viernes, 26 de mayo de 2017

APOD - Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744

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.

2017 May 26
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744
Image Credit & Copyright: Daniel Verschatse

Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6744 is nearly 175,000 light-years across, larger than our own Milky Way. It lies some 30 million light-years distant in the southern constellation Pavo appearing as a faint, extended object in small telescopes. We see the disk of the nearby island universe tilted towards our line of sight. This remarkably distinct and detailed galaxy portrait covers an area about the angular size of the full moon. In it, the giant galaxy's yellowish core is dominated by the light from old, cool stars. Beyond the core, spiral arms filled with young blue star clusters and pinkish star forming regions sweep past a smaller satellite galaxy at the lower left, reminiscent of the Milky Way's satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud.


Tomorrow's picture: colorful clouds + 1


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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jueves, 25 de mayo de 2017

APOD - Star Cluster, Spiral Galaxy, Supernova

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2017 May 25
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Star Cluster, Spiral Galaxy, Supernova
Image Credit & Copyright: Paolo Demaria

Explanation: A cosmic snapshot from May 19, this colorful telescopic field of view spans about 1 degree or 2 full moons on the sky. Spiky in appearance, foreground Milky Way stars are scattered toward the royal constellation Cepheus while stars of open cluster NGC 6939 gather about 5 thousand light-years in the distance near the top of the frame. Face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6946 is toward the lower left nearly 22 million light-years away. The helpful red lines identify recently discovered supernova SN 2017eaw, the death explosion of a massive star nestled in the galaxy's bluish spiral arms. In fact in the last 100 years, 10 supernovae have been discovered in NGC 6946. By comparison, the average rate of supernovae in our Milky Way is about 1 every 100 years or so. Of course, NGC 6946 is also known as The Fireworks Galaxy.


Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
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miércoles, 24 de mayo de 2017

APOD - NGC 4565: Galaxy on Edge

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2017 May 24
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

NGC 4565: Galaxy on Edge
Image Credit & Copyright: Lóránd Fényes

Explanation: Is our Galaxy this thin? We believe so. Magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 4565 is viewed edge-on from planet Earth. Also known as the Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile, bright NGC 4565 is a stop on many telescopic tours of the northern sky, in the faint but well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. This sharp, colorful image reveals the galaxy's bulging central core cut by obscuring dust lanes that lace NGC 4565's thin galactic plane. An assortment of other background galaxies is included in the pretty field of view, with neighboring galaxy NGC 4562 at the upper left. NGC 4565 itself lies about 40 million light-years distant and spans some 100,000 light-years. Easily spotted with small telescopes, sky enthusiasts consider NGC 4565 to be a prominent celestial masterpiece Messier missed.

Free Presentation: APOD Editor to speak in Prague on June 30
Tomorrow's picture: open space


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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martes, 23 de mayo de 2017

APOD - Approaching Jupiter

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.

2017 May 23

Approaching Jupiter
Video Composition & Copyright: Peter Rosén et al.; Music: The Awakening by Clemens Ruh

Explanation: What would it look like to approach Jupiter? To help answer this, a team of 91 amateur astrophotographers took over 1,000 pictures of Jupiter from the Earth with the resulting images aligned and digitally merged into the featured time-lapse video. Image taking began in 2014 December and lasted just over three months. The resulting fictitious approach sequence has similarities to what was seen by NASA's robotic Juno spacecraft as it first approached the Jovian world last July. The video begins with Jupiter appearing as a small orb near the image center. As Jupiter nears from below, the planet looms ever larger while the rotation of its cloud bands becomes apparent. Jupiter's shrinking Great Red Spot rotates into view twice, at times showing unusual activity. Many white ovals are visible moving around the giant planet. The video ends as the imaginary spacecraft passes over Jupiter's North Pole.

Tomorrow's picture: galaxy needle


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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lunes, 22 de mayo de 2017

APOD - A Zodiacal Sky over Horseshoe Bend

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2017 May 22
See Explanation.  Moving the cursor over the image will bring up an annotated version.  Clicking on the image will bring up the highest resolution version  available.

A Zodiacal Sky over Horseshoe Bend
Image Credit & Copyright: David Lane

Explanation: What's causing the unusual ray of white light extending upward from the central horizon? Dust orbiting the Sun. At certain times of the year, a band of sun-reflecting dust from the inner Solar System rises prominently before sunrise and is called zodiacal light. The dust originates mostly from faint Jupiter-family comets and slowly spirals into the Sun. Pictured, in front of the zodiacal light, is a spectacular view of Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River. Emitted from well behind the zodiacal light is a spectacular sky that includes many bright stars including Sirius, several blue star clusters including the Pleiades, and an assortment of red nebula including Barnard's Loop in Orion. The 30-image composite was taken earlier this month in nearly complete darkness only six inches from the edge of a dangerous cliff.

Tomorrow's picture: approaching jupiter


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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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