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Circular Sun Halo

Copyright: Vincenzo Mirabella Want to see a ring around the Sun? It’s easy to do in daytime skies around the world. Created by randomly oriented ice crystals in thin high cirrus clouds, circular 22 degree halos are visible much more often than rainbows. This one was captured by smart phone photography on May 29, 2021 […]

Hydrogen Clouds of M33

Copyright: Reinhold Wittich Gorgeous spiral galaxy Messier 33 seems to have more than its fair share of glowing hydrogen gas. A prominent member of the local group of galaxies, M33 is also known as the Triangulum Galaxy and lies a mere 3 million light-years away. The galaxy’s central 30,000 light-years or so are shown in […]

Mu Cephei

Copyright: David Cruz Mu Cephei is a very large star. An M-class supergiant some 1500 times the size of the Sun, it is one of the largest stars visible to the unaided eye, and even one of the largest in the entire Galaxy. If it replaced the Sun in our fair Solar System, Mu Cephei […]

NGC 1097: Spiral Galaxy with Supernova

Copyright: What’s happening in the lower arm of this spiral galaxy? A supernova. Last month, supernova SN 2023rve was discovered with UAE’s Al-Khatim Observatory and later found to be consistent with the death explosion of a massive star, possibly leaving behind a black hole. Spiral galaxy NGC 1097 is a relatively close 45 million light […]

Hidden Orion from Webb

Copyright: The Great Nebula in Orion has hidden stars. To the unaided eye in visible light, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. But this image was taken by the Webb Space Telescope in a representative-color composite of red and very near infrared light. It confirms with impressive detail that […]

A Distorted Sunrise Eclipse

Copyright: Elias Chasiotis Yes, but have you ever seen a sunrise like this? Here, after initial cloudiness, the Sun appeared to rise in two pieces and during a partial eclipse in 2019, causing the photographer to describe it as the most stunning sunrise of his life. The dark circle near the top of the atmospherically-reddened […]

Plane, Clouds, Moon, Spots, Sun

Copyright: Doyle and Shannon Slifer What’s that in front of the Sun? The closest object is an airplane, visible just below the Sun’s center and caught purely by chance. Next out are numerous clouds in Earth’s atmosphere, creating a series of darkened horizontal streaks. Farther out is Earth’s Moon, seen as the large dark circular […]

The Once and Future Stars of Andromeda

Copyright: This picture of Andromeda shows not only where stars are now, but where stars will be. The big, beautiful Andromeda Galaxy, M31, is a spiral galaxy a mere 2.5 million light-years away. Image data from space-based and ground-based observatories have been combined here to produce this intriguing composite view of Andromeda at wavelengths both […]

Edwin Hubble Discovers the Universe

Copyright: Carnegie Institution for Science How big is our universe? This question, among others, was debated by two leading astronomers in 1920 in what has since become known as astronomy’s Great Debate. Many astronomers then believed that our Milky Way Galaxy was the entire universe. Many others, though, believed that our galaxy was just one […]

IC 2118: The Witch Head Nebula

Copyright: Abdullah Alharbi Does this nebula look like the head of a witch? The nebula is known popularly as the Witch Head Nebula because, it is said, the nebula’s shape resembles a Halloween-style caricature of a witch’s head. Exactly how, though, can be a topic of imaginative speculation. What is clear is that IC 2118 […]

MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass Planetary Nebula

Copyright: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Processing & Copyright: Harshwardhan Pathak Do you see the hourglass shape — or does it see you? If you can picture it, the rings of MyCn 18 trace the outline of an hourglass — although one with an unusual eye in its center. Either way, the sands of time are […]

Sprite Lightning in High Definition

Copyright: Nicolas Escurat Sometimes lightning occurs out near space. One such lightning type is red sprite lightning, which has only been photographed and studied on Earth over the past 25 years. The origins of all types of lightning remain topics for research, and scientists are still trying to figure out why red sprite lightning occurs […]

A Desert Eclipse

Copyright: Maxime Daviron A good place to see a ring-of-fire eclipse, it seemed, would be from a desert. In a desert, there should be relatively few obscuring clouds and trees. Therefore late December of 2019, a group of photographers traveled to the United Arab Emirates and Rub al-Khali, the largest continuous sand desert in world, […]

A Harvest Moon over Tuscany

Copyright: Antonio Tartarini For northern hemisphere dwellers, September’s Full Moon was the Harvest Moon. Reflecting warm hues at sunset, it rises behind cypress trees huddled on a hill top in Tuscany, Italy in this telephoto view from September 28. Famed in festival, story, and song, Harvest Moon is just the traditional name of the full […]

Back from Bennu

Copyright: Back from asteroid 101955 Bennu, a 110-pound, 31-inch wide sample return capsule rests in a desert on planet Earth in this photo, taken at the Department of Defense Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City last Sunday, September 24. Dropped off by the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft, the capsule looks charred from the extreme […]