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Εργαλεία Θεμάτων Τρόποι εμφάνισης
  #1711  
Παλιά 19-06-11, 08:27
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 19

The Regolith of Asteroid Eros
Credit: NEAR Project, JHU APL, NASA
Explanation: From fifty kilometers above asteroid Eros, the surface inside one of its largest craters appears covered with an unusual substance: regolith. The thickness and composition of the surface dust that is regolith remains a topic of much research. Much of the regolith on 433 Eros was probably created by numerous small impacts during its long history. In this representative-color view taken by the robot spacecraft NEAR-SHOEMAKER that orbited Eros in 2000 and 2001, brown areas indicate regolith that has been chemically altered by exposure to the solar wind during micrometeorite impacts. White areas are thought to have undergone relatively less exposure. The boulders visible inside the crater appear brown, indicating either that they are old enough to have a surface itself tanned by the solar wind, or that they have somehow become covered with some dark surface dust. This July, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will orbit giant main belt asteroid Vesta.

Tomorrow's picture: last roll out

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  #1712  
Παλιά 20-06-11, 08:32
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 20

Last Roll Out of a NASA Space Shuttle
Credit & Copyright: Ben Cooper (Launch Photography)
Explanation: In the final move of its kind, NASA's space shuttle Atlantis was photographed earlier this month slowly advancing toward Launch Pad 39A, where it is currently scheduled for a July launch to the International Space Station. The mission, designated STS-135, is the 135th and last mission for a NASA space shuttle. Atlantis and its four-person crew will be carrying, among other things, the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello to bring key components and supplies to the ISS. Pictured above, the large Shuttle Crawler Transporter rolls the powerful orbiter along the five-kilometer long road at less than two kilometers per hour. Over 15,000 spectators, some visible on the right, were on hand for the historic roll out.

Tomorrow's picture: all the sunsets

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  #1713  
Παλιά 21-06-11, 08:30
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 21

Eclipsed Moonlight
Image Credit & Copyright: Javier Algarra
Explanation: A celestial prelude to today's solstice, the June 15 total lunar eclipse was one of the longest in recent years. It was also one of the darkest, but not completely dark. Even during totality, a somber, red lunar disk could be seen in the starry night sky, reflecting reddened light falling on to its surface. Seen from a lunar perspective, the ruddy illumination is from all the sunsets and sunrises around the edges of a silhouetted Earth. In this sharp portrait of the eclipsed Moon from Granada, Spain, the Moon's edge reflects a bluish tinge as well as it emerges from Earth's umbral shadow. The bluer light is still filtered through Earth's atmosphere, but originates in rays of sunlight passing through layers high in the upper stratosphere. That light is colored by ozone that absorbs red light and transmits bluer hues.

Tomorrow's picture: Degas view

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  #1714  
Παλιά 22-06-11, 08:27
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 22

MESSENGER's Degas View
Credit: NASA/JHU APL/CIW
Explanation: Now imaging inner planet Mercury from orbit, the MESSENGER spacecraft wide angle camera has returned this impressive color view of Degas Crater, with a full resolution of 90 meters per pixel. Named for the impressionist painter, the 52 kilometer diameter crater is also shown in an inset context image from the Mariner 10 flyby mission in the mid 1970s. In MESSENGER's view, the crater floor is seen to be filled with an intricate series of cracks, formed as the molten surface resulting from the impact cooled and contracted. Starkly bright, patchy deposits, suggesting compositional differences and freshly exposed material, standout around the crater's central peaks and walls. Details of similar bright deposits are seen in even higher resolution images from MESSENGER.

Tomorrow's picture: 3D Thursday

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maralin (22-06-11)
  #1715  
Παλιά 23-06-11, 07:52
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 23

Stereo Helene
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA; Stereo Image by Roberto Beltramini
Explanation: Get out your red/blue glasses and float next to Helene, small, icy moon of Saturn. Appropriately named, Helene is one of four known Trojan moons, so called because it orbits at a Lagrange point. A Lagrange point is a gravitationally stable position near two massive bodies, in this case Saturn and larger moon Dione. In fact, irregularly shaped ( about 36 by 32 by 30 kilometers) Helene orbits at Dione's leading Lagrange point while brotherly ice moon Polydeuces follows at Dione's trailing Lagrange point. The sharp stereo anaglyph was constructed from two Cassini images (N00172886, N00172892) captured during the recent close flyby. It shows part of the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Helene mottled with craters and gully-like features.

Tomorrow's picture: below the plough

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  #1716  
Παλιά 24-06-11, 09:20
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 24

The Big Dipper
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo
Explanation: The best known asterism in northern skies, The Big Dipper is easy to recognize, though some might see The Plough. Either way, the star names and the familiar outlines will appear in this thoughtfully composed 24 frame mosaic when you slide your cursor over the image. Dubhe, alpha star of the dipper's parent constellation Ursa Major is at the upper right. Together with beta star Merak below, the two form a line pointing the way to Polaris and the North Celestial Pole off the top edge of the field. Notable too in skygazing lore Mizar, second star from the left in the dipper's handle, forms a vision-testing visual double star with apparently close Alcor. Also identified in the famous star field are Messier catalog objects. Download the higher resolution image to hunt for exquisite views of some of Messier's distant spiral galaxies and a more local owl.

Tomorrow's picture: in progress

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  #1717  
Παλιά 25-06-11, 10:07
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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.
2011 June 25

Eclipse over the Acropolis
Image Credit & Copyright: Elias Politis
Explanation: The total phase of the June 15 lunar eclipse lasted an impressive 100 minutes. Its entire duration is covered in this composite of a regular sequence of digital camera exposures, tracking the dark lunar disk as it arced above the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. In fact, around 270 BCE Greek astronomer Aristarchus also tracked the duration of lunar eclipses, though without the benefit of digital clocks and cameras. Still, using geometry, he devised a simple and impressively accurate way to calculate the Moon's distance, in terms of the radius of planet Earth, from the eclipse duration. A more modern Greek astronomer, Elias Politis titled this eclipse duration study and the accompanying youtube timelapse video "Acropoclipse".

What was that?: Help identify a mystery flash seen on Mauna Kea
Tomorrow's picture: eight burst nebula

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  #1718  
Παλιά 26-06-11, 08:52
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 26

NGC 3132: The Eight Burst Nebula
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Explanation: It's the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of NGC 3132 that created this odd but beautiful planetary nebula. Nicknamed the Eight-Burst Nebula and the Southern Ring Nebula, the glowing gas originated in the outer layers of a star like our Sun. In this representative color picture, the hot blue pool of light seen surrounding this binary system is energized by the hot surface of the faint star. Although photographed to explore unusual symmetries, it's the asymmetries that help make this planetary nebula so intriguing. Neither the unusual shape of the surrounding cooler shell nor the structure and placements of the cool filamentary dust lanes running across NGC 3132 are well understood.

Tomorrow's picture: a dusty crown

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Σχόλιο : Μια ακόμα μαγική εικόνα από το Hubble.
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  #1719  
Παλιά 27-06-11, 08:08
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 27

Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis
Credit & Copyright: Leonardo Julio (Astronomia Pampeana)
Explanation: Cosmic dust clouds sprawl across a rich field of stars in this sweeping telescopic vista near the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. Probably less than 500 light-years away and effectively blocking light from more distant, background stars in the Milky Way, the densest part of the dust cloud is about 8 light-years long. At its tip (upper right) is a group of lovely reflection nebulae cataloged as NGC 6726, 6727, 6729, and IC 4812. A characteristic blue color is produced as light from hot stars is reflected by the cosmic dust. The smaller yellowish nebula (NGC 6729) surrounds young variable star R Coronae Australis. Magnificent globular star cluster NGC 6723 is toward the upper right corner of the view. While NGC 6723 appears to be part of the group, it actually lies nearly 30,000 light-years away, far beyond the Corona Australis dust clouds.

Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space

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  #1720  
Παλιά 28-06-11, 09:01
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 28

Stardust and Betelgeuse
ESO, Pierre Kervella (LESIA, Observatoire de Paris), et al.
Explanation: An expansive nebula of dust is seen to surround red supergiant star Betegeuse in this remarkable high resolution composite, an infrared VLT image from the European Southern Observatory. Betelgeuse itself is outlined by the small, central red circle. If found in our own solar system its diameter would almost encompass the orbit of Jupiter. But the larger envelope of circumstellar dust extends some 60 billion kilometers into space, equivalent to about 400 times the Earth-Sun distance. The dust is likely formed as the swollen atmosphere of the supergiant sheds material into space, a final phase in the evolution of a massive star. Mixing with the interstellar medium, the dust could ultimately form rocky terrestrial planets like Earth. The central bright portion of the outer image has been masked to reveal fainter extended structures. The field of view is 5.63 arcseconds across.

Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space

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  #1721  
Παλιά 29-06-11, 08:31
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 29

Abell 2744: Pandora's Cluster of Galaxies
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Merten (ITA, AOB), & D. Coe (STScI)
Explanation: Why is this cluster of galaxies so jumbled? Far from a smooth distribution, Abell 2744 not only has knots of galaxies, but the X-ray emitting hot gas (colored red) in the cluster appears distributed differently than the dark matter. The dark matter, taking up over 75 percent of the cluster mass and colored blue in the above image, was inferred by that needed to create the distortion of background galaxies by gravitational lensing. The jumble appears to result from the slow motion collision of at least four smaller galaxy clusters over the past few billion years. The above picture combines optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope with X-ray images from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Abell 2744, dubbed Pandora's cluster, spans over two million light years and can best be seen with a really large telescope toward the constellation of the Sculptor.

Tomorrow's picture: open space

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  #1722  
Παλιά 30-06-11, 08:20
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 June 28

Star Factory Messier 17
Credit: ESO, INAF-VST, OmegaCAM
Acknowledgement: OmegaCen/Astro-WISE/Kapteyn Institute
Explanation: Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, the star factory known as Messier 17 lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this degree wide field of view spans almost 100 light-years, courtesy of ESO's new VLT Survey Telescope and OmegaCAM. The sharp, false color image includes both optical and infrared data, following faint details of the region's gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way stars. Stellar winds and energetic light from hot, massive stars formed from M17's stock of cosmic gas and dust have slowly carved away at the remaining interstellar material producing the cavernous appearance and undulating shapes. M17 is also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula.

Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space

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  #1723  
Παλιά 01-07-11, 08:37
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 July 1

VAR!
Credit: E. Hubble, NASA, ESA, R. Gendler, Z. Levay and the Hubble Heritage Team
Explanation: In the 1920s, examining photographic plates from the Mt. Wilson Observatory's 100 inch telescope, Edwin Hubble determined the distance to the Andromeda Nebula, decisively demonstrating the existence of other galaxies far beyond the Milky Way. His notations are evident on the historic plate image inset at the lower right, shown in context with ground based and Hubble Space Telescope images of the region made nearly 90 years later. By intercomparing different plates, Hubble searched for novae, stars which underwent a sudden increase in brightness. He found several on this plate and marked them with an "N". Later, discovering that the one near the upper right corner (marked by lines) was actually a type of variable star known as a cepheid, he crossed out the "N" and wrote "VAR!". Thanks to the work of Harvard astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, cepheids, regularly varying pulsating stars, could be used as standard candle distance indicators. Identifying such a star allowed Hubble to show that Andromeda was not a small cluster of stars and gas within our own galaxy, but a large galaxy in its own right at a substantial distance from the Milky Way. Hubble's discovery is responsible for establishing our modern concept of a Universe filled with galaxies.

Tomorrow's picture: crescents in the morning

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  #1724  
Παλιά 02-07-11, 08:35
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2011 July 2

Moon and Venus at Dawn
Credit: Image Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN)
Explanation: Brilliant Venus and a thin crescent Moon stood together above the eastern horizon just before sunrise on June 30. The lovely celestial pairing is captured in this colorful twilight skyview overlooking a reservoir near Izmir, Turkey. For some, the close conjunction could be viewed as a daylight occultation. While Venus is nearing the end of its latest performance as planet Earth's morning star, the old lunar cresent, about 24 hours from its New Moon phase, was also bidding farewell for now to the dawn. In fact, for the next two nights a young Moon can be spotted just after sunset. Look for a thin sunlit sliver close to the western horizon, not far from bright planet Mercury.

Tomorrow's picture: closest star to the Sun

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  #1725  
Παλιά 03-07-11, 09:14
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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.
2011 July 3

Alpha Centauri: The Closest Star System
Image Credit: 1-Meter Schmidt Telescope, ESO
Explanation: The closest star system to the Sun is the Alpha Centauri system. Of the three stars in the system, the dimmest -- called Proxima Centauri -- is actually the nearest star. The bright stars Alpha Centauri A and B form a close binary as they are separated by only 23 times the Earth- Sun distance - slightly greater than the distance between Uranus and the Sun. In the above picture, the brightness of the stars overwhelm the photograph causing an illusion of great size, even though the stars are really just small points of light. The Alpha Centauri system is not visible in much of the northern hemisphere. Alpha Centauri A, also known as Rigil Kentaurus, is the brightest star in the constellation of Centaurus and is the fourth brightest star in the night sky. Sirius is the brightest even thought it is more than twice as far away. By an exciting coincidence, Alpha Centauri A is the same type of star as our Sun, causing many to speculate that it might contain planets that harbor life.

Tomorrow's picture: ocean sky

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