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The Cone Nebula from Hubble

Copyright: Stars are forming in the gigantic dust pillar called the Cone Nebula. Cones, pillars, and majestic flowing shapes abound in stellar nurseries where natal clouds of gas and dust are buffeted by energetic winds from newborn stars. The Cone Nebula, a well-known example, lies within the bright galactic star-forming region NGC 2264. The Cone […]

Apollo 14: A View from Antares

Copyright: Apollo 14’s Lunar Module Antares landed on the Moon on February 5, 1971. Toward the end of the stay astronaut Ed Mitchell snapped a series of photos of the lunar surface while looking out a window, assembled into this detailed mosaic by Apollo Lunar Surface Journal editor Eric Jones. The view looks across the […]

NGC 1893 and the Tadpoles of IC 410

Copyright: Sander de Jong This cosmic view shows off an otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410, captured under clear Netherlands skies with telescope and narrowband filters. Above and right of center you can spot two remarkable inhabitants of the interstellar pond of gas and dust, known as the tadpoles of IC 410. Partly obscured by […]

NGC 1365: Majestic Island Universe

Copyright: Jean-Baptiste Auroux Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majestic island universe some 200,000 light-years across. Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the faint but heated constellation Fornax, NGC 1365 is a dominant member of the well-studied Fornax Cluster of galaxies. This sharp color image shows the intense, reddish star forming […]

Camera Orion Rising

Copyright: Marcin Ślipko What does Orion rising look like to a camera? During this time of the year, the famous constellation is visible to the southeast just after sunset. From most Earthly locations, Orion’s familiar star pattern, highlighted by the three-stars-in-a-row belt stars, rises sideways. An entire section of the night sky that includes Orion […]

SLIM Lands on the Moon

Copyright: JAXA, Takara Tomy, Sony Co., Doshisha U. New landers are on the Moon. Nearly two weeks ago, Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) released two rovers as it descended, before its main lander touched down itself. The larger of the two rovers can hop like a frog, while the smaller rover is about […]

Pluto in True Color

Copyright: What color is Pluto, really? It took some effort to figure out. Even given all of the images sent back to Earth when the robotic New Horizons spacecraft sped past Pluto in 2015, processing these multi-spectral frames to approximate what the human eye would see was challenging. The result featured here, released three years […]

Full Observatory Moon

Copyright: Yuri Beletsky A popular name for January’s full moon in the northern hemisphere is the Full Wolf Moon. As the new year’s first full moon, it rises over Las Campanas Observatory in this dramatic Earth-and-moonscape. Peering from the foreground like astronomical eyes are the observatory’s twin 6.5 meter diameter Magellan telescopes. The snapshot was […]

Epsilon Tauri: Star with Planet

Copyright: Reg Pratt silon Tauri lies 146 light-years away. A K-type red giant star, epsilon Tau is cooler than the Sun, but with about 13 times the solar radius it has nearly 100 times the solar luminosity. A member of the Hyades open star cluster the giant star is known by the proper name Ain, […]

Jyväskylä in the Sky

Copyright: Harri Kiiskinen You might not immediately recognize this street map of a neighborhood in Jyväskylä, Finland, planet Earth. But that’s probably because the map was projected into the night sky and captured with an allsky camera on January 16. The temperature recorded on that northern winter night was around minus 20 degrees Celsius. As […]

Earth and Moon from Beyond

Copyright: What do the Earth and Moon look like from beyond the Moon? Although frequently photographed together, the familiar duo was captured with this unusual perspective in late 2022 by the robotic Orion spacecraft of NASA’s Artemis I mission as it looped around Earth’s most massive satellite and looked back toward its home world. Since […]

Deep Nebulas: From Seagull to California

Copyright: Alistair Symon How well do you know the night sky? OK, but how well can you identify famous sky objects in a very deep image? Either way, here is a test: see if you can find some well-known night-sky icons in a deep image filled with faint nebulosity. This image contains the Pleiades star […]

Shadows of Mountain and Moon

Copyright: Enzo Massa Micon Can the Moon and a mountain really cast similar shadows? Yes, but the division between light and dark does not have to be aligned. Pictured, a quarter moon was captured above the mountain Grivola in Italy in early October of 2022. The Sun is to the right of the featured picturesque […]

The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938

Copyright: Yes, but can your blizzard do this? In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s Storm of the Century in 1938, some snow drifts reached the level of utility poles. Nearly a meter of new and unexpected snow fell over two days in a storm that started 86 years ago this week. As snow fell and […]

Falcon Heavy Boostback Burn

Copyright: Dennis Huff The December 28 night launch of a Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida marked the fifth launch for the rocket’s reusable side boosters. About 2 minutes 20 seconds into the flight, the two side boosters separated from the rocket’s core stage. Starting just after booster separation, this three minute […]