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GW200115: Simulation of a Black Hole Merging with a Neutron Star

Copyright: What happens when a black hole destroys a neutron star? Analyses indicate that just such an event created gravitational wave event GW200115, detected in 2020 January by LIGO and Virgo observatories. To better understand the unusual event, the featured visualization was created from a computer simulation. The visualization video starts with the black hole […]

Saturn’s Iapetus: Painted Moon in 3D

Copyright: What has happened to Saturn’s moon Iapetus? Vast sections of this strange world are dark brown, while others are as bright white. The composition of the dark material is unknown, but infrared spectra indicate that it possibly contains some dark form of carbon. Iapetus also has an unusual equatorial ridge that makes it appear […]

M27: The Dumbbell Nebula

M27: The Dumbbell Nebula

Copyright: Bray FallsKeith Quattrocchi What will become of our Sun? The first hint of our Sun’s future was discovered inadvertently in 1764. At that time, Charles Messier was compiling a list of diffuse objects not to be confused with comets. The 27th object on Messier’s list, now known as M27 or the Dumbbell Nebula, is […]

Find the Moon

Find the Moon

Copyright: Jimmy WestlakeColorado Mountain College Where’s the Moon? Somewhere in this image, the Earth’s Moon is hiding. The entire Moon is visible, in its completely full phase, in plain sight. Even the photographer’s keen eye couldn’t find it even though he knew exactly where to look — only the long exposure of his camera picked […]

Mercury and the Da Vinci Glow

Mercury and the Da Vinci Glow

Copyright: Gabriel Funes On July 8th early morning risers saw Mercury near an old Moon low on the eastern horizon. On that date bright planet, faint glow of lunar night side, and sunlit crescent were captured in this predawn skyscape from Tenerife’s Teide National Park in the Canary Islands. Never far from the Sun in […]

M82: Starburst Galaxy with a Superwind

M82: Starburst Galaxy with a Superwind

Copyright: Team ARO M82 is a starburst galaxy with a superwind. In fact, through ensuing supernova explosions and powerful winds from massive stars, the burst of star formation in M82 is driving a prodigious outflow. Evidence for the superwind from the galaxy’s central regions is clear in sharp telescopic snapshot. The composite image highlights emission […]

Perihelion to Aphelion

Perihelion to Aphelion

Copyright: Richard Jaworski Aphelion for 2021 occurred on July 5th. That’s the point in Earth’s elliptical orbit when it is farthest from the Sun. Of course, the distance from the Sun doesn’t determine the seasons. Those are governed by the tilt of Earth’s axis of rotation, so July is still summer in the north and […]

Flight Through the Orion Nebula in Infrared Light

Copyright: What would it look like to fly into the Orion Nebula? The exciting dynamic visualization of the Orion Nebula is based on real astronomical data and adept movie rendering techniques. Up close and personal with a famous stellar nursery normally seen from 1,500 light-years away, the digitally modeled representation based is based on infrared […]

Saturn and Six Moons

Saturn and Six Moons

Copyright: Mohammad Ranjbaran MR Thanks: Amir Ehteshami How many moons does Saturn have? So far 82 have been confirmed, the smallest being only a fraction of a kilometer across. Six of its largest satellites can be seen here in a composite image with 13 short exposure of the bright planet, and 13 long exposures of […]

IC 4592: The Blue Horsehead Reflection Nebula

IC 4592: The Blue Horsehead Reflection Nebula

Copyright: Adam BlockSteward Observatory, University of Arizona Do you see the horse’s head? What you are seeing is not the famous Horsehead nebula toward Orion but rather a fainter nebula that only takes on a familiar form with deeper imaging. The main part of the here imaged molecular cloud complex is a reflection nebula cataloged […]

The Face on Mars

The Face on Mars

Copyright: Wouldn’t it be fun if clouds were castles? Wouldn’t it be fun if the laundry on the bedroom chair was a superhero? Wouldn’t it be fun if rock mesas on Mars were interplanetary monuments to the human face? Clouds, though, are floating droplets of water and ice. Laundry is cotton, wool, or plastic, woven […]

Along the Milky Way

Along the Milky Way

Copyright: Rolf Weisenfeld You can’t walk along the Milky Way. Still, under a dark sky you can explore it. To the eye the pale luminous trail of light arcing through the sky on a dark, moonless night does appear to be a path through the heavens. The glowing celestial band is the faint, collective light […]

AR2835: Islands in the Photosphere

AR2835: Islands in the Photosphere

Copyright: Michael Teoh Awash in a sea of incandescent plasma and anchored in strong magnetic fields, sunspots are planet-sized dark islands in the solar photosphere, the bright surface of the Sun. Found in solar active regions, sunspots look dark only because they are slightly cooler though, with temperatures of about 4,000 kelvins compared to 6,000 […]

Perseverance Selfie with Ingenuity

Perseverance Selfie with Ingenuity

Copyright: On sol 46 (April 6, 2021) the Perseverance rover held out a robotic arm to take its first selfie on Mars. The WATSON camera at the end of the arm was designed to take close-ups of martian rocks and surface details though, and not a quick snap shot of friends and smiling faces. In […]

Simulation: Formation of the First Stars

Copyright: How did the first stars form? To help find out, the SPHINX computer simulation of star formation in the very early universe was created, some results of which are shown in the featured video. Time since the Big Bang is shown in millions of years on the upper left. Even 100 million years after […]