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M57: The Ring Nebula from Hubble

Copyright: It was noticed hundreds of years ago by stargazers who could not understand its unusual shape. It looked like a ring on the sky. Except for the rings of Saturn, the Ring Nebula (M57) may be the most famous celestial circle. We now know what it is, and that its iconic shape is due […]

NGC 2442: Galaxy in Volans

Copyright: Nicolas Rolland Distorted galaxy NGC 2442 can be found in the southern constellation of the flying fish, (Piscis) Volans. Located about 50 million light-years away, the galaxy’s two spiral arms extending from a pronounced central bar give it a hook-shaped appearance in this deep colorful image, with spiky foreground stars scattered across the telescopic […]

Seeing Titan

Copyright: Shrouded in a thick atmosphere, Saturn’s largest moon Titan really is hard to see. Small particles suspended in the upper atmosphere cause an almost impenetrable haze, strongly scattering light at visible wavelengths and hiding Titan’s surface features from prying eyes. But Titan’s surface is better imaged at infrared wavelengths where scattering is weaker and […]

NGC 4372 and the Dark Doodad

Copyright: Matias Tomasello The delightful Dark Doodad Nebula drifts through southern skies, a tantalizing target for binoculars toward the small constellation Musca, The Fly. The dusty cosmic cloud is seen against rich starfields just south of the Coalsack Nebula and the Southern Cross. Stretching for about 3 degrees across the center of this telephoto field […]

Sh2-308: A Dolphin Shaped Star Bubble

Copyright: Aleix RoigAstroCatInfo Which star created this bubble? It wasn’t the bright star on the bubble’s right. And it also wasn’t a giant space dolphin. It was the star in the blue nebula’s center, a famously energetic Wolf-Rayet star. Wolf-Rayet stars in general have over 20 times the mass of our Sun and expel fast […]

A Multiple Green Flash Sunset

Copyright: T. SlovinskýP. HorálekIoP OpavaCTIONOIRLabNSFAURA Yes, but can your green flash do this? A green flash at sunset is a rare event that many Sun watchers pride themselves on having seen.  Once thought to be a myth, a green flash is now understood to occur when the Earth’s atmosphere acts like both a prism and a […]

Aurora Over Arctic Henge

Copyright: Cari Letelier Reports of powerful solar flares started a seven-hour quest north to capture modern monuments against an aurora-filled sky. The peaks of iconic Arctic Henge in Raufarhöfn in northern Iceland were already aligned with the stars: some are lined up toward the exact north from one side and toward exact south from the […]

Wanderers

Copyright: How far out will humanity explore? If this video’s fusion of real space imagery and fictional space visualizations is on the right track, then at least the Solar System. Some of the video’s wondrous sequences depict future humans drifting through the rings of Saturn, exploring Jupiter from a nearby spacecraft, and jumping off a […]

Venus and the Da Vinci Glow

Copyright: Giorgia Hofer On March 23 early evening skygazers could watch Venus and a young crescent moon, both near the western horizon. On that date Earth’s brilliant evening star, faint lunar night side and slender sunlit crescent were captured in this telephoto skyscape posing alongside a church tower from Danta di Cadore, Dolomiti, Italy. Of […]

Outbound Comet ZTF

Copyright: Former darling Former darling of the northern sky Comet C/2022E3 (ZTF) has faded. During its closest approach to our fair planet in early February Comet ZTF was a mere 2.3 light-minutes distant. Then known as the green comet, this visitor from the remote Oort Cloud is now nearly 13.3 light-minutes away. In this deep […]

Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841

Copyright: Roberto Marinoni A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in planet Earth’s night sky toward the northern constellation of Ursa Major. This sharp image centered on the gorgeous island universe also captures spiky foreground Milky Way stars and more distant background galaxies within the same telescopic field of […]

M31: The Andromeda Galaxy

Copyright: Abdullah Al-Harbi How far can you see? The most distant object easily visible to the unaided eye is M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy, over two million light-years away. Without a telescope, even this immense spiral galaxy appears as an unremarkable, faint, nebulous cloud in the constellation Andromeda. But a bright white nucleus, dark winding […]

Dark Nebulae and Star Formation in Taurus

Copyright: Vikas Chander Can dust be beautiful? Yes, and it can also be useful. The Taurus molecular cloud has several bright stars, but it is the dark dust that really draws attention. The pervasive dust has waves and ripples and makes picturesque dust bunnies, but perhaps more importantly, it marks regions where interstellar gas is […]

M1: The Expanding Crab Nebula

Copyright: Detlef Hartmann Are your eyes good enough to see the Crab Nebula expand? The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first on Charles Messier’s famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, an expanding cloud of debris from the explosion of […]

Equinox at the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent

Copyright: Robert Fedez To see the feathered serpent descend the Mayan pyramid requires exquisite timing. You must visit El Castillo — in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula — near an equinox. Then, during the late afternoon if the sky is clear, the pyramid’s own shadows create triangles that merge into the famous illusion of a slithering viper. […]