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Supernova Remnant: The Veil Nebula

Supernova Remnant: The Veil Nebula

Copyright: Craig Stocks Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light would have suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was from a supernova, or exploding star, and record the expanding debris cloud as the Veil Nebula, a […]

Analemma over Taipei

Analemma over Taipei

Copyright: Meiying Lee Does the Sun return to the same spot on the sky every day? No. A better and more visual answer to that question is an analemma, a composite of images taken at the same time and from the same place over the course of a year. The featured analemma was compiled at […]

Rock Fingers on Mars

Rock Fingers on Mars

Copyright: There, just right of center, what is that? The surface of Mars keeps revealing new surprises with the recent discovery of finger-like rock spires. The small nearly-vertical rock outcrops were imaged last month by the robotic Curiosity rover on Mars. Although similar in size and shape to small snakes, the leading explanation for their […]

Game: Super Planet Crash

Copyright: Can you create a planetary system that lasts for 1000 years? Super Planet Crash, the featured game, allows you to try. To create up to ten planets, just click anywhere near the central star. Planet types can be selected on the left in order of increasing mass: Earth, Super-Earth, Ice giant, Giant planet, Brown […]

The Gamma Cygni Nebula

The Gamma Cygni Nebula

Copyright: Min Xie Supergiant star Gamma Cygni is at the center of the Northern Cross. Near the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, that famous asterism flies high in northern summer night skies in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Known by the proper name Sadr, Gamma Cygni also lies just below center in this telescopic […]

Good Morning Planets from Chile

Good Morning Planets from Chile

Copyright: Elke Schulz On June 15, innermost planet Mercury had wandered about as far from the Sun as it ever gets in planet Earth’s sky. Near the eastern horizon just before sunrise it stands over distant Andes mountain peaks in this predawn snapshot from the valley of Rio Hurtado in Chile. June’s other morning planets […]

Strawberry Supermoon from China

Strawberry Supermoon from China

Copyright: Jeff Dai There are four Full Supermoons in 2022. Using the definition of a supermoon as a Full Moon near perigee, that is within at least 90% of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit, the year’s Full Supermoon dates are May 16, June 14, July 13, and August 12. Full Moons […]

In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster

In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster

Copyright: Saulius Adomaitis The Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is the closest cluster of galaxies to our Milky Way Galaxy. The Virgo Cluster is so close that it spans more than 5 degrees on the sky – about 10 times the angle made by a full Moon. With its heart lying about 70 million light years […]

Satellites Behind Pinnacles

Satellites Behind Pinnacles

Copyright: Joshua Rozells What are all those streaks across the background? Satellite trails. First, the foreground features picturesque rock mounds known as Pinnacles. Found in the Nambung National Park in Western Australia, these human-sized spires are made by unknown processes from ancient sea shells (limestone). Perhaps more eye-catching, though, is the sky behind. Created by […]

M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy from Hubble

M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy from Hubble

Copyright: Bernard Miller The Whirlpool Galaxy is a classic spiral galaxy. At only 30 million light years distant and fully 60 thousand light years across, M51, also known as NGC 5194, is one of the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky. The featured image is a digital combination of images taken in different […]

Find the Man in the Moon

Find the Man in the Moon

Copyright: Dani Caxete Have you ever seen the Man in the Moon? This common question plays on the ability of humans to see pareidolia — imagining familiar icons where they don’t actually exist. The textured surface of Earth’s full Moon is home to numerous identifications of iconic objects, not only in modern western culture but […]

The Road and the Milky Way

The Road and the Milky Way

Copyright: David Cruz At night you can follow this road as it passes through the Dark Sky Alqueva reserve not too far from Alentejo, Portugal. Or you could stop, look up, and follow the Milky Way through the sky. Both stretch from horizon to horizon in this 180 degree panorama recorded on June 3. Our […]

Arp 286: Trio in Virgo

Arp 286: Trio in Virgo

Copyright: Nicolas Rolland This colorful telescopic field of view features a trio of interacting galaxies almost 90 million light-years away, toward the constellation Virgo. On the right two spiky, foreground Milky Way stars echo the extragalactic hues, a reminder that stars in our own galaxy are like those in distant island universes. With sweeping spiral […]

Cosmic Clouds in Cygnus

Cosmic Clouds in Cygnus

Copyright: Wolfgang Zimmermann These cosmic clouds of gas and dust drift through rich star fields along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the high flying constellation Cygnus. They’re too faint to be seen with the unaided eye though, even on a clear, dark night. Image data from a camera and telephoto lens using […]

Ship Tracks over the Pacific Ocean

Ship Tracks over the Pacific Ocean

Copyright: What are those unusual streaks? Some images of planet Earth show clear bright streaks that follow the paths of ships. Known as ship tracks, these low and narrow bands are caused by the ship’s engine exhaust. Water vapor condenses around small bits of exhaust known as aerosols, which soon grow into floating water drops […]