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Chemicals Glow as a Meteor Disintegrates

Copyright: Michael Kleinburger Meteors can be colorful. While the human eye usually cannot discern many colors, cameras often can. Pictured here is a fireball, a disintegrating meteor that was not only one of the brightest the photographer has ever seen, but colorful. The meteor was captured by chance in mid-July with a camera set up […]

The Antikythera Mechanism

Copyright: It does what? No one knew that 2,000 years ago, the technology existed to build such a device. The Antikythera mechanism, pictured, is now widely regarded as the first computer. Found at the bottom of the sea aboard a decaying Greek ship, its complexity prompted decades of study, and even today some of its […]

Apollo 11: Armstrong’s Lunar Selfie

Copyright: A photograph of Buzz Aldrin standing on the Moon taken by Neil Armstrong, was digitally reversed to create this lunar selfie. Captured in July 1969 following the Apollo 11 moon landing, Armstrong’s original photograph recorded not only the magnificent desolation of an unfamiliar world, but Armstrong himself reflected in Aldrin’s curved visor. In the […]

Galactic Cirrus: Mandel Wilson 9

Copyright: Gabriel Rodrigues Santos The combined light of stars along the Milky Way are reflected by these cosmic dust clouds that soar 300 light-years or so above the plane of our galaxy. Known to some as integrated flux nebulae and commonly found at high galactic latitudes, the dusty galactic cirrus clouds are faint. But they […]

M64: The Black Eye Galaxy Close Up

Copyright: This magnificent spiral galaxy is Messier 64, often called the Black Eye Galaxy or the Sleeping Beauty Galaxy for its dark-lidded appearance in telescopic views. The spiral’s central region, about 7,400 light-years across, is pictured in this reprocessed image from the Hubble Space Telescope. M64 lies some 17 million light-years distant in the otherwise […]

Milky Way above La Palma Observatory

Copyright: Marcin Rosadziński What’s happening in the night sky? To help find out, telescopes all over the globe will be pointing into deep space. Investigations will include trying to understand the early universe, finding and tracking Earth-menacing asteroids, searching for planets that might contain extra-terrestrial life, and monitoring stars to help better understand our Sun. […]

Shells and Arcs around Star CW Leonis

Copyright: What’s happening around this star? No one is sure. CW Leonis is the closest carbon star, a star that appears orange because of atmospheric carbon dispersed from interior nuclear fusion. But CW Leonis also appears engulfed in a gaseous carbon-rich nebula. What causes the nebula’s complexity is unknown, but its geometry of shells and […]

Meteor and Milky Way over the Alps

Copyright: Nicholas Roemmelt (Venture Photography) Now this was a view with a thrill. From Mount Tschirgant in the Alps, you can see not only nearby towns and distant Tyrolean peaks, but also, weather permitting, stars, nebulas, and the band of the Milky Way Galaxy. What made the arduous climb worthwhile this night, though, was another […]

Webb’s First Deep Field

Copyright: This stunning infrared image was released one year ago as the James Webb Space Telescope began its exploration of the cosmos. The view of the early Universe toward the southern constellation Volans was achieved in 12.5 hours of exposure with Webb’s NIRCam instrument. Of course the stars with six spikes are well within our […]

Comet C/2023 E1 ATLAS near Perihelion

Copyright: Dan Bartlett Comet C/2023 E1 (ATLAS) was just spotted in March, another comet found by the NASA funded Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System. On July 1 this Comet ATLAS reached perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun. Shortly afterwards the telescopic comet was captured in this frame sporting a pretty greenish coma and faint, […]

Webb’s Rho Ophiuchi

Copyright: A mere 390 light-years away, Sun-like stars and future planetary systems are forming in the Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud complex, the closest star-forming region to our fair planet. The James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam peered into the nearby natal chaos to capture this infrared image at an inspiring scale. The spectacular cosmic snapshot was […]

Rings and Bar of Spiral Galaxy NGC 1398

Copyright: Why do some spiral galaxies have a ring around the center? Spiral galaxy NGC 1398 not only has a ring of pearly stars, gas and dust around its center, but a bar of stars and gas across its center, and spiral arms that appear like ribbons farther out. The featured deep image from Observatorio […]

Messier 24: Sagittarius Star Cloud

Copyright: Emmanuel Astronomono Unlike most entries in Charles Messier’s famous catalog of deep sky objects, M24 is not a bright galaxy, star cluster, or nebula. It’s a gap in nearby, obscuring interstellar dust clouds that allows a view of the distant stars in the Sagittarius spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy. Direct your gaze […]

MAVEN’s Ultraviolet Mars

Copyright: These two global views of Mars were captured at ultraviolet wavelengths, beyond the spectrum visible to human eyes. Recorded by the MAVEN spacecraft’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph instrument in July 2022 (left) and January 2023, three otherwise invisible ultraviolet bands are mapped into red, green, and blue colors. That color scheme presents the Red Planet’s […]

The Belt of Venus over Mount Everest

Copyright: Soumyadeep Mukherjee You’ve surely seen it, but you might not have noticed it. During a cloudless twilight, just before sunrise or after sunset, part of the atmosphere above the horizon appears slightly dark and off-color. Called the Belt of Venus, this transitional band between the dark eclipsed sky and the bright day sky can […]