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The Eyes in Markarian’s Galaxy Chain

Copyright: Mike Selby Across the heart of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster lies a string of galaxies known as Markarian’s Chain. Prominent in Markarian’s Chain are these two interacting galaxies, NGC 4438 (left) and NGC 4435 – also known as The Eyes. About 50 million light-years away, the two galaxies appear to be about 100,000 light-years […]

A Picturesque Equinox Sunset

Copyright: Alan Dyer, Amazingsky.com, TWAN What’s that at the end of the road? The Sun. Many towns have roads that run east-west, and on two days each year, the Sun rises and sets right down the middle. Today, in some parts of the world (tomorrow in others), is one of those days: an equinox. Not […]

Comet Pons-Brooks’ Swirling Coma

Copyright: Jan Erik Vallestad A bright comet will be visible during next month’s total solar eclipse. This very unusual coincidence occurs because Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks’s return to the inner Solar System places it by chance only 25 degrees away from the Sun during Earth’s April 8 total solar eclipse. Currently the comet is just on the […]

NGC 7714: Starburst after Galaxy Collision

Copyright: Is this galaxy jumping through a giant ring of stars? Probably not. Although the precise dynamics behind the featured image is yet unclear, what is clear is that the pictured galaxy, NGC 7714, has been stretched and distorted by a recent collision with a neighboring galaxy. This smaller neighbor, NGC 7715, situated off to […]

ELT and the Milky Way

Copyright: The southern winter Milky Way sprawls across this night skyscape. Looking due south, the webcam view was recorded near local midnight on March 11 in dry, dark skies over the central Chilean Atacama desert. Seen below the graceful arc of diffuse starlight are satellite galaxies of the mighty Milky Way, also known as the […]

Portrait of NGC 1055

Copyright: Dave Doctor Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 1055 is a dominant member of a small galaxy group a mere 60 million light-years away toward the aquatically intimidating constellation Cetus. Seen edge-on, the island universe spans over 100,000 light-years, a little larger than our own Milky Way galaxy. The colorful, spiky stars decorating this cosmic […]

Moon Pi and Mountain Shadow

Copyright: El Cielo de Canarias What phase of the Moon is 3.14 radians from the Sun? The Full Moon, of course. Even though the Moon might look full for several days, the Moon is truly at its full phase when it is Pi radians (aka 180 degrees) from the Sun in ecliptic longitude. That’s opposite […]

The Seagull Nebula

Copyright: Gianni Lacroce A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth, suggesting its popular moniker: the Seagull Nebula. This portrait of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6-degree wide swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction of Sirius, the alpha star of the […]

A Galaxy-Shaped Rocket Exhaust Spiral

Copyright: Seung Hye Yang What’s that over the horizon? What may look like a strangely nearby galaxy is actually a normal rocket’s exhaust plume — but unusually backlit. Although the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA, its burned propellant was visible over a much wider area, with the featured […]

A Full Plankton Moon

Copyright: Petr Horálek / Institute of Physics in Opava What glows in the night? This night featured a combination of usual and unusual glows. Perhaps the most usual glow was from the Moon, a potentially familiar object. The full Moon’s nearly vertical descent results from the observer being near Earth’s equator. As the Moon sets, […]

A Total Eclipse at the End of the World

Copyright: Fred Bruenjes (moonglow.net) Would you go to the end of the world to see a total eclipse of the Sun? If you did, would you be surprised to find someone else there already? In 2003, the Sun, the Moon, Antarctica, and two photographers all lined up in Antarctica during an unusual total solar eclipse. […]

Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring

Copyright: Petr Horálek As spring approaches for northern skygazers Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is growing brighter. Currently visible with small telescopes and binoculars the Halley-type comet could reach naked eye visibility in the coming weeks. Seen despite a foggy atmosphere, the comet’s green coma and long tail hover near the horizon, in this well-composed deep night skyscape […]

The Tarantula Zone

Copyright: Robert Gendler The Tarantula Nebula, also known as 30 Doradus, is more than a thousand light-years in diameter, a giant star forming region within nearby satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. About 180 thousand light-years away, it’s the largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies. The cosmic […]

The Crew-8 Nebula

Copyright: Michael Seeley Not the James Webb Space Telescope’s latest view of a distant galactic nebula, this cloud of gas and dust dazzled spacecoast skygazers on March 3. The telephoto snapshot was taken minutes after the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket on the SpaceX Crew-8 mission, to the International Space Station. It captures plumes […]

M102: Edge-on Disk Galaxy

Copyright: What kind of celestial object is this? A relatively normal galaxy — but seen from its edge. Many disk galaxies are actually just as thin as NGC 5866, the Spindle galaxy, pictured here, but are not seen edge-on from our vantage point. A perhaps more familiar galaxy seen edge-on is our own Milky Way […]