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Ghirigori – Star Scribbles

Copyright: Paolo Palma It’s fun to scribble on the canvas of the sky. You can use a creative photographic technique to cause the light of point-like stars to dance across a digital image by tapping lightly on the telescope while making an exposure. The result will be a squiggly line traced by the star (or […]

Messier 51 in 255 Hours

Copyright: The Deep Sky Collective An intriguing pair of interacting galaxies, M51 is the 51st entry in Charles Messier’s famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with whirlpool-like spiral structure seen nearly face-on is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes sweep in front of a companion galaxy […]

Five Meters over Mars

Copyright: On mission sol 872 (Earth date August 3) Ingenuity snapped this sharp image on its 54th flight above the surface of the Red Planet. During the flight the Mars Helicopter hovered about 5 meters, or just over 16 feet, above the Jezero crater floor. Tips of Ingenuity’s landing legs peek over the left and […]

Meteor Shower: Perseids from Perseus

Copyright: Petr Horálek / Institute of Physics in Opava This is a good week to see meteors. Comet dust will rain down on planet Earth, streaking through dark skies during peak nights of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. The featured composite image was taken during the 2018 Perseids from the Poloniny Dark Sky Park in […]

Moon Meets Jupiter

Copyright: Jordi L. Coy What’s that below the Moon? Jupiter — and its largest moons. Many skygazers across planet Earth enjoyed the close conjunction of Earth’s Moon passing nearly in front of Jupiter in mid-June. The featured image is a single exposure of the event taken from Morón de la Frontera, Spain. The sunlit lunar […]

The Pelican Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars

Copyright: Abe Jones The Pelican Nebula is slowly being transformed. IC 5070 (the official designation) is divided from the larger North America Nebula by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust. The Pelican, however, receives much study because it is a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The featured picture was […]

SN 1006: A Supernova Ribbon from Hubble

Copyright: What created this unusual space ribbon? The answer: one of the most violent explosions ever witnessed by ancient humans. Back in the year 1006 AD, light reached Earth from a stellar explosion in the constellation of the Wolf (Lupus), creating a “guest star” in the sky that appeared brighter than Venus and lasted for […]

NGC 1360: The Robin’s Egg Nebula

Copyright: Dong Liang This pretty nebula lies some 1,500 light-years away, its shape and color in this telescopic view reminiscent of a robin’s egg. The cosmic cloud spans about 3 light-years, nestled securely within the boundaries of the southern constellation Fornax. Recognized as a planetary nebula, egg-shaped NGC 1360 doesn’t represent a beginning though. Instead […]

Moonrays of August

Copyright: Gianni Tumino A Full Moon rose as the Sun set on August 1. Near perigee, the closest point in its almost moonthly orbit, the brighter than average lunar disk illuminated night skies around planet Earth as the second supermoon of 2023. Seen here above Ragusa, Sicily, cloud banks cast diverging shadows through the supermoonlit […]

The Falcon and the Redstone

Copyright: Launch Complex 5 In a photo from the early hours of July 29 (UTC), a Redstone rocket and Mercury capsule are on display at Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 5. Beyond the Redstone, the 8 minute long exposure has captured the arcing launch streak of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. The Falcon’s heavy communications satellite […]

M82: Galaxy with a Supergalactic Wind

Copyright: Why is the Cigar Galaxy billowing red smoke? M82, as this starburst galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesn’t fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas and dust, however. Evidence indicates that this gas and dust is being driven out […]

Monster Solar Prominence

Copyright: Mike Wenz The monsters that live on the Sun are not like us. They are larger than the Earth and made of gas hotter than in any teapot. They have no eyes, but at times, many tentacles. They float. Usually, they slowly change shape and just fade back onto the Sun over about a […]

Phobos over Mars

Copyright: Why is Phobos so dark? Phobos, the largest and innermost of the two Martian moons, is the darkest moon in the entire Solar System. Its unusual orbit and color indicate that it may be a captured asteroid composed of a mixture of ice and dark rock. The featured assigned-color picture of Phobos near the […]

Spiral Aurora over Icelandic Divide

Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado Admire the beauty but fear the beast. The beauty is the aurora overhead, here taking the form of a great green spiral, seen between picturesque clouds with the bright Moon to the side and stars in the background. The beast is the wave of charged particles that creates the aurora but […]

Apollo 11: Catching Some Sun

Copyright: Bright sunlight glints as long dark shadows mark this image of the surface of the Moon. It was taken fifty-four years ago, July 20, 1969, by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first to walk on the lunar surface. Pictured is the mission’s lunar module, the Eagle, and spacesuited lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin. […]