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Εργαλεία Θεμάτων Τρόποι εμφάνισης
  #1486  
Παλιά 17-11-10, 08:33
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Frosted Leaf Orion
Credit & Copyright: Masahiro Miyasaka

Explanation: Sometimes, you can put some night sky in your art. Captured above Japan earlier this month, a picturesque night sky was photographed behind a picturesque frosted leaf. The reflecting ice crystals on the leaf coolly mimic the shining stars far in the background. The particular background sky on this 48-second wide angle exposure, however, might appear quite interesting and familiar. On the far left, although hard to find, appears a streaking meteor. Below and to the right of the meteor appears a longer and brighter streak of an airplane. The bright star on the left is the dog-star Sirius, the brightest star on the night sky. To Sirius' right appears the constellation of Orion, including the three linear belt stars below the red giant Betelgeuse. The bright patch of light further to the right is the Pleiades open star cluster. Similar views including the constellation Orion can be seen above much of the northern hemisphere for the next several months, although you might have to provide your own leaf.

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  #1487  
Παλιά 18-11-10, 08:21
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Sisters of the Dusty Sky
Credit & Copyright: John Davis

Explanation: Hurtling through a cosmic dust cloud some 400 light-years away, the lovely Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster is well-known for its striking blue reflection nebulae. In the dusty sky toward the constellation Taurus and the Orion Arm of our Milky Way Galaxy, this remarkable image shows the famous star cluster at the upper left. But lesser known dusty nebulae lie along the region's fertile molecular cloud, within the 10 degree wide field, including the bird-like visage of LBN 777 near center. Small bluish reflection nebula VdB 27 at the lower right is associated with the young, variable star RY Tau. At the distance of the Pleiades, the 5 panel mosaic spans nearly 70 light-years.

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  #1488  
Παλιά 19-11-10, 08:42
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Nebulae in the Northern Cross
Credit & Copyright: Rolf Geissinger

Explanation: Explore a beautiful and complex region of nebulae strewn along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy in this widefield skyscape. The image emphasizes cosmic gas clouds in a 25 by 25 degree view centered on the Northern Cross, the famous asterism in the constellation Cygnus. Bright, hot, supergiant star Deneb at the top of the cross, Sadr near the center, and beautiful Albireo run diagonally through the scene. Popular telescopic tour destinations such as the North America and Pelican emission regions, the Butterfly Nebula (IC 1318), and the Crescent and Veil nebulae can be identified by placing your cursor over the image. Silhouetted by the glowing interstellar clouds and crowded star fields, the dark Northern Coal Sack also stands out, part of a series of obscuring dust clouds forming the Great Rift in the Milky Way. These Northern Cross nebulosities are all located about 2,000 light-years away. Along with the Sun, they lie within the Orion spiral arm of our galaxy.

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  #1489  
Παλιά 20-11-10, 08:36
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Stephan's Quintet
Image Data: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing: Hunter Wilson

Explanation: The first identified compact galaxy group, Stephan's Quintet is featured in this eye-catching image constructed with data drawn from the extensive Hubble Legacy Archive. About 300 million light-years away, only four galaxies of the group are actually locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters. The odd man out is easy to spot, though. The four interacting galaxies (NGC 7319, 7318A, 7318B, and 7317) have an overall yellowish cast and tend to have distorted loops and tails, grown under the influence of disruptive gravitational tides. But the larger bluish galaxy, NGC 7320, is much closer than the others. Just 40 million light-years distant, it isn't part of the interacting group. In fact, individual stars in the foreground galaxy can be seen in the sharp Hubble view, hinting that it is much closer than the others. Stephan's Quintet lies within the boundaries of the high flying constellation Pegasus.

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  #1490  
Παλιά 21-11-10, 08:38
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A Massive Star in NGC 6357
Credit: NASA, ESA and J. M. Apellániz (IAA, Spain)

Explanation: For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. One such massive star, near the center of NGC 6357, is framed above carving out its own interstellar castle with its energetic light from surrounding gas and dust. In the greater nebula, the intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar winds, radiation pressures, magnetic fields, and gravity. The overall glow of the nebula results from the emission of light from ionized hydrogen gas. Near the more obvious Cat's Paw nebula, NGC 6357 houses the open star cluster Pismis 24, home to many of these tremendously bright and blue stars. The central part of NGC 6357 shown spans about 10 light years and lies about 8,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion.

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  #1491  
Παλιά 22-11-10, 08:28
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A Dark Dune Field in Proctor Crater on Mars
Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

Explanation: Was this image taken with a telescope or a microscope? Perhaps this clue will help: if the dark forms were bacteria, they would each span over football field across. What is actually being seen are large sand dunes on the floor of Proctor Crater on Mars. The above picture was taken by HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), a robot spacecraft currently in orbit around Mars. The dark rippled dunes likely formed more recently than the lighter rock forms they appear to cover, and are thought to slowly shift in response to pervasive winds. The dunes arise from a complex relationship between the sandy surface and high winds on Mars. Similar dunes were first seen in Proctor Crater by Mariner 9 more than 35 years ago.

Challenge: Can you find a microscopic picture that resembles this astronomical one?



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  #1492  
Παλιά 23-11-10, 09:06
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Gas and Snow Jets from Comet Hartley 2
Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, UMD, EPOXI Mission

Explanation: Unusual jets have been discovered emanating from Comet Hartley 2. The EPOXI spacecraft imaged the jets in unprecedented detail during its flyby of the comet earlier this month. Pictured above, sun-illuminated jets shoot away from the two-kilometer long decaying iceberg that orbits the Sun between Earth and Jupiter. Comet Hartley 2 became active recently as it neared the Sun and sunlight warmed the comet. Preliminary analyses of images like that shown above indicate that the smooth regions around the middle are porous and leak frozen water vapor directly out into space. Unexpectedly, however, the rough regions at either end appear to shoot carbon dioxide jets that expel fluffy snowballs, some as large as basketballs, from the nucleus. Many of the dots in the above image are thought to be snowballs. The unusual jets will continue to be studied, and may yield further clues as to how comets and asteroids formed and evolved during the early years of our Solar System. Comet Hartley 2 is slowly evaporating and may completely break up over the next 1,000 years.

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  #1493  
Παλιά 24-11-10, 08:01
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Flowing Auroras Over Norway
Image Credit & Copyright: Tor Even Mathisen; Music: Per Wollen; Vocals: Silje Beate Nilssen

Explanation: Have you ever seen an aurora? Auroras are occurring again with increasing frequency. With the Sun being unusually dormant over the past three years, the amount of Sun-induced auroras has also been unusually low. More recently, however, our Sun has become increasingly active and exhibiting a greater abundance of sunspots, flares, and coronal mass ejections. Solar activity like this typically expels charged particles into the Solar System, some of which may trigger Earthly auroras. As this year unfolded, the above timelapse displays of picturesque auroras were captured above Tromsø, Norway. Curtains of auroral light, usually green, flow, shimmer and dance as energetic particles fall toward the Earth and ionize air molecules high up in the Earth's atmosphere. With solar maximum still in the future, there may be opportunities to see spectacular aurora personally over the next three years.

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  #1494  
Παλιά 25-11-10, 08:32
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Stardust in Aries
Credit & Copyright: Alessandro Falesiedi

Explanation: This composition in stardust covers almost 2 degrees on the sky, close to the border of the zodiacal constellation Aries and the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. At the lower right of the gorgeous skyscape is a dusty blue reflection nebula surrounding a bright star cataloged as van den Bergh 13 (vdB 13), about 1,000 light-years away. At that estimated distance, the cosmic canvas is over 30 light-years across. Also surrounded by scattered blue starlight, vdB 16 lies toward the upper left, while dark dusty nebulae sprawl across the scene. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, they can hide the newly formed stars and young stellar objects or protostars from prying optical telescopes. Collapsing due to self-gravity, the protostars form around dense cores embedded in the molecular cloud.

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  #1495  
Παλιά 26-11-10, 08:42
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Flame Nebula Close-Up
Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona

Explanation: Of course, the Flame Nebula is not on fire. Also known as NGC 2024, the nebula's suggestive reddish color is due to the glow of hydrogen atoms at the edge of the giant Orion molecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years away. The hydrogen atoms have been ionized, or stripped of their electrons, and glow as the atoms and electrons recombine. But what ionizes the hydrogen atoms? In this close-up view, the central dark lane of absorbing interstellar dust stands out in silhouette against the hydrogen glow and actually hides the true source of the Flame Nebula's energy from optical telescopes. Behind the dark lane lies a cluster of hot, young stars, seen at infrared wavelengths through the obscuring dust. A young, massive star in that cluster is the likely source of energetic ultraviolet radiation that ionizes the hydrogen gas in the Flame Nebula.

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  #1496  
Παλιά 27-11-10, 09:07
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Star Streams of NGC 4216
Image Credit & Copyright: Ken Crawford (Rancho Del Sol Obs.), Collaboration: David Martinez-Delgado (MPIA, IAC), et al.

Explanation: Some 40 million light-years distant, edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 4216 is nearly 100,000 light-years across, about the size of our own Milky Way. Found in the dense Virgo Galaxy Cluster, NGC 4216 is centered in this deep telescopic portrait flanked by fellow Virgo cluster members NGC 4206 (right) and NGC 4222. Like other large spirals, including the Milky Way, NGC 4216 has grown by cannibalizing smaller satellite galaxies. In fact, this view has caught it in the act, with still distinct satellite galaxies showing faint star streams extending for thousands of light-years into the halo of NGC 4216. Taken as part of a survey hunting for star streams in nearby spirals, the image was recorded with a small telescope and camera able to convincingly detect faint, extended features. Having trouble spotting the star streams? Slide your cursor over the image to see a composite negative view. The streams should more easily stand out as dark swaths against a white background.

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jimil (27-11-10)
  #1497  
Παλιά 28-11-10, 08:30
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Anticrepuscular Rays Over Colorado
Credit & Copyright: John Britton

Explanation: What's happening over the horizon? Although the scene may appear somehow supernatural, nothing more unusual is occurring than a setting Sun and some well placed clouds. Pictured above are anticrepuscular rays. To understand them, start by picturing common crepuscular rays that are seen any time that sunlight pours though scattered clouds. Now although sunlight indeed travels along straight lines, the projections of these lines onto the spherical sky are great circles. Therefore, the crepuscular rays from a setting (or rising) sun will appear to re-converge on the other side of the sky. At the anti-solar point 180 degrees around from the Sun, they are referred to as anticrepuscular rays. Pictured above is a particularly striking set of anticrepuscular rays photographed in 2001 from a moving car just outside of Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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  #1498  
Παλιά 30-11-10, 07:42
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A Supercell Thunderstorm Cloud Over Montana
Credit & Copyright: Sean R. Heavey

Explanation: Is that a spaceship or a cloud? Although it may seem like an alien mothership, it's actually a impressive thunderstorm cloud called a supercell. Such colossal storm systems center on mesocyclones -- rotating updrafts that can span several kilometers and deliver torrential rain and high winds including tornadoes. Jagged sculptured clouds adorn the supercell's edge, while wind swept dust and rain dominate the center. A tree waits patiently in the foreground. The above supercell cloud was photographed in July west of Glasgow, Montana, USA, caused minor damage, and lasted several hours before moving on.

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  #1499  
Παλιά 01-12-10, 08:38
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Martian Moon Phobos from Mars Express
Credit: G. Neukum (FU Berlin) et al., Mars Express, DLR, ESA; Acknowledgement: Peter Masek

Explanation: Why is Phobos so dark? Phobos, the largest and innermost of two Martian moons, is the darkest moon in the entire Solar System. Its unusual orbit and color indicate that it may be a captured asteroid composed of a mixture of ice and dark rock. The above picture of Phobos near the limb of Mars was captured last month by the robot spacecraft Mars Express currently orbiting Mars. Phobos is a heavily cratered and barren moon, with its largest crater located on the far side. From images like this, Phobos has been determined to be covered by perhaps a meter of loose dust. Phobos orbits so close to Mars that from some places it would appear to rise and set twice a day, but from other places it would not be visible at all. Phobos' orbit around Mars is continually decaying -- it will likely break up with pieces crashing to the Martian surface in about 50 million years.

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  #1500  
Παλιά 02-12-10, 08:19
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Hartley 2 Star Cluster Tour
Image Credit & Copyright: Rolando Ligustri (CARA Project, CAST)

Explanation: Early in November, small but active Comet Hartley 2 (103/P Hartley) became the fifth comet imaged close-up by a spacecraft from planet Earth. Continuing its own tour of the solar system with a 6 year orbital period, Hartley 2 is now appearing in the nautical constellation Puppis. Still a target for binoculars or small telescopes from dark sky locations, the comet is captured in this composite image from November 27, sharing the rich 2.5 degree wide field of view with some star clusters well known to earthbound skygazers. Below and right of the comet's alluring green coma lies bright M47, a young open star cluster some 80 milion years old, about 1,600 light-years away. Below and left open cluster M46 is older, around 300 million years of age, and 5,400 light-years distant. Hartley 2's short, faint tail even extends up and right toward another fainter star cluster in the scene, NGC 2423. On November 27, Comet Hartley 2 was about 2.25 light-minutes from Earth. Sweeping toward the bottom of this field, by November 28 the comet's path had carried it between M46 and M47.

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