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Εργαλεία Θεμάτων Τρόποι εμφάνισης
  #1141  
Παλιά 24-12-09, 08:10
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Gamma Cas and Friends
Credit & Copyright: Processing - Noel Carboni, Imaging - Greg Parker, New Forest Observatory

Explanation: Gamma Cassiopeiae shines high in northern autumn evening skies. The brightest spiky star in this rich and colorful Milky Way starfield, bluish Gamma Cas marks the central peak in the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia. A hot, variable, and rapidly rotating star about 600 light-years distant, Gamma Cas also ionizes surrounding interstellar material, including the wispy IC 63 (left) and IC 59 emission and reflection nebulae. The two faint nebulae are physically close to Gamma Cas, separated from the star by only a few light-years. This well-composed, wide-field view of the region spans almost 2 degrees on the sky.

Πηγή

Σχόλιο : Να ήταν άραγε τόσο φωτεινό, το άστρο που έκανε τους Μελχιόρ, Γάσπαρ και Βαλτάσαρ, να ξεκινήσουν από τόσο μακριά, για να προσκυνήσουν στην Βηθλεέμ τον μικρό Ιησού;



Καλά Χριστούγεννα
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  #1142  
Παλιά 25-12-09, 09:12
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A Graceful Arc
Credit & Copyright: Tony Hallas

Explanation: The graceful arc of the Milky Way begins and ends at two mountain peaks in this solemn night sky panorama. Created from a 24 frame mosaic, exposures tracking Earth and sky were made separately, with northern California's Mount Lassen at the left and Mount Shasta at the far right, just below the star and dust clouds of the galactic center. Lassen and Shasta are volcanoes in the Cascade Mountain Range of North America, an arc of the volcanic Pacific Ring of Fire. In the dim, snow-capped peaks, planet Earth seems to echo the subtle glow of the Milky Way's own faint, unresolved starlight.

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CORSAIR (25-12-09)
  #1143  
Παλιά 26-12-09, 09:11
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M51 Hubble Remix
S. Beckwith (STScI), Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, NASA
Additional Processing: Robert Gendler

Explanation: The 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog is perhaps the original spiral nebula - a large galaxy with a well defined spiral structure also cataloged as NGC 5194. Over 60,000 light-years across, M51's spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (right), NGC 5195. Image data from the Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys has been reprocessed to produce this alternative portrait of the well-known interacting galaxy pair. The processing has further sharpened details and enhanced color and contrast in otherwise faint areas, bringing out dust lanes and extended streams that cross the small companion, along with features in the surroundings and core of M51 itself. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant. Not far on the sky from the handle of the Big Dipper, they officially lie within the boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici.

Πηγή

Σχόλιο : Το λέω και το ξαναλέω, αυτή η αναβάθμιση του Hubble, μας προσφέρει μερικές μοναδικές εικόνες από το διάστημα.
Καμιά άλλη διαστημική προσπάθεια δεν απέδωσε περισσότερα στην αστρονομία, όσο αυτό το τηλεσκόπιο.
Hubble ευχαριστούμε.
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  #1144  
Παλιά 27-12-09, 08:25
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The Cat's Eye Nebula
Credit: J. P. Harrington (U. Maryland) & K. J. Borkowski (NCSU) HST, NASA

Explanation: Three thousand light-years away, a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals the Cat's Eye Nebula to be one of the most complex planetary nebulae known. In fact, the features seen in the Cat's Eye are so complex that astronomers suspect the bright central object may actually be a binary star system. The term planetary nebula, used to describe this general class of objects, is misleading. Although these objects may appear round and planet-like in small telescopes, high resolution images reveal them to be stars surrounded by cocoons of gas blown off in the late stages of stellar evolution.

Πηγή
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  #1145  
Παλιά 28-12-09, 08:36
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Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Explanation: Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a modest central bar. Prominently barred spiral galaxy NGC 6217, pictured above, was captured in spectacular detail in this recently released image taken by the newly repaired Advanced Camera for Surveys on the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. Visible are dark filamentary dust lanes, young clusters of bright blue stars, red emission nebulas of glowing hydrogen gas, a long bright bar of stars across the center, and a bright active nucleus that likely houses a supermassive black hole. Light takes about 60 million years to reach us from NGC 6217, which spans about 30,000 light years across and can be found toward the constellation of the Little Bear (Ursa Minor).

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  #1146  
Παλιά 29-12-09, 08:21
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Rigel and the Witch Head Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

Explanation: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble -- maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. This suggestively shaped reflection nebula on the lower left is associated with the bright star Rigel, to its right, in the constellation Orion. More formally known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula glows primarily by light reflected from Rigel. Fine dust in the nebula reflects the light. Pictured above, the blue color of the Witch Head Nebula and of the dust surrounding Rigel is caused not only by Rigel's blue color but because the dust grains reflect blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earth's daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in Earth's atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. Rigel, the Witch Head Nebula, and gas and dust that surrounds them lie about 800 light-years away.

Πηγή

Σχόλιο : Η NASA κάθε χρόνο, μας στέλνει τις καλύτερες φωτογραφίες της, στο αφιέρωμα, "Astronomy Picture of the Day", στο διάστημα από τις παραμονές των Χριστουγέννων μέχρι την Πρωτοχρονιά.
Παρακολουθώ αυτην την σελίδα από το ξεκίνημα της το 1995 και μπορούν όσοι έχουν την διάθεση να τα βρούν όλα συγκεντρωμένα εδώ.
Είναι μια εξαιρετική συλλογή διαστημικών φωτογραφειών.

NASA thank you.
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  #1147  
Παλιά 30-12-09, 08:51
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Spitzer's M101
NASA, JPL-Caltech, K. Gordon (STScI) et al.

Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is one of the last entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog, but definitely not one of the least. About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. M101 was also one of the original spiral nebulae observed by Lord Rosse's large 19th century telescope, the Leviathan of Parsontown. Recorded at infrared wavelengths by the Spitzer Space telescope, this 21st century view shows starlight in blue hues while the galaxy's dust clouds are in red. Examining the dust features in the outer rim of the galaxy, astronomers have found that organic molecules present throughout the rest of M101 are lacking. The organic molecules tracked by Spitzer's instruments are called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Of course, PAHs are common components of dust in the Milky Way and on planet Earth are found in soot. PAHs are likely destroyed near the outer edges of M101 by energetic radiation in intense star forming regions. Also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101 lies within the boundaries of the northern constellation Ursa Major, about 25 million light-years away.

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  #1148  
Παλιά 31-12-09, 08:48
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Dust and the Helix Nebula
NASA, JPL-Caltech, Kate Su (Steward Obs, U. Arizona) et al.

Explanation: Dust makes this cosmic eye look red. The eerie Spitzer Space Telescope image shows infrared radiation from the well-studied Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) a mere 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. The two light-year diameter shroud of dust and gas around a central white dwarf has long been considered an excellent example of a planetary nebula, representing the final stages in the evolution of a sun-like star. But the Spitzer data show the nebula's central star itself is immersed in a surprisingly bright infrared glow. Models suggest the glow is produced by a dust debris disk. Even though the nebular material was ejected from the star many thousands of years ago, the close-in dust could be generated by collisions in a reservoir of objects analogous to our own solar system's Kuiper Belt or cometary Oort cloud. Formed in the distant planetary system, the comet-like bodies would have otherwise survived even the dramatic late stages of the star's evolution.

Πηγή

Σχόλιο : Oh Dio....
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  #1149  
Παλιά 02-01-10, 10:11
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Not a Blue Moon
Credit & Copyright: Stefano De Rosa

Explanation: This bright Full Moon was captured on December 2nd, shining above a church overlooking the River Po, in Turin, Italy, It was the first Full Moon in December. Shining on celebrations of New Year's Eve, last night's Full Moon was the second Full Moon of December and so fits the modern definition of a Blue Moon - the second Full Moon in a month. Because the lunar cycle, Full Moon to Full Moon, spans 29.5 days, Blue Moons tend to occur in some month about every 2.5 years. Shining in the glare just above and right of December's first Full Moon is the Pleiades star cluster.

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  #1150  
Παλιά 02-01-10, 10:13
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Blue Moon Eclipse
Credit & Copyright: Jean Paul Roux

Explanation: The International Year of Astronomy 2009 ended with a Blue Moon and a partial lunar eclipse, as the second Full Moon of December grazed the Earth's shadow on December 31st. The New Year's Eve Blue Moon eclipse was visible throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and parts of Alaska, captured in this two exposure composite in cloudy skies over Saint Bonnet de Mure, France. Playing across the Moon's southern reaches, the edge of Earth's umbra, or dark central shadow, appears on the right side along with the prominent ray crater Tycho. At maximum eclipse, the umbra covered only about 8 percent of the diameter of the lunar disk.

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  #1151  
Παλιά 03-01-10, 07:55
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A Force from Empty Space: The Casimir Effect
Credit & Copyright: Umar Mohideen (U. California at Riverside)

Explanation: This tiny ball provides evidence that the universe will expand forever. Measuring slightly over one tenth of a millimeter, the ball moves toward a smooth plate in response to energy fluctuations in the vacuum of empty space. The attraction is known as the Casimir Effect, named for its discoverer, who, 50 years ago, was trying to understand why fluids like mayonnaise move so slowly. Today, evidence is accumulating that most of the energy density in the universe is in an unknown form dubbed dark energy. The form and genesis of dark energy is almost completely unknown, but postulated as related to vacuum fluctuations similar to the Casimir Effect but generated somehow by space itself. This vast and mysterious dark energy appears to gravitationally repel all matter and hence will likely cause the universe to expand forever. Understanding vacuum fluctuations is on the forefront of research not only to better understand our universe but also for stopping micro-mechanical machine parts from sticking together.


Note: An APOD editor will review astronomy images of 2009,
hosted by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York on Friday, January 8 at the American Museum of Natural History, NYC.

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  #1152  
Παλιά 04-01-10, 09:54
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Comet Halley's Nucleus: An Orbiting Iceberg
Credit & Copyright: Halley Multicolor Camera Team, Giotto Project, ESA

Explanation: What does a comet nucleus look like? Formed from the primordial stuff of the Solar System, comet nuclei were thought to resemble very dirty icebergs. But ground-based telescopes revealed only the surrounding cloud of gas and dust of active comets nearing the Sun, clearly resolving only the comet's coma, and the characteristic cometary tails. In 1986, however, the European spacecraft Giotto became one of the first group of spacecraft ever to encounter and photograph the nucleus of a comet, passing and imaging Halley's nucleus as it approached the sun. Data from Giotto's camera was used to generate this enhanced image of the potato shaped nucleus that measures roughly 15 kilometers across. Some surface features on the dark nucleus are on the right, while gas and dust flowing into Halley's coma are on the left. Every 76 years Comet Halley returns to the inner solar system and each time the nucleus sheds about a 6-meter deep layer of its ice and rock into space. This debris shed from Halley's nucleus eventually disperses into an orbiting trail responsible for the Orionids meteor shower, in October of every year, and the Eta Aquariids meteor shower every May.

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  #1153  
Παλιά 05-01-10, 08:37
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A Roll Cloud Over Uruguay
Credit & Copyright: Daniela Mirner Eberl

Explanation: What kind of cloud is this? A roll cloud. These rare long clouds may form near advancing cold fronts. In particular, a downdraft from an advancing storm front can cause moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point, and so form a cloud. When this happens uniformly along an extended front, a roll cloud may form. Roll clouds may actually have air circulating along the long horizontal axis of the cloud. A roll cloud is not thought to be able to morph into a tornado. Unlike a similar shelf cloud, a roll cloud, a type of Arcus cloud, is completely detached from their parent cumulonimbus cloud. Pictured above, a roll cloud extends far into the distance in 2009 January above Las Olas Beach in Maldonado, Uruguay.

http://www.acrobase.gr/showthread.php?t=29641
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Alaman (05-01-10)
  #1154  
Παλιά 06-01-10, 08:31
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The Spotty Surface of Betelgeuse
Credit: Xavier Haubois (Observatoire de Paris) et al.

Explanation: Betelgeuse really is a big star. If placed at the center of our Solar System it would extend to the orbit of Jupiter. But like all stars except the Sun, Betelgeuse is so distant it usually appears as a single point of light, even in large telescopes. Still, astronomers using interferometry at infrared wavelengths can resolve the surface of Betelgeuse and reconstructed this image of the red supergiant. The intriguing picture shows two, large, bright, star spots. The spots potentially represent enormous convective cells rising from below the supergiant's surface. They are bright because they're hotter than the rest of the surface, but both spots and surface are cooler than the Sun. Also known as Alpha Orionis, Betelgeuse is about 600 light-years away.

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  #1155  
Παλιά 07-01-10, 09:21
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The Tail of the Small Magellanic Cloud
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / STScI

Explanation: A satellite galaxy of our Milky Way, the Small Magellanic Cloud is wonder of the southern sky, named for 16th century Portuguese circumnavigator Ferdinand Magellan. Some 200,000 light-years distant in the constellation Tucana, the small irregular galaxy's stars, gas, and dust that lie along a bar and extended "wing", are familiar in images from optical telescopes. But the galaxy also has a tail. Explored in this false-color, infrared mosaic from the Spitzer Space Telescope, the tail extends to the right of the more familiar bar and wing. Likely stripped from the galaxy by gravitational tides, the tail contains mostly gas, dust, and newly formed stars. Two clusters of newly formed stars, warming their surrounding natal dust clouds, are seen in the tail as red spots.

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