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Artemis 1: Flight Day 13

Copyright: On flight day 13 (November 28, 2022) of the Artemis I mission, the Orion spacecraft reached its maximum distance from its home world. Over 430,000 kilometers from Earth in a distant retrograde orbit, Orion surpassed the record for most distant spacecraft designed to carry humans. That record was previously set in 1970 during the […]

A Landspout Tornado over Kansas

Copyright: Brad Hannon Could there be a tornado inside another tornado? In general, no. OK, but could there be a tornado inside a wider dust devil? No again, for one reason because tornados comes down from the sky, but dust devils rise up from the ground. What is pictured is a landspout, an unusual type […]

A Dust Jet from the Surface of Comet 67P

Copyright: Where do comet tails come from? There are no obvious places on the nuclei of comets from which the jets that create comet tails emanate. In 2016, though, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft not only imaged a jet emerging from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but flew right through it. Featured is a telling picture showing a bright plume […]

Little Planet Aurora

Copyright: Victor Lima Immersed in an eerie greenish light, this rugged little planet appears to be home to stunning water falls and an impossibly tall mountain. It’s planet Earth of course. On the night of November 9 the nadir-centered 360 degree mosaic was captured by digital camera from the Kirkjufell mountain area of western Iceland. […]

Stereo Jupiter near Opposition

Copyright: Marco Lorenzi Jupiter looks sharp in these two rooftop telescope images. Both were captured on November 17 from Singapore, planet Earth, about two weeks after Jupiter’s 2023 opposition. Climbing high in midnight skies the giant planet was a mere 33.4 light-minutes from Singapore. That’s about 4 astronomical units away. Jupiter’s planet girdling dark belts […]

Along the Taurus Molecular Cloud

Copyright: Yuexiao Shen The cosmic brush of star formation composed this interstellar canvas of emission, dust, and dark nebulae. A 5 degree wide telescopic mosaic, it frames a region found north of bright star Aldebaran on the sky, at an inner wall of the local bubble along the Taurus molecular cloud. At lower left, emission […]

IC 342: Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis

Copyright: Steve Cannistra Similar in size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood, IC 342 is a mere 10 million light-years distant in the long-necked, northern constellation Camelopardalis. A sprawling island universe, IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky, but it is hidden from clear view and only glimpsed […]

Fleming’s Triangular Wisp

Copyright: Cristiano Gualco These chaotic and tangled filaments of shocked, glowing gas are spread across planet Earth’s sky toward the constellation of Cygnus as part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova […]

The Horsehead Nebula

Copyright: Mark Hanson & Martin Pugh, SSRO, PROMPT, CTIO, NSF Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, a magnificent interstellar dust cloud by chance has assumed this recognizable shape. Fittingly named the Horsehead Nebula, it is some 1,500 light-years distant, embedded in the vast Orion cloud complex. About five light-years “tall,” the dark cloud is cataloged […]

Space Station, Solar Prominences, Sun

Copyright: Mehmet Ergün That’s no sunspot. It’s the International Space Station (ISS) caught passing in front of the Sun. Sunspots, individually, have a dark central umbra, a lighter surrounding penumbra, and no Dragon capsules attached. By contrast, the ISS is a complex and multi-spired mechanism, one of the largest and most complicated spacecraft ever created […]

Planet Earth from Orion

Copyright: One year ago a Space Launch System rocket left planet Earth on November 16, 2022 at 1:47am EST carrying the Orion spacecraft on the Artemis I mission, the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems. Over an hour after liftoff from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39B, one of Orion’s external […]

Nightlights in Qeqertaq

Copyright: Dennis Lehtonen Light pollution is usually not a problem in Qeqertaq. In western Greenland the remote coastal village boasted a population of 114 in 2020. Lights still shine in its dark skies though. During planet Earth’s recent intense geomagnetic storm, on November 6 these beautiful curtains of aurora borealis fell over the arctic realm. […]

Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star

Copyright: Katarzyna Kaczmarczyk Venus now appears as Earth’s brilliant morning star, shining above the southeastern horizon before dawn. For early morning risers, the silvery celestial beacon rose predawn in a close pairing with a waning crescent Moon on Thursday, November 9. But from some northern locations, the Moon was seen to occult or pass in […]

M1: The Incredible Expanding Crab

Copyright: Cataloged as M1, the Crab Nebula is the first on Charles Messier’s famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab Nebula is now known to be a supernova remnant, an expanding cloud of debris from the death explosion of a massive star. The violent birth of the Crab was witnessed […]

Three Planets Rock

Copyright: Giovanni Passalacqua; Text: Liz Coelho (Pikes Peak) In the fading darkness before dawn, a tilted triangle appeared to balance atop a rock formation off the southern tip of Sicily. Making up the points of the triangle are three of the four brightest objects visible in Earth’s sky: Jupiter, Venus and the Moon. Though a […]