Record Prominence Imaged by Solar Orbiter

APOD: 2022 March 2 - Record Prominence Imaged by Solar Orbiter 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 March 2 Record Prominence Imaged by Solar Orbiter Image Credit: Solar Orbiter, EUI Team, ESA & NASA; h/t: Bum-Suk Yeom Explanation: 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 field. This solar prominence was huge -- spanning a length rivaling the diameter of the Sun itself.Solar prominences may erupt unpredictably and expel hot gas into the Solar System via a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). When a CME strikes the Earth and its magnetosphere, bright auroras may occur.This prominence did produce a CME, but it was directed well away from the Earth.Although surely related to the Sun's changing magnetic field, the energy mechanism that creates and sustains a solar prominence remains a topic of research. Tomorrow's picture: spiral galaxy NGC 2841 <|...

Continue reading
  630 Hits

Dueling Bands in the Night

APOD: 2022 March 1 - Dueling Bands in the Night 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 March 1 Dueling Bands in the Night Image Credit & Copyright: Jeff Dai(TWAN) Explanation: 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 all the way around the sky.The Milky Way band can also be seen all year -- if out away from city lights. The less commonly seem band, on the left, is zodiacal light -- sunlight reflected from dust orbiting the Sun in our Solar System. Zodiacal light is brightest near the Sun and so is best seen just before sunrise or just after sunset. On some evenings in the north, particularly during the months of March and April, this ribbon of zodiacal light can appear quite prominent after sunset. It was determined only this century that zodiacal dust was mostly expelled by...

Continue reading
  606 Hits

Direct Projection: The Moon in My Hands

You don't have to look through a telescope to know where it's pointing.

  634 Hits

Earthrise 1: Historic Image Remastered

APOD: 2022 February 27 - Earthrise 1: Historic Image Remastered 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 February 27 Earthrise 1: Historic Image Remastered Image Credit: NASA, Apollo 8 Crew, Bill Anders; Processing and License: Jim Weigang Explanation: "Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here's the Earth coming up. Wow is that pretty!"Soon after that pronouncement, about 53 years ago, 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 the limb of the Moon, as taken by the crew of Apollo 8. But the well-known Earthrise image was actually the second image taken of the Earth rising above the lunar limb -- it was just the first in color. With modern digital technology, however, the real first Earthrise image -- originally in black and white -- has now been remastered to have the combined resolution and color of the first three images. Behold! The featured image is a close-up of the picture that Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders was talking about.Thanks to...

Continue reading
  2764 Hits

Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945

APOD: 2022 February 26 - Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945 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 February 26 Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945 Image Credit &Copyright: Dietmar Hager,Eric Benson Explanation: Large spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen nearlyedge-onin this cosmic galaxy close-up.It's almost the size of ourMilky Way Galaxy.NGC 4945's own dusty disk, young blue star clusters, and pink starforming regions stand out in the colorful telescopic frame.About 13 million light-years distant toward theexpansivesouthern constellationCentaurus, NGC 4945 is only about six times farther away than Andromeda,the nearest large spiral galaxy to the Milky Way.Though this galaxy's central region is largely hidden fromview for optical telescopes, X-ray and infrared observations indicatesignificanthigh energy emission and star formation in the coreof NGC 4945.Its obscured but active nucleus qualifies the gorgeous islanduniverse as a Seyfert galaxyand home to a central supermassive black hole. Tomorrow's picture: really famous picture -- remastered <| 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...

Continue reading
  717 Hits

Perseverance Sol 354

APOD: 2022 February 25 - Perseverance Sol 354 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 February 25 Perseverance Sol 354 Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Processing;Kenneth Kremer Explanation: This Navcam mosaic fromPerseverance looks outover the car-sized rover's deck, across the floor of Jezerocrater on Mars.Frames used to construct the mosaic viewwere captured on mission sol 354.That corresponds to Earth calendar date February 17, 2022, nearlyone Earth year after the rover's landing.With a mass of over 1,000 kilograms, six-wheeledPerseverance is the heaviest rover totouch down on Mars.During its first year of explorationthe rover has collected six (so far)rock core samplesfor later return to planet Earth,served as the base stationfor Ingenuity, the first helicopter on Mars,andtested MOXIE(Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment),converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphereinto oxygen. Tomorrow's picture: big space swirl <| 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.

  583 Hits

Beautiful Albireo AB

APOD: 2022 February 24 - Beautiful Albireo AB 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 February 24 Beautiful Albireo AB Image Credit &Copyright: Robert Eder Explanation: Beta Cygniis a single bright star to the naked eye.About 420 light-years awayit marks the foot of the Northern Cross, famous asterism inthe constellation Cygnus.But a view through the eyepiece of a small telescope will transform itinto a beautiful double star, atreasure of the night skyin blue and gold.Beta Cygni isalso known as Albireo,designated Albireo AB to indicate its two bright component stars.Their visually striking color difference is illustratedin this telescopic snapshot,along with their associatedvisible spectrumof starlight shown in insets to the right.Albireo A, top inset, shows the spectrum of a K-type giant star, cooler thanthe Sun and emitting most of its energy at yellow and red wavelengths.Below, Albireo B has the spectrum of a main sequence star much hotterthan the Sun, emitting more energy in blue and violet.Albireo Ais known to be a binary star, two stars together orbiting acommon center of mass, though the two stars are too close togetherto be seen separately with a...

Continue reading
  569 Hits

Orion over Green Bank

APOD: 2022 February 23 - Orion over Green Bank 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 February 23 Orion over Green Bank Image Credit & Copyright: Dave Green Explanation: 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 in a radio quiet zone where the use of cell phones, WiFi emitters, and even microwave ovens are limited.The GBT explores our universe not only during the night -- but during the day, too, since the daytime sky is typically dark in radio waves. Taken in late January, the featured image was planned for months to get the setting location of Orion just right. The image is a composite of a foreground shot taken over a kilometer away from the GBT, and a background shot built up of long exposures during the previous night.The deep background image of Orion is fitting because the GBT...

Continue reading
  785 Hits

Illustration: An Early Quasar

APOD: 2022 February 22 - Illustration: An Early Quasar 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 February 22 Illustration: An Early Quasar Illustration Credit & License: ESO, M. Kornmesser Explanation: 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 mysterious, though.Featured, recent data has enabled an artist's impression of an early-universe quasar as it might have been: centered on a massive black hole, surrounded by sheets of gas and an accretion disk, and expelling a powerful jet.Quasars are among the most distant objects we see and give humanity unique information about the early and intervening universe.The oldest quasars currently known are seen at just short of redshift 8 -- only 700 million years after the Big Bang -- when the universe was only a few percent of its current age. Tomorrow's picture: Green Orion <| Archive| Submissions |...

Continue reading
  659 Hits

Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217

APOD: 2022 February 21 - Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217 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 February 21 Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217 Image Credit: NASA,ESA, and theHubble SM4 ERO Team Explanation: Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our ownMilky Way Galaxy is thought to have amodest 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 orbitingHubble Space Telescope in 2009.Visible are dark filamentarydust lanes, youngclusters of bright blue stars, redemission nebulas of glowing hydrogen gas,a long bar of stars across the center, and a brightactive nucleusthat likely houses a supermassiveblack hole. Light takes about 60 million years to reach us fromNGC 6217, which spans about 30,000light years across and can be found toward theconstellation of the Little Bear(Ursa Minor). APOD in world languages: Arabic,Bulgarian,Catalan,Chinese (Beijing),Chinese (Taiwan),Croatian, Czech,Dutch,French, French (Canada),German, Hebrew, Indonesian,Japanese,Korean, Montenegrin, Polish,Russian,Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish,Taiwanese, Turkish,Turkish,and Ukrainian Tomorrow's picture: quasar illustrated <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA...

Continue reading
  667 Hits

Aurora Over White Dome Geyser

APOD: 2022 February 20 - Aurora Over White Dome Geyser 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 February 20 Aurora Over White Dome Geyser Image Credit & Copyright: Robert Howell Explanation: 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, the careful astrophotographer shot this image mosaic in the field of White Dome Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in the western USA.Sure enough, just after midnight, White Dome erupted -- spraying a stream of water and vapor many meters into the air.Geyser water is heated to steam by scalding magma several kilometers below, and rises through rock cracks to the surface.About half of all known geysers occur in Yellowstone National Park.Although the geomagnetic storm that caused the auroras subsided within a day, eruptions of White Dome Geyser continue about every 30 minutes. Tomorrow's picture: barred spiral <| Archive| Submissions | Index|...

Continue reading
  810 Hits

Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273

APOD: 2022 February 19 - Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273 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 February 19 Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273 Image Credit &Copyright: Jason Guenzel Explanation: The spiky starsin the foreground of this backyardtelescopic frame are well within our ownMilky 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 tidesas the pair engage in close encounters.Cataloged as Arp 273 (also asUGC 1810), the galaxies do lookpeculiar,but interacting galaxies are now understood to becommon in the universe.Nearby, the large spiral Andromeda Galaxy is known to besome 2 million light-years away and approaching the Milky Way.The peculiar galaxies of Arp 273 may offer an analog of theirfar future encounter.Repeated galaxy encounters on acosmic timescale can ultimatelyresult in a merger into a single galaxy of stars.From our perspective, the bright cores of the Arp 273 galaxies areseparated by only a little over 100,000 light-years. Tomorrow's picture: aurora over white dome <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors:...

Continue reading
  798 Hits

Three Clusters in Puppis

APOD: 2022 February 18 - Three Clusters in Puppis 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 February 18 Three Clusters in Puppis Image Credit &Copyright: Dave Doctor Explanation: Galactic oropen star clustersare young.The swarms of stars are born together near the plane of the Milky Way,but their numberssteadily dwindleas cluster members areejected by galactic tides and gravitational interactions.Caught inthis telescopic frameover three degrees across are threegood examples of galactic star clusters,seen toward the southern sky's nautical constellationPuppis.Below and left, M46 issome 5,500 light-years in the distance.Right of centerM47 isonly 1,600 light-years away andNGC 2423 (top) is about 2500 light-years distant.Around 300 million years young M46contains a few hundred stars in a region about 30 light-yearsacross.Sharp eyes can spot a planetary nebula,NGC 2438,at about 11 o'clock against the M46 cluster stars.But that nebula'scentral staris billions of years old, andNGC 2438 is likely a foreground object only by chancealong the line of sight to youthful M46.Even younger, aged around 80 million years, M47 is asmaller and looser star cluster spanning about 10 light-years.Star cluster NGC 2423 is pushing about 750 million yearsin age though.NGC 2423...

Continue reading
  623 Hits

Chamaeleon I Molecular Cloud

Chamaeleon I Molecular Cloud

  661 Hits

Eiffel Tower Prominence on the Sun

APOD: 2022 February 16 - Eiffel Tower Prominence on the Sun 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. Eiffel Tower Prominence on the Sun Video Credit & Copyright: Hawk Wolinski Explanation: What's that on the Sun?Although it may look like a flowing version of the Eiffel Tower, it is a solar prominence that is actually much bigger -- about the height of Jupiter.The huge prominence emerged about ten days ago, hovered over the Sun's surface for about two days, and then erupted -- throwing a coronal mass ejection (CME) into the Solar System.The featured video, captured from the astrophotographer's backyard in Hendersonville, Tennessee, USA, shows an hour time-lapse played both forwards and backwards.That CME did not impact the Earth, but our Sun had unleashed other recent CMEs that not only triggered Earthly auroras, but puffed out the Earth's atmosphere enough to cause just-launched Starlink satellites to fall back.Activity on the Sun, including sunspots, prominences, CMEs and flares, continues to increase as the Sun evolves away from a deep minimum in its 11-year magnetic cycle. Birthday Surprise: What picture did APOD feature on your birthday?...

Continue reading
  678 Hits

Terminator Moon

APOD: 2022 February 15 - Terminator 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 February 15 Terminator Moon Image Credit: NASA, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, SVS; Processing & Copyright: Jai & Neil Shet Explanation: What's different about this Moon?It's the terminators.In the featured image, you can't directly see any terminator -- the line that divides the light of day from the dark of night.That's because the image is a digital composite of 29 near-terminator lunar strips. Terminator regions show the longest and most prominent shadows -- shadows which, by their contrast and length, allow a flat photograph to appear three-dimensional.The original images and data were taken near the Moon by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Many of the Moon's craters stand out because of the shadows they all cast to the right.The image shows in graphic detail that the darker regions known as maria are not just darker than the rest of the Moon -- they are flatter. Dial-A-Moon: Find the phase of the Moon on your birthday. Tomorrow's picture: eroding sun tower <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss|...

Continue reading
  791 Hits

In the Heart of the Heart Nebula

APOD: 2022 February 14 - In the Heart of the Heart 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 February 14 In the Heart of the Heart Nebula Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Jensen Explanation: What excites the Heart Nebula?First, the large emission nebula dubbedIC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart. Its shape perhaps fitting of the Valentine's Day, this heart glows brightly in red lightemitted by its most prominent element: excited hydrogen. The red glow and the larger shape are all created by asmall group of stars near thenebula's center. In the heart of the Heart Nebula are young stars from the open star cluster Melotte 15 that are eroding away several picturesque dust pillars with their energetic light and winds.The open cluster of stars contains a fewbright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun,many dim stars only a fraction of the mass of our Sun, and anabsent microquasarthat was expelled millions of years ago. The Heart Nebula is located about 7,500 light years away toward theconstellation of the mythological Queen of Aethiopia (Cassiopeia). Tomorrow's picture: terminator moon...

Continue reading
  667 Hits

Earth at Night

APOD: 2022 February 13 - Earth at Night 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 February 13 Earth at Night Image Credit: NASA, Suomi NPP VIIRS; Data: Miguel Román (NASA GSFC); Processing: Joshua Stevens Explanation: This is what the Earth looks like at night. Can you find your favorite country or city? Surprisingly, city lights make this task quite possible. Human-made lights highlight particularly developed or populated areas of the Earth's surface, including the seaboards of Europe, the eastern United States, and Japan. Many large cities are located near rivers or oceans so that they can exchange goods cheaply by boat. Particularly dark areas include the central parts of South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.The featured image, nicknamed Black Marble, is actually a composite of hundreds of pictures remade in 2016 from data taken by the orbiting Suomi NPP satellite. Tomorrow's picture: space for the heart <| 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....

Continue reading
  700 Hits

Aurora by Moonlight

APOD: 2022 February 12 - Aurora by Moonlight 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 February 12 Aurora by Moonlight Image Credit &Copyright: P-M Hedén(Clear Skies,TWAN) Explanation: The icewas singingas light from a bright gibbous Moon cast shadows across thisfrozen lake,about 20 kilometers north of Stockholm, Sweden, planet Earth.In the alluring night skyscape captured onFebruary 10,shimmering auroral curtains of light dance in the evening sky.On that northern night nature's performance includedthe auroral displays fostered by a minor geomagnetic storm.Stormy space weatherwas the result of acoronal mass ejection, erupting from a solar prominence daysearlier and brushing our fair planet's magnetosphere. Tomorrow's picture: planet in the dark <| 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.

  800 Hits

IC 342: The Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis

APOD: 2022 February 11 - IC 342: The Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis 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 February 11 IC 342: The Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis Image Credit &Copyright: Daniel Feller Explanation: Similarin size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood,IC 342is a mere 10 million light-yearsdistant in the long-necked,northern constellation Camelopardalis.A sprawling island universe,IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky,but it is hidden from clear view and onlyglimpsed through the veil of stars, gas and dust cloudsalong the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy.Even though IC 342's light is dimmed and reddened by interveningcosmic clouds,thissharptelescopic image traces the galaxy's own obscuring dust,young star clusters, and glowing pink star forming regions along spiralarms that wind far fromthe galaxy'score.IC 342 may have undergone a recent burst ofstar formation activity and isclose enough to have gravitationallyinfluenced the evolution of thelocal groupof galaxies and the Milky Way. Tomorrow's picture: northern 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...

Continue reading
  683 Hits