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Find the Man in the Moon

Copyright: Dani Caxete Have you ever seen the Man in the Moon? This common question plays on the ability of humans to see pareidolia — imagining familiar icons where they don’t actually exist. The textured surface of Earth’s full Moon is home to numerous identifications of iconic objects, not only in modern western culture but […]

The Road and the Milky Way

Copyright: David Cruz At night you can follow this road as it passes through the Dark Sky Alqueva reserve not too far from Alentejo, Portugal. Or you could stop, look up, and follow the Milky Way through the sky. Both stretch from horizon to horizon in this 180 degree panorama recorded on June 3. Our […]

Arp 286: Trio in Virgo

Copyright: Nicolas Rolland This colorful telescopic field of view features a trio of interacting galaxies almost 90 million light-years away, toward the constellation Virgo. On the right two spiky, foreground Milky Way stars echo the extragalactic hues, a reminder that stars in our own galaxy are like those in distant island universes. With sweeping spiral […]

Cosmic Clouds in Cygnus

Copyright: Wolfgang Zimmermann These cosmic clouds of gas and dust drift through rich star fields along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the high flying constellation Cygnus. They’re too faint to be seen with the unaided eye though, even on a clear, dark night. Image data from a camera and telephoto lens using […]

Ship Tracks over the Pacific Ocean

Copyright: What are those unusual streaks? Some images of planet Earth show clear bright streaks that follow the paths of ships. Known as ship tracks, these low and narrow bands are caused by the ship’s engine exhaust. Water vapor condenses around small bits of exhaust known as aerosols, which soon grow into floating water drops […]

NGC 6188: Dragons of Ara

Copyright: Shaun Robertson Do dragons fight on the altar of the sky? Although it might appear that way, these dragons are illusions made of thin gas and dust. The emission nebula NGC 6188, home to the glowing clouds, is found about 4,000 light years away near the edge of a large molecular cloud unseen at […]

Milky Way Galaxy Doomed: Collision with Andromeda Pending

Copyright: Will our Milky Way Galaxy collide one day with its larger neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy? Most likely, yes. Careful plotting of slight displacements of M31’s stars relative to background galaxies on recent Hubble Space Telescope images indicate that the center of M31 could be on a direct collision course with the center of our […]

Two Black Holes Dancing in 3C 75

Copyright: What’s happening at the center of active galaxy 3C 75? The two bright sources at the center of this composite x-ray (blue)/ radio (pink) image are co-orbiting supermassive black holes powering the giant radio source 3C 75. Surrounded by multimillion degree x-ray emitting gas, and blasting out jets of relativistic particles the supermassive black […]

Tau Herculids from Space

Copyright: Zhuoxiao Wang On May 31 tens of parallel meteor streaks were recorded in this 8 degree wide field of view of planet Earth’s limb from space. The image is one of a series of 5 minute long observations by the orbiting Yangwang-1 space telescope. It was captured at 03:43 UT, near the peak of […]

A 10,000 Kilometer Galactic Bridge

Copyright: Maxime Oudoux With this creative astro-collaboration you can follow the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy as it bridges northern and southern hemisphere skies. To construct the expansive composite nightscape, skies over Observatorio El Sauce in Chile (top) were imaged on the same date but 6 hours later than the skies over the Saint-Veran […]

Lunar Occultation of Venus

Copyright: Quentin Gineys On May 27 Venus rose as the morning star, near the waning crescent Moon in a predawn sky already full of planets. It was close on the sky to the Moon’s crescent and a conjunction of the second an third brightest celestial beacons were enjoyed by skygazers around the world. But seen […]

Tau Herculids Meteors over Kitt Peak Telescopes

Copyright: Jianwei LyuSteward Obs., U. Arizona It wasn’t the storm of the century — but it was a night to remember. Last night was the peak of the Tau Herculids meteor shower, a usually modest dribble of occasional meteors originating from the disintegrating Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3. This year, calculations showed that the Earth might be […]

Rocket Transits Rippling Sun

Copyright: Michael Cain The launch of a rocket at sunrise can result in unusual but intriguing images that feature both the rocket and the Sun. Such was the case last month when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center carrying 53 more Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. In the […]

Red Crepuscular Rays from an Eclipse

Copyright: Fefo Bouvier What’s happening behind that island? Things both expected and unexpected. Expected, perhaps, the pictured rays of light — called crepuscular rays — originate from the Sun. Unexpected, though, the Sun was being partially eclipsed by the Moon at the time — late last month. Expected, perhaps, the Sun’s rays are quite bright […]

Simulation TNG50: A Galaxy Cluster Forms

Copyright: How do clusters of galaxies form? Since our universe moves too slowly to watch, faster-moving computer simulations are created to help find out. A recent effort is TNG50 from IllustrisTNG, an upgrade of the famous Illustris Simulation. The first part of the featured video tracks cosmic gas (mostly hydrogen) as it evolves into galaxies […]