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Waves of the Great Lacerta Nebula

Waves of the Great Lacerta Nebula

Copyright: Jarmo Ruuth Text: Ata SarajediniFlorida Atlantic U.Astronomy Minute It is one of the largest nebulas on the sky — why isn’t it better known? Roughly the same angular size as the Andromeda Galaxy, the Great Lacerta Nebula can be found toward the constellation of the Lizard (Lacerta). The emission nebula is difficult to see […]

A Long Snaking Filament on the Sun

A Long Snaking Filament on the Sun

Copyright: Alan FriedmanAverted Imagination rlier this month, the Sun exhibited one of the longer filaments on record. Visible as the bright curving streak around the image center, the snaking filament’s full extent was estimated to be over half of the Sun’s radius — more than 350,000 kilometers long. A filament is composed of hot gas […]

Red Sprite Lightning over the Czech Republic

Red Sprite Lightning over the Czech Republic

Copyright: Daniel Ščerba What are those red filaments in the sky? They are a rarely seen form of lightning confirmed only about 35 years ago: red sprites. Research has shown that following a powerful positive cloud-to-ground lightning strike, red sprites may start as 100-meter balls of ionized air that shoot down from about 80-km high […]

Planets of the Solar System: Tilts and Spins

Copyright: How does your favorite planet spin? Does it spin rapidly around a nearly vertical axis, or horizontally, or backwards? The featured video animates NASA images of all eight planets in our Solar System to show them spinning side-by-side for an easy comparison. In the time-lapse video, a day on Earth — one Earth rotation […]

Galaxy by the Lake

Galaxy by the Lake

Copyright: Gerardo Ferrarino This 180 degree panoramic night skyscape captures our Milky Way Galaxy as it arcs above the horizon on a winter’s night in August. Near midnight, the galactic center is close to the zenith with the clear waters of Lake Traful, Neuquen, Argentina, South America, planet Earth below. Zodiacal light, dust reflected sunlight […]

Interstellar Voyager

Interstellar Voyager

Copyright: Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched in 1977 on a grand tour of the outer planets of the Solar System. They have become the longest operating and most distant spacecraft from Earth. Both have traveled beyond the heliosphere, the realm defined by the influence of the solar wind and the Sun’s magnetic field. […]

North America and the Pelican

North America and the Pelican

Copyright: Frank Sackenheim Fans of our fair planet might recognize the outlines of these cosmic clouds. On the left, bright emission outlined by dark, obscuring dust lanes seems to trace a continental shape, lending the popular name North America Nebula to the emission region cataloged as NGC 7000. To the right, just off the North […]

Tarantula Stars R136 from Webb

Tarantula Stars R136 from Webb

Copyright: NASAESACSASTScI Near the center of a nearby star-forming region lies a massive cluster containing some of the largest and hottest stars known. Collectively known as star cluster NGC 2070, these stars are part of the vast Tarantula Nebula and were captured in two kinds of infrared light by the new Webb Space Telescope. The […]

An Iridescent Pileus Cloud over China

An Iridescent Pileus Cloud over China

Copyright: Jiaqi Sun (孙嘉琪) Yes, but how many dark clouds have a multicolored lining? Pictured, behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. The featured image was taken last month in Pu’er, […]

Carina Cliffs from the Webb Space Telescope

Carina Cliffs from the Webb Space Telescope

Copyright: Stars created these cliffs. Specifically, the destructive winds and energetic light from the stars in the open cluster NGC 3324 eroded away part of a mountain of dark interstellar dust in the northern part of the Carina Nebula. Several of these stars are visible toward the top of this highly detailed image taken recently […]

Sea and Sky Glows over the Oregon Coast

Sea and Sky Glows over the Oregon Coast

Copyright: Rudy Montoya very step caused the sand to light up blue. That glow was bioluminescence — a blue radiance that also lights the surf in this surreal scene captured in mid-2018 at Meyer’s Creek Beach in Oregon, USA. Volcanic stacks dot the foreground sea, while a thin fog layer scatters light on the horizon. […]

Sun and Moon and ISS

Sun and Moon and ISS

Copyright: Wang Letian On August 25 Sun and Moon could both be seen in planet Earth’s daytime skies. And so could the International Space Station. The ISS crossed the disk of the waning crescent Moon as seen from Shunyi district, Beijing, China at about 11:02 am local time. Some 40 kilometers to the southwest, in […]

M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy

M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy

Copyright: Fabian Neyer Find the Big Dipper and follow the handle away from the dipper’s bowl until you get to the last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you’ll come upon this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier’s famous catalog. Perhaps the original […]

The Tulip and Cygnus X-1

The Tulip and Cygnus X-1

Copyright: Peter Kohlmann Framing a bright emission region, this telescopic view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula, the reddish glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as […]

Jupiter from the Webb Space Telescope

Jupiter from the Webb Space Telescope

Copyright: This new view of Jupiter is illuminating. High-resolution infrared images of Jupiter from the new James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) reveal, for example, previously unknown differences between high-floating bright clouds — including the Great Red Spot — and low-lying dark clouds. Also clearly visible in the featured Webb image are Jupiter’s dust ring, bright […]