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  #1426  
Παλιά 20-09-10, 09:35
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Aurora Over Norway
Credit & Copyright: Ole Christian Salomonsen

Explanation: Auroras can make spectacular sights. Photographed above last weekend, flowing multi-colored auroras helped illuminate a busy sky above Tromsø, Norway. Besides the spectacular aurora pictured above, the photographer caught three satellites streaks, one airplane streak, and a friend trying to capture the same sight. Although auroras might first appear to be moonlit clouds, they only add light to the sky and do not block background stars from view. Called northern lights in the northern hemisphere, auroras are caused by collisions between charged particles from the magnetosphere and air molecules high in the Earth's atmosphere. If viewed from space, auroras can be seen to glow in X-ray and ultraviolet light as well. Predictable auroras might occur a few days after a powerful magnetic event has been seen on the Sun.

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  #1427  
Παλιά 21-09-10, 08:29
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Τελευταία φορά Online: 12-11-16 11:12
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Starry Night Over the Rhone
Credit: Vincent van Gogh, Wikipedia; Acknowledgement: B. Schaefer (LSU)

Explanation: How can the majesty of the night sky best be captured in a painting? This was a continual challenge for Vincent van Gogh, a famous painter in the late 1800s who pioneered stirring depictions of star filled skies into several of his works. Pictured above is van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone, where the French town of Arles is depicted complete with gas lights reflecting off the Rhone river. van Gogh's night sky appears alive with turbulent stellar images contrasting with lofty dark blue hues. Above the river, one can discern the stars of the familiar Big Dipper asterism. Following a line connecting the two Big Dipper stars on the right, the North Star Polaris could be easily found, the height of which can then be estimated and actually gives the latitude where the painting was created.

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  #1428  
Παλιά 22-09-10, 09:00
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Discovery Rollout Shadow
Credit & Copyright: Nancy Atkinson (Universe Today)

Explanation: Who goes there? Although the spotlighted figure in white might not be identifiable by itself, surely the huge shadow behind it makes its identity clear: the space shuttle. Specifically, it was the space shuttle Discovery being rolled out last March in preparation for launch. As captured above, an unusual monstrous shadow on passing fog was created during a picturesque night unveiling. While on the shuttle Crawler-Transporter, one of the largest tracked vehicles on Earth, the shuttle moved at about 2 km per hour from the main assembly building to the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. About a month later, in its penultimate planned mission, Discovery roared off the launch pad and delivered needed supplies and equipment to the International Space Station. Yesterday, Discovery reached Launch Pad 39A in preparation for its last planned mission.

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  #1429  
Παλιά 23-09-10, 08:05
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Equinox and the Iron Sun
Credit: NASA / Goddard / SDO AIA Team

Explanation: Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south at 03:09 Universal Time. Known as an equinox, this astronomical event marks the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the south. Equinox means equal night. With the Sun on the celestial equator, Earth dwellers will experience nearly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. Of course, in the north the days continue to grow shorter, the Sun marching lower in the sky as winter approaches. To celebrate the equinox, consider this view of the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light from the Sun staring Solar Dynamics Observatory. Recorded yesterday, the false-color image shows emission from highly ionized iron atoms. Loops and arcs trace the glowing plasma suspended in magnetic fields above solar active regions.

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Σχόλιο : Κάπως έτσι φαντάζομαι την .... κόλαση
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  #1430  
Παλιά 24-09-10, 07:47
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Equinox and the Harvest Moon
Image Credit & Copyright: Tamás Ábrahám

Explanation: Did you enjoy the moonlight last night? The Full Moon closest to autumnal equinox and the beginning of Fall is traditionally known as the Harvest Moon, rising opposite the Sun and illuminating fields at harvest time after sunset. This year's northern hemisphere autumnal equinox occurred yesterday, September 23rd, at 03:09 Universal Time. The Moon was at its full phase a mere 6 hours later -- exceptionally close for a Harvest Moon! Of course, the Moon still shines brightly through the night in surrounding days. In this picture from September 22nd, the lunar orb dominates the sky above a ruined church in Zsámbék, Hungary . Shining nearby, the brightest star is actually Jupiter, also opposite the Sun, seen here through thin clouds just left of the church wall.

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  #1431  
Παλιά 25-09-10, 08:07
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Melotte 15 in the Heart
Image Credit & Copyright: Derek Santiago

Explanation: Cosmic clouds seem to form fantastic shapes in the central regions of emission nebula IC 1805. Of course, the clouds are sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster, Melotte 15. About 1.5 million years young, the cluster stars are near the center in this colorful skyscape, along with dark dust clouds silhouetted against glowing atomic gas. A composite of narrow and broad band telescopic images, the view spans about 40 light-years and includes emission from hydrogen in green, sulfur in red, and oxygen in blue hues. Wider field images reveal that IC 1805's simpler, overall outline suggests its popular name - The Heart Nebula. IC 1805 is located about 7,500 light years away toward the constellation Cassiopeia.

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  #1432  
Παλιά 26-09-10, 08:12
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Arp 188 and the Tadpole's Tidal Tail
Credit: H. Ford (JHU), M. Clampin (STScI), G. Hartig (STScI), G. Illingworth (UCO/Lick), ACS Science Team, ESA, NASA

Explanation: Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista recorded with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco. Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from left to right in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole by their gravitational attraction. During the close encounter, tidal forces drew out the spiral galaxy's stars, gas, and dust forming the spectacular tail. The intruder galaxy itself, estimated to lie about 300 thousand light-years behind the Tadpole, can be seen through foreground spiral arms at the lower left. Following its terrestrial namesake, the Tadpole Galaxy will likely lose its tail as it grows older, the tail's star clusters forming smaller satellites of the large spiral galaxy.

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  #1433  
Παλιά 27-09-10, 08:20
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The Dancing Auroras of Saturn
Credit: VIMS Team, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation: What drives auroras on Saturn? To help find out, scientists have sorted through hundreds of infrared images of Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft for other purposes, trying to find enough aurora images to correlate changes and make movies. Once made, some movies clearly show that Saturnian auroras can change not only with the angle of the Sun, but also as the planet rotates. Furthermore, some auroral changes appear related to waves in Saturn's magnetosphere likely caused by Saturn's moons. Pictured above, a false-colored image taken in 2007 shows Saturn in three bands of infrared light. The rings reflect relatively blue sunlight, while the planet itself glows in comparatively low energy red. A band of southern aurora in visible in green. Inspection of many more Saturnian images may well lead to an even better understanding of both Saturn's and Earth's auroras.

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  #1434  
Παλιά 28-09-10, 08:37
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Venus' South Polar Vortex
Credit: ESA, Venus Express, VIRTIS, INAF-IASF, Obs. de Paris-LESIA

Explanation: What's happening over the South Pole of Venus? To find out, scientists have been studying images taken by the robotic Venus Express spacecraft when it passes over the lower spin axis of Earth's overheated twin. Surprisingly, recent images from Venus Express do not confirm previous sightings of a double storm system there, but rather found a single unusual swirling cloud vortex. In the above recently released image sequence taken in infrared light and digitally compressed, darker areas correspond to higher temperatures and hence lower regions of Venus' atmosphere. Also illuminating are recently released movies, which show similarities between Venus' southern vortex and the vortex that swirls over the South Pole of Saturn. Understanding the peculiar dynamics of why, at times, two eddies appear, while at other times a single peculiar eddy appears, may give insight into how hurricanes evolve on Earth, and remain a topic of research for some time. In three months, the European Venus Express spacecraft will be joined around Venus by the Japanese Akatsuki satellite.

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Σχόλιο : Κάτι μου λέει ότι το Venus Express και το Alatsuki, θα μας ανακαλύψουν πολλά για την άγνωστη Αφροδίτη.
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  #1435  
Παλιά 29-09-10, 08:19
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An Airplane in Front of the Moon
Credit & Copyright: Chris Thomas

Explanation: If you look closely at the Moon, you will see a large airplane in front of it. Well, not always. OK, hardly ever. But if you wait for days with your camera attached to a Moon tracker in a place where airplanes are known to pass, you might catch a good photograph of it. Well, if you're lucky. OK, extremely lucky. The above image was taken two weeks ago over South East Queensland, Australia using an exposure time of 1/250th of a second and, in the words of the photographer, "a nerve of steel".

Πηγή

Σχόλιο : Αν η φωτογραφία δεν είναι ένα τέλειο μονταζ, τότε ο φωτογράφος θα είχε πιο πολλές ελπίδες να κερδίσει το μεγαλύτερο Joker, παρά να βγάλει τέτοια φωτογραφία...
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  #1436  
Παλιά 30-09-10, 08:43
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Coreshine from a Dark Cloud
Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Laurent Pagani (Obs.Paris/CNRS), Jurgen Steinacker (Obs. Paris/MPIA) et al.

Explanation: Stars and their planets are born in cold, dark, interstellar clouds of gas and dust. While exploring the clouds at infrared wavelengths, astronomers have made a surprising discovery -- dozens of cases where dense cloud cores shine by reflecting infrared starlight. Based on archival Spitzer Space Telescope data, these panels illustrate the newly described phenomenon, known as coreshine. At longer infrared wavelengths (right) the core of cloud Lynds 183 is dark, but at shorter infrared wavelengths (left) the core clearly shines, scattering light from nearby stars. As seen in these panels, the elongated core covers a mere 1.5 light-years. The scattering requires dust grains that are about 10 times larger than previously thought to exist in the clouds, about 1 micron in size instead of 0.1 micron. For comparison, a human hair is about 100 microns thick. The larger dust grains indicated by coreshine could change models of the early phases of star and planet formation, a still mysterious process hidden within the interstellar clouds. Dark nebula Lynds 183 lies around 325 light-years away in the constellation Serpens.

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  #1437  
Παλιά 01-10-10, 08:22
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Zarmina's World
Illustration Credit & Copyright: Lynette Cook

Explanation: A mere 20 light-years away in the constellation Libra, red dwarf star Gliese 581 has received much scrutiny by astronomers in recent years. Earthbound telescopes had detected the signatures of multiple planets orbiting the cool sun, two at least close to the system's habitable zone -- the region where an Earth-like planet can have liquid water on its surface. Now a team headed by Steven Vogt (UCO Lick), and Paul Butler (DTM Carnagie Inst.) has announced the detection of another planet, this one squarely in the system's habitable zone. Based on 11 years of data, their work offers a very compelling case for the first potentially habitable planet found around a very nearby star. Shown in this artist's illustration of the inner part of the exoplanetary system, the planet is designated Gliese 581g, but Vogt's more personal name is Zarmina's world, after his wife. The best fit to the data indicate the planet has a circular 37 day orbit, an orbital radius of only 0.15 AU, and a mass 3.1 times the Earth's. Modeling includes estimates of a planet radius of 1.5, and gravity at the planet's surface of 1.1 to 1.7 in Earth units. Finding a habitable planet so close by suggests there are many others in our Milky Way galaxy.

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  #1438  
Παλιά 02-10-10, 07:27
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Hubble's Lagoon
Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Space Telescope

Explanation: Like brush strokes on a canvas, ridges of color seem to flow across this scene. But here, the canvas is nearly 3 light-years wide and the colors map emission from ionized gas in the Lagoon Nebula, recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Also known as M8, the nebula is a star forming region about 5,000 light-years distant in the constellation Sagittarius. Hubble's remarkably sharp, close-up view reveals undulating shapes sculpted by the energetic light and winds from the region's new born stars. Of course, the Lagoon nebula is a popular target for earthbound skygazers, too. It features a prominent dust lane and bright hourglass shape in small telescopes with wider fields of view.

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  #1439  
Παλιά 03-10-10, 07:50
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Io in True Color
Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

Explanation: The strangest moon in the Solar System is bright yellow. This picture, an attempt to show how Io would appear in the "true colors" perceptible to the average human eye, was taken in 1999 July by the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003. Io's colors derive from sulfur and molten silicate rock. The unusual surface of Io is kept very young by its system of active volcanoes. The intense tidal gravity of Jupiter stretches Io and damps wobbles caused by Jupiter's other Galilean moons. The resulting friction greatly heats Io's interior, causing molten rock to explode through the surface. Io's volcanoes are so active that they are effectively turning the whole moon inside out. Some of Io's volcanic lava is so hot it glows in the dark.

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Σχόλιο : Ότι λάμπει δεν είναι χρυσός. Το φεγγάρι του Δία, μοιάζει σε κάτι ανάμεσα, από μουχλιασμένο τυρί και μουχλιασμένο πεπόνι
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  #1440  
Παλιά 04-10-10, 08:37
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Rolling Across the Rocky Plains of Mars
Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, JPL, NASA

Explanation: You stare out across the rocky plains of Mars. Before you, in every direction, is dark sand and bright rock. Although little has changed here for millions of years, no one has ever seen this view before. You are being sent on a long journey to a distant crater, the largest crater in the region. Your human overlords back on planet Earth wonder if the impact that created this distant crater might have also uncovered unique clues to the distant past of Earth's neighboring planet, clues that might reveal if life ever existed here. Breaking the monotony, visible toward the image center, an unusual rock sticks out from the landscape. Quite possibly, this rock is not from this world, and you divert to inspect it. You are the robotic Opportunity rover, and you are the eyes for countless humans following your trek back on planet Earth. Rolling about a football field a day, you might reach Endeavour crater sometime in 2012. If you survive.

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