SOFIA s Southern Lights

APOD: 2022 July 29 - SOFIA s Southern Lights 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 29 SOFIA's Southern Lights Image Credit &Copyright: Ian Griffin(Otago Museum) Explanation: SOFIA, theStratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy,is a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry alarge reflecting telescopeinto the stratosphere.The ability of the airborne facility to climbabove about 99 percent of Earth's infrared-blocking atmospherehas allowed researchers to observe from almost anywhere over the planet.On a science missionflying deep into the southern auroral oval,astronomer Ian Griffin, director of New Zealand’s Otago Museum,captured this viewfrom the observatory's south facing starboard side on July 17.Bright star Canopus shines in the southern nightabove curtains ofaurora australis, or southern lights.The plane wasflyingfar south of New Zealand at the time atroughly 62 degrees southern latitude.Unfortunately,after a landing at Christchurchsevere weather damaged SOFIArequiring repairs and the cancellation of the remainder ofits final southern hemisphere deployment. Tomorrow's picture: an eagle rises<| 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...

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North Celestial Tree

An ancient tree seems to reach out and touch Earth's

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Crepuscular Moon Rays over Denmark

APOD: 2022 July 27 - Crepuscular Moon Rays over Denmark 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 27 Crepuscular Moon Rays over Denmark Image Credit & Copyright: Ruslan Merzlyakov (astrorms) Explanation: This moon made quite an entrance.Typically, a moonrise is quiet and serene. Taking a few minutes to fully peek above the horizon, Earth's largest orbital companion can remain relatively obscure until it rises high in the nighttime sky.About a week ago, however, and despite being only half lit by the Sun, this rising moon put on a show -- at least from this location.The reason was that, as seen from Limfjord in Nykøbing Mors, Denmark, the moon rose below scattered clouds near the horizon. The result, captured here in a single exposure, was that moonlight poured through gaps in the clouds to created what are called crepuscular rays. These rays can fan out dramatically across the sky when starting near the horizon, and can even appear to converge on the other side of the sky.Well behind our Moon, stars from our Milky Way galaxy dot the background, and our galaxy's largest...

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Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea

APOD: 2022 July 26 - Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea 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. Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea Video Credit & Copyright: Paolo Girotti Explanation: This sight was worth getting out of bed early. Two years ago this month, Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) rose before dawn to the delight of northern sky enthusiasts awake that early.Up before sunrise on July 8th, the featured photographer was able to capture in dramatic fashion one of the few comets visible to the unaided eye this century, an inner-Solar System intruder that has become known as the Great Comet of 2020. The resulting video detailed Comet NEOWISE from Italy rising over the Adriatic Sea.The time-lapse video combines over 240 images taken over 30 minutes. The comet was seen rising through a foreground of bright and undulating noctilucent clouds, and before a background of distant stars. Comet NEOWISE remained unexpectedly bright until 2020 August, with its ion and dust tails found to emanate from a nucleus spanning about five kilometers across. Astrophysicists: Browse 2,800+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library...

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Find the New Moon

APOD: 2022 July 25 - Find the New 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 July 25 Find the New Moon Image Credit & Copyright: Mohamad Soltanolkotabi Explanation: Can you find the Moon?This usually simple task can be quite difficult. Even though the Moon is above your horizon half of the time, its phase can be anything from crescent to full.The featured image was taken in late May from Sant Martí d'Empúries, Spain, over the Mediterranean Sea in the early morning.One reason you can't find this moon is because it is very near to its new phase, when very little of the half illuminated by the Sun is visible to the Earth.Another reason is because this moon is near the horizon and so seen through a long path of Earth's atmosphere -- a path which dims the already faint crescent.Any crescent moon is only visible near the direction the Sun, and so only locatable near sunrise or sunset.The Moon runs through all of its phases in a month (moon-th), and this month the thinnest sliver of a crescent -- a new moon...

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Saturn in Infrared from Cassini

APOD: 2022 July 24 - Saturn in Infrared from Cassini 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 24 Saturn in Infrared from Cassini Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SSI; Processing: Maksim Kakitsev Explanation: Many details of Saturn appear clearly in infrared light. Bands of clouds show great structure, including long stretching storms. Also quite striking in infrared is the unusual hexagonal cloud pattern surrounding Saturn's North Pole. Each side of the dark hexagon spans roughly the width of our Earth.The hexagon's existence was not predicted, and its origin and likely stability remains a topic of research. Saturn's famous rings circle the planet and cast shadows below the equator.The featured image was taken by the robotic Cassini spacecraft in 2014 in several infrared colors. In 2017 September, the Cassini mission was brought to a dramatic conclusion when the spacecraft was directed to dive into ringed giant. Explore Your Universe: Random APOD Generator Tomorrow's picture: find the moon <| 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...

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Apollo 11 Landing Panorama

APOD: 2022 July 23 - Apollo 11 Landing Panorama 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 23 Apollo 11 Landing Panorama Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11, NASA Explanation: Have you seena panorama fromanother world lately? Assembled from high-resolution scansof the original film frames, this one sweeps acrossthe magnificent desolation of the Apollo 11 landing siteon the Moon's Sea of Tranquility.The images were taken byNeil Armstronglooking out his window of the Eagle Lunar Module shortly after theJuly 20, 1969 landing.The frame at the far left (AS11-37-5449) is thefirst picture taken by a person on another world.Toward the south, thruster nozzles can be seen in theforeground on the left, whileat the right, the shadow of the Eagle is visible to the west.For scale, the large, shallow crater on the righthas a diameter of about 12 meters.Frames taken from the Lunar Module windows about anhour and a half after landing, beforewalking on the lunar surface,were intended to initially document the landing site in casean early departure was necessary. Tomorrow's picture: hexagon and rings<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors...

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Spiral Galaxy M74: A Sharper View

APOD: 2022 July 22 - Spiral Galaxy M74: A Sharper View 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 22 Spiral Galaxy M74: A Sharper View Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA,STScI;Processing Copyright: Robert Eder Explanation: Beautiful spiral galaxy Messier 74(also known as NGC 628) lies some 32 million light-years awaytoward the constellation Pisces.An island universe of about 100 billion starswith two prominent spiral arms, M74 has long been admired by astronomers as aperfect exampleof a grand-design spiral galaxy.M74's central region isbrought into a stunning, sharp focus in thisrecently processed imageusingpublicly available datafrom theJames Webb Space Telescope.The colorized combination of image data sets is from two of Webb'sinstrumentsNIRcam andMIRI,operating at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths. It reveals cooler stars and dusty structuresin the grand-design spiral galaxyonly hinted at in previousspace-based views. 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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Messier 10 and Comet

APOD: 2022 July 21 - Messier 10 and Comet 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 21 Messier 10 and Comet Image Credit &Copyright: German Penelas Perez Explanation: Imaged on July 15 2022,comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS)had aMessier moment, sharing this wide telescopic field of viewwith globular star cluster Messier 10.Of course M10 was cataloged by 18th century comet hunterCharles Messier as the 10th object on hislist of things that were definitely not comets.While M10 is about 14 thousand light-years distant, this comet PanSTARRS was about 15 light-minutesfrom our fair planet following its July 14 closest approach.Its greenish coma and dust tailentertaining 21st century comet watchers,C/2017 K2 is expected to remain a fine telescopic comet innorthern summer skies.On a maiden voyage from our Solar System's remoteOort Cloudthis comet PanSTARRS was discovered in May 2017when it was beyond the orbit of Saturn.At the time that made it the mostdistant active inbound cometknown.Its closest approach to the Sun will be within 1.8astronomical unitson December 19, beyond the orbital distance of Mars. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About...

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Jupiter and Ring in Infrared from Webb

APOD: 2022 July 20 - Jupiter and Ring in Infrared 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 July 20 Jupiter and Ring in Infrared from Webb Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA,STScI; Processing & License: Judy Schmidt Explanation: Why does Jupiter have rings? Jupiter's main ring was discovered in 1979 by NASA's passing Voyager 1 spacecraft, but its origin was then a mystery. Data from NASA's Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003, however, confirmed the hypothesis that this ring was created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons. As a small meteoroid strikes tiny Metis, for example, it will bore into the moon, vaporize, and explode dirt and dust off into a Jovian orbit.The featured image of Jupiter in infrared light by the James Webb Space Telescope shows not only Jupiter and its clouds, but this ring as well.Also visible is Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS) -- in comparatively light color on the right, Jupiter's large moon Europa -- in the center of diffraction spikes on the left, and Europa's shadow -- next to the GRS. Several features in...

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Pleiades over Half Dome

APOD: 2022 July 19 - Pleiades over Half Dome 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 19 Pleiades over Half Dome Image Credit & Copyright: Dheera Venkatraman Explanation: Stars come in bunches. The most famous bunch of stars on the sky is the Pleiades, a bright cluster that can be easily seen with the unaided eye. The Pleiades lies only about 450 light years away, formed about 100 million years ago, and will likely last about another 250 million years.Our Sun was likely born in a star cluster, but now, being about 4.5 billion years old, its stellar birth companions have long since dispersed.The Pleiades star cluster is pictured over Half Dome, a famous rock structure in Yosemite National Park in California, USA.The featured image is a composite of 28 foreground exposures and 174 images of the stellar background, all taken from the same location and by the same camera on the same night in October 2019.After calculating the timing of a future juxtaposition of the Pleiades and Half Dome, the astrophotrographer was unexpectedly rewarded by an electrical blackout, making the background...

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Stephans Quintet from Webb, Hubble, and Subaru

APOD: 2022 July 18 - Stephans Quintet from Webb, Hubble, and Subaru 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 18 Stephan's Quintet from Webb, Hubble, and Subaru Image Credit: Webb, Hubble, Subaru;NASA, ESA, CSA,NOAJ,STScI; Processing & Copyright: Robert Gendler Explanation: OK, but why can't you combine images from Webb and Hubble?You can, and today's featured image shows one impressive result.Although the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) has a larger mirror than Hubble, it specializes in infrared light and can't see blue -- only up to about orange. Conversely, the Hubble Space Telescope (Hubble) has a smaller mirror than Webb and can't see as far into the infrared as Webb, but can image not only blue light but even ultraviolet. Therefore, Webb and Hubble data can be combined to create images across a wider variety of colors. The featured image of four galaxies from Stephan's Quintet shows Webb images as red and also includes images taken by Japan's ground-based Subaru telescope in Hawaii. Because image data for Webb, Hubble, and Subaru are made freely available, anyone around the world can process...

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Europa and Jupiter from Voyager 1

APOD: 2022 July 17 - Europa and Jupiter from Voyager 1 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 17 Europa and Jupiter from Voyager 1 Image Credit: NASA, Voyager 1, JPL, Caltech; Processing & License: Alexis Tranchandon / Solaris Explanation: What are those spots on Jupiter?Largest and furthest, just right of center, is the Great Red Spot -- a huge storm system that has been raging on Jupiter possibly since Giovanni Cassini's likely notation of it 357 years ago. It is not yet known why this Great Spot is red.The spot toward the lower left is one of Jupiter's largest moons: Europa.Images from Voyager in 1979 bolster the modern hypothesis that Europa has an underground ocean and is therefore a good place to look for extraterrestrial life.But what about the dark spot on the upper right?That is a shadow of another of Jupiter's large moons: Io.Voyager 1 discovered Io to be so volcanic that no impact craters could be found. Sixteen frames from Voyager 1's flyby of Jupiter in 1979 were recently reprocessed and merged to create the featured image. Forty-five years...

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Tycho and Clavius at Dawn

APOD: 2022 July 16 - Tycho and Clavius at Dawn 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 16 Tycho and Clavius at Dawn Image Credit &Copyright:EduardoSchaberger Poupeau Explanation: South is upin this dramatic telescopic view of thelunar terminatorand the Moon's rugged southern highlands.The lunar landscape was captured on July 7with the moon at itsfirst quarter phase.The Sun shines at a low angle from the rightas dawn comes to the region's young and old cratersTycho and Clavius.About 100 million years young,Tycho isthe sharp-walled 85 kilometer diameter crater below and left of center.Its 2 kilometer tall central peak and far crater wall reflectbright sunlight,Its smooth floor lies in dark shadow.Debris ejected during the impact that created Tycho make it thestandout lunar crater when theMoon is near full though.They produce a highly visible radiating system of light streaks orrays that extend across much of the lunar near side.In fact, some of the material collected at the Apollo 17 landing site,about 2,000 kilometers away, likely originatedfrom the Tycho impact. One of the oldest and largest craters on the Moon's near side,225 kilometer diameterClavius is due south(above)...

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Lubovna Full Moon

APOD: 2022 July 15 - Lubovna Full 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 July 15 Lubovna Full Moon Petr Horalek /Institute of Physics in Opava Explanation: On July 13 this well-planned telephoto view recorded a Full Moonrising overLubovna Castle in eastern Slovakia.The photographer was about 3 kilometers from the castle walls andabout 357,000 kilometers from thisFull Moon near perigee, the closestpoint in its elliptical orbit.Known to some as supermoons, full moons near perigeeare a little brighter andlarger in planet Earth's sky whencompared to full moons that occur near theaverage lunar distanceof around 384,000 kilometers.Of course anyFull Moon near the horizoncan show the effects ofrefraction over a long sight-line through dense clear atmosphere.In this image, atmospheric refraction creates the slight green flashframed by thin clouds near the top, with a raggedred rim along the bottom edge ofJuly's perigee Full Moon. Tomorrow's picture: Clavius and Tycho<| 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& Michigan Tech. U.

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Webb's Southern Ring Nebula

APOD: 2022 July 14 - Webb's Southern Ring 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 July 14 Webb's Southern Ring Nebula Image Credit: NASA,ESA,CSA,STScI,NIRCam Explanation: Cataloged as NGC 3132the Southern Ring Nebula is aplanetary nebula,the death shroud of adying sun-like star some 2,500 light-years from Earth.Composed of gas and dust the stunningcosmic landscape is nearly halfa light-year in diameter, explored inunprecedented detail by theJames Webb Space Telescope.In this NIRCam image the bright star near centeris a companion of the dying star.In mutual orbit, the star whose transformation has ejectedthe nebula's gas and dust shells over thousands of yearsis the fainter stellar partner.Evolving to become a white dwarf,the faint star appears along thediffraction spike extending towardthe 8 o'clock position.This stellar pair's orbital motion has resulted thecomplex structures within the Southern Ring Nebula. Tomorrow's picture: Clavius and Tycho<| 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& Michigan Tech. U.

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Webb s First Deep Field

APOD: 2022 July 13 - Webb s First Deep Field 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 13 Webb's First Deep Field Image Credit: NASA,ESA,CSA,STScI,NIRCam Explanation: This is the deepest,sharpest infrared image of the cosmos so far.The viewof theearly Universetoward the southern constellation Volanswas achieved in 12.5 hours of exposure with the NIRCam instrument on theJames Webb Space Telescope.Of course the stars with six visible spikes are well within our ownMilky Way.Their diffractionpattern is characteristic of Webb's 18 hexagonal mirrorsegments operating together as a single 6.5 meter diameter primarymirror.The thousands of galaxies flooding the field of view are members of thedistant galaxy cluster SMACS0723-73, some 4.6 billion light-years away.Luminous arcs that seem to infest the deep field areeven more distant galaxies though.Their images are distorted and magnified by thedark matter dominated mass of the galaxy cluster, an effectknown as gravitational lensing.Analyzing lightfrom two separate arcs below the bright spiky star,Webb's NIRISS instrument indicates the arcsare both images of the same background galaxy.And that galaxy's light took about 9.5 billion years to reach theJames Webb Space Telescope. Tomorrow's picture: closer to home<| Archive|...

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Noctilucent Clouds over Paris

It's northern noctilucent cloud season.

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Andromeda over the Sahara Desert

APOD: 2022 July 11 - Andromeda over the Sahara Desert 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 11 Andromeda over the Sahara Desert Credit & Copyright: Jordi Coy Explanation: What is the oldest thing you can see?At 2.5 million light years distant, the answer for the unaided eye is the Andromeda galaxy, because its photons are 2.5 million years old when they reach you.Most other apparent denizens of the night sky -- stars, clusters, and nebulae -- appear as they were only a few hundred to a few thousand years ago, as they lie well within our own Milky Way Galaxy. Given its distance, light from Andromeda is likely also the farthest object that you can see. Also known as M31, the Andromeda Galaxy dominates the center of the featured zoomed image, taken from the Sahara Desert in Morocco last month. The featured image is a combination of three background and one foreground exposure -- all taken with the same camera and from the same location and on the same calendar day -- with the foreground image taken during the evening blue...

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In the Center of the Cats Eye Nebula

APOD: 2022 July 10 - In the Center of the Cats Eye 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 July 10 In the Center of the Cat's Eye Nebula Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Reprocessing & Copyright: Raul Villaverde Explanation: Three thousand light-years away,a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas.This image from theHubble Space Telescope reveals theCat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543), to be one of the most complex planetary nebulae known.Spanning half a light-year, the features seen in theCat's Eyeare so complex that astronomers suspect the brightcentral objectmay actually be abinary star system.The term planetary nebula, used to describe thisgeneral class of objects, ismisleading.Although these objects may appear round andplanet-like in small telescopes,high resolution images with large telescopes reveal them to bestars surrounded by cocoons of gas blown off in the late stages ofstellar evolution.Gazing into this Cat's Eye,astronomers may well be seeing more than detailed structure,they may be seeing the fate of our Sun, destined to enter its ownplanetary nebula phase of evolution ... in about5 billion years. Tomorrow's picture: sahara andromeda <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar|...

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