martes, 1 de septiembre de 2015

APOD - Distant Neutrinos Detected Below Antarctic Ice

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.

2015 September 1
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Distant Neutrinos Detected Below Antarctic Ice
Image Credit: IceCube Collaboration, U. Wisconsin, NSF

Explanation: From where do these neutrinos come? The IceCube Neutrino Observatory near the South Pole of the Earth has begun to detect nearly invisible particles of very high energy. Although these rarely-interacting neutrinos pass through much of the Earth just before being detected, where they started remains a mystery. Pictured here is IceCube's Antarctic lab accompanied by a cartoon depicting long strands of detectors frozen into the crystal clear ice below. Candidate origins for these cosmic neutrinos include the violent surroundings of supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies, and tremendous stellar explosions culminating in supernovas and gamma ray bursts far across the universe. As IceCube detects increasingly more high energy neutrinos, correlations with known objects may resolve this cosmic conundrum -- or we may never know.

Astrophysicists: Browse 1,100+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library
Tomorrow's picture: galaxy bolt


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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lunes, 31 de agosto de 2015

APOD - Pluto in Enhanced Color

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 August 31
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Pluto in Enhanced Color
Image Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Inst.

Explanation: Pluto is more colorful than we can see. Color data and images of our Solar System's most famous dwarf planet, taken by the robotic New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July, have been digitally combined to give an enhanced view of this ancient world sporting an unexpectedly young surface. The featured enhanced color image is not only esthetically pretty but scientifically useful, making surface regions of differing chemical composition visually distinct. For example, the light-colored heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio on the lower right is clearly shown here to be divisible into two regions that are geologically different, with the leftmost lobe Sputnik Planum also appearing unusually smooth. New Horizons now continues on beyond Pluto, will continue to beam back more images and data, and will soon be directed to change course so that it can fly past asteroid 2014 MU69 in 2019 January.

Pluto Images with Brief Explanations: APOD Pluto Search
Tomorrow's picture: through the earth


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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domingo, 30 de agosto de 2015

APOD - M31: The Andromeda Galaxy

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2015 August 30
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M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Robert Gendler

Explanation: What is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy? Andromeda. In fact, our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about two million years for light to reach us from there. Although visible without aid, the above image of M31 is a digital mosaic of 20 frames taken with a small telescope. Much about M31 remains unknown, including exactly how long it will before it collides with our home galaxy.

Explore your Universe: Random APOD Generator
Tomorrow's picture: pluto enhanced


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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sábado, 29 de agosto de 2015

APOD - The Seagull Nebula

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2015 August 29
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The Seagull Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Dieter Willasch (Astro-Cabinet)

Explanation: A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth, suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula. This portrait of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6 degree wide swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction of Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. Of course, the region includes objects with other catalog designations: notably NGC 2327, a compact, dusty emission region with an embedded massive star that forms the bird's head (aka the Parrot Nebula, above center). Dominated by the reddish glow of atomic hydrogen, the complex of gas and dust clouds with bright young stars spans over 100 light-years at an estimated 3,800 light-year distance.

Tomorrow's picture: ancient stars


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viernes, 28 de agosto de 2015

APOD - Puppis A Supernova Remnant

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2015 August 28
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Puppis A Supernova Remnant
Image Credit & Copyright: Don Goldman

Explanation: Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years away. At that distance, this colorful telescopic field based on broadband and narrowband optical image data is about 60 light-years across. As the supernova remnant expands into its clumpy, non-uniform surroundings, shocked filaments of oxygen atoms glow in green-blue hues. Hydrogen and nitrogen are in red. Light from the initial supernova itself, triggered by the collapse of the massive star's core, would have reached Earth about 3,700 years ago. The Puppis A remnant is actually seen through outlying emission from the closer but more ancient Vela supernova remnant, near the crowded plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Still glowing across the electromagnetic spectrum Puppis A remains one of the brightest sources in the X-ray sky.

Tomorrow's picture: seagull nebula


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