Messier 88

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. 2022 December 28 Messier 88 Image Credit &Copyright:Adam Block,Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter,U. Arizona Explanation: Charles Messierdescribed the 88th entry in his 18th century catalog ofNebulae and Star Clustersas a spiral nebula without stars.Of course thegorgeous M88is now understood tobe a galaxy full of stars, gas, and dust, not unlikeour own Milky Way.In fact, M88 is one of the brightest galaxies in theVirgo Galaxy Clustersome 50 million light-yearsaway.M88's beautiful spiral arms are easy to trace in thissharp cosmic portait. The arms are lined with young bluestar clusters, pinkstar-forming regions,and obscuring dust lanesextending from a yellowishcore dominated by an older population of stars.Spiral galaxy M88 spans over 100,000 light-years. 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,NASA Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

NGC 6164: Dragons Egg Nebula and Halo

APOD: 2022 December 26 - NGC 6164: Dragons Egg Nebula and Halo 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 December 26 NGC 6164: Dragon's Egg Nebula and Halo Image Credit & Copyright: Russell Croman Explanation: The star at the center created everything. Known as the Dragon's Egg, this star -- a rare, hot, luminousO-typestar some 40 times as massive as the Sun -- created not only the complex nebula (NGC 6164) that immediately surrounds it, but also the encompassing blue halo.Its name is derived, in part, from the region's proximity to the picturesque NGC 6188, known as the fighting Dragons of Ara.In another three to four million years the massive star will likely end itslife in a supernova explosion.Spanning around 4 light-years,the nebula itselfhas a bipolar symmetry making it similar in appearance to more common planetarynebulae - the gaseous shroudssurrounding dying sun-like stars.Also like many planetary nebulae, NGC 6164 has been found to havean extensive, faint halo, revealed in blue in this deep telescopic image of the region.Expanding into the surroundinginterstellar medium,the material in the blue halo was likely expelled from an earlier...

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A Full Circle Rainbow over Norway

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. 2022 December 27 A Full Circle Rainbow over Norway Image Credit & Copyright: Lukas Moesch Explanation: Have you ever seen an entire rainbow?From the ground, typically, only the top portion of a rainbow is visible because directions toward the ground have fewer raindrops.From the air, though, the entire 360-degree circle of a rainbow is more commonly visible.Pictured here, a full-circle rainbow was captured over the Lofoten Islands of Norway in September by a drone passing through a rain shower.An observer-dependent phenomenon primarily caused by the internal reflection of sunlight by raindrops, the rainbow has a full diameter of 84 degrees.The Sun is in the exact opposite direction from the rainbow's center. As a bonus, a second rainbow that was more faint and color-reversed was visible outside the first. Tomorrow's picture: open 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,NASA Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

Geminids and the Mittens

APOD: 2022 December 25 - Geminids and the Mittens 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 December 25 Geminids and the Mittens Image Credit &Copyright:Chuck Derus Explanation: Asteroid 3200 Phaethon'sannualgift to planet Earthalways arrivesin December.Otherwise known asthe Geminid meteor shower,the source of the meteroid stream isdust shed along the orbit of themysterious asteroid.Near the December 13/14 peak of the shower's activity,geminid meteors are captured in this night skyscape,composited from 22 images of starry skytaken before the moon rose overMonument Valleyin the American southwest.The bright stars near the position of the shower's radiantare the constellation Gemini's twin starsCastor (blue) and Pollux (yellow).As Earth sweeps through the dusty stream,the parallel meteor trails appear to radiate from a pointon the sky in Gemini due to perspective,and so the yearly shower is named for the constellation.From the camera's perspective, this view of three prominentbuttes across Monument Valley also suggests appropriate names fortwo of them.The third one is calledMerrick Butte. Tomorrow's picture: the dragon's egg <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip...

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NGC 6164: Dragons Egg Nebula and Halo

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. 2022 December 26 NGC 6164: Dragon's Egg Nebula and Halo Image Credit & Copyright: Russell Croman Explanation: The star at the center created everything. Known as the Dragon's Egg, this star -- a rare, hot, luminousO-typestar some 40 times as massive as the Sun -- created not only the complex nebula (NGC 6164) that immediately surrounds it, but also the encompassing blue halo.Its name is derived, in part, from the region's proximity to the picturesque NGC 6188, known as the fighting Dragons of Ara.In another three to four million years the massive star will likely end itslife in a supernova explosion.Spanning around 4 light-years,the nebula itselfhas a bipolar symmetry making it similar in appearance to more common planetarynebulae - the gaseous shroudssurrounding dying sun-like stars.Also like many planetary nebulae, NGC 6164 has been found to havean extensive, faint halo, revealed in blue in this deep telescopic image of the region.Expanding into the surroundinginterstellar medium,the material in the blue halo was likely expelled from an earlier active phase of the O-star.NGC 6164 lies...

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Comet 2022 E3 ZTF

APOD: 2022 December 24 - Comet 2022 E3 ZTF 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 December 24 Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) Image Credit &Copyright:Dan Bartlett Explanation: Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at theZwicky Transient Facility this year in early March.Since then the newlong-period comethas brightened substantially and is nowsweeping across the northernconstellation Corona Borealis in predawn skies.It's still too dim to see without a telescope though.But this fine telescopic imagefrom December 19 does showthe comet'sbrighter greenish coma, short broad dust tail, and long faint ion tailstretching across a 2.5 degree wide field-of-view.On a voyage throughthe inner Solar System comet 2022 E3 will beat perihelion,its closest to the Sun, in the new year on January 12 and atperigee, its closest to our fair planet, on February 1.The brightness of comets isnotoriouslyunpredictable, but by then C/2022 E3 (ZTF)could become only just visible to the eye in dark night skies. Tomorrow's picture: stars and mittens <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip...

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Geminids and the Mittens

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. 2022 December 25 Geminids and the Mittens Image Credit &Copyright:Chuck Derus Explanation: Asteroid 3200 Phaethon'sannualgift to planet Earthalways arrivesin December.Otherwise known asthe Geminid meteor shower,the source of the meteroid stream isdust shed along the orbit of themysterious asteroid.Near the December 13/14 peak of the shower's activity,geminid meteors are captured in this night skyscape,composited from 22 images of starry skytaken before the moon rose overMonument Valleyin the American southwest.The bright stars near the position of the shower's radiantare the constellation Gemini's twin starsCastor (blue) and Pollux (yellow).As Earth sweeps through the dusty stream,the parallel meteor trails appear to radiate from a pointon the sky in Gemini due to perspective,and so the yearly shower is named for the constellation.From the camera's perspective, this view of three prominentbuttes across Monument Valley also suggests appropriate names fortwo of them.The third one is calledMerrick Butte. Tomorrow's picture: the dragon's egg <| 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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Cassini Looks Out from Saturn

APOD: 2022 December 23 - Cassini Looks Out from Saturn 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 December 23 Cassini Looks Out from Saturn Image Credit: NASA,JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute Explanation: This is what Saturn looks like from inside the rings.In 2017, for the first time, NASA directed the Cassini spacecraft to swoop between Saturn and its rings.During the dive, the robotic spacecraft took hundreds of images showing unprecedented detail for structures in Saturn's atmosphere.Looking back out, however, the spacecraft was also able to capture impressive vistas.In the featured image, taken a few hours before closest approach, Saturn's unusual northern hexagon is seen surrounding the North Pole.Saturn's B ring is the closest visible, while the dark Cassini Division separates B from the outer A. A close inspection will find the two small moons that shepherd the F-ring, the farthest ring discernable. A few months after this image was taken -- and after more than a decade of exploration and discovery -- the Cassini spacecraft ran low on fuel and was directed to enter Saturn's atmosphere, where it surely melted. Tomorrow's picture: the night...

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Comet 2022 E3 ZTF

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. 2022 December 24 Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) Image Credit &Copyright:Dan Bartlett Explanation: Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at theZwicky Transient Facility this year in early March.Since then the newlong-period comethas brightened substantially and is nowsweeping across the northernconstellation Corona Borealis in predawn skies.It's still too dim to see without a telescope though.But this fine telescopic imagefrom December 19 does showthe comet'sbrighter greenish coma, short broad dust tail, and long faint ion tailstretching across a 2.5 degree wide field-of-view.On a voyage throughthe inner Solar System comet 2022 E3 will beat perihelion,its closest to the Sun, in the new year on January 12 and atperigee, its closest to our fair planet, on February 1.The brightness of comets isnotoriouslyunpredictable, but by then C/2022 E3 (ZTF)could become only just visible to the eye in dark night skies. Tomorrow's picture: stars and mittens <| 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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NGC 1365: Majestic Island Universe

APOD: 2022 December 22 - NGC 1365: Majestic 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. 2022 December 22 NGC 1365: Majestic Island Universe Image Credit &Copyright:Martin Pugh Explanation: Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majesticisland universe some 200,000light-years across.Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the faint but heatedconstellationFornax,NGC 1365 is adominant member of the well-studiedFornax Clusterof galaxies.This impressivelysharp color imageshows the intense, reddish star forming regions near theends of the galaxy's central bar and along its spiral arms.Seen in fine detail, obscuring dust lanes cutacross the galaxy's bright core.At the core lies a supermassive black hole.Astronomers thinkNGC 1365'sprominent bar plays a crucial role in thegalaxy's evolution,drawing gas and dust into a star-forming maelstromand ultimately feeding material into thecentral black hole. Tomorrow's picture: northern Saturn <| 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 Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

Cassini Looks Out from Saturn

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. 2022 December 23 Cassini Looks Out from Saturn Image Credit: NASA,JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute Explanation: This is what Saturn looks like from inside the rings.In 2017, for the first time, NASA directed the Cassini spacecraft to swoop between Saturn and its rings.During the dive, the robotic spacecraft took hundreds of images showing unprecedented detail for structures in Saturn's atmosphere.Looking back out, however, the spacecraft was also able to capture impressive vistas.In the featured image, taken a few hours before closest approach, Saturn's unusual northern hexagon is seen surrounding the North Pole.Saturn's B ring is the closest visible, while the dark Cassini Division separates B from the outer A. A close inspection will find the two small moons that shepherd the F-ring, the farthest ring discernable. A few months after this image was taken -- and after more than a decade of exploration and discovery -- the Cassini spacecraft ran low on fuel and was directed to enter Saturn's atmosphere, where it surely melted. Tomorrow's picture: the night before <| Archive| Submissions |...

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Sun Halo at Sixty-three Degrees North

APOD: 2022 December 21 - Sun Halo at Sixty-three Degrees 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 December 21 Sun Halo at Sixty-three Degrees North Image Credit &Copyright:Goran Strand Explanation: Happy Solstice!Today is the December solstice,marking an astronomical beginning ofsummer in the southern hemisphere and winter in the north.On its yearly trek through planet Earth's skies,at this solstice the Sun reaches its southern most declination,23.5 degreessouth, at 21:48UTC.About 4 days ago the Sun was near this seasonal southern limit and so only justabove the horizon at local noonfrom Ostersund in central Sweden.This view looking overthe far northern lakeside city finds the midday Sun with a beautifulsolar ice halo.Naturally occurringatmospheric ice crystalscan produce thetantalizing halo displays,refracting and reflecting the sunlight through their hexagonal geometry. Still, with the Sun low and near the horizon in the clear sky, likely sources of the ice crystals producing thisintense halo are snow cannons.Operating at a local ski area, the snowmaking machines createa visible plume at the top of the nearby island Froson towardthe right side of the panorama. Tomorrow's picture: southern spiral <| Archive| Submissions | Index|...

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NGC 1365: Majestic 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. 2022 December 22 NGC 1365: Majestic Island Universe Image Credit &Copyright:Martin Pugh Explanation: Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majesticisland universe some 200,000light-years across.Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the faint but heatedconstellationFornax,NGC 1365 is adominant member of the well-studiedFornax Cluster of galaxies.This impressivelysharp color imageshows the intense, reddish star forming regions near theends of central bar and along the spiral arms,with details of the obscuring dust lanes cuttingacross the galaxy's bright core.At the core lies a supermassive black hole.Astronomers thinkNGC 1365'sprominent bar plays a crucial role in thegalaxy's evolution,drawing gas and dust into a star-forming maelstromand ultimately feeding material into thecentral black hole. Tomorrow's picture: northern Saturn <| 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 Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

Sun Halo at Sixty three Degrees North

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. 2022 December 21 Sun Halo at Sixty-three Degrees North Image Credit &Copyright:Goran Strand Explanation: Happy Solstice!Today is the December solstice,marking an astronomical beginning ofsummer in the southern hemisphere and winter in the north.On its yearly trek through planet Earth's skies,at this solstice the Sun reaches its southern most declination,23.5 degreessouth, at 21:48UTC.About 4 days ago the Sun was near this seasonal southern limit and so only justabove the horizon at local noon over Ostersund in central Sweden.This view looking over the far northern lakeside city finds the middaySun with a beautifulsolar ice halo.Naturally occurringatmospheric ice crystalscan produce thetantalizing halo displays,refracting and reflecting the sunlight through their hexagonal geometry. Still, with the Sun low and near the horizon in the clear sky, likely sources of the ice crystals producing thisintense halo are snow cannons.Operating at a local ski area, the snowmaking machines createa visible plume at the top of the nearby island Froson towardthe right side of the panorama. Tomorrow's picture: northern spiral <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About...

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Thors Helmet

APOD: 2022 December 20 - Thors Helmet 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 December 20 Thor's Helmet Image Credit & Copyright: Hannah Rochford Explanation: Thor not only has his own day (Thursday), but a helmet in the heavens. Popularly called Thor's Helmet, NGC 2359 is a hat-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages.Heroically sized even for aNorse god,Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across.In fact, the cosmic head-covering is more likean interstellar bubble, blown with a fastwind from the bright, massive star near the bubble's center.Known as aWolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief,pre-supernova stage of evolution.NGC 2359 is located about15,000 light-years away toward the constellation of the Great Overdog.This remarkably sharp imageis a mixed cocktail of data from narrowband filters,capturing not only natural looking stars but details ofthe nebula'sfilamentary structures.The star in the center of Thor's Helmet is expected to explode in a spectacularsupernova sometime within the next few thousand years. Almost Hyperspace: Random APOD Generator Tomorrow's picture: solstice sun <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| >...

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