission in the nebula isfrom hydrogen atoms.Hydrogen's strongest optical emission line, known as H-alpha,is in the red region of the spectrum.But the beauty of an emission nebula need not be appreciatedin red light alone.Other atoms in the nebula are also excited by energeticstarlight and produce narrow emission lines as well.In this close-up viewof the Rosette Nebula, narrowband images are mapped into broadbandcolors to show emission from Sulfur atoms in red, Hydrogen in green, andOxygen in blue.In fact, thescheme of mappingthese narrow atomic emission lines (SHO) into the broader colors (RGB) isadopted in manyHubble imagesof emission nebulae.This image spans about 50 light-years across the center of theRosette Nebula.The nebula lies some 3,000light-years awayin the constellation Monoceros. Tomorrow's picture: ingenuity <|...

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The Shadow of Ingenuity s Damaged Rotor Blade

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. 2024 February 10 The Shadow of Ingenuity's Damaged Rotor Blade Image Credit:NASA,JPL-Caltech,Ingenuity Explanation: On January 18, 2024,during its 72nd flight in the thin Martian atmosphere, autonomousMars Helicopter Ingenuityrose to an altitude of 12 meters (40 feet) and hovered for 4.5 secondsabove the Red Planet. Ingenuity's 72nd landing was a rough one though.During descent it lost contact with the Perseverance roverabout 1 meter above the Martian surface.Ingenuity was able to transmit this image after contact wasre-established,showing the shadowof one of itsrotor blades likely damaged during landing.And so, afterwildly exceeding expectationsduring over 1,000 days of exploring Mars,the history-making Ingenuity has ended its flight operations.Nicknamed Ginny, Mars Helicopter Ingenuity becamethe first aircraft to achieve powered, controlled flight on another planeton April 19, 2021.Before launch, a small piece of materialfrom the lower-left wing of theWright Brothers Flyer1, the first aircraft toachieve powered, controlled flight on planet Earth, wasfixed to the undersideof Ingenuity's solar panel. Tomorrow's picture: the shadow of a rocket plume <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors...

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When Roses Aren t Red

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. 2024 February 9 When Roses Aren't Red Image Credit &Copyright: Tommy Lease(Denver Astronomical Society) Explanation: Not all roses are redof course,but they can still be very pretty.Likewise, the beautifulRosetteNebula and other star forming regions are often shown inastronomical images with a predominately red hue,in part because the dominant emission in the nebula isfrom hydrogen atoms.Hydrogen's strongest optical emission line, known as H-alpha,is in the red region of the spectrum.But the beauty of an emission nebula need not be appreciatedin red light alone.Other atoms in the nebula are also excited by energeticstarlight and produce narrow emission lines as well.In this close-up viewof the Rosette Nebula, narrowband images are mapped into broadbandcolors to show emission from Sulfur atoms in red, Hydrogen in green, andOxygen in blue.In fact, thescheme of mappingthese narrow atomic emission lines (SHO) into the broader colors (RGB) isadopted in manyHubble imagesof emission nebulae.This image spans about 50 light-years across the center of theRosette Nebula.The nebula lies some 3,000light-years awayin the constellation Monoceros. Tomorrow's picture: ingenuity <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search|...

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Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc

APOD: 2024 February 8 - Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc 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. 2024 February 8 Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc Image Credit &Copyright: Marco Lorenzi,Angus Lau,Tommy Tse Explanation: Globular star cluster 47 Tucanae is a jewel of the southern sky.Alsoknown as NGC 104,it roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy along with some 200 otherglobular star clusters.The second brightest globular cluster (afterOmega Centauri)as seen from planet Earth, 47 Tuc lies about 13,000 light-years away.It can be spotted with the naked-eye close on the sky to theSmall Magellanic Cloudin the constellation ofthe Toucan.The dense cluster is made up of hundreds of thousandsof stars in avolume only about 120 light-years across.Red giant starson the outskirts of the cluster are easy to pick out as yellowish starsin thissharp telescopic portrait.Tightly packed globular cluster 47 Tuc is also home toa star with the closest knownorbit around a black hole. Tomorrow's picture: when roses aren't red <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Amber StraughnSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy...

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Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc

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. 2024 February 8 Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc Image Credit &Copyright: Marco Lorenzi,Angus Lau,Tommy Tse Explanation: Globular star cluster 47 Tucanae is a jewel of the southern sky.Alsoknown as NGC 104,it roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy along with some 200 otherglobular star clusters.The second brightest globular cluster (afterOmega Centauri)as seen from planet Earth, 47 Tuc lies about 13,000 light-years away.It can be spotted with the naked-eye close on the sky to theSmall Magellanic Cloudin the constellation ofthe Toucan.The dense cluster is made up of hundreds of thousandsof stars in avolume only about 120 light-years across.Red giant starson the outskirts of the cluster are easy to pick out as yellowish starsin thissharp telescopic portrait.Tightly packed globular cluster 47 Tuc is also home toa star with the closest knownorbit around a black hole. Tomorrow's picture: when roses aren't red <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Amber StraughnSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service...

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