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  #3136  
Παλιά 21-05-15, 07:29
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2015 May 21

NGC 6240: Merging Galaxies
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI / AURA), A. Evans (U. Virginia / NRAO / Stony Brook U.)
Explanation: NGC 6240 offers a rare, nearby glimpse of a cosmic catastrophe in its final throes. The titanic galaxy-galaxy collision takes place a mere 400 million light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. The merging galaxies spew distorted tidal tails of stars, gas, and dust and undergo fast and furious bursts of star formation. The two supermassive black holes in the original galactic cores will also coalesce into a single, even more massive black hole and soon, only one large galaxy will remain. This dramatic image of the scene is a composite of narrowband and near-infrared to visible broadband data from Hubble's ACS and WPC3 cameras, a view that spans over 300,000 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 6240.

Tomorrow's picture: dark and dusty night

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  #3137  
Παλιά 23-05-15, 08:32
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 May 23

NGC 7822 in Cepheus
Image Credit & Copyright: César Blanco González
Explanation: Hot, young stars and cosmic pillars of gas and dust seem to crowd into NGC 7822. At the edge of a giant molecular cloud toward the northern constellation Cepheus, the glowing star forming region lies about 3,000 light-years away. Within the nebula, bright edges and dark shapes are highlighted in this colorful skyscape. The image includes data from narrowband filters, mapping emission from atomic oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur into blue, green, and red hues. The atomic emission is powered by energetic radiation from the hot stars, whose powerful winds and radiation also sculpt and erode the denser pillar shapes. Stars could still be forming inside the pillars by gravitational collapse, but as the pillars are eroded away, any forming stars will ultimately be cutoff from their reservoir of star stuff. This field spans around 40 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 7822.
Tomorrow's picture: shuttle over clouds

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  #3138  
Παλιά 24-05-15, 08:28
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 May 24

Space Shuttle Rising
Image Credit: NASA
Explanation: What's that rising from the clouds? The space shuttle. Sometimes, if you looked out the window of an airplane at just the right place and time, you could have seen something very unusual -- a space shuttle launching to orbit. Images of the rising shuttle and its plume became widely circulated over the web shortly after Endeavour's final launch in 2011 May. The above image was taken from a shuttle training aircraft by NASA and is not copyrighted. Taken well above the clouds, the image can be matched with similar images of the same shuttle plume taken below the clouds. Hot glowing gasses expelled by the engines are visible near the rising shuttle, as well as a long smoke plume. A shadow of the plume appears on the cloud deck, indicating the direction of the Sun. The US Space Shuttle program concluded in 2011, and Endeavour can now be visited at the California Science Center.
Tomorrow's picture: galaxy tre

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  #3139  
Παλιά 25-05-15, 07:06
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 May 25

The Galaxy Tree
Image Credit & Copyright: César Vega Toledano ; Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt
Explanation: First came the trees. In the town of Salamanca, Spain, the photographer noticed how distinctive a grove of oak trees looked after being pruned. Next came the galaxy. The photographer stayed up until 2 am, waiting until the Milky Way Galaxy rose above the level of a majestic looking oak. From this carefully chosen perspective, dust lanes in the galaxy appear to be natural continuations to branches of the tree. Last came the light. A flashlight was used on the far side of the tree to project a silhouette. By coincidence, other trees also appeared as similar silhouettes across the relatively bright horizon. The featured image was captured as a single 30-second frame earlier this month and processed to digitally enhance the Milky Way.
Tomorrow's picture: galaxy nugget

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  #3140  
Παλιά 26-05-15, 08:29
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2015 May 26

Starburst Galaxy M94
Image Credit & Copyright: Leonardo Orazi
Explanation: What could cause the center of M94 to be so bright? Spiral galaxy M94 has a ring of newly formed stars surrounding its nucleus, giving it not only an unusual appearance but also a strong interior glow. A leading progenitor hypothesis holds that an elongated knot of stars known as a bar rotates in M94 and has generated a burst of star formation in the inner ring. Recent observations have revealed the outer, fainter ring is not closed and relatively complex. M94, pictured here spans about 30,000 light years, lies about 15 million light years away, and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici).
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Tomorrow's picture: pluto ahoy

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  #3141  
Παλιά 27-05-15, 08:05
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2015 May 27

Approaching Pluto

Explanation: Here comes Pluto. NASA's robotic New Horizons spacecraft is now beyond the orbit of Neptune and closing fast on the Solar System's most famous unexplored world. The featured time lapse video shows Pluto and Pluto's largest moon, Charon, orbiting their common center of mass in 13 frames taken from April 12 to April 18. Although blurry, images in the video now rival even the best images of Pluto yet taken from Earth. New Horizons remains on schedule to zoom past the distant dwarf planet on July 14.
Tomorrow's picture: sideways spiral

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  #3142  
Παλιά 28-05-15, 07:24
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 May 28

Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945
Image Credit & Copyright: Petri Kehusmaa, Harlingten Atacama Observatory
Explanation: Large spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen edge-on near the center of this cosmic galaxy portrait. In fact, NGC 4945 is almost the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Its own dusty disk, young blue star clusters, and pink star forming regions standout in the sharp, colorful telescopic image. About 13 million light-years distant toward the expansive southern constellation Centaurus, NGC 4945 is only about six times farther away than Andromeda, the nearest large spiral galaxy to the Milky Way. Though the galaxy's central region is largely hidden from view for optical telescopes, X-ray and infrared observations indicate significant high energy emission and star formation in the core of NGC 4945. Its obscured but active nucleus qualifies the gorgeous island universe as a Seyfert galaxy and home to a central supermassive black hole.
Tomorrow's picture: Saturnshine

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  #3143  
Παλιά 29-05-15, 08:48
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 May 29

Saturn at Opposition
Image Credit & Copyright: Christopher Go
Explanation: Telescopic observers on Earth have been treated to spectacular views of Saturn lately as the ringed planet reached its 2015 opposition on May 23 at 0200 UT. Of course opposition means opposite the Sun in Earth's sky. So near opposition Saturn is up all night, at its closest and brightest for the year. These sharp images taken within hours of the Sun-Earth-Saturn alignment also show the strong brightening of Saturn's rings known as the opposition surge or the Seeliger Effect. Directly illuminated, the ring's icy particles cast no shadows and strongly backscatter sunlight toward planet Earth, creating the dramatic surge in brightness. Saturn currently stands in the sky not far from bright Antares, alpha star of the constellation Sagittarius.
Tomorrow's picture: Stereo Saturday

http://www.acrobase.gr/showthread.php?t=29641
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  #3144  
Παλιά 30-05-15, 09:08
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 May 30

Messier Craters in Stereo
Image Credit: Apollo 11, NASA; Stereo Image by Patrick Vantuyne
Explanation: Many bright nebulae and star clusters in planet Earth's sky are associated with the name of astronomer Charles Messier, from his famous 18th century catalog. His name is also given to these two large and remarkable craters on the Moon. Standouts in the dark, smooth lunar Sea of Fertility or Mare Fecunditatis, Messier (left) and Messier A have dimensions of 15 by 8 and 16 by 11 kilometers respectively. Their elongated shapes are explained by an extremely shallow-angle trajectory followed by the impactor, moving left to right, that gouged out the craters. The shallow impact also resulted in two bright rays of material extending along the surface to the right, beyond the picture. Intended to be viewed with red/blue glasses (red for the left eye), this striking stereo picture of the crater pair was recently created from high resolution scans of two images (AS11-42-6304, AS11-42-6305) taken during the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
Tomorrow's picture: boom teller

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  #3145  
Παλιά 31-05-15, 09:20
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 May 27

Supernova 1994D and the Unexpected Universe
Image Credit: High-Z Supernova Search Team, HST, NASA
Explanation: Long ago, far away, a star exploded. Supernova 1994D, visible as the bright spot on the lower left, occurred in the outskirts of disk galaxy NGC 4526. Supernova 1994D was not of interest for how different it was, but rather for how similar it was to other supernovae. In fact, the light emitted during the weeks after its explosion caused it to be given the familiar designation of a Type Ia supernova. If all Type 1a supernovae have the same intrinsic brightness, then the dimmer a supernova appears, the farther away it must be. By calibrating a precise brightness-distance relation, astronomers are able to estimate not only the expansion rate of the universe (parameterized by the Hubble Constant), but also the geometry of the universe we live in (parameterized by Omega and Lambda). The large number and great distances to supernovae measured over the past few years, when combined with other observations, are interpreted as indicating that we live in a previously unexpected universe.
Tomorrow's picture: pulsating aurora

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  #3146  
Παλιά 01-06-15, 08:21
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2015 June 1


Pulsating Aurora over Iceland
Video Credit & Copyright: Stéphane Vetter (Nuits sacrées); Music: Eric Aron
Explanation: Why do some auroras pulsate? No one is sure. Although this unusual behavior has been known for a long time, the cause remains an active topic of research. Featured here is a dramatic video that captured some impressive pulsating auroras in mid-March over Svínafellsjökull Glacier in Iceland. The 48-second video is shown is not time-lapse. The real-time pulsations are exemplified by sequences where the astrophotographer is visible moving about in the foreground. A close inspection of the enigmatic flickering sky colors reveals that some structures appear to repeat, while others do not. The quick rapidity of the pulsations seen here is somewhat unusual -- more common are aurora with pulsations that last several seconds. Recent research shows that pulsations are more common in electron-generated aurora, rather than proton aurora, and that the Earth's local magnetic field may fluctuate in unison.
Astrophysicists: Browse 1,000+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library
Tomorrow's picture: comet polaris

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  #3147  
Παλιά 02-06-15, 08:31
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 June 2

Polaris and Comet Lovejoy
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo
Explanation: One of these two bright sky objects is moving. On the right is the famous star Polaris. Although only the 45th brightest star in the sky, Polaris is famous for appearing stationary. Once you find it, it will always appear in the same direction -- all night and all day -- for the rest of your life. This is because the northern spin pole of the Earth -- called the North Celestial Pole -- points near Polaris. On the left, about ten million times closer, is Comet Lovejoy, which noticeably changes its sky position by the hour. The featured image was taken last week. Officially designated C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), this disintegrating snowball is on a visit from the outer Solar System and will only appear near the North Star for a few more weeks. That should be long enough, however, for northerners with binoculars or a small telescope to see the greenish coma of this fleeting newcomer, perhaps with the help of a good star map.
Tomorrow's picture: open space

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  #3148  
Παλιά 03-06-15, 08:44
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 June 3


Flyby Image of Saturn's Sponge Moon Hyperion
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SSI
Explanation: Why does this moon look like a sponge? To better investigate, NASA and ESA sent the Saturn-orbiting robotic spacecraft Cassini zooming past Saturn's moon Hyperion, once again, earlier this week. One of the images beamed back to Earth is featured above, raw and unprocessed. Visible, as expected, are many unusually shaped craters with an unusual dark material at the bottom. Although Hyperion spans about 250 kilometers, its small gravitational tug on Cassini indicates that it is mostly empty space and so has very low surface gravity. Therefore, the odd shapes of many of Hyperion's craters are thought to result from impacts that primarily compress and eject surface material -- instead of the more typical round craters that appear after a circular shock wave that explosively redistributes surface material. Cassini is on track for another flyby of Saturn's Dione in about two weeks.
Retrospective: All Previous June 3 APODs
Tomorrow's picture: open space

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  #3149  
Παλιά 04-06-15, 08:12
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 June 4

NGC 2419 - Intergalactic Wanderer
Image Credit & Copyright: Bob Franke
Explanation: Three objects stand out in this thoughtful telescopic image, a view toward the mostly stealthy constellation Lynx. The two brightest (the spiky ones) are nearby stars. The third is the remote globular star cluster NGC 2419, at distance of nearly 300,000 light-years. NGC 2419 is sometimes called "the Intergalactic Wanderer", an appropriate title considering that the distance to the Milky Way's satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, is only about 160,000 light-years. Roughly similar to other large globular star clusters like Omega Centauri, NGC 2419 is itself intrinsically bright, but appears faint because it is so far away. NGC 2419 may really have an extragalactic origin as, for example, the remains of a small galaxy captured and disrupted by the Milky Way. But its extreme distance makes it difficult to study and compare its properties with other globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy.
Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space

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  #3150  
Παλιά 05-06-15, 08:03
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 June 5

Green Flash at Moonrise
Image Credit & Copyright: Daniel López (El Cielo de Canarias)
Explanation: Follow a sunset on a clear day against a distant horizon and you might glimpse a green flash just as the Sun disappears, the sunlight briefly refracted over a long sight-line through atmospheric layers. You can spot a green flash at sunrise too. Pinpointing the exact place and time to see the rising Sun peeking above the horizon is a little more difficult though, and it can be harder still to catch a green flash from the fainter rising Moon. But well-planned snapshots did record a green flash at the Full Moon's upper edge on June 2nd, from the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the Canary Island of La Palma. Looking a little south of due east, this long telephoto view finds the rising Moon above mountains and a sea of clouds. In sunlit profile are the mountaintop Teide Observatory telescope domes on the island of Tenerife some 143 kilometers away.
Tomorrow's picture: moon over moon

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