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  #826  
Παλιά 23-02-09, 08:22
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 10:12
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An Etruscan Vase Moon Rising
Credit & Copyright: John Stetson

Explanation: What's happened to the Moon? Nothing, although from some locations, February's full moon, which occurred about two weeks ago, appeared strangely distorted as it rose. Visible in particular was a curiously inverted image section pinched off near the horizon, an effect dubbed the Etruscan vase by the pioneering science fiction writer Jules Verne for its familiar shape. This odd moon image piece was created by moonlight refracting through an atmospheric inversion layer on Earth where cold air was trapped near the surface. The photographer also reported that, as the moon rose, a red rim was faintly visible on the lower part of the moon, while a green rim appeared on the top. Similar to the Sun's famous green flash, these effects arise when the Earth's atmosphere acts like a prism, sending different colors of light on slightly different paths. The above image mosaic has been horizontally compressed by computer to fit a standard screen.

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  #827  
Παλιά 24-02-09, 08:58
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Barnard's Loop around the Horsehead Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Drew Sullivan (Ancient Starlight)

Explanation: Why is the Horsehead Nebula surrounded by a bubble? Although hard to make out above, the famous Horsehead Nebula is the slight dark indentation in the bright streak just to the left of the image center. Glowing like an emission nebula, the origin of the bubble, known as Barnard's Loop, is currently unknown. Progenitor hypotheses include the winds from bright Orion stars and the supernovas of stars long gone. Barnard's Loop is too faint to be identified with the unaided eye. The nebula was discovered only in 1895 by E. E. Barnard on long duration film exposures. The above image was taken in a single specific color emitted by hydrogen to bring out detail. To the left of the Horsehead Nebula, visible as a small dark indentation, is the photogenic Flame Nebula, while the textured area just below it is the Foxfur Nebula.

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  #828  
Παλιά 25-02-09, 08:30
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Two Tails of Comet Lulin
Credit & Copyright: Richard Richins (NMSU)

Explanation: Go outside tonight and see Comet Lulin. From a dark location, you should need only a good star map and admirable perseverance -- although wide-field binoculars might help. Yesterday, Comet Lulin passed its closest to Earth, so that the comet will remain near its brightest over the next few days. The comet is currently almost 180 degrees around from the Sun and so visible nearly all night long, but will appear to move on the sky about 10 full moons a night. Pictured above, Comet Lulin was captured in spectacular form two nights ago from New Mexico, USA. The central coma of the comet is appearing quite green, a color likely indicating glowing cyanogen and molecular carbon gasses. Bright stars and a distant spiral galaxy are clearly visible in the image background. The yellow dust tail, reflecting sunlight, is visible sprawling to the coma's left trailing behind the comet, while the textured bluish-glowing ion tail is visible to the coma's right, pointing away from the Sun. Over the past few weeks, from the current vantage point of Earth, these two tails appeared to point in opposite directions. Comet Lulin is expected to slowly fade over the next few weeks.

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  #829  
Παλιά 26-02-09, 08:13
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Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars
Credit & Copyright: Mike Salway

Explanation: When the Moon rose in predawn skies on February 23rd, it sported a sunlit crescent. It also offered early morning risers a tantalizing view of earthshine, the dark portion of the lunar disk illuminated by sunlight reflected from the Earth. Of course, on that morning a remarkable conjunction with three wandering planets added an impressive touch to the celestial scene. Recorded just before sunrise, this serene skyview looks east toward a glowing horizon across Tuggerah Lake on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Along with the waning crescent Moon, the picture captures (top to bottom) bright Mercury, Jupiter, and Mars.

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  #830  
Παλιά 27-02-09, 08:26
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Lulin and Saturn near Opposition
Credit & Copyright: Jerry Lodriguss (Catching the Light)

Explanation: Tracking through the constellation Leo on February 23rd, bright planet Saturn and Comet Lulin were both near opposition -- opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. They also passed within only 2 degrees of each other creating a dramatic celestial photo-op. Comet Lulin was near it's closest approach to planet Earth at the time, at a distance of some 61 million kilometers, but was orbiting in the opposite direction. As a result it swept remarkably rapidly across the background of stars. This telephoto image captures both bright Saturn and greenish Lulin in the same field in a scene not too different from binocular views. Don't recognize ringed Saturn? The rings are presently tilted nearly edge-on to our view and the brighter planet is overexposed to record details of the fainter comet. At the upper right, Saturn is marked by multiple diffraction spikes created by the aperture blades in the telephoto lens.

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  #831  
Παλιά 28-02-09, 08:27
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NGC 2442: Galaxy in Volans
Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh

Explanation: Distorted galaxy NGC 2442 can be found in the southern constellation of the flying fish, (Piscis) Volans. Located about 50 million light-years away, the galaxy's two spiral arms extending from a pronounced central bar give it a hook-shaped appearance. This deep color image also shows the arms' obscuring dust lanes, young blue star clusters and reddish star forming regions surrounding a core of yellowish light from an older population of stars. But the star forming regions seem more concentrated along the drawn-out (right side) spiral arm. The distorted structure is likely the result of an ancient close encounter with the smaller galaxy seen near the top left of this field of view. The two interacting galaxies are separated by about 150,000 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 2442.

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  #832  
Παλιά 01-03-09, 08:17
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 10:12
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Omega Centauri: The Largest Globular Cluster Known

Credit & >Copyright: >Thomas V. Davis (tvdavisastropix.com


Explanation:
This huge ball of stars predates our Sun.

Long before humankind evolved, before dinosaurs roamed, and even before our Earth existed, ancient globs of stars condensed and orbited a young Milky Way Galaxy.

Of the 200 or so globular clusters that survive today, Omega Centauri is the largest, containing over ten million stars.

Omega Centauri is also the brightest globular cluster, at apparentvisual magnitude 3.9 it is visible to southern observers with the unaided eye.

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Τελευταία επεξεργασία από το χρήστη Xenios : 01-03-09 στις 08:20
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  #833  
Παλιά 02-03-09, 07:15
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Earthgrazer: The Great Daylight Fireball of 1972
Credit & Copyright: Antarctic Search for Meteorites program, Case Western Reserve University, James M. Baker

Explanation: What is that streaking across the sky? A bright earthgrazing meteor. In 1972, an unusually bright meteor from space was witnessed bouncing off Earth's atmosphere, much like a skipping stone can bounce off of a calm lake. The impressive event lasted several seconds, was visible in daylight, and reportedly visible all the way from Utah, USA to Alberta, Canada. Pictured above, the fireball was photographed streaking above Teton mountains behind Jackson Lake, Wyoming, USA. The Great Daylight Fireball of 1972 was possibly the size of a small truck, and would likely have created an impressive airburst were it to have struck Earth more directly. Earthgrazing meteors are rare but are more commonly seen when the radiant of a meteor shower is just rising or setting. At that time, meteors closer to the Earth than earthgrazers would more usually strike the Earth near the horizon, while meteors further than earthgrazers would miss the Earth entirely.

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  #834  
Παλιά 03-03-09, 07:20
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The Helix Nebula from La Silla Observatory
Credit: WFI, MPG/ESO 2.2-m Telescope, La Silla Obs., ESO

Explanation: Will our Sun look like this one day? The Helix Nebula is one of brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gasses of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce. The Helix Nebula, given a technical designation of NGC 7293, lies about 700 light-years away towards the constellation of Aquarius and spans about 2.5 light-years. The above picture was taken by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter Telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows complex gas knots of unknown origin.

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  #835  
Παλιά 04-03-09, 08:42
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Saturn in View
Credit & Copyright: Jean-Luc Dauvergne, Francois Colas, OMP

Explanation: Very good telescopic views of Saturn can be expected in the coming days as the ringed planet nears opposition on March 8th, its closest approach to Earth in 2009. Of course, opposition means opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky - an arrangement that occurs almost yearly for Saturn. But while Saturn itself grows larger in telescopic images, Saturn's rings seem to be vanishing as their tilt to our line-of-sight decreases. In fact, the rings will be nearly invisible, edge-on from our perspective, by September 4. Recorded on February 28, this sharp image was made with the 1 meter telescope at Pic Du Midi, a mountain top observatory in the French Pyrenees. The rings are seen to be tilted nearly edge-on, but remarkable details are visible in the gas giant's cloud bands. The icy moon Tethys appears just beyond the rings at the lower left.

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  #836  
Παλιά 05-03-09, 07:44
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IC 5146: The Cocoon Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Neil Fleming, David Plesko

Explanation: Inside the Cocoon Nebula is a newly developing cluster of stars. Cataloged as IC 5146, the beautiful nebula is nearly 15 light-years wide, located some 4,000 light years away toward the northern constellation Cygnus. Like other star forming regions, it stands out in red, glowing, hydrogen gas excited by young, hot stars and blue, dust-reflected starlight at the edge of an otherwise invisible molecular cloud. In fact, the bright star near the center of this nebula is likely only a few hundred thousand years old, powering the nebular glow as it clears out a cavity in the molecular cloud's star forming dust and gas. This exceptionally deep color view of the Cocoon Nebula traces tantalizing features within and surrounding the dusty stellar nursery.

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  #837  
Παλιά 05-03-09, 12:05
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 08-05-17 14:17
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Η διαθεσή μου τώρα:
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IC 5146: The Cocoon Nebula]
Ευτυχως που δε με πηρε η ΝΑΣΑ, αλλιως θα το ονομαζα Biochlapatsa Nebula
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  #838  
Παλιά 06-03-09, 08:10
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Crescent Moon and Venus
Credit & Copyright: Drew Sullivan (Ancient Starlight)

Explanation: Last Friday, the Moon and Venus shared the early evening sky in a beautiful conjunction. Separated by only about 2 degrees, they also were both in a crescent phase. Just like our Moon, Venus can appear as a full disk or a thin crescent. Frequently the brightest object in the post-sunset or pre-sunrise sky, Venus is so small that it usually requires binoculars or a small telescope to clearly see its phase. This telescopic image of Friday's conjunction shows off the similar crescent phases, with the tiny crescent Venus at the upper right.

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  #839  
Παλιά 07-03-09, 08:05
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Comet Lulin and Distant Galaxies
Credit & Copyright: Johannes Schedler (Panther Observatory)

Explanation: Now fading in our night sky, Comet Lulin has provided some lovely cosmic vistas. Moving rapidly against the background of stars, Lulin briefly posed with the likes of Saturn, and Regulus (Alpha Leo). But here it is seen against a field of distant galaxies. To reveal the faint background galaxies and trace the comet's fading tail, the remarkable picture is a blended composite of telescopic exposures aligned with the both the stars and the speedy comet. The largest galaxies seen left of the comet's head or coma are cataloged as NGC 3016, NGC 3019, NGC 3020 and NGC 3024 and lie at a distance of 100 million light-years or so. When the exposures were made, on February 28, the comet was about 3.6 light-minutes from Earth.

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  #840  
Παλιά 08-03-09, 07:38
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Gibbous Europa
Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA; reprocessed by Ted Stryk

Explanation: Although the phase of this moon might appear familiar, the moon itself might not. In fact, this gibbous phase shows part of Jupiter's moon Europa. The robot spacecraft Galileo captured this image mosaic during its mission orbiting Jupiter from 1995 - 2003. Visible are plains of bright ice, cracks that run to the horizon, and dark patches that likely contain both ice and dirt. Raised terrain is particularly apparent near the terminator, where it casts shadows. Europa is nearly the same size as Earth's Moon, but much smoother, showing few highlands or large impact craters. Evidence and images from the Galileo spacecraft, indicated that liquid oceans might exist below the icy surface. To test speculation that these seas hold life, ESA and NASA have together started preliminary development of the Europa Jupiter System Mission , a spacecraft proposed to better study Europa. If the surface ice is thin enough, a future mission might drop hydrobots to burrow into the oceans and search for life.

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