Apollo 16 Moon Panorama

APOD: 2022 April 21 - Apollo 16 Moon Panorama 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 April 21 Apollo 16 Moon Panorama Image Credit: Apollo 16,NASA; Panorama Assembly: Mike Constantine Explanation: Fifty years ago, April 20, 1972,Apollo 16'slunar module Orion toucheddown on the Moon's near side in the south-central Descartes Highlands.While astronautKen Mattinglyorbited overhead in Casper thefriendly command and service modulethe Orion broughtJohn Young and Charles Duketo the lunar surface.The pair would spend nearlythree days on the Moon.Constructed from images(AS16-117-18814 to AS16-117-18820)taken near the end of their third and final surface excursion this panoramic view puts the lunar module in thedistance toward the left.Theirelectric lunar rovingvehicle in the foreground, Duke is operating thecamera while Young aims the high gain communications antenna skyward,toward planet Earth. Celebrate: Earth Day Tomorrow's picture: our fair planet <| 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.

Planet Line over New York Bridge

APOD: 2022 April 20 - Planet Line over New York Bridge 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 April 20 Planet Line over New York Bridge Image Credit &Copyright: Stan Honda Explanation: There's an interesting sky to see if you wake up before the Sun.Lined up on toward the eastern horizon are four planets in a row.The planets are so bright they can even be seen from the bright sky inside a city.In fact, the featured image was taken from New York City, USA, with the foreground highlighted by the RFK (Triborough) Bridge.Pictured, the planets are, left to right, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn. The planets all appear in a row because they all orbit the Sun in the same plane.This plane, called the ecliptic plane, was created in the early days of our Solar System and includes all planets, including Earth. The morning planet parade will continue throughout April and May, and will even be joined by Mercury in June. APOD volunteer programming opportunity: Discord Tomorrow's picture: open space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| >...

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Stars and Globules in the Running Chicken Nebula

APOD: 2022 April 19 - Stars and Globules in the Running Chicken 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 April 19 Stars and Globules in the Running Chicken Nebula Image Credit & Copyright: Stefan Steve Bemmerl Explanation: The eggs from this gigantic chicken may form into stars. The featured emission nebula, shown in scientifically assigned colors, is cataloged as IC 2944 but known as the Running Chicken Nebula for the shape of its greater appearance. Seen toward the bottom of the image are small, dark molecular clouds rich in obscuring cosmic dust.Called Thackeray's Globules for their discoverer, these "eggs" are potential sites for the gravitational condensation of new stars, although their fates are uncertain as they are also being rapidly eroded away by the intense radiation from nearby young stars.Together with patchy glowing gas and complex regions of reflecting dust, these massive and energetic stars form the open cluster Collinder 249.This gorgeous skyscape spans about 60 light-yearsat the nebula's estimated 6,500 light-year distance. Tomorrow's picture: planetary bridge <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors &...

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Stars and Planets over Portugal

APOD: 2022 April 18 - Stars and Planets over Portugal 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 April 18 Stars and Planets over Portugal Image Credit & Copyright: Miguel Claro(TWAN, Dark Sky Alqueva) Explanation: The mission was to document night-flying birds -- but it ended up also documenting a beautiful sky.The featured wide-angle mosaic was taken over the steppe golden fields in Mértola, Portugal in 2020.From such a dark location, an immediately-evident breathtaking glow arched over the night sky: the central band of our Milky Way galaxy. But this sky had much more.Thin clouds crossed the sky like golden ribbons.The planet Mars appeared on the far left, while the planets Saturn and Jupiter were also simultaneously visible -- but on the opposite side of the sky, here seen on the far right. Near the top of the image the bright star Vega can be found, while the far-distant and faint Andromeda Galaxy can be seen toward the left, just below Milky Way's arch. As the current month progresses, several planets are lining up in the pre-dawn sky: Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn. Did...

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Shuttle Over Earth

APOD: 2022 April 17 - Shuttle Over 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 April 17 Shuttle Over Earth Image Credit: NASA, Expedition 22 Crew Explanation: What's that approaching?Astronauts on board theInternational Space Station in 2010 first saw it far in the distance. Soon it enlarged to become adark silhouette.As it came even closer, thesilhouette appeared to be a spaceship.Finally, the object revealed itself to be theSpace Shuttle Endeavour, and it soon docked as expected with theEarth-orbiting space station. Pictured here, Endeavour was imaged near Earth's horizon as it approached, where several layers of theEarth's atmosphere were visible.Directly behind the shuttle is themesosphere, which appears blue. The atmospheric layer that appears white is thestratosphere,while the orange layer is Earth'sTroposphere.Together, these thin layers of air -- collectively spanning less than 2 percent of Earth's radius -- sustain us all in many ways, including providing oxygen to breath and a barrier to dangerous radiations from space. Coming up Friday: Earth Day 2022 Tomorrow's picture: steppe sky <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU)...

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Orion Pines

APOD: 2022 April 16 - Orion Pines 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 April 16 Orion Pines Image Credit &Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado(Starry Earth,TWAN) Explanation: Taken with a camera fixed to a tripod, many short exposureswere aligned with the stars to unveil this beautiful, dark night sky.Captured nearthe rural village of Albany`aat the northeastern corner of Spain, the threestars of Orion's belt stretch across top center in the starry frame.Alnitak, the easternmost (left) of thebelt stars is seen next to the more diffuse glow of theFlame Nebulaand the dark notch of the famous Horsehead.Easily visible to the naked-eyeThe Great Nebula of Orionis below the belt stars.A mere 1,500 light-years distant, it is the closest largestellar nursery to our fair planet.Best seen in photographs, the broad and faint arc ofBarnard's Loop seems toembrace Orion's brighterstars and nebulae though.In the northern spring the familiarnorthern winter constellationis setting.Near the western horizon toward lower right Orion'sapparently brightblue supergiant Rigel just touches the branches of a pine tree. Tomorrow's picture: Endeavour in Orbit <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors...

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The Gator-Back Rocks of Mars

APOD: 2022 April 15 - The Gator-Back Rocks of Mars 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 April 15 The Gator-Back Rocks of Mars Image Credit: NASA,JPL-Caltech,MSSS Explanation: Wind-sharpened rocksknown as ventifactscover this broad sloping plain in the foot hillsof Mount Sharp, Gale crater, Mars.Dubbed gator-back rocks their rugged, scaly appearance iscaptured in these digitally stitched Mastcam framesfrom the Curiosity rover on mission sol 3,415 (March 15, 2022).Driving over gator-back rocks before hasresulted in damage tothe rover's wheels, so Curiosity team members decided toturn around andtake another pathto continue the rover's climb.Curiosity has been on an ascent of Gale crater's central 5.5 kilometerhigh mountain since 2014.As it climbs, the durable rover has been able to explore layers shaped bywater on Mars billions of years ago. Tomorrow's picture: the pines of Orion <| 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.

Messier 96

APOD: 2022 April 14 - Messier 96 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 April 14 Messier 96 Image Credit &Copyright:Mark HansonandMike Selby Explanation: Spiral arms seem to swirl around the core ofMessier 96 inthiscolorful, detailed portraitof a beautiful island universe.Of course M96 is a spiral galaxy,and counting the faint arms extendingbeyond the brighter central region it spans 100 thousandlight-years or so.That's about the size of our own Milky Way.M96 is known to be 38 million light-years distant, a dominantmember of theLeo I galaxy group.Background galaxies and smaller Leo I group memberscan be found by examining the picture.The most intriguing one is itself a spiral galaxy seennearly edge onbehind the outer spiral arm near the 1 o'clock position fromcenter.Its bright central bulge cut by its own dark dust clouds,the edge-on background spiral appears to be about 1/5 the size of M96.If that background galaxy is similar in actual size to M96, then itwould be about 5 timesfartheraway. Tomorrow's picture: the red planet rocks <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell...

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Milky Way over Devils Tower

APOD: 2022 April 13 - Milky Way over Devils Tower 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 April 13 Milky Way over Devils Tower Image Credit & Copyright: MaryBeth Kiczenski Explanation: What created Devils Tower?The origin of this extraordinary rock monolith in Wyoming, USA is still debated, with a leading hypothesis holding that it is a hardened lava plume that never reached the surface to become a volcano. In this theory, the lighter rock that once surrounded the dense volcanic neck has now eroded away, leaving the dramatic tower.Known by Native Americans by names including Bear's Lodge and Great Gray Horn, the dense rock includes the longest hexagonal columns known, some over 180-meters tall.High above, the central band of the Milky Way galaxy arches across the sky. Many notable sky objects are visible, including dark strands of the Pipe Nebula and the reddish Lagoon Nebula to the tower's right. Green grass and trees line the foreground, while clouds appear near the horizon to the tower's left. Unlike many other international landmarks, mountaineers are permitted to climb Devils Tower. Birthday Surprise: What picture did...

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N11: Star Clouds of the LMC

APOD: 2022 April 12 - N11: Star Clouds of the LMC 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 April 12 N11: Star Clouds of the LMC Image Credit: NASA, ESA; Processing: Josh Lake Explanation: Massive stars, abrasive winds, mountains of dust, and energetic light sculpt one of the largest and most picturesque regions of star formation in the Local Group of Galaxies. Known as N11, the region is visible on the upper right of many images of its home galaxy, the Milky Way neighbor known as the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The featured image was taken for scientific purposes by the Hubble Space Telescope and reprocessed for artistry. Although the section imaged above is known as NGC 1763, the entire N11 emission nebula is second in LMC size only to the Tarantula Nebula. Compact globules of dark dust housing emerging young stars are also visible around the image. A recent study of variable stars in the LMC with Hubble has helped to recalibrate the distance scale of the observable universe, but resulted in a slightly different scale than found using the pervasive cosmic...

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A Space Station Crosses a Busy Sun

APOD: 2022 April 11 - A Space Station Crosses a Busy Sun 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 April 11 A Space Station Crosses a Busy Sun Image Credit & Copyright: Wang Letian (Eyes at Night) Explanation: Typically, the International Space Station is visible only at night. Slowly drifting across the night sky as it orbits the Earth, the International Space Station (ISS) can be seen as a bright spot several times a year from many locations. The ISS is then visible only just after sunset or just before sunrise because it shines by reflected sunlight -- once the ISS enters the Earth's shadow, it will drop out of sight.The only occasion when the ISS is visible during the day is when it passes right in front of the Sun.Then, it passes so quickly that only cameras taking short exposures can visually freeze the ISS's silhouette onto the background Sun.The featured picture did exactly that -- it is actually a series of images taken earlier this month from Beijing, China with perfect timing. This image series was later combined with separate images...

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Shadows at the Moons South Pole

APOD: 2022 April 10 - Shadows at the Moons South Pole 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 April 10 Shadows at the Moon's South Pole Image Credit: NASA, Arizona State U., Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Explanation: Was this image of the Moon's surface taken with a microscope?No -- it's a multi-temporal illumination map made with a wide-angle camera. To create it, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft collected 1,700 images over a period of 6 lunar days (6 Earth months), repeatedly covering an area centered on the Moon's south pole from different angles. The resulting images were stacked to produce the featured map -- representing the percentage of time each spot on the surface was illuminated by the Sun. Remaining convincingly in shadow, the floor of the 19-kilometer diameter Shackletoncrater is seen near the map's center. The lunar south pole itself is at about 9 o'clock on the crater's rim. Crater floors near the lunar south and north poles can remain in permanent shadow, while mountain tops can remain in nearly continuous sunlight. Useful for future outposts, the shadowed crater floors could offer reservoirs...

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Mars-Saturn Conjunction

APOD: 2022 April 9 - Mars-Saturn Conjunction 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 April 9 Mars-Saturn Conjunction Image Credit &Copyright:Damian Peach Explanation: Fainter stars in the zodiacal constellation Capricornus arescattered near the plane ofthe eclipticin this field of view.The two brightest ones at center aren't stars at all though, butthe planets Mars and Saturn.Taken on the morning of April 4, thetelescopic snapshotcaptured their tantalizingclose conjunctionin a predawn sky, the pair of planets separatedby only about 1/3 of a degree.That's easily less than the apparent width of a Full Moon.Can you tell which planet is which?If you guessed Mars is the redder one , you'd be right.Above Mars, slightly fainter Saturn still shines with apaler yellowish tinge inreflected sunlight. Even at the low magnification, Saturn's largest and brightestmoon Titan can be spotted hugging the planet very closely on the left. Tomorrow's picture: in the shadows <| 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.

Hale-Bopp: The Great Comet of 1997

APOD: 2022 April 8 - Hale-Bopp: The Great Comet of 1997 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 April 8 Hale-Bopp: The Great Comet of 1997 Image Credit &Copyright:Stefan Seip(TWAN) Explanation: Only twenty-five years ago,Comet Hale-Bopprounded the Sun and offered a dazzling spectacle inplanet Earth's night skies.Digitized fromthe original astrophoto on 35mm color slide film,this classic image of the Great Comet of 1997was recorded a few days after its perihelion passage onApril 1, 1997.Made with a camera and telephoto lens piggy-backed on a small telescope,the 10 minute long,hand-guided exposure features the memorabletails ofHale-Bopp, a whitish dust tail and blue ion tail.Here, the ion tail extends well over ten degrees acrossthe northern sky.In all, Hale-Bopp was reported as visibleto the naked eye from late May 1996 through September 1997.Also known as C/1995 O1, Hale-Bopp is recognized asone of the most compositionallypristine cometsto pass through the inner Solar System.A visitor from the distantOort cloud,the comet's next perihelion passageshould be around the year 4380 AD.Do youremember Hale-Bopp? Tomorrow's picture: planetary pairing <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors &...

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Messier 24: Sagittarius Star Cloud

APOD: 2022 April 7 - Messier 24: Sagittarius Star Cloud 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 April 7 Messier 24: Sagittarius Star Cloud Image Credit &Copyright:Gabriel Rodrigues Santos Explanation: Unlike most entriesin Charles Messier's famous catalog of deep sky objects,M24is not a bright galaxy, star cluster, or nebula.It's a gap in nearby, obscuring interstellar dust clouds that allowsa view of the distant stars in the Sagittarius spiral armof our Milky Way galaxy.When you gaze at the star cloudwith binoculars or small telescope you arelooking through a window over 300 light-years wide at stars some10,000 light-years or more from Earth.Sometimes called the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, M24's luminousstars fillthis gorgeous starscape.Covering over 3 degrees or the width of 6 full moons in theconstellation Sagittarius,the telescopic field of view includesdark markingsB92 and B93 just above center, along with otherclouds of dust and glowing nebulae toward the center of the Milky Way. 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...

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