jueves, 29 de septiembre de 2016

APOD - Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope

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

Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope
Image Credit & Copyright: Jeff Dai (TWAN)

Explanation: The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is nestled within a natural basin in China's remote and mountainous southwestern Guizhou province. Nicknamed Tianyan, or the Eye of Heaven, the new radio telescope is seen in this photograph taken near the start of its testing phase of operations on September 25. Designed with an active surface for pointing and focusing, its enormous dish antenna is constructed with 4,450 individual triangular-shaped panels. The 500 meter physical diameter of the dish makes FAST the largest filled, single dish radio telescope on planet Earth. FAST will explore the Universe at radio frequencies, detecting emission from hydrogen gas in the Milky Way and distant galaxies, finding faint galactic and extragalactic pulsars, and searching for potential radio signals from extraterrestrials.

Tomorrow's picture: darker nebulae


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016

APOD - NGC 3576: The Statue of Liberty 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 September 28
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

NGC 3576: The Statue of Liberty Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: S. Mazlin, J. Harvey, R. Gilbert, & D. Verschatse (SSRO/PROMPT/UNC)

Explanation: What's happening in the Statue of Liberty nebula? Bright stars and interesting molecules are forming and being liberated. The complex nebula resides in the star forming region called RCW 57. This image showcases dense knots of dark interstellar dust, bright stars that have formed in the past few million years, fields of glowing hydrogen gas ionized by these stars, and great loops of gas expelled by dying stars. A detailed study of NGC 3576, also known as NGC 3582 and NGC 3584, uncovered at least 33 massive stars in the end stages of formation, and the clear presence of the complex carbon molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are thought to be created in the cooling gas of star forming regions, and their development in the Sun's formation nebula five billion years ago may have been an important step in the development of life on Earth. The featured image was taken at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

Free Download: APOD 2017 Calendar: NASA Images
Tomorrow's picture: very FAST


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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martes, 27 de septiembre de 2016

APOD - Jupiter's Europa from Spacecraft Galileo

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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

Jupiter's Europa from Spacecraft Galileo
Image Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

Explanation: What mysteries might be solved by peering into this crystal ball? In this case, the ball is actually a moon of Jupiter, the crystals are ice, and the moon is not only dirty but cracked beyond repair. Nevertheless, speculation is rampant that oceans exist under Europa's fractured ice-plains that could support life. This speculation was bolstered again this week by released images from the Hubble Space Telescope indicating that plumes of water vapor sometimes emanate from the ice-crusted moon -- plumes that might bring microscopic sea life to the surface. Europa, roughly the size of Earth's Moon, is pictured here in natural color as photographed in 1996 by the now-defunct Jupiter-orbiting Galileo spacecraft. Future observations by Hubble and planned missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope later this decade and a Europa flyby mission in the 2020s may further humanity's understanding not only of Europa and the early Solar System but also of the possibility that life exists elsewhere in the universe.

Free Download: APOD 2017 Calendar: NASA Images
Tomorrow's picture: statue of liberty nebula


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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lunes, 26 de septiembre de 2016

APOD - Gaia: Here Comes 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 September 26

Gaia: Here Comes the Sun
Image Credit: Galaxy Illustration: Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org), Star Data: Gaia Mission, ESA, Antoni Sagristà Sellés (U. Heidelberg) et al.

Explanation: What would it look like to return home from outside our galaxy? Although designed to answer greater questions, recent data from ESA's robotic Gaia mission is helping to provide a uniquely modern perspective on humanity's place in the universe. Gaia orbits the Sun near the Earth and resolves star's positions so precisely that it can determine a slight shift from its changing vantage point over the course of a year, a shift that is proportionately smaller for more distant stars -- and so determines distance. In the first sequence of the video, an illustration of the Milky Way is shown that soon resolves into a three-dimensional visualization of Gaia star data. A few notable stars are labelled with their common names, while others stars are labelled with numbers from Gaia's catalog. Eventually the viewer arrives at our home star Sol (the Sun), then resolving the reflective glow of its third planet: Earth. The featured video is based on just over 600,000 stars, but Gaia is on track to measure the parallax distances to over one billion stars over its planned five year mission.

Tomorrow's picture: jupiter's europa


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domingo, 25 de septiembre de 2016

APOD - Saturn from Above

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 September 25
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Saturn from Above
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute

Explanation: This image of Saturn could not have been taken from Earth. No Earth based picture could possibly view the night side of Saturn and the corresponding shadow cast across Saturn's rings. Since Earth is much closer to the Sun than Saturn, only the day side of the ringed planet is visible from the Earth. In fact, this image mosaic was taken earlier this year by the robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn, just before filming a 44-hour video of Saturn rotating. The beautiful rings of Saturn are seen in full expanse, while cloud details are visible including the polar hexagon surrounding the north pole. The Cassini mission is now in its final year as the spacecraft is scheduled to be programmed to dive into Saturn's atmosphere next September.

Tomorrow's picture: Statue of Liberty Nebula


< | Archive | Submissions | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

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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