APOD: 2021 September 11 - Saturn 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. 2021 September 11 Saturn at Night Image Credit: NASA,JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute,Mindaugas Macijauskas Explanation: Still brightin planet Earth's night skies,good telescopic viewsof Saturn and its beautiful rings often make it a star at star parties.But this stunning view of Saturn's rings and night sidejust isn't possible from telescopes closer to the Sunthan the outer planet.They can only bringSaturn's day into view.In fact, this image of Saturn's slender sunlit crescentwith night's shadow cast across its broad and complex ring systemwas captured by the Cassini spacecraft.A robot spacecraft from planet Earth, Cassini called Saturn orbithome for 13 years before it was directed to diveinto the atmosphere of the gas giant on September 15, 2017.This magnificent mosaic is composed of framesrecorded by Cassini'swide-angle camera only two days before itsgrand final plunge.Saturn's night will not be seen again untilanother spaceshipfrom Earth calls. Tomorrow's picture: salsa verde de la noche<| 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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APOD: 2021 September 10 - Rosetta's Comet in 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. 2021 September 10 Rosetta's Comet in View Image Credit &Copyright: Rolando Ligustri(CARA Project,CAST) Explanation: Faint comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P)sweeps past background stars in the constellation Taurus and even fainterdistant galaxies in this telescopic frame from September 7.About 5 years ago,this comet's 4 kilometer spanning, double-lobed nucleusbecame the final resting place ofrobots from planet Earth,following the completion of the historic Rosetta mission to the comet.After wandering out beyond the orbit of Jupiter,Churyumov-Gerasimenko is now returning along its 6.4 yearperiodic orbit toward its nextperihelion or closest approach to theSun, on November 2.On November 12, the comet's perigee, its closest approach to Earth,will bring it within about 0.42 astronomical units.Telescopesshould still be required to view it even at its brightest,predicted to be in late November and December.On September 7Rosetta's cometwas about 0.65 astronomical units away or about 5.4 light-minutesfrom our fair planet. Tomorrow's picture: Saturn's night<| 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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APOD: 2021 September 9 - M16 Close Up 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 September 9 M16 Close Up Image Credit &Copyright: Martin Pugh Explanation: A star cluster around 2 million years young surrounded bynatal clouds of dust and glowing gas,M16 is alsoknown as The Eagle Nebula.This beautifully detailed imageof the region adopts the colorful Hubble palette and includescosmic sculpturesmade famous inHubble Space Telescope close-ups of the starforming complex.Described as elephant trunks orPillars of Creation,dense, dusty columns rising near the center are light-years in length butare gravitationally contracting to form stars.Energetic radiation from the cluster stars erodes material nearthe tips, eventually exposing the embedded new stars.Extending from the ridge of bright emission left of centeris another dusty starforming column known as theFairy of Eagle Nebula.M16 lies about 7,000 light-years away,an easy target for binoculars or small telescopes in anebula rich part of the skytoward the split constellationSerpens Cauda(the tail of the snake). Tomorrow's picture: Rosetta's Return<| 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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APOD: 2021 September 8 - The Deep Sky Toward Andromeda 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 September 8 The Deep Sky Toward Andromeda Image Credit & License: Stefan Ziegenbalg Explanation: What surrounds the Andromeda galaxy? Out in space, Andromeda (M31) is closely surrounded by several small satellite galaxies, and further out it is part of theLocal Group of Galaxies -- of which our Milky Way galaxy is also a member.On the sky, however, gas clouds local to our Milky Way appear to surround M31 -- not unlike how water clouds in Earth's atmosphere may appear to encompass our Moon. The gas clouds toward Andromeda, however, are usually too faint to see. Enter the featured 45-degree long image -- one of the deeper images yet taken of the broader Andromeda region.This image, sensitive to light specifically emitted by hydrogen gas, shows these faint and unfamiliar clouds in tremendous detail.But the image captures more. At the image top is the Triangulum galaxy (M33), the third largest galaxy in the Local Group and the furthest object that can be seen with the unaided eye. Below...
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APOD: 2021 September 7 - NGC 520: Colliding Galaxies 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 September 7 NGC 520: Colliding Galaxies from Hubble Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing & Copyright: William Ostling (The Astronomy Enthusiast) Explanation: Is this one galaxy or two? The jumble of stars, gas, and dust that is NGC 520 is now thought to incorporate the remains of two separate disk galaxies. A defining component of NGC 520 -- as seen in great detail in the featured image from the Hubble Space Telescope -- is its band of intricately interlaced dust running vertically down the spine of the colliding galaxies.A similar looking collision might be expected in a few billion years when our disk Milky Way Galaxy to collides with our large-disk galactic neighbor Andromeda (M31). The collision that defines NGC 520 started about 300 million years ago. Also known as Arp 157, NGC 520 lies about 100 million light years distant, spans about 100 thousand light years, and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Fish(Pisces).Although the speeds of stars...
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APOD: 2021 September 6 - Firefly Milky Way over Russia 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 September 6 Firefly Milky Way over Russia Image Credit & Copyright: Anton Komlev Explanation: It started with a pine tree.The idea was to photograph a statuesque pine in front of the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy.And the plan, carried out two months ago, was successful -- they both appear prominently.But the resulting 3-frame panorama captured much more.Colorful stars, for example, dot the distant background, with bright Altair visible on the upper left.The planet Saturn, a bit closer, was captured just over the horizon on the far left.Just beyond the Earth's atmosphere, seen in the upper right, an Earth-orbiting satellite was caught leaving a streak during the 25-second exposure.The Earth's atmosphere itself was surprisingly visible -- as green airglow across the image top.Finally, just by chance, there was a firefly.Do you see it?Near the image bottom, the firefly blinked in yellow several times as it fluttered before the rolling hills above Milogradovka River in Primorsky Krai, Russia. Explore Your Universe: Random APOD Generator Tomorrow's picture:...
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APOD: 2021 September 5 - Earth and 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. Earth and Moon Image Credit: NASA, JPL, Galileo Project; Processing & License: Gordan Ugarkovic Explanation: The Earth and Moon are rarely photographed together.One of most spectacular times this occurred was about 30 years ago when the Jupiter-bound Galileo spacecraft zoomed past our home planetary system. Then, robotic Galileo watched from about 15-times the Earth-Moon separation as our only natural satellite glided past our home world. The featured video combines 52 historic color-enhanced images.Although our Moon may appear small next to the Earth, no other planet in our Solar System has a satellite so comparable in size. The Sun, far off to the right, illuminated about half of each sphere, and shows the spinning Earth's white clouds, blue oceans, and tan continents. Tomorrow's picture: firefly milkyway <| 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.
A Falcon 9 Nebula
APOD: 2021 September 3 - NGC 7023: The Iris 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. 2021 September 3 NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula Image Credit &Copyright: Satwant Kumar Explanation: These cosmic clouds have blossomed 1,300 light-years away,in the fertile starfields of theconstellationCepheus.Called the Iris Nebula,NGC 7023is not the only nebulato evoke the imagery of flowers.Still, thisdeep telescopic imageshows off the Iris Nebula's range ofcolors and symmetries, embedded in surroundingfields of interstellar dust.Within the Iris itself, dusty nebular material surrounds a hot,young star.The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue,characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight.Central filamentsof the reflection nebula glow with a faint reddishphotoluminesence as some dust grainseffectively convertthe star's invisibleultraviolet radiation to visible red light.Infraredobservationsindicate that this nebula containscomplex carbon molecules known asPAHs.The dusty blue petals of the Iris Nebula span about six light-years. 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.
APOD: 2021 September 2 - M51: The Whirlpool 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. 2021 September 2 M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy Image Credit &Copyright: Josep Drudis Explanation: Find the Big Dipper andfollow the handle away from the dipper's bowluntil you get to the last bright star.Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west andyou'llcome upon this stunning pair of interacting galaxies,the 51st entryin Charles Messier's famous catalog.Perhaps theoriginal spiral nebula,the large galaxy withwell defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194.Its spiral arms and dust lanesclearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (top),NGC 5195.The pair are about 31 million light-years distant andofficially lie within the angular boundaries ofthe small constellationCanesVenatici.Though M51 looks faint and fuzzy to the eye,deep images like this onereveal its striking colors and galactictidal debris. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC& Michigan Tech. U.
APOD: 2021 September 1 - Dancing Ghosts: Curved Jets from Active 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. 2021 September 1 Dancing Ghosts: Curved Jets from Active Galaxies Image Credit: Jayanne English & Ray Norris, EMU-ASKAP, DES; Text: Jayanne English (U. Manitoba) Explanation: Why would galaxies emit jets that look like ghosts? And furthermore, why do they appear to be dancing? The curled and fluffy jets from the supermassive black holes at the centers of two host galaxies (top center and lower left) are unlike anything seen before. They were found by astronomers using the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope when creating maps tracing the evolution of galaxies. Images preceding this Evolutionary Map of the Universe survey only showed amorphous blobs. Eventually, comparisons of relative amounts of energy emitted revealed the glowing elongated structures were created by electrons streaming around magnetic field lines. Overlaying the radio data on an optical view of the sky (Dark Energy Survey) confirmed that the electron streams originated from the centers of active galaxies.Usually such Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) produce straight jets. A leading hypothesis...
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APOD: 2021 August 31 - A Blue Moon in Exaggerated Colors 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 31 A Blue Moon in Exaggerated Colors Image Credit & Copyright: Robert Fedez Explanation: The Moon is normally seen in subtle shades of grey or gold. But small, measurable color differences have been greatly exaggerated to make this telescopic, multicolored, moonscape captured during the Moon's full phase. The different colors are recognized to correspond to real differences in the chemical makeup of the lunar surface. Blue hues reveal titanium rich areas while orange and purple colors show regions relatively poor in titanium and iron. The familiar Sea of Tranquility, or Mare Tranquillitatis, is the blue area toward the upper right. White lines radiate across the orange-hued southern lunar highlands from 85-kilometer wide ray-crater Tycho at bottom right. The full moon that occurred earlier this month could be counted as a seasonal blue moon because it was, unusually, the third of four full moons to occur during northern summer (and hence southern winter). The featured 272-image composite demonstrates that the full Moon is always blue,...
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APOD: 2021 August 30 - A Fire Rainbow over West Virginia 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 30 A Fire Rainbow over West Virginia Image Credit: Christa Harbig Explanation: What's happening to this cloud?Ice crystals in a distant cirrus cloud are acting like little floating prisms. Known informally as a fire rainbow for its flame-like appearance, a circumhorizon arc appears parallel to the horizon.For a circumhorizontal arc to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in a sky where cirrus clouds present below -- in this case cirrus fibrates. The numerous, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner. Therefore, circumhorizontalarcs are somewhat unusual to see. The featured fire rainbow was photographed earlier this month near North Fork Mountain in West Virginia, USA. Tomorrow's picture: true moon blue <| 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...
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APOD: 2021 August 29 - Orbits of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids 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 29 Orbits of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech Explanation: Are asteroids dangerous?Some are, but the likelihood of a dangerous asteroid striking the Earth during any given year is low.Because some past mass extinction events have been linked to asteroid impacts, however, humanity has made it a priority to find and catalog those asteroids that may one day affect life on Earth.Pictured here are the orbits of the over 1,000 known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs).These documented tumbling boulders of rock and ice are over 140 meters across and will pass within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth -- about 20 times the distance to the Moon.Although none of them will strike the Earth in the next 100 years -- not all PHAs have been discovered, and past 100 years, many orbits become hard to predict.Were an asteroid of this size to impact the Earth, it could raise dangerous tsunamis, for example.To investigate Earth-saving strategies, NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is planned for launch later...
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APOD: 2021 August 28 - Mars Rock Rochette 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 28 Mars Rock Rochette Image Credit: NASA,JPL-Caltech Explanation: Taken on mission sol 180 (August 22) this sharp image from a HazardCamera on the Perseverance rover looks out across a rock strewn floorof Jezero crater on Mars.At 52.5 centimeters (21 inches) in diameter,one of the rover's steerable front wheels is at lower left in the frame.Near center is a largerock nicknamed Rochette.Mission planners don't want to avoid Rochette though.Instead Perseverance will be instructedto reach outwith its 2 meter long robotic arm andabrade the rock's surface,to determine whether it has a consistencysuitable for obtaining a sample, slightly thicker than a pencil,using the rover's coring bit.Samples collected by Perseverance would be returned toEarth by a future Mars mission. Tomorrow's picture: large rocks in space<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC& Michigan Tech. U.