jueves, 26 de mayo de 2016

APOD - IC 5067 in the Pelican Nebula

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2016 May 26
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IC 5067 in the Pelican Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Data - Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), R. Colombari, Processing - Roberto Colombari

Explanation: The prominent ridge of emission featured in this sharp, colorful skyscape is cataloged as IC 5067. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive shape, popularly called The Pelican Nebula, the ridge spans about 10 light-years following the curve of the cosmic pelican's head and neck. This false-color view also translates the pervasive glow of narrow emission lines from atoms in the nebula to a color palette made popular in Hubble Space Telescope images of star forming regions. Fantastic, dark shapes inhabiting the 1/2 degree wide field are clouds of cool gas and dust sculpted by the winds and radiation from hot, massive stars. Close-ups of some of the sculpted clouds show clear signs of newly forming stars. The Pelican Nebula, itself cataloged as IC 5070, is about 2,000 light-years away. To find it, look northeast of bright star Deneb in the high flying constellation Cygnus.

Tomorrow's picture: Great Carina


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miércoles, 25 de mayo de 2016

APOD - NGC 5078 and Friends

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2016 May 25
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NGC 5078 and Friends
Image Credit & Copyright: Dietmar Hager, Eric Benson

Explanation: This sharp telescopic field of view holds two bright galaxies. Barred spiral NGC 5101 (top right) and nearly edge-on system NGC 5078 are separated on the sky by about 0.5 degrees or about the apparent width of a full moon. Found within the boundaries of the serpentine constellation Hydra, both are estimated to be around 90 million light-years away and similar in size to our own large Milky Way galaxy. In fact, if they both lie at the same distance their projected separation would be only 800,000 light-years or so. That's easily less than half the distance between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. NGC 5078 is interacting with a smaller companion galaxy, cataloged as IC 879, seen just left of the larger galaxy's bright core. Even more distant background galaxies are scattered around the colorful field. Some are even visible right through the face-on disk of NGC 5101. But the prominent spiky stars are in the foreground, well within our own Milky Way.

Tomorrow's picture: in the Pelican Nebula


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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martes, 24 de mayo de 2016

APOD - Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2016 May 24
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Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks
Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh; Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt

Explanation: That's not lightning, and it did not strike between those mountains. The diagonal band is actually the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, while the twin peaks are actually called the Spanish Peaks -- but located in Colorado, USA. Although each Spanish peak is composed of a slightly different type of rock, both are approximately 25 million years old. This serene yet spirited image composite was meticulously created by merging a series of images all taken from the same location on one night and early last month. In the first series of exposures, the background sky was built up, with great detail being revealed in the Milky Way dust lanes as well as the large colorful region surrounding the star Rho Ophiuchus just right of center. One sky image, though, was taken using a fogging filter so that brighter stars would appear more spread out and so more prominent. As a bonus, the planets Mars and Saturn are placed right above peaks and make an orange triangle with the bright star Antares. Later that night, after the moonrise, the Moon itself naturally illuminated the snow covered mountain tops.

Tomorrow's picture: NGC 5078 and Friends


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lunes, 23 de mayo de 2016

APOD - Inside a Daya Bay Antineutrino Detector

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2016 May 23
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Inside a Daya Bay Antineutrino Detector
Image Credit & Copyright: DOE, Berkeley Lab - Roy Kaltschmidt, photographer

Explanation: Why is there more matter than antimatter in the Universe? To better understand this facet of basic physics, energy departments in China and the USA led in the creation of the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment. Located under thick rock about 50 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong, China, eight Daya Bay detectors monitor antineutrinos emitted by six nearby nuclear reactors. Featured here, a camera looks along one of the Daya Bay detectors, imaging photon sensors that pick up faint light emitted by antineutrinos interacting with fluids in the detector. Early results indicate an unexpectedly high rate of one type of antineutrino changing into another, a rate which, if confirmed, could imply the existence of a previously undetected type of neutrino as well as impact humanity's comprehension of fundamental particle reactions that occurred within the first few seconds of the Big Bang.

Astrophysicists: Browse 1,250+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library
Tomorrow's picture: diagonal peaks


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domingo, 22 de mayo de 2016

APOD - LL Orionis: When Cosmic Winds Collide

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2016 May 22
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LL Orionis: When Cosmic Winds Collide
Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA / STScI), C. R. O'Dell(Vanderbilt U.), NASA

Explanation: What created this great arc in space? This arcing, graceful structure is actually a bow shock about half a light-year across, created as the wind from young star LL Orionis collides with the Orion Nebula flow. Adrift in Orion's stellar nursery and still in its formative years, variable star LL Orionis produces a wind more energetic than the wind from our own middle-aged sun. As the fast stellar wind runs into slow moving gas a shock front is formed, analogous to the bow wave of a boat moving through water or a plane traveling at supersonic speed. The slower gas is flowing away from the Orion Nebula's hot central star cluster, the Trapezium, located off the lower right hand edge of the picture. In three dimensions, LL Ori's wrap-around shock front is shaped like a bowl that appears brightest when viewed along the "bottom" edge. The complex stellar nursery in Orion shows a myriad of similar fluid shapes associated with star formation, including the bow shock surrounding a faint star at the upper right. Part of a mosaic covering the Great Nebula in Orion, this composite color image was recorded in 1995 by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Tomorrow's picture: antineutrino world


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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