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Dueling Bands in the Night

Dueling Bands in the Night

Copyright: Jeff DaiTWAN What are these two bands in the sky? The more commonly seen band is the one on the right and is the central band of our Milky Way galaxy. Our Sun orbits in the disk of this spiral galaxy, so that from inside, this disk appears as a band of comparable brightness […]

Direct Projection: The Moon in My Hands

Direct Projection: The Moon in My Hands

Copyright: Jeff Graphy You don’t have to look through a telescope to know where it’s pointing. Allowing the telescope to project its image onto a large surface can be useful because it dilutes the intense brightness of very bright sources. Such dilution is useful for looking at the Sun, for example during a solar eclipse. […]

Earthrise 1: Historic Image Remastered

Earthrise 1: Historic Image Remastered

Copyright: “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow is that pretty!” Soon after that pronouncement, 50 years ago today, one of the most famous images ever taken was snapped from the orbit of the Moon. Now known as “Earthrise”, the iconic image shows the Earth rising above […]

Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945

Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945

Copyright: Dietmar Hager Large spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen nearly edge-on in this cosmic galaxy close-up. It’s almost the size of our Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 4945’s own dusty disk, young blue star clusters, and pink star forming regions stand out in the colorful telescopic frame. About 13 million light-years distant toward the expansive […]

Perseverance Sol 354

Perseverance Sol 354

Copyright: This Navcam mosaic from Perseverance looks out over the car-sized rover’s deck, across the floor of Jezero crater on Mars. Frames used to construct the mosaic view were captured on mission sol 354. That corresponds to Earth calendar date February 17, 2022, nearly one Earth year after the rover’s landing. With a mass of […]

Beautiful Albireo AB

Beautiful Albireo AB

Copyright: Robert Eder Beta Cygni is a single bright star to the naked eye. About 420 light-years away it marks the foot of the Northern Cross, famous asterism in the constellation Cygnus. But a view through the eyepiece of a small telescope will transform it into a beautiful double star, a treasure of the night […]

Orion over Green Bank

Orion over Green Bank

Copyright: Dave Green What will the huge Green Bank Telescope discover tonight? Pictured, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) on the lower right is the largest fully-pointable single-dish radio telescope in the world. With a central dish larger than a football field, the GBT is nestled in the hills of West Virginia, USA […]

Illustration: An Early Quasar

Illustration: An Early Quasar

Copyright: What did the first quasars look like? The nearest quasars are now known to involve supermassive black holes in the centers of active galaxies. Gas and dust that falls toward a quasar glows brightly, sometimes outglowing the entire home galaxy. The quasars that formed in the first billion years of the universe are more […]

Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217

Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217

Copyright: Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a modest central bar. Prominently barred spiral galaxy NGC 6217, featured here, was captured in spectacular detail in this image taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. Visible […]

Aurora Over White Dome Geyser

Aurora Over White Dome Geyser

Copyright: Robert Howell Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt. Colorful auroras erupted unexpectedly a few years ago, with green aurora appearing near the horizon and brilliant bands of red aurora blooming high overhead. A bright Moon lit the foreground of this picturesque scene, while familiar stars could be seen far in the distance. With planning, […]

Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273

Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273

Copyright: Jason Guenzel The spiky stars in the foreground of this backyard telescopic frame are well within our own Milky Way Galaxy. But the two eye-catching galaxies lie far beyond the Milky Way, at a distance of over 300 million light-years. Their distorted appearance is due to gravitational tides as the pair engage in close […]

Three Clusters in Puppis

Three Clusters in Puppis

Copyright: Dave Doctor Galactic or open star clusters are young. The swarms of stars are born together near the plane of the Milky Way, but their numbers steadily dwindle as cluster members are ejected by galactic tides and gravitational interactions. Caught in this telescopic frame over three degrees across are three good examples of galactic […]

Chamaeleon I Molecular Cloud

Chamaeleon I Molecular Cloud

Copyright: Robert Eder Dark markings and bright nebulae in this telescopic southern sky view are telltale signs of young stars and active star formation. They lie a mere 650 light-years away, at the boundary of the local bubble and the Chamaeleon molecular cloud complex. Regions with young stars identified as dusty reflection nebulae from the […]

Eiffel Tower Prominence on the Sun

Copyright: Hawk Wolinski What’s that on the Sun? Although it may look like a flowing version of the Eiffel Tower, it is a solar prominence that is actually much bigger — about the height of Jupiter. The huge prominence emerged about ten days ago, hovered over the Sun’s surface for about two days, and then […]

Terminator Moon

Terminator Moon

Copyright: What’s different about this Moon? It’s the terminators. In the featured image, you can’t directly see any terminator — the line that divides the light of day from the dark of night. That’s because the image is a digital composite of 29 near-terminator lunar strips. Terminator regions show the longest and most prominent shadows […]