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Video: Perseverance Landing on Mars

Copyright: What would it look like to land on Mars? To better monitor the instruments involved in the Entry, Decent, and Landing of the Perseverance Rover on Mars last week, cameras with video capability were included that have now returned their images. The featured 3.5-minute composite video begins with the opening of a huge parachute […]

Moon Rising Between Starships

Moon Rising Between Starships

Copyright: John Kraus What’s that on either side of the Moon? Starships. Specifically, they are launch-and-return reusable rockets being developed by SpaceX to lift cargo and eventually humans from the Earth’s surface into space. The two rockets pictured are SN9 (Serial Number 9) and SN10 which were captured near their Boca Chica, Texas launchpad last […]

NGC 2244: A Star Cluster in the Rosette Nebula

NGC 2244: A Star Cluster in the Rosette Nebula

Copyright: Don Goldman In the heart of the Rosette Nebula lies a bright open cluster of stars that lights up the nebula. The stars of NGC 2244 formed from the surrounding gas only a few million years ago. The featured image taken in January using multiple exposures and very specific colors of Sulfur (shaded red), […]

Perseverance: How to Land on Mars

Perseverance: How to Land on Mars

Copyright: Slung beneath its rocket powered descent stage Perseverance hangs only a few meters above the martian surface, captured here moments before its February 18 touchdown on the Red Planet. The breath-taking view followed an intense seven minute trip from the top of the martian atmosphere. Part of a high resolution video, the picture was […]

Mars Perseverance Sol 0

Mars Perseverance Sol 0

Copyright: After a 203 day interplanetary voyage, and seven minutes of terror, Perseverance has landed on Mars. Confirmation of the successful landing at Jezero crater was announced from mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 12:55 pm PST on February 18. The car-sized Mars rover’s Front Left Hazard Avoidance Camera acquired […]

Swiss Alps, Martian Sky

Swiss Alps, Martian Sky

Copyright: Jens Bydal Taken on February 6, this snowy mountain and skyscape was captured near Melchsee-Frutt, central Switzerland, planet Earth. The reddish daylight and blue tinted glow around the afternoon Sun are colors of the Martian sky, though. Of course both worlds have the same Sun. From Mars, the Sun looks only about half as […]

Sun Pillar with Upper Tangent Arc

Sun Pillar with Upper Tangent Arc

Copyright: Mike Cohea This was not a typical sun pillar. Just after sunrise two weeks ago in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, a photographer, looking out his window, was suddenly awestruck. The astonishment was caused by a sun pillar that fanned out at the top. Sun pillars, singular columns of light going up from the Sun, […]

Perseverance: Seven Minutes to Mars

Copyright: How hard is it to land safely on Mars? So hard that many more attempts have failed than succeeded. The next attempt will be on Thursday. The main problem is that the Martian atmosphere is too thick to ignore — or it will melt your spacecraft. On the other hand, the atmosphere is too […]

Landing on Mars: Seven Minutes of Terror

Copyright: Starting Thursday, there may be an amazing new robotic explorer on Mars. Or there may be a new pile of junk. It all likely depends on things going correctly in the minutes after the Mars 2020 mission arrives at its new home planet and attempts to deploy the Perseverance rover. Arguably the most sophisticated […]

Long Stem Rosette Nebula

Long Stem Rosette Nebula

Copyright: Adam BlockTim Puckett Would the Rosette Nebula by any other name look as sweet? The bland New General Catalog designation of NGC 2237 doesn’t appear to diminish the appearance of this flowery emission nebula, at the top of the image, atop a long stem of glowing hydrogen gas. Inside the nebula lies an open […]

Stereo Eros

Stereo Eros

Copyright: Get out your red/blue glasses and float next to asteroid 433 Eros. Orbiting the Sun once every 1.8 years, the near-Earth asteroid is named for the Greek god of love. Still, its shape more closely resembles a lumpy potato than a heart. Eros is a diminutive 40 x 14 x 14 kilometer world of […]

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1350

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1350

Copyright: Mike Selby This gorgeous island universe lies about 85 million light-years distant in the southern constellation Fornax. Inhabited by young blue star clusters, the tightly wound spiral arms of NGC 1350 seem to join in a circle around the galaxy’s large, bright nucleus, giving it the appearance of a cosmic eye. In fact, NGC […]

Cygnus Mosaic 2010 – 2020

Cygnus Mosaic 2010 – 2020

Copyright: Astro Anarchy In brush strokes of interstellar dust and glowing gas, this beautiful skyscape is painted across the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy near the northern end of the Great Rift and the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Composed over a decade with 400 hours of image data, the broad mosaic spans an impressive […]

Firing Lasers to Tame the Sky

Firing Lasers to Tame the Sky

Copyright: Juan Carlos MuñozESO Text: Juan Carlos Muñoz Why do stars twinkle? Our atmosphere is to blame as pockets of slightly off-temperature air, in constant motion, distort the light paths from distant astronomical objects. Atmospheric turbulence is a problem for astronomers because it blurs the images of the sources they want to study. The telescope […]

Flashes of the Crab Pulsar

Copyright: Martin Fiedler It somehow survived an explosion that would surely have destroyed our Sun. Now it is spins 30 times a second and is famous for the its rapid flashes. It is the Crab Pulsar, the rotating neutron star remnant of the supernova that created the Crab Nebula. A careful eye can spot the […]