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The Observable Universe

The Observable Universe

Copyright: How far can you see? Everything you can see, and everything you could possibly see, right now, assuming your eyes could detect all types of radiations around you — is the observable universe. In light, the farthest we can see comes from the cosmic microwave background, a time 13.8 billion years ago when the […]

A Road to the Stars

A Road to the Stars

Copyright: Pictured — a very scenic road to the stars. The road approaches La Silla Observatory in Chile, with the ESO’s 3.6-meter telescope just up ahead. To the left are some futuristic-looking support structures for the planned BlackGEM telescopes, an array of optical telescopes that will help locate optical counterparts to gravitational waves detections by […]

Star Formation in the Eagle Nebula

Star Formation in the Eagle Nebula

Copyright: Where do stars form? One place, star forming regions known as “EGGs”, are being uncovered at the end of this giant pillar of gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula (M16). Short for evaporating gaseous globules, EGGs are dense regions of mostly molecular hydrogen gas that fragment and gravitationally collapse to form stars. Light […]

Colorful Airglow Bands Surround Milky Way

Colorful Airglow Bands Surround Milky Way

Copyright: Xiaohan Wang Why would the sky glow like a giant repeating rainbow? Airglow. Now air glows all of the time, but it is usually hard to see. A disturbance however — like an approaching storm — may cause noticeable rippling in the Earth’s atmosphere. These gravity waves are oscillations in air analogous to those […]

Point Reyes Milky Way

Point Reyes Milky Way

Copyright: Dan Zafra Northern winter constellations and a long arc of the Milky Way are setting in this night skyscape looking toward the Pacific Ocean from Point Reyes on planet Earth’s California coast. Sirius, alpha star of Canis Major, is prominent below the starry arc toward the left. Orion’s yellowish Betelgeuse, Aldebaran in Taurus, and […]

When Rainbows Smile

When Rainbows Smile

Copyright: Marcella Giulia Pace Want to see a rainbow smile? Look near the zenith (straight up) when the sun is low in the sky and you might. This example of an ice halo known as a circumzenithal arc was captured above a palm tree top from Ragusa, Sicily on February 24. The vividly colorful arcs […]

Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc

Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc

Copyright: Bernard Miller Globular star cluster 47 Tucanae is a jewel of the southern sky. Also known as NGC 104, it roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy along with some 200 other globular star clusters. The second brightest globular cluster (after Omega Centauri) as seen from planet Earth, 47 Tuc lies about 13,000 […]

A Flower-Shaped Rock on Mars

A Flower-Shaped Rock on Mars

Copyright: It is one of the more unusual rocks yet found on Mars. Smaller than a penny, the rock has several appendages that make it look, to some, like a flower. Although it would be a major discovery if the rock was truly a fossilized ancient Martian flower, there are less spectacular — and currently […]

Moon in Inverted Colors

Moon in Inverted Colors

Copyright: Dawid Glawdzin Which moon is this? It’s Earth’s moon — but in inverted colors. Here, the pixel values corresponding to light and dark areas have been translated in reverse, or inverted, producing a false-color representation reminiscent of a black and white photographic negative. However, this is an inverted color image — where the muted […]

A Lion in Orion

A Lion in Orion

Copyright: Maroun Mahfoud Yes, but can you see the lion? A deep exposure shows the famous dark indentation that looks like a horse’s head, visible just left and below center, and known unsurprisingly as the Horsehead Nebula. The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is part of a vast complex of dark absorbing dust and bright glowing […]

Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun

Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun

Copyright: This was a very unusual type of solar eclipse. Typically, it is the Earth’s Moon that eclipses the Sun. In 2012, though, the planet Venus took a turn. Like a solar eclipse by the Moon, the phase of Venus became a continually thinner crescent as Venus became increasingly better aligned with the Sun. Eventually […]

Interstellar Comet 2I Borisov

Interstellar Comet 2I Borisov

Copyright: From somewhere else in the Milky Way galaxy, Comet 2I/Borisov was just visiting the Solar System. Discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov on August 30, 2019, the first known interstellar comet is seen in these two Hubble Space Telescope images from November and December 2019. On the left, a distant background galaxy near the […]

The Multiwavelength Crab

The Multiwavelength Crab

Copyright: The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier’s famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, expanding debris from massive star’s death explosion, witnessed on planet Earth in 1054 AD. This brave new image offers a 21st […]

Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841

Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841

Copyright: Vitali Pelenjow A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation of Ursa Major. This deep view of the gorgeous island universe was captured during 32 clear nights in November, December 2021 and January 2022. It shows off a striking yellow nucleus, galactic disk, and faint […]

Record Prominence Imaged by Solar Orbiter

Record Prominence Imaged by Solar Orbiter

Copyright: What’s happened to our Sun? Last month, it produced the largest prominence ever imaged together with a complete solar disk. The record image, featured, was captured in ultraviolet light by the Sun-orbiting Solar Orbiter spacecraft. A quiescent solar prominence is a cloud of hot gas held above the Sun’s surface by the Sun’s magnetic […]