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  #1006  
Παλιά 22-08-09, 09:06
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 10:12
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The Gum Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Axel Mellinger

Explanation: Named for Australian astronomer Colin Stanley Gum (1924-1960), The Gum Nebula is so large and close it is actually hard to see. In fact, we are only about 450 light-years from the front edge and 1,500 light-years from the back edge of this cosmic cloud of glowing hydrogen gas. Covered in this 41 degree-wide mosaic of H-alpha images, the faint emission region is otherwise easy to lose against the background of Milky Way stars. The complex nebula is thought to be a supernova remnant over a million years old, sprawling across the southern constellations Vela and Puppis. Sliding your cursor over this spectacular wide field view will reveal the location of objects embedded in The Gum Nebula, including the Vela supernova remnant.

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  #1007  
Παλιά 23-08-09, 09:33
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Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images
Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Lee & H. Ford (Johns Hopkins U.)

Explanation: What are those strange blue objects? Many of the brightest blue images are of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here typically appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens. A gravitational lens can create several images of background galaxies, analogous to the many points of light one would see while looking through a wine glass at a distant street light. The distinctive shape of this background galaxy -- which is probably just forming -- has allowed astronomers to deduce that it has separate images at 4, 10, 11, and 12 o'clock, from the center of the cluster. A blue smudge near the cluster center is likely another image of the same background galaxy. In all, a recent analysis postulated that at least 33 images of 11 separate background galaxies are discernable. This spectacular photo of galaxy cluster CL0024+1654 from the Hubble Space Telescope was taken in November 2004.

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Σχόλιο : Όταν με μια ματιά στην υπέροχη αυτή φωτογραφία, ξεχωρίζεις δεκάδες γαλαξίες με εκοτοντάδες εκατομμύρια αστέρια ο καθένας, καταλαβαίνεις, πόσο ασήμαντοι είμαστε θεέ μου.
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  #1008  
Παλιά 24-08-09, 09:24
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Morning Glory Clouds Over Australia
Credit & Licence: Mick Petroff; Tip Thanks: James Holmes (Cairns)

Explanation: What causes these long, strange clouds? No one is sure. A rare type of cloud known as a Morning Glory cloud can stretch 1,000 kilometers long and occur at altitudes up to two kilometers high. Although similar roll clouds have been seen at specific places across the world, the ones over Burketown, Queensland Australia occur predictably every spring. Long, horizontal, circulating tubes of air might form when flowing, moist, cooling air encounters an inversion layer, an atmospheric layer where air temperature atypically increases with height. These tubes and surrounding air could cause dangerous turbulence for airplanes when clear. Morning Glory clouds can reportedly achieve an airspeed of 60 kilometers per hour over a surface with little discernible wind. Pictured above, photographer Mick Petroff photographed some Morning Glory clouds from his airplane near the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia.

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  #1009  
Παλιά 25-08-09, 08:45
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Equinox at Saturn
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation: What would Saturn's rings look like if the ring plane pointed directly at the Sun? That situation occurred earlier this month when equinox occurred on Saturn. Since the Earth is nearly in the same direction as the Sun from Saturn, the rings appeared to disappear from Earth. From the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn, however, the unusually illuminated ring plane could be viewed from on high. Pictured above, Saturn's rings, darker than ever seen before, were captured just a few hours before equinox on 2009 August 10. The reason for the unusual brightness of an inner ring is currently unknown, but possibly related to particle sizes there being larger than the 10 meter average thickness of the rest of Saturn's rings. Short light streaks in the frame are artificial image artifacts and have nothing to do with Saturn's ring plane. Planetary scientists will be studying ring images taken near equinox to help better understand the dynamics and particle size distribution of the Solar System's most extensive ring system.

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  #1010  
Παλιά 26-08-09, 08:36
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Classic Orion Nebulae
Credit & Copyright: Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn (Weather and Sky Photography)

Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion, also known as M42, is one of the most famous nebulae in the sky. The star forming region's glowing gas clouds and hot young stars are near the center of this colorful deep sky image that includes the smaller nebula M43 and dusty, bluish reflection nebulae NGC 1977 and friends on the left. Located at the edge of an otherwise invisible giant molecular cloud complex, these eye-catching nebulae represent only a small fraction of this galactic neighborhood's wealth of interstellar material. Captured with very modest equipment, the gorgeous skyscape was awarded Best in Show at the 2009 Starfest International Salon of Astrophotography. Judges commented that the detail and shading were exquisite in this version of a classic astronomical image. The field spans nearly 3 degrees or about 75 light-years at the Orion Nebula's estimated distance of 1,500 light-years.

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  #1011  
Παλιά 26-08-09, 09:21
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Glint in the Cat's Eye

This image of the Cat's Eye Nebula was made by combining data from two of NASA's Great Observatories--Chandra and the Hubble Space Telescope. Data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed a bright central star surrounded by a cloud of multimillion-degree gas in the planetary nebula known as the Cat's Eye. The intensity of the X-ray emission is correlated to the brightness of the orange coloring. The intensity of X-rays from the brightness of the orange coloring. The intensity of X-rays from the central star was unexpected, and this is the first time astronomers have seen such emissions from the central star of a planetary nebula.

Chandra X-ray Observatory is celebrating 10 years of exploring the invisible universe. On Aug. 19, 1999, Chandra captured its first image as an astronomical observatory. This first light image opened a new era for science as Chandra began its mission to open a mysterious universe. Chandra enables scientists from around the world to obtain unprecedented X-ray images of exotic environments to help understand the evolution of the cosmos.

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/UIUC/Y.Chu et al., Optical: NASA/HST

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  #1012  
Παλιά 27-08-09, 09:13
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A Dark Sky Over Sequoia National Park
Credit: D. Duriscoe, C. Duriscoe, R. Pilewski, & L. Pilewski, U.S. NPS Night Sky Program

Explanation: Scroll right to take in the view from the highest summit in the contiguous USA. The above 360-degree digitally stitched panorama, taken in mid-July, shows the view from 4,400-meter high Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park, California. In the foreground, angular boulders populate Mt. Whitney's summit while in the distance, just below the horizon, peaks from the Sierra Nevada mountain range are visible. Sky sights include light pollution emanating from Los Angeles and Fresno, visible just above the horizon. Dark clouds, particularly evident on the image left well above the horizon, are the remnants of a recent thunderstorm near Death Valley. High above, the band of the Milky Way Galaxy arches across the image left. Bright airglow bands are visible all over the sky but are particularly prominent on the image right. The planet Jupiter appears as the brightest point on the image left. A discerning eye can also find a faint image of the far distant Andromeda galaxy, a satellite trail, and many constellations. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the completion of the historic stone shelter on Mt. Whitney, visible toward the image right.

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  #1013  
Παλιά 28-08-09, 08:50
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NGC 7822 in Cepheus
Credit & Copyright: Don Goldman

Explanation: Pillars of gas, dust, and young, hot stars fill the center of 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 tantalizing shapes are highlighted in this colorful skyscape. The image includes data from both broadband and narrowband filters, mapping emission from atomic oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur into blue, green, and red hues. The atomic emission is powered by the 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 30 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 7822.

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  #1014  
Παλιά 29-08-09, 08:47
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NGC 7771 Galaxy Group
Credit & Copyright: Kent Biggs

Explanation: Slide your cursor over the image to identify three members of this intriguing gathering of galaxies. Known as the NGC 7771 Group, they lie almost 200 million light-years away toward the high flying constellation Pegasus. The largest galaxy, barred spiral NGC 7771, is itself about 75,000 light-years across, but will someday find itself part of a larger galaxy still. As the galaxies of the group make repeated close passages, they will finally merge into one very large galaxy. Played out over hundreds of millions of years, the process is understood to be a normal part of the evolution of galaxies, including our own Milky Way.
Editor's Note: The labeled version of the image was generated by Astrometry.net.

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  #1015  
Παλιά 30-08-09, 09:36
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D. rad Bacteria: Candidate Astronauts
Credit: Michael Daly (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences), DOE

Explanation: These bacteria could survive on another planet. In an Earth lab, Deinococcus radiodurans (D. rad) survive extreme levels of radiation, extreme temperatures, dehydration, and exposure to genotoxic chemicals. Amazingly, they even have the ability to repair their own DNA, usually with 48 hours. Known as an extremophile, bacteria such as D. rad are of interest to NASA partly because they might be adaptable to help human astronauts survive on other worlds. A recent map of D. rad's DNA might allow biologists to augment their survival skills with the ability to produce medicine, clean water, and oxygen. Already they have been genetically engineered to help clean up spills of toxic mercury. Likely one of the oldest surviving life forms, D. rad was discovered by accident in the 1950s when scientists investigating food preservation techniques could not easily kill it. Pictured above, Deinococcus radiodurans grow quietly in a dish.

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  #1016  
Παλιά 31-08-09, 08:29
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Open Cluster M25
Credit & Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT) & Giovanni Anselmi (Coelum Astronomia), Hawaiian Starlight

Explanation: Many stars like our Sun were formed in open clusters. The above pictured open cluster, M25, contains thousands of stars and is about two thousand light years distant. The stars in this cluster all formed together about 90 million years ago. The bright young stars in M25 appear blue. Open clusters, also called galactic clusters, contain fewer and younger stars than globular clusters. Also unlike globular clusters, open clusters are generally confined to the plane of our Galaxy. M25 is visible with binoculars towards the constellation of the Archer ( Sagittarius).

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  #1017  
Παλιά 01-09-09, 08:40
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Shadows of Saturn at Equinox
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation: Unusual shadows and dark rings appeared around Saturn near its equinox last month. At that time -- early August -- Saturn's ring plane pointed directly at the Sun. Visible above, Saturn's moon Tethys casts a shadow visible only on the far right. Saturn's own shadow blacks out a large swath of rings on the right. The night side of Saturn glows with ringshine -- sunlight reflected by ring particles back onto Saturn. Images near equinox at Saturn are giving astronomers a chance to search for unexpected shadows that may illuminate previously unknown features of Saturn's complex ring system. Cassini, the robotic spacecraft orbiting Saturn that took this image, is not expected to survive to the next Saturnian equinox in 15 years.

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  #1018  
Παλιά 02-09-09, 08:44
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Discovery's Rainbow
Credit: NASA, Ben Cooper (Launch Photography)

Explanation: Just one minute before midnight EDT, Friday, August 28, the Space Shuttle Discovery began a long arc into a cloudy sky. Following the launch, a bright and remarkably colorful trail was captured in this time exposure from the Banana River Viewing Site, looking east toward pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. On STS-128, Discovery docked with the International Space Station Sunday evening. The 13-day mission will exchange space station crew members and deliver more than 7 tons of supplies and equipment. Of course, the equipment includes the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT).

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  #1019  
Παλιά 03-09-09, 08:45
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Despina, Moon of Neptune
Credit: NASA, JPL, Ted Stryk

Explanation: Despina is a tiny moon of Neptune. A mere 148 kilometers across, diminutive Despina was discovered in 1989, in images from the Voyager 2 spacecraft taken during its encounter with the solar system's most distant gas giant planet. But looking through the Voyager 2 data 20 years later, amateur image processor (and philosophy professor) Ted Stryk discovered something no one had recognized before -- images that show the shadow of Despina in transit across Neptune's blue cloud tops. His composite view of Despina and its shadow is composed of four archival frames taken on August 24, 1989, separated by nine minutes. Despina itself has been artificially brightened to make it easier to see. In ancient Greek mythology, Despina is a daughter of Poseidon (the Roman god Neptune).

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  #1020  
Παλιά 04-09-09, 09:27
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6 Years of Saturn
Credit & Copyright: Alan Friedman

Explanation: Today, planet Earth passes through the plane of Saturn's rings. From the perspective of earthbound astronomers, Saturn's rings will be edge-on. The problem is, Saturn itself is now very close to the Sun, low on horizon after sunset, so good telescopic images will be difficult to come by. Still, this composite of Saturn views taken from 2004 - 2009 (lower right to upper left) illustrates the change in ring tilt over the last six years and includes a nearly edge-on ring view, based on images captured earlier this year. While Saturn's south pole is clearly seen in the sequence, particularly at the lower right, it will be hidden in the coming years. Saturn's north pole will be increasingly visible, along with the tilting rings, as the planet emerges this fall in the predawn sky.

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