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Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun

Copyright: This was a very unusual type of solar eclipse. Typically, it is the Earth’s Moon that eclipses the Sun. In 2012, though, the planet Venus took a turn. Like a solar eclipse by the Moon, the phase of Venus became a continually thinner crescent as Venus became increasingly better aligned with the Sun. Eventually […]

Interstellar Comet 2I Borisov

Copyright: From somewhere else in the Milky Way galaxy, Comet 2I/Borisov was just visiting the Solar System. Discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov on August 30, 2019, the first known interstellar comet is seen in these two Hubble Space Telescope images from November and December 2019. On the left, a distant background galaxy near the […]

The Multiwavelength Crab

Copyright: The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier’s famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, expanding debris from massive star’s death explosion, witnessed on planet Earth in 1054 AD. This brave new image offers a 21st […]

Record Prominence Imaged by Solar Orbiter

Copyright: What’s happened to our Sun? Last month, it produced the largest prominence ever imaged together with a complete solar disk. The record image, featured, was captured in ultraviolet light by the Sun-orbiting Solar Orbiter spacecraft. A quiescent solar prominence is a cloud of hot gas held above the Sun’s surface by the Sun’s magnetic […]

Dueling Bands in the Night

Copyright: Jeff DaiTWAN What are these two bands in the sky? The more commonly seen band is the one on the right and is the central band of our Milky Way galaxy. Our Sun orbits in the disk of this spiral galaxy, so that from inside, this disk appears as a band of comparable brightness […]

Direct Projection: The Moon in My Hands

Copyright: Jeff Graphy You don’t have to look through a telescope to know where it’s pointing. Allowing the telescope to project its image onto a large surface can be useful because it dilutes the intense brightness of very bright sources. Such dilution is useful for looking at the Sun, for example during a solar eclipse. […]

Earthrise 1: Historic Image Remastered

Copyright: “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow is that pretty!” Soon after that pronouncement, 50 years ago today, one of the most famous images ever taken was snapped from the orbit of the Moon. Now known as “Earthrise”, the iconic image shows the Earth rising above […]

Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945

Copyright: Dietmar Hager Large spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen nearly edge-on in this cosmic galaxy close-up. It’s almost the size of our Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 4945’s own dusty disk, young blue star clusters, and pink star forming regions stand out in the colorful telescopic frame. About 13 million light-years distant toward the expansive […]

Perseverance Sol 354

Copyright: This Navcam mosaic from Perseverance looks out over the car-sized rover’s deck, across the floor of Jezero crater on Mars. Frames used to construct the mosaic view were captured on mission sol 354. That corresponds to Earth calendar date February 17, 2022, nearly one Earth year after the rover’s landing. With a mass of […]

Beautiful Albireo AB

Copyright: Robert Eder Beta Cygni is a single bright star to the naked eye. About 420 light-years away it marks the foot of the Northern Cross, famous asterism in the constellation Cygnus. But a view through the eyepiece of a small telescope will transform it into a beautiful double star, a treasure of the night […]

Orion over Green Bank

Copyright: Dave Green What will the huge Green Bank Telescope discover tonight? Pictured, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) on the lower right is the largest fully-pointable single-dish radio telescope in the world. With a central dish larger than a football field, the GBT is nestled in the hills of West Virginia, USA […]

Illustration: An Early Quasar

Copyright: What did the first quasars look like? The nearest quasars are now known to involve supermassive black holes in the centers of active galaxies. Gas and dust that falls toward a quasar glows brightly, sometimes outglowing the entire home galaxy. The quasars that formed in the first billion years of the universe are more […]

Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217

Copyright: Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a modest central bar. Prominently barred spiral galaxy NGC 6217, featured here, was captured in spectacular detail in this image taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. Visible […]

Aurora Over White Dome Geyser

Copyright: Robert Howell Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt. Colorful auroras erupted unexpectedly a few years ago, with green aurora appearing near the horizon and brilliant bands of red aurora blooming high overhead. A bright Moon lit the foreground of this picturesque scene, while familiar stars could be seen far in the distance. With planning, […]

Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273

Copyright: Jason Guenzel The spiky stars in the foreground of this backyard telescopic frame are well within our own Milky Way Galaxy. But the two eye-catching galaxies lie far beyond the Milky Way, at a distance of over 300 million light-years. Their distorted appearance is due to gravitational tides as the pair engage in close […]