Full Moon Perseids

APOD: 2022 August 18 - Full Moon Perseids 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 August 18 Full Moon Perseids Image Credit &Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado(Starry Earth,TWAN) Explanation: The annualPerseid meteor showerwas near its peak on August 13.As planet Earth crossed through streams of debris left by periodicComet Swift-Tuttlemeteors rained in northern summer night skies.But eventhat night's nearly Full Moonshining near the top of this compositedview couldn't hide all of the popular shower's meteor streaks.The image captures some of the brightest perseid meteors in manyshort exposures recorded over more than two hours before the dawn.It places the shower's radiant in the heroic constellation of Perseusjust behind a well-lit medieval tower in the village ofSant Llorenc de la Muga, Girona, Spain.Observed in medieval times, the Perseid meteor showeris also known in Catholic tradition as the Tears of St. Lawrence,and festivities are celebrated close to the annual peak of the meteor shower.Joining the Full Moonopposite the Sun,bright planet Saturn also shines in the frame at the upper right. Tomorrow's picture: one Saturn year<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| >...

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Stargate Milky Way

APOD: 2022 August 17 - Stargate Milky Way 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 August 17 Stargate Milky Way Image Credit & Copyright: Maxime Oudoux Explanation: There is a huge gate of stars in the sky, and you pass through it twice a day.The stargate is actually our Milky Way Galaxy, and it is the spin of the Earth that appears to propel you through it.More typically, the central band of our Milky Way appears as a faint band stretching across the sky, only visible in away from bright city lights.In a long-exposure wide-angle image from a dark location like this, though, the Milky Way's central plane is easily visible.The featured picture is a digital composite involving multiple exposures taken on the same night and with the same camera, but employing a stereographic projection that causes the Milky Way to appear as a giant circular portal.Inside the stargate-like arc of our Galaxy is a faint stripe called zodiacal light -- sunlight reflected by dust in our Solar System.In the foreground are cacti and dry rocks found in the rough terrain of the...

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A Meteor Wind over Tunisia

APOD: 2022 August 16 - A Meteor Wind over Tunisia 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 August 16 A Meteor Wind over Tunisia Image Credit & Copyright: Makrem Larnaout Explanation: Does the Earth ever pass through a wind of meteors?Yes, and they are frequently visible as meteor showers.Almost all meteors are sand-sized debris that escaped from a Sun-orbiting comet or asteroid, debris that continues in an elongated orbit around the Sun.Circling the same Sun, our Earth can move through an orbiting debris stream, where it can appear, over time, as a meteor wind.The meteors that light up in Earth's atmosphere, however, are usually destroyed.Their streaks, though, can all be traced back to a single point on the sky called the radiant. The featured image composite was taken over two days in late July near the ancient Berber village Zriba El Alia in Tunisia, during the peak of the Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower.The radiant is to the right of the image.A few days ago our Earth experienced the peak of a more famous meteor wind -- the Perseids. Tomorrow's picture: stargate milky...

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The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation

APOD: 2022 August 15 - The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation 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 August 15 The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation Image Credit & Copyright: Johan Bogaerts Explanation: The North America nebula on the sky can do what theNorth America continent on Earth cannot -- form stars. Specifically, in analogy to the Earth-confined continent, the bright part that appears as Central America and Mexico is actually a hot bed of gas, dust, and newly formed stars known as the Cygnus Wall. The featured image shows the star forming wall lit and eroded by bright young stars, and partly hidden by the dark dust they have created. The part of the North America nebula (NGC 7000) shown spans about 15 light years and lies about 1,500 light years away toward the constellationof the Swan (Cygnus). Tomorrow's picture: meteor wind <| 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 Science Activation& Michigan Tech. U.

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4000 Exoplanets

APOD: 2022 August 14 - 4000 Exoplanets 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. 4000 Exoplanets Video Credit: SYSTEM Sounds(M. Russo, A. Santaguida); Data: NASA Exoplanet Archive Explanation: Over 4000 planets are now known to exist outside our Solar System.Known as exoplanets, this milestone was passed last month, as recorded by NASA's Exoplanet Archive.The featured video highlights these exoplanets in sound and light, starting chronologically from the first confirmed detection in 1992 and continuing into 2019. The entire night sky is first shown compressed with the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy making a giant U. Exoplanets detected by slight jiggles in their parents-star's colors (radial velocity) appear in pink, while those detected by slight dips in their parent star's brightness (transit) are shown in purple.Further, those exoplanets imaged directly appear in orange, while those detected by gravitationally magnifying the light of a background star (microlensing) are shown in green. The faster a planet orbits its parent star, the higher the accompanying tone played.The retired Kepler satellite has discovered about half of these first 4000 exoplanets in just one region of the sky,...

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Herschel Crater on Mimas

APOD: 2022 August 13 - Herschel Crater on Mimas 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 August 13 Herschel Crater on Mimas Image Credit Cassini Imaging Team,ISS,JPL,ESA,NASA Explanation: Mimas,small 400 kilometer-diameter moon of Saturn,is host to 130 kilometer-diameterHerschel crater,one of the larger impact craters in the entire Solar System.The robotic Cassini spacecraftorbiting Saturn in 2010 recordedthis startling viewof small moon and big crater while makinga 10,000-kilometer record close pass by the diminutiveicy world.Shown in contrast-enhanced false color, the image datareveal more clearly that Herschel's landscape is coloredslightly differently fromheavily cratered terrain nearby. The color difference could yield surface composition clues to theviolenthistory of Mimas.Of course,an impact on Mimas any larger than the one that created the 130-kilometerHerschel mighthave destroyedthe smallmoon of Saturn. Tomorrow's picture: 4,000 exoplanets<| 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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Portrait of the Eagle Nebula

APOD: 2022 August 12 - Portrait of the Eagle 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 August 12 Portrait of the Eagle Nebula Image Credit &Copyright: Charles Bonafilia Explanation: A star cluster around 2 million years young surrounded bynatal clouds of dust and glowing gas,Messier 16 (M16) is alsoknown as The Eagle Nebula.This beautifully detailed imageof the region adopts the colorful Hubble palette and includescosmic sculpturesmade famous in Hubble Space Telescope close-ups of thestarforming complex.Described as elephant trunks orPillars of Creation,dense, dusty columns rising near the center are light-years in length butare gravitationally contracting to form stars.Energetic radiation from the cluster stars erodes material nearthe tips, eventually exposing the embedded new stars.Extending from the ridge of bright emission left of centeris another dusty starforming column known as theFairy of Eagle Nebula.M16 lies about 7,000 light-years away,an easy target for binoculars or small telescopes in anebula rich part of the skytoward the split constellationSerpens Cauda(the tail of the snake).As framed, this telescopic portrait of the Eagle Nebula is about 70light-years across. Tomorrow's picture: small moon, big crater<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar|...

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Perseids and MAGIC

APOD: 2022 August 11 - Perseids and MAGIC 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 August 11 Perseids and MAGIC Image Credit &Copyright: Urs Leutenegger Explanation: On August 11, 2021a multi-mirror, 17 meter-diameterMAGIC telescope reflectedthis starry night sky from the Roque de los MuchachosEuropean Northern Observatory on the Canary Island of La Palma.MAGIC stands for Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov.The telescopes can see the briefflashes of optical light producedin particle air showers as high-energygamma rays impact the Earth's upper atmosphere.To the dark-adapted eye the mirror segments offer a tantalizing reflection of stars and nebulae along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.But directly behind the segmented mirror telescope, low on the horizon, lies theconstellation Perseus.And on that date the dramatic composite nightscape alsocaptured meteors streamingfrom the radiant of the annualPerseid meteor shower.This year the Perseid showeractivitywill again peakaround August 13 but perseid meteorswill have to compete with the bright light of a Full Moon. Tomorrow's picture: Portrait of the Eagle Nebula<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip...

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Dust Clouds of the Pacman Nebula

Stars can create huge and intricate

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Leaving Earth

What it would look like to leave planet Earth?

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The Lagoon Nebula without Stars

APOD: 2022 August 8 - The Lagoon Nebula without Stars 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 August 8 The Lagoon Nebula without Stars Image Credit & Copyright: Sameer Dhar Explanation: Ridges of glowing interstellar gas anddark dust clouds inhabit theturbulent, cosmic depths of the Lagoon Nebula.Also known as M8, the bright star forming region is about5,000 light-years distant.But it still makes for a popular stop ontelescopic tours ofthe constellation Sagittarius, toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.Dominated by the telltale red emission of ionized hydrogen atomsrecombining with stripped electrons,this stunning, deep view of the Lagoon is nearly100 light-years across. Right of center, the bright, compact, hourglassshape is gas ionized and sculpted by energetic radiationand extreme stellar winds from amassive young star.In fact, although digitally removed from the featured image,the many bright stars of open cluster NGC 6530drift within the nebula,just formed inthe Lagoon several million years ago. Tomorrow's picture: leaving earth <| 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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Meteor before Galaxy

APOD: 2022 August 7 - Meteor before Galaxy 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 August 7 Meteor before Galaxy Image Credit & Copyright: FritzHelmut Hemmerich Explanation: What's that green streak in front of the Andromeda galaxy?A meteor.While photographing the Andromeda galaxy in 2016, near the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, a small pebble from deep space crossed right in front of our Milky Way Galaxy's far-distant companion.The small meteor took only a fraction of a second to pass through this 10-degree field. The meteor flared several times while braking violently upon entering Earth's atmosphere. The green color was created, at least in part, by the meteor's gas glowing as it vaporized.Although the exposure was timed to catch a Perseid meteor, the orientation of the imaged streak seems a better match to a meteor from the Southern Delta Aquariids, a meteor shower that peaked a few weeks earlier. Not coincidentally, the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks later this week, although this year the meteors will have to outshine a sky brightened by a nearly full moon. Tomorrow's picture: celestial lagoon <| Archive| Submissions...

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Stereo Phobos

APOD: 2022 August 6 - Stereo Phobos 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 August 6 Stereo Phobos Image Credit: G.Neukum (FU Berlin) et al.,Mars Express, DLR, ESA Explanation: Get out your red/blue glassesand float next to Phobos, grooved moon of Mars!Captured in 2004 by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on boardESA's Mars Express spacecraft, the image data wasrecorded at a distance of about 200 kilometers from the martian moon.This tantalizingstereo anaglyph viewshows the Mars-facing side of Phobos.It highlights theasteroid-like moon'scratered and grooved surface.Up to hundreds of meters wide, themysterious groovesmay be related to the impact that createdStickney crater,the large crater at the left.Stickney crater is about 10 kilometers across, whilePhobos itselfis only around 27 kilometers across at its widest point. Tomorrow's picture: a galaxy and a grain of sand<| 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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A Beautiful Trifid

APOD: 2022 August 5 - A Beautiful Trifid 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 August 5 A Beautiful Trifid Image Credit &Copyright:Vikas Chander Explanation: The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a cosmicstudy in contrasts.Also known as M20, it lies about5,000 light-yearsaway toward the nebula richconstellation Sagittarius.A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy,the Trifid does illustrate three different types ofastronomical nebulae;red emission nebulae dominated bylight from hydrogen atoms,blue reflection nebulae producedby dust reflecting starlight, anddark nebulae wheredense dust clouds appear in silhouette.But the red emission region, roughly separated into threeparts by obscuring dust lanes, is what lends the Trifid itspopular name.Pillars and jets sculpted by newborn stars, above and right ofthe emission nebula's center, appear in famous Hubble Space Telescopeclose-upimages of the region.The Trifid Nebula is about 40 light-years across.Too faint to be seen by the unaided eye, it almost covers thearea of a full moon in planet Earth's sky.Open star cluster M21 just peeks into this telescopic field of view along the bottom right edge of the frame. Tomorrow's picture: the grooved moon of Mars<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search|...

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M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

APOD: 2022 August 4 - M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules 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 August 4 M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules Image Credit &Copyright:Joan Josep Isach Cogollos Explanation: In1716, English astronomerEdmond Halley noted,"This is but a little Patch, but it shows itself to the naked Eye, whenthe Sky is serene and the Moon absent."Of course, M13is now less modestly recognized as the Great Globular Cluster inHercules, one of the brightestglobularstar clusters in the northern sky.Sharp telescopic views like this onereveal the spectacular cluster'shundreds of thousands of stars.At a distance of 25,000 light-years, thecluster stars crowdinto a region 150 light-years in diameter.Approaching the cluster coreupwards of 100 stars could be containedin a cube just 3 light-years on a side.For comparison, theclosest star to the Sun is over4 light-years away.The remarkable range of brightnessrecorded in this imagefollows stars into the dense cluster core.Distant background galaxies in the medium-wide field of viewinclude NGC 6207 at the upper left. Tomorrow's picture: A Beautiful Trifid<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert...

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Halo of the Cats Eye

APOD: 2022 August 3 - Halo of the Cats Eye 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 August 3 Halo of the Cat's Eye Image Credit & Copyright: Bray Falls Explanation: What created the unusual halo around the Cat's Eye nebula?No one is sure.What is sure is that the Cat's Eye Nebula(NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae on the sky. Although haunting symmetries are seen in the bright central region, this image was taken to feature its intricately structured outer halo, which spans over three light-years across. Planetarynebulae have long been appreciated as a final phasein the life of a Sun-like star.Only recently however, have some planetaries beenfound to have expansive halos, likely formed from material shrugged off during earlier puzzling episodes in the star's evolution.While the planetary nebula phase is thought to last for around 10,000 years,astronomers estimate the age of the outer filamentary portions of the Cat's Eye Nebula's halo to be 50,000 to 90,000 years. Tomorrow's picture: herculean stars <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert...

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A Moon Dressed Like Saturn

Why does Saturn appear so big?

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Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula

APOD: 2022 August 1 - Mountains of Dust in the Carina 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 August 1 Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Proccessing: Javier Pobes Explanation: It's stars versus dust in the Carina Nebula and the stars are winning.More precisely, the energetic light and winds from massive newly formed stars are evaporating and dispersing the dusty stellar nurseries in which they formed.Located in the Carina Nebula and known informally as Mystic Mountain, these pillar's appearance is dominated by the dark dust even though it is composed mostly of clear hydrogen gas.Dust pillars such as these are actually much thinner than air and only appear as mountains due to relatively small amounts of opaque interstellar dust. About 7,500 light-years distant, the featured image was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and highlights an interior region of Carina which spans about three light years.Within a few million years, the stars will likely win out completely and the entire dust mountain will evaporate. Tomorrow's picture: saturnic lunacy <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS|...

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Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble

APOD: 2022 July 31 - Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble 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 July 31 Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA Explanation: Why does this galaxy have a ring of bright blue stars? Beautiful island universeMessier 94 lies a mere 15 million light-yearsdistant in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs(CanesVenatici).A popular target for Earth-based astronomers,the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across,with spiral arms sweeping through theoutskirts of its broad disk.But this Hubble Space Telescope field of view spans about7,000 light-years across M94's central region.The featured close-up highlights the galaxy's compact,bright nucleus, prominent inner dust lanes, and the remarkable bluish ring of young massive stars.The ring stars are all likely less than 10 million years old, indicating that M94 is a starburst galaxy that is experiencing an epoch of rapid star formationfrom inspiraling gas.The circular ripple of blue stars is likely a wave propagating outward, having been triggered by the gravity and rotation of a oval matter distributions.Because M94 is relatively nearby, astronomers can better exploredetails of its starburst ring. Tomorrow's picture: space...

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The Eagle Rises

APOD: 2022 July 30 - The Eagle Rises 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 July 30 The Eagle Rises Image Credit: Apollo 11, NASA -Stereo Image Copyright:John Kaufmann (ALSJ) Explanation: Get out yourred/blue glasses andcheck out this stereo view from lunar orbit.The 3Danaglyphwas created from two photographs(AS11-44-6633,AS11-44-6634)taken by astronaut Michael Collins during the 1969Apollo 11 mission.It features the lunar module ascent stage, dubbed The Eagle, rising tomeet the command module in lunar orbit on July 21.Aboard the ascent stage areNeil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first towalk on the Moon.The smooth, dark area on the lunarsurface is Mare Smythii locatedjust below the equator on the extreme eastern edge of the Moon'snear side. Poised beyond the lunar horizon isour fair planet Earth. Tomorrow's picture: starburst galaxy<| 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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