domingo, 1 de mayo de 2016

APOD - Contemplating the Sun

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.

2016 May 1
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Contemplating the Sun
Image Credit & Copyright: Steven Gilbert

Explanation: Have you contemplated your home star recently? Featured here, a Sun partially eclipsed on the top left by the Moon is also seen eclipsed by earthlings contemplating the eclipse below. The spectacular menagerie of silhouettes was taken in 2012 from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area near Page, Arizona, USA, where park rangers and astronomers expounded on the unusual event to interested gatherers. Also faintly visible on the Sun's disk, just to the lower right of the dark Moon's disk, is a group of sunspots. Although a partial solar eclipse by the Moon is indeed a good chance to contemplate the Sun, a great chance -- and one that is significantly more rare -- will occur next week when the Sun undergoes a partial eclipse by the planet Mercury.

Tomorrow's picture: contemplating mars


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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sábado, 30 de abril de 2016

APOD - Moon over Makemake

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.

2016 April 30
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Moon over Makemake
Illustration Credit: Alex H. Parker (Southwest Research Institute)

Explanation: Makemake, second brightest dwarf planet of the Kuiper belt, has a moon. Nicknamed MK2, Makemake's moon reflects sunlight with a charcoal-dark surface, about 1,300 times fainter than its parent body. Still, it was spotted in Hubble Space Telescope observations intended to search for faint companions with the same technique used to find the small satellites of Pluto. Just as for Pluto and its satellites, further observations of Makemake and orbiting moon will measure the system's mass and density and allow a broader understanding of the distant worlds. About 160 kilometers (100 miles) across compared to Makemake's 1,400 kilometer diameter, MK2's relative size and contrast are shown in this artist's vision. An imagined scene of an unexplored frontier of the Solar System, it looks back from a spacecraft's vantage as the dim Sun shines along the Milky Way. Of course, the Sun is over 50 times farther from Makemake than it is from planet Earth.

Tomorrow's picture: Moon over Sunday


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.


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viernes, 29 de abril de 2016

APOD - Fermi's Gamma-ray Moon

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.

2016 April 29
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Fermi's Gamma-ray Moon
Image Credit: NASA, DOE, International Fermi LAT Collaboration

Explanation: If you could only see gamma-rays, photons with up to a billion or more times the energy of visible light, the Moon would be brighter than the Sun! That startling notion underlies this novel image of the Moon, based on data collected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope's Large Area Telescope (LAT) instrument during its first seven years of operation (2008-2015). Fermi's gamma-ray vision doesn't distinguish details on the lunar surface, but a gamma-ray glow consistent with the Moon's size and position is clearly found at the center of the false color map. The brightest pixels correspond to the most significant detections of lunar gamma-rays. Why is the gamma-ray Moon so bright? High-energy charged particles streaming through the Solar System known as cosmic rays constantly bombard the lunar surface, unprotected by a magnetic field, generating the gamma-ray glow. Because the cosmic rays come from all sides, the gamma-ray Moon is always full and does not go through phases. The first gamma-ray image of the Moon was captured by the EGRET instrument onboard the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory, launched 25 years ago.

Tomorrow's picture: Moon over Makemake


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.


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jueves, 28 de abril de 2016

APOD - A Dust Angel Nebula

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.

2016 April 28
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

A Dust Angel Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

Explanation: The combined light of stars along the Milky Way are reflected by these cosmic dust clouds that soar some 300 light-years or so above the plane of our galaxy. Dubbed the Angel Nebula, the faint apparition is part of an expansive complex of dim and relatively unexplored, diffuse molecular clouds. Commonly found at high galactic latitudes, the dusty galactic cirrus can be traced over large regions toward the North and South Galactic poles. Along with the refection of starlight, studies indicate the dust clouds produce a faint reddish luminescence, as interstellar dust grains convert invisible ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Also capturing nearby Milky Way stars and an array of distant background galaxies, the deep, wide-field 3x5 degree image spans about 10 Full Moons across planet Earth's sky toward the constellation Ursa Major.

Tomorrow's picture: gamma-ray moon


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
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& Michigan Tech. U.


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miércoles, 27 de abril de 2016

APOD - Omega Centauri: The Brightest Globular Star Cluster

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.

2016 April 27
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Omega Centauri: The Brightest Globular Star Cluster
Image Credit & Copyright: Roberto Colombari

Explanation: This huge ball of stars predates our Sun. Long before humankind evolved, before dinosaurs roamed, and even before our Earth existed, ancient globs of stars condensed and orbited a young Milky Way Galaxy. Of the 200 or so globular clusters that survive today, Omega Centauri is the largest, containing over ten million stars. Omega Centauri is also the brightest globular cluster, at apparent visual magnitude 3.9 it is visible to southern observers with the unaided eye. Cataloged as NGC 5139, Omega Centauri is about 18,000 light-years away and 150 light-years in diameter. Unlike many other globular clusters, the stars in Omega Centauri show several different ages and trace chemical abundances, indicating that the globular star cluster has a complex history over its 12 billion year age.

Tomorrow's picture: open space


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.


This is an automated email. If you notice any problems, just send me a note at gtracy@gmail.com. You can add and remove email addresses to this distribution list here, http://apodemail.org.