Milky Way Auroral Flower

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 18 Milky Way Auroral Flower Image Credit & Copyright: Göran Strand Explanation: Could the stem of our Milky Way bloom into an auroral flower?No, not really, even though it may appear that way in today’s featured all-sky image. On the left, the central plane of our home galaxy extends from the horizon past the middle of the sky.On the right, an auroral oval also extends from the sky's center -- but is dominated by bright green-glowing oxygen.The two are not physically connected, because the aurora is relatively nearby, with the higher red parts occurring in Earth's atmosphere only about 1000 kilometers high.In contrast, an average distance to the stars and nebulas we see in the Milky Way more like 1000 light-years away - 10 trillion times further. The featured image composite was taken in early October across a small lake in Abisko, northern Sweden.As our Sun's magnetic field evolves into the active part of its 11-year cycle, auroras near both of Earth's poles are sure to become more frequent. Tomorrow's...

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Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300

APOD: 2022 October 16 - Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300 Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 16 Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300 Image Credit: NASAESA,Hubble Heritage Explanation: Across the center of this spiral galaxy is a bar. And at the center of this bar is smaller spiral. And at the center of that spiral is a supermassive black hole. This all happens in the big, beautiful, barred spiral galaxy cataloged as NGC 1300, a galaxy that lies some 70 million light-years away toward the constellation of the river Eridanus.This Hubble Space Telescope composite view of the gorgeous island universe is one of the most detailed Hubble images ever made of a complete galaxy. NGC 1300 spans over 100,000 light-years and the Hubble image reveals striking details of the galaxy's dominant central bar and majestic spiral arms.How the giant bar formed, how it remains, and how it affects star formation remains an active topic of research. Tomorrow's picture: burst rings <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights...

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X Ray Rings Around a Gamma Ray Burst

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 17 X-Ray Rings Around a Gamma Ray Burst Image Credit: NASA Swift Obs.;Data: B. Cenko (NASA's GSFC), A. Beardmore (U. Leicester) et al.;Processing: J. Miller (U. Michigan) Explanation: Why would x-ray rings appear around a gamma-ray burst? The surprising answer has little to do with the explosion itself but rather with light reflected off areas of dust-laden gas in our own Milky Way Galaxy. GRB 221009Awas a tremendous explosion -- a very bright gamma-ray burst (GRB) that occurred far across the universe with radiation just arriving in our Solar System last week. Since GRBs can also emit copious amounts of x-rays,a bright flash of x-rays arrived nearly simultaneously with the gamma-radiation.In this case, the X-rays also bounced off regions high in dust right here in our Milky Way Galaxy,creating the unusual reflections.The greater the angle between reflecting Milky Way dust and the GRB, the greater the radius of the X-ray rings, and, typically, the longer it takes for these light-echoes to arrive. Tomorrow's picture: a flowering aurora <| Archive| Submissions...

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GRB 221009A

APOD: 2022 October 15 - GRB 221009A Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 15 GRB 221009A Image Credit: NASA,DOE,Fermi LAT Collaboration Explanation: Gamma-ray burst GRB 221009Alikely signals the birth of a new black hole,formed at the core of a collapsing starlong ago in the distant universe.The extremely powerful blast is depicted in this animated gif constructedusing data from theFermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope.Fermi captured the data at gamma-ray energies, detectingphotons with over 100 million electron volts.In comparison visible light photons have energies ofabout 2 electron volts.A steady,high energy gamma-ray glow from the planeof our Milky Way galaxy runsdiagonally through the20 degree wide frame at the left,while the transient gamma-ray flash from GRB 221009A appearsat center and then fades.One of the brightest gamma-ray bursts ever detectedGRB 221009A is also close as far as gamma-ray bursts go,but still lies about 2 billion light-years away.In low Earth orbitFermi’s Large Area Telescope recorded gamma-ray photons from the burstfor more than 10 hours as high-energy radiation from GRB 221009Aswept over planet Earthlast Sunday, October 9. Tomorrow's picture: barred spiral<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS|...

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Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 16 Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300 Image Credit: NASAESA,Hubble Heritage Explanation: Across the center of this spiral galaxy is a bar. And at the center of this bar is smaller spiral. And at the center of that spiral is a supermassive black hole. This all happens in the big, beautiful, barred spiral galaxy cataloged as NGC 1300, a galaxy that lies some 70 million light-years away toward the constellation of the river Eridanus.This Hubble Space Telescope composite view of the gorgeous island universe is one of the most detailed Hubble images ever made of a complete galaxy. NGC 1300 spans over 100,000 light-years and the Hubble image reveals striking details of the galaxy's dominant central bar and majestic spiral arms.How the giant bar formed, how it remains, and how it affects star formation remains an active topic of research. Tomorrow's picture: burst rings <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important...

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The Falcon and the Hunter s Moon

APOD: 2022 October 14 - The Falcon and the Hunter s Moon Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 14 The Falcon and the Hunter's Moon Image Credit &Copyright: Michael Seeley Explanation: The Full Moon of October 9thwas the second Full Moon after thenorthern hemisphere autumnal equinox, traditionally called theHunter's Moon.According to lore, the name is a fitting one because thisFull Moon lights the night during a time for huntingin preparation for the coming winter months.In this snapshot, a nearly full Hunter's Moonwas captured just after sunset on October 8, rising in skies overFlorida's Space Coast.Rising from planet Eartha Falcon 9 rocket pierces the bright lunar diskfrom the photographer's vantage point.Ripples and fringes along the edge of the lunar disk appear assupersonicshock waves generated by therocket's passagechange the atmosphere's index of refraction. Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA ScienceActivation& Michigan Tech. U.

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GRB 221009A

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 15 GRB 221009A Image Credit: NASA,DOE,Fermi LAT Collaboration Explanation: Gamma-ray burst GRB 221009Alikely signals the birth of a new black hole,formed at the core of a collapsing starlong ago in the distant universe.The extremely powerful blast is depicted in this animated gif constructedusing data from theFermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope.Fermi captured the data at gamma-ray energies, detectingphotons with over 100 million electron volts.In comparison visible light photons have energies ofabout 2 electron volts.A steady,high energy gamma-ray glow from the planeof our Milky Way galaxy runsdiagonally through the20 degree wide frame at the left,while the transient gamma-ray flash from GRB 221009A appearsat center and then fades.One of the brightest gamma-ray bursts ever detectedGRB 221009A is also close as far as gamma-ray bursts go,but still lies about 2 billion light-years away.In low Earth orbitFermi’s Large Area Telescope recorded gamma-ray photons from the burstfor more than 10 hours as high-energy radiation from GRB 221009Aswept over planet Earthlast Sunday, October 9. Tomorrow's picture: barred spiral<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About...

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Dust Shells around WR 140 from Webb

APOD: 2022 October 13 - Dust Shells around WR 140 from Webb Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 13 Dust Shells around WR 140 from Webb Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA,JWST, MIRI,ERS Program 1349; Processing: Judy Schmidt Explanation: What are those strange rings?Rich in dust, the rings are likely 3D shells -- but how they were created remains a topic of research. Where they were created is well known: in a binary star system that lies about 6,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus) -- a system dominated by the Wolf-Rayet star WR 140. Wolf-Rayet stars are massive, bright, and known for their tumultuous winds.They are also known for creating and dispersing heavy elements such as carbon which is a building block of interstellar dust.The other star in the binary is also bright and massive -- but not as active. The two great stars joust in an oblong orbit as they approach each other about every eight years.When at closest approach, the X-ray emission from the system increases, as, apparently, does the dust expelled into space --...

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The Falcon and the Hunter s Moon

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 14 The Falcon and the Hunter's Moon Image Credit &Copyright: Michael Seeley Explanation: The Full Moon of October 9thwas the second Full Moon after thenorthern hemisphere autumnal equinox, traditionally called theHunter's Moon.According to lore, the name is a fitting one because thisFull Moon lights the night during a time for huntingin preparation for the coming winter months.In this snapshot, a nearly full Hunter's Moonwas captured just after sunset on October 8, rising in skies overFlorida's Space Coast.Rising from planet Eartha Falcon 9 rocket pierces the bright lunar diskfrom the photographer's vantage point.Ripples and fringes along the edge of the lunar disk appear assupersonicshock waves generated by therocket's passagechange the atmosphere's index of refraction. Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC,NASA ScienceActivation& Michigan Tech. U.

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Ou4: The Giant Squid Nebula

APOD: 2022 October 12 - Ou4: The Giant Squid Nebula Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 12 Ou4: The Giant Squid Nebula Image Credit &Copyright: Tommy Lease Explanation: A mysterious squid-like cosmic cloud, this nebulais very faint, but also very large in planet Earth's sky.In the image,composed with 30 hours of narrowband image data,it spans nearly three full moons toward the royal constellation Cepheus.Discovered in 2011 byFrench astro-imagerNicolas Outters,the Squid Nebula'sbipolar shape is distinguished hereby the telltale blue-greenemission fromdoubly ionized oxygen atoms.Though apparentlysurrounded bythe reddish hydrogen emission region Sh2-129,the true distance and nature of the SquidNebula have been difficult to determine.Still, a morerecent investigationsuggests Ou4 really does liewithin Sh2-129some 2,300 light-years away.Consistent with that scenario, the cosmic squidwould represent a spectacular outflow of material driven by atriple systemof hot, massive stars, cataloged as HR8119,seen near the center of the nebula.If so, this truly giant squid nebula would physically be over50 light-years across. Tomorrow's picture: dust shells in space<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific...

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Dust Shells around WR 140 from Webb

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 13 Dust Shells around WR 140 from Webb Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA,JWST, MIRI,ERS Program 1349; Processing: Judy Schmidt Explanation: What are those strange rings?Rich in dust, the rings are likely 3D shells -- but how they were created remains a topic of research. Where they were created is well known: in a binary star system that lies about 6,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus) -- a system dominated by the Wolf-Rayet star WR 140. Wolf-Rayet stars are massive, bright, and known for their tumultuous winds.They are also known for creating and dispersing heavy elements such as carbon which is a building block of interstellar dust.The other star in the binary is also bright and massive -- but not as active. The two great stars joust in an oblong orbit as they approach each other about every eight years.When at closest approach, the X-ray emission from the system increases, as, apparently, does the dust expelled into space -- creating another shell. The featured infrared image...

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Stars, Dust, Pillars, and Jets in the Pelican Nebula

APOD: 2022 October 11 - Stars, Dust, Pillars, and Jets in the Pelican Nebula Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 11 Stars, Dust, Pillars, and Jets in the Pelican Nebula Image Credit & Copyright: Adriano Almeida Explanation: What dark structures arise within the Pelican Nebula?On the whole, the nebula appears like a bird (a pelican) and is seen toward the constellation of a different bird: Cygnus, a Swan.But inside, the Pelican Nebula is a place lit up by new stars and befouled by dark dust.Smoke-sized dust grains start as simple carbon compounds formed in the cool atmospheres of young stars but are dispersed by stellar winds and explosions. Two impressive Herbig-Haro jets are seen emitted by the star HH 555 on the right, and these jets are helping to destroy the light year-long dust pillar that contains it. Other pillars and jets are also visible.The featured image was scientifically-colored to emphasize light emitted by small amounts of heavy elements in a nebula made predominantly of the light elementshydrogen and helium. The Pelican Nebula (IC 5067 and IC 5070) is about 2,000...

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Ou4: The Giant Squid Nebula

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 12 Ou4: The Giant Squid Nebula Image Credit &Copyright: Tommy Lease Explanation: A mysterious squid-like cosmic cloud, this nebulais very faint, but also very large in planet Earth's sky.In the image,composed with 30 hours of narrowband image data,it spans nearly three full moons toward the royal constellation Cepheus.Discovered in 2011 byFrench astro-imagerNicolas Outters,the Squid Nebula'sbipolar shape is distinguished hereby the telltale blue-greenemission fromdoubly ionized oxygen atoms.Though apparentlysurrounded bythe reddish hydrogen emission region Sh2-129,the true distance and nature of the SquidNebula have been difficult to determine.Still, a morerecent investigationsuggests Ou4 really does liewithin Sh2-129some 2,300 light-years away.Consistent with that scenario, the cosmic squidwould represent a spectacular outflow of material driven by atriple systemof hot, massive stars, cataloged as HR8119,seen near the center of the nebula.If so, this truly giant squid nebula would physically be over50 light-years across. Tomorrow's picture: dust shells in space<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and...

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A Double Lunar Analemma over Turkey

An

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Stars, Dust, Pillars, and Jets in the Pelican Nebula

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 11 Stars, Dust, Pillars, and Jets in the Pelican Nebula Image Credit & Copyright: Adriano Almeida Explanation: What dark structures arise within the Pelican Nebula?On the whole, the nebula appears like a bird (a pelican) and is seen toward the constellation of a different bird: Cygnus, a Swan.But inside, the Pelican Nebula is a place lit up by new stars and befouled by dark dust.Smoke-sized dust grains start as simple carbon compounds formed in the cool atmospheres of young stars but are dispersed by stellar winds and explosions. Two impressive Herbig-Haro jets are seen emitted by the star HH 555 on the right, and these jets are helping to destroy the light year-long dust pillar that contains it. Other pillars and jets are also visible.The featured image was scientifically-colored to emphasize light emitted by small amounts of heavy elements in a nebula made predominantly of the light elementshydrogen and helium. The Pelican Nebula (IC 5067 and IC 5070) is about 2,000 light-years away and can be found with a small...

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Auroras over Northern Canada

APOD: 2022 October 9 - Auroras over Northern Canada Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 9 Auroras over Northern Canada Image Credit & Copyright: Kwon, O Chul(TWAN) Explanation: Gusting solar windsand blasts of charged particles from the Sunresulted in several rewarding nights of aurorasback in 2014 December, near the peak of the last 11-year solar cycle. The featured image captured dramatic auroras stretching across a sky near the town of Yellowknife in northern Canada. The auroras were so bright that they not only inspired awe, but were easily visible on an image exposure of only 1.3 seconds.A video taken concurrently shows the dancing sky lights evolving in real time as tourists, many there just to see auroras, respond with cheers.The conical dwellings on the image right are tipis, while far in the background, near the image center, is the constellation of Orion. Auroras may increase again over the next few years as our Sun again approaches solar maximum. Tomorrow's picture: double lunar analemma <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU)...

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A Double Lunar Analemma over Turkey

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Two Comets in Southern Skies

APOD: 2022 October 8 - Two Comets in Southern Skies Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 8 Two Comets in Southern Skies Image Credit &Copyright: Jose J. Chambo (Cometografia) Explanation: Heading for its closest approach to the Sunor perihelion on December 20, cometC/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) remains a sightfor telescopic observers as it sweepsthrough planet Earth's southern hemisphere skies. First time visitorfrom theremote Oort cloudthis comet PanSTARRS sportsa greenish coma and whitish dust tail about half adegree long at the upper left in a deep image from September 21.It also shares the starry field of view toward the constellationScorpius with another comet,73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3,seen about 1 degreebelow and rightof PanSTARRS.Astronomers estimate that first time visitor cometC/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS)has been inbound from the Oort cloud for some 3 million yearsalong a hyperbolic orbit.Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 is more familiar though. The periodic comet loops through its ownelliptical orbit, from just beyond the orbit of Jupiter to the vicinityof Earth's orbit, once every 5.4 years.Just passing in the night, this comet PanSTARRS is about 20light-minutes from Earth in theSeptember 21 image.Seen to be disintegrating since 1995,Schwassmann-Wachmann 3was...

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Auroras over Northern Canada

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 9 Auroras over Northern Canada Image Credit & Copyright: Kwon, O Chul(TWAN) Explanation: Gusting solar windsand blasts of charged particles from the Sunresulted in several rewarding nights of aurorasback in 2014 December, near the peak of the last 11-year solar cycle. The featured image captured dramatic auroras stretching across a sky near the town of Yellowknife in northern Canada. The auroras were so bright that they not only inspired awe, but were easily visible on an image exposure of only 1.3 seconds.A video taken concurrently shows the dancing sky lights evolving in real time as tourists, many there just to see auroras, respond with cheers.The conical dwellings on the image right are tipis, while far in the background, near the image center, is the constellation of Orion. Auroras may increase again over the next few years as our Sun again approaches solar maximum. Tomorrow's picture: double lunar analemma <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official:...

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Two Comets in Southern Skies

Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 October 8 Two Comets in Southern Skies Image Credit &Copyright: Jose J. Chambo (Cometografia) Explanation: Heading for its closest approach to the Sunor perihelion on December 20, cometC/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) remains a sightfor telescopic observers as it sweepsthrough planet Earth's southern hemisphere skies. First time visitorfrom theremote Oort cloudthis comet PanSTARRS sportsa greenish coma and whitish dust tail about half adegree long at the upper left in a deep image from September 21.It also shares the starry field of view toward the constellationScorpius with another comet,73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3,seen about 1 degreebelow and rightof PanSTARRS.Astronomers estimate that first time visitor cometC/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS)has been inbound from the Oort cloud for some 3 million yearsalong a hyperbolic orbit.Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 is more familiar though. The periodic comet loops through its ownelliptical orbit, from just beyond the orbit of Jupiter to the vicinityof Earth's orbit, once every 5.4 years.Just passing in the night, this comet PanSTARRS is about 20light-minutes from Earth in theSeptember 21 image.Seen to be disintegrating since 1995,Schwassmann-Wachmann 3was about 7.8 light-minutes away. Tomorrow's...

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