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  #991  
Παλιά 06-08-09, 08:57
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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Galaxies in Pegasus
Credit & Copyright: Dietmar Hager

Explanation: This wide, sharp telescopic view reveals galaxies scattered beyond the stars at the northern boundary of the high-flying constellation Pegasus. Prominent at the upper right is NGC 7331. A mere 50 million light-years away, the large spiral is one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog. The disturbed looking group of galaxies at the lower left is well-known as Stephan's Quintet. About 300 million light-years distant, the quintet dramatically illustrates a multiple galaxy collision, its powerful, ongoing interactions posed for a brief cosmic snapshot. On the sky, the quintet and NGC 7331 are separated by about half a degree.

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  #992  
Παλιά 07-08-09, 08:47
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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The Star Clusters of NGC 1313
Credit: NASA, ESA, Anne Pellerin (STScI)

Explanation: Like grains of sand on a cosmic beach, individual stars of barred spiral galaxy NGC 1313 are resolved in this sharp composite from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The inner region of the galaxy is pictured, spanning about 10,000 light-years. Hubble's unique ability to distinguish individual stars in the 14 million light-year distant galaxy has been used to unravel the fate of star clusters whose bright young stars are spread through the disk of the galaxy as the clusters dissolve. The exploration of stars and clusters in external galaxy NGC 1313 offers clues to star formation and star cluster evolution in our own Milky Way.

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  #993  
Παλιά 08-08-09, 09:24
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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Diamonds in a Cloudy Sky
Credit & Copyright: Óscar Martín Mesonero (OSAE), SAROS Group

Explanation: Cloudy skies over Wuhan, China hid the delicate solar corona during July's total eclipse of the Sun. Still, the Moon's silhouette was highlighted by these glistening diamonds as the total eclipse phase ended. Caused by bright sunlight streaming through dips and valleys in the irregular terrain along the Moon's edge, the effect is known as Baily's Beads, named after Francis Baily who called attention to the phenomenon in 1836. The dramatic appearance of the beads at the beginning or end of a total solar eclipse is also known as the Diamond Ring effect. In this remarkable image, a small, pinkish solar prominence can also be seen along the edge, below the diamonds.

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  #994  
Παλιά 09-08-09, 10:02
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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Saturn's Iapetus: Painted Moon
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation: What has happened to Saturn's moon Iapetus? Vast sections of this strange world are dark as coal, while others are as bright as ice. The composition of the dark material is unknown, but infrared spectra indicate that it possibly contains some dark form of carbon. Iapetus also has an unusual equatorial ridge that makes it appear like a walnut. To help better understand this seemingly painted moon, NASA directed the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn to swoop within 2,000 kilometers in 2007. Pictured above, from about 75,000 kilometers out, Cassini's trajectory allowed unprecedented imaging of the hemisphere of Iapetus that is always trailing. A huge impact crater seen in the south spans a tremendous 450 kilometers and appears superposed on an older crater of similar size. The dark material is seen increasingly coating the easternmost part of Iapetus, darkening craters and highlands alike. Close inspection indicates that the dark coating typically faces the moon's equator and is less than a meter thick. A leading hypothesis is that the dark material is mostly dirt leftover when relatively warm but dirty ice sublimates. An initial coating of dark material may have been effectively painted on by the accretion of meteor-liberated debris from other moons. This and other images from Cassini's Iapetus flyby are being studied for even greater clues.

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  #995  
Παλιά 10-08-09, 08:46
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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Moonbow and Rainbows Over Patagonia
Credit & Copyright: Stéphane Guisard (Los Cielos de Chile)

Explanation: Have you ever seen a moonbow? Just as rainbows are lit by the Sun, moonbows are lit by the Moon. Since the Sun is so much brighter than the Moon, sunlit rainbows are much brighter and more commonly seen than moonbows. The above movie captures not only a moonbow, but several rainbows, moving clouds, and the starry sky visible in 2009 February over Patagonia in Chile. The slight movement of the rainbows is due to the changing sky position of the Sun. Since moonlight is itself reflected sunlight, the colors are nearly the same. Both rainbows and moonbows are created by light being scattered inside small water droplets, typically from a nearby rainfall. The raindrops each act as miniature prisms, together creating the picturesque spectrum of colors seen.

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  #996  
Παλιά 11-08-09, 08:55
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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Inside Barringer Meteor Crater
Credit & Copyright: Tony Rowell

Explanation: What happens when a meteor hits the ground? Usually nothing much, as most meteors are small, and indentations they make are soon eroded away. About 50,000 years ago, however, a large meteor created Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona, USA. Also known simply as Meteor Crater, the resulting impact basin spans over a kilometer. Pictured above, a tour group views the inside of Barringer Crater early last year. In 1920, Barringer Crater was the first feature on Earth to be recognized as an impact crater. Today, over 100 terrestrial impact features have been identified over planet Earth. Computer modeling indicates that some of the Canyon Diablo impactor melted during the impact that created Barringer.

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  #997  
Παλιά 12-08-09, 08:38
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Irregular Galaxy NGC 55
Credit & Copyright: Don Goldman

Explanation: Irregular galaxy NGC 55 is thought to be similar to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). But while the LMC is about 180,000 light-years away and is a well known satellite of our own Milky Way Galaxy, NGC 55 is more like 6 million light-years distant and is a member of the Sculptor Galaxy Group. Classified as an irregular galaxy, in deep exposures the LMC itself resembles a barred disk galaxy. However, spanning about 50,000 light-years, NGC 55 is seen nearly edge-on, presenting a flattened, narrow profile in contrast with our face-on view of the LMC. Just as large star forming regions create emission nebulae in the LMC, NGC 55 is also seen to be producing new stars. This higly detailed galaxy portrait highlights a bright core crossed with dust clouds, telltale pinkish star forming regions, and young blue star clusters in NGC 55.

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  #998  
Παλιά 13-08-09, 08:49
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Τελευταία φορά Online: Χθες 19:35
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Block Island Meteorite on Mars
Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, JPL, NASA

Explanation: What is this strange rock on Mars? Sitting on a smooth plane, the rock stands out for its isolation, odd shape, large size and unusual texture. The rock was discovered by the robotic Opportunity rover rolling across Mars late last month. Pictured above, Opportunity prepares to inspect the unusual rock. After being X-rayed, poked, and chemically analyzed, the rock has now been identified by Opportunity as a fallen meteorite. Now dubbed Block Island, the meteorite has been measured to be about 2/3 of a meter across and is now known to be composed mostly of nickel and iron. This is the second meteorite found by a martian rover, and so far the largest. Vast smooth spaces on Mars and Earth can make large meteorites stand out. Opportunity continues its trip across Meridiani Planum on Mars and is on schedule to reach expansive Endeavor Crater next year.

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  #999  
Παλιά 15-08-09, 09:11
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 15-06-21 10:41
Φύλο: Γυναίκα


Meteor by Moonlight
Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: Dark skies are favored for viewing meteor showers. But the annual Perseid Meteor Shower still entertained skygazers around the world this week even though the Moon brightened the night. At its last quarter phase and rising around midnight on August 13, after the shower's anticipated peak, the Moon is seen here above rock formations in the Alborz Mountains near Firouzkooh, Iran. With a dramatic desert landscape in the foreground, a Perseid meteor is streaking through the moonlit sky between the overexposed Moon and bright planet Jupiter at the upper right. A regular celestial event in the northern hemisphere, the Perseid Meteor Shower is caused by planet Earth's yearly passage through the dust stream cast off by comet Swift-Tuttle.

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Τελευταία επεξεργασία από το χρήστη pazo : 15-08-09 στις 17:40
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  #1000  
Παλιά 16-08-09, 08:40
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-12-17 20:48
Φύλο: Γυναίκα
2009 August 16


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A Laser Strike at the Galactic Center
Credit: Yuri Beletsky (ESO)

Explanation: Why are these people shooting a powerful laser into the center of our Galaxy? Fortunately, this is not meant to be the first step in a Galactic war. Rather, astronomers at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) site in Chile are trying to measure the distortions of Earth's ever changing atmosphere. Constant imaging of high-altitude atoms excited by the laser -- which appear like an artificial star -- allow astronomers to instantly measure atmospheric blurring. This information is fed back to a VLT telescope mirror which is then slightly deformed to minimize this blurring. In this case, a VLT was observing our Galaxy's center, and so Earth's atmospheric blurring in that direction was needed. As for inter-galaxy warfare, when viewed from our Galaxy's center, no casualties are expected. In fact, the light from this powerful laser would combine with light from our Sun to together appear only as bright as a faint and distant star.

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Τελευταία επεξεργασία από το χρήστη pazo : 16-08-09 στις 09:17
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  #1001  
Παλιά 17-08-09, 09:36
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Τελευταία φορά Online: Χθες 19:35
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Perseids from Perseus
Credit & Copyright: Chris Peterson (Cloudbait Observatory)

Explanation: Where are all of these meteors coming from? In terms of direction on the sky, the pointed answer is the constellation of Perseus. That is why the last week's meteor shower was known as the Perseids -- the meteors all appear to come from a radiant toward Perseus. Three dimensionally, however, sand-sized debris expelled from Comet Swift-Tuttle follows a well-defined orbit about our Sun, and the part of the orbit that approaches Earth is superposed in front of the Perseus. Therefore, when Earth crosses this orbit, the radiant point of falling debris appears in Perseus. Pictured above, a composite image of this year's Pereids meteor shower shows many bright meteors that streaked through the sky on August 12. To the surprise of many, the next night, August 13, also showed many meteors, as demonstrated by rolling one's cursor over the above image. This year's Leonids meteor shower in November is expected by some to be exceptionally active, perhaps producing as many as 500 meteors per hour.

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  #1002  
Παλιά 18-08-09, 08:35
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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The Milky Way Over the Badlands
Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (AstroPics.com, TWAN)

Explanation: Why take a picture of just the Badlands when you can take one that also shows the spectacular sky above it? Just such a picture, actually a digital stitched panorama of four images, was taken in late June near midnight, looking southwest. In the foreground, the unusual buttes of the Badlands Wall, part of the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, USA, were momentarily illuminated by flashlight during a long duration exposure of the background night sky. The mountain-like buttes visible are composed of soft rock that show sharp erosion features from wind and water. The South Dakota Badlands also contain ancient beds rich with easy-to-find fossils. Some fossils are over 25 million years old and hold clues to the evolutionary origins of the horse and the saber-toothed tiger. Bright Jupiter dominates the sky on the left just above the buttes, while the spectacular Milky Way Galaxy runs down the image right.

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  #1003  
Παλιά 19-08-09, 08:28
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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IC 1396 and Surrounding Starfield
Credit & Copyright: Thomas W. Earle

Explanation: Sprawling across hundreds of light-years, emission nebula IC 1396, visible on the upper right, mixes glowing cosmic gas and dark dust clouds. Stars are forming in this area, only about 3,000 light-years from Earth. This wide angle view also captures surrounding emission and absorption nebula. The red glow in IC 1396 and across the image is created by cosmic hydrogen gas recapturing electrons knocked away by energetic starlight. The dark dust clouds are dense groups of smoke-like particles common in the disks of spiral galaxies. Among the intriguing dark shapes within IC 1396, the winding Elephant's Trunk nebula lies just right of the nebula's center. IC 1396 lies in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus.

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  #1004  
Παλιά 20-08-09, 09:07
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Eclipse City
Credit & Copyright: Alfred Lee

Explanation: During July 22nd's solar eclipse, the Moon's dark shadow traced a narrow path as it raced eastward across India and China and on into the Pacific. Hong Kong was south of the shadow's path, so a total eclipse was not visible there, but a partial eclipse was still enjoyed by inhabitants of the populous city. And while many were (safely!) watching the sky, images of the partially eclipsed Sun adorned the city itself. In this downlooking photo, taken at 9:40am local time, a remarkable array of solar eclipse views was created by reflection in a grid of eastward facing skyscraper windows. The photographer's location was the 27th floor of Two Pacific Place.

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  #1005  
Παλιά 21-08-09, 08:50
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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The Whale and the Hockey Stick
Credit & Copyright: Josef Poepsel, Stefan Binnewies (Capella Observatory)

Explanation: NGC 4631 is a big beautiful spiral galaxy seen edge-on (top right) only 25 million light-years away towards the small northern constellation Canes Venatici. This galaxy's slightly distorted wedge shape suggests to some a cosmic herring and to others the popular moniker of The Whale Galaxy. Either way, it is similar in size to our own Milky Way. In this gorgeous color image, the Whale's dark interstellar dust clouds, yellowish core, and young blue star clusters are easy to spot. A companion galaxy, the small elliptical NGC 4627, appears above the Whale Galaxy. At the lower left is another distorted galaxy, the hockey stick-shaped NGC 4656. The distortions and mingling trails of gas detected at other wavelengths suggest that all three galaxies have had close encounters with each other in their past. The Whale Galaxy is also known to have spouted a halo of hot gas glowing in x-rays.

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