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Astronomy Picture Of The Day

User Thread
 32yrs • F •
Astronomy Picture Of The Day
NASA has an extensive image gallery. There's a popular section called 'Picture Of The Day' and everyday they post a new image - the image is not necessarily taken on that very day and they use images from a variety of sources.

I'm going try to post up their pic of the day everyday - hopefully I won't forget but it'll probably become part of my daily routine so thumbs up.

If you want to visit their page yourself, you can here:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
[  Edited by Dawn at   ]
 32yrs • F •
30 August 2012

Apollo 11 Landing Site Panorama
Credit: Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11, NASA - Panorama by Syd Buxton
quote:
Taken by Neil Armstrong looking out his window of the Eagle Lunar Module, the frame at the far left (AS11-37-5449) is the first picture taken by a person on another world



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
31 August 2012

Halo of the Cat's Eye
Image Credit & Copyright: Don Goldman
quote:
The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae in the sky. Its haunting symmetries are seen in the very central region of this tantalizing image, processed to reveal the enormous but extremely faint halo of gaseous material, about 6 light-years across, which surrounds the brighter, familiar planetary nebula. Made with narrow and broadband data the composite picture shows the remarkably strong extended emission from twice ionized oxygen atoms in blue-green hues and ionized hydrogen and nitrogen in red. Planetary nebulae have long been appreciated as a final phase in the life of a sun-like star. But recently many planetaries have been found to have halos like this one, likely formed of material shrugged off during earlier active 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 this halo to be 50,000 to 90,000 years.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
1 September 2012

On a Blue Moon
Image Credit & Copyright: Simon Smith

This image was taken yesterday - it's a Full Moon and the shot was taking in Nottingham, UK.

This is a quote from blog of the photographer of the image:
quote:
The great thing about the moon is that it's easy to find, easy to see, and fairly easy to take pictures of to. After a spot of visual observing I was focussing away and taking a few frames with a view of seeing if I could tease out the colouration that I could quite clearly see with my binoculars and telescope. The image below is what I captured, carefully processed in Photoshop to being out the subtle colours on its surface without it looking too unreal.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
2 September 2012

RBSP Night Launch
Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Killian
quote:
This graceful arc traces a Delta rocket climbing through Thursday's early morning skies over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA. Snug inside the rocket's Centaur upper stage were NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), now in separate orbits within planet Earth's Van Allen radiation belts. Reflected in the Turn Basin from a vantage point about 3 miles from Space Launch Complex 41, the scene was captured in a composite of two exposures. One highlights the dramatic play of launch pad lighting, clouds, and sky. A subsequent 3 minute long exposure records the rocket's fiery trail. While most spacecraft try to avoid the radiation belts, named for their discoverer James Van Allen, RBSP's mission will be to explore their dynamic and harsh conditions.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
3 September 2012

M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster
Image Credit & Copyright: Robert Gendler
quote:
Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and closest open clusters. The Pleiades contains over 3000 stars, is about 400 light years away, and only 13 light years across. Quite evident in the above photograph are the blue reflection nebulae that surround the brighter cluster stars. Low mass, faint, brown dwarfs have also been found in the Pleiades. (Editors' note: The prominent diffraction spikes are caused by the telescope itself and may be either distracting or provide aesthetic enhancement, depending on your point of view.)



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
4 September 2012

Hurricane Paths on Planet Earth
Image Credit & Copyright: John Nelson, IDV Solutions
quote:
Should you be worried about hurricanes? To find out, it is useful to know where hurricanes have gone in the past. The above Earth map shows the path of every hurricane reported since 1851, Although striking, a growing incompleteness exists in the data the further one looks back in time. The above map graphically indicates that hurricanes -- sometimes called cyclones or typhoons depending on where they form -- usually occur over water, which makes sense since evaporating warm water gives them energy. The map also shows that hurricanes never cross -- or even occur very near -- the Earth's equator, since the Coriolis effect goes to zero there, and hurricanes need the Coriolis force to circulate. The Coriolis force also causes hurricane paths to arc away from the equator. Although incompleteness fogs long term trends and the prevalence of hurricanes remains a topic of research, evidence is accumulating that hurricanes are, on the average, more common and more powerful in the North Atlantic Ocean over the past 20 years.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
[  Edited by Dawn at   ]
 32yrs • F •
5 September 2012

Airglow Over Germany
Image Credit & Copyright: Jens Hackmann
quote:
Does air glow? It does, but it is usually hard to see. When conditions are right, however, a faint glow about 90 kilometers up can be observed, most easily with a wide-angle long-duration camera exposure. The same airglow can also frequently be seen looking down -- in pictures taken from Earth orbit -- as a faint arc hovering above the surface. Pictured above between the beige clouds, above the curving Earth, behind the streaking airplane, and in front of the sparkling stars are some green bands of airglow. The glow is predominantly created by the excitation of atoms by ultraviolet light from the Sun, with the bands resulting from density fluctuations caused by upward moving atmospheric gravity waves. The image was taken in mid-July above Weikersheim, Germany. Lightning and aurorae can also cause air to glow, but result from particle collisions and are more fleeting.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
[  Edited by Dawn at   ]
 32yrs • F •
6 September 2012

Airglow over Italy
Image Credit & Copyright: Tamas Ladanyi (TWAN)
quote:
In this serene night skyscape, the Milky Way's graceful arc stretches over prominent peaks in the Italian Alps known as Tre Cime di Lavaredo. A 180 degree wide-angle panorama made in four exposures on August 24, the scene does look to the north and the sky is suffused with an eerie greenish light. Still, the subtle glowing bands are not aurorae, but airglow. Unlike aurorae powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction, and found around the globe. The chemical energy is provided by the Sun's extreme ultraviolet radiation. Like aurorae, the greenish hue of this airglow does originate at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so dominated by emission from excited oxygen atoms. More easily seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
7 September 2012

IC 4628: The Prawn Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Marco Lorenzi (Glittering Lights)
quote:
South of Antares, in the tail of the nebula-rich constellation Scorpius, lies emission nebula IC 4628. Nearby hot, massive stars, millions of years young, radiate the nebula with invisible ultraviolet light, stripping electrons from atoms. The electrons eventually recombine with the atoms to produce the visible nebular glow, dominated by the red emission of hydrogen. At an estimated distance of 6,000 light-years, the region shown is about 250 light-years across, spanning an area equivalent to four full moons on the sky. The nebula is also cataloged as Gum 56 for Australian astronomer Colin Stanley Gum, but seafood-loving astronomers might know this cosmic cloud as The Prawn Nebula.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
8 September 2012

Cosmic Rays at Voyager 1
Credit: Voyager Project, NASA
quote:
Launched on a grand tour of the outer planets in 1977, by good fortune the twin Voyager spacecraft were also headed in the general direction of the Sun's motion relative to nearby stars. Thirty five years later, Voyager 1 appears to be nearing the boundary of the Sun's heliosphere and interstellar space. Of course the heliosphere is the realm of the Sun defined by the influence of the solar wind and the Sun's magnetic field. But how can you tell when your spacecraft crosses the boundary into interstellar space? One clue would be a sudden increase in the detection of energetic cosmic rays. The high energy particles stream through interstellar space accelerated by distant supernovae in our galaxy, but are normally deflected or slowed by the heliosphere. Covering a 12 month period (September 2011 to 2012), this plot does show a dramatic increase in the rate of cosmic ray particle detection in past months by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Voyager 1 is now 18 billion kilometers (17 light hours, 122 Astronomical Units) from the Sun and may soon be the first spacecraft from Earth to enter the realm of the stars.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
9 September 2012

Wisps Surrounding the Horsehead Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Star Shadows Remote Observatory
quote:
The famous Horsehead Nebula in Orion is not alone. A deep exposure shows that the dark familiar shaped indentation, visible just below center, is part of a vast complex of absorbing dust and glowing gas. To bring out details of the Horsehead's pasture, amateur astronomers at the Star Shadow Remote Observatory in New Mexico, USA fixed a small telescope on the region for over seven hours filtering out all but a very specific color of red light emitted by hydrogen. They then added the image to a full color frame taken over three hours. The resulting spectacular picture details an intricate tapestry of gaseous wisps and dust-laden filaments that were created and sculpted over eons by stellar winds and ancient supernovas. The Horsehead Nebula lies 1,500 light years distant towards the constellation of Orion. Two stars from the Orion's Belt can be found in the below image.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
 32yrs • F •
10 September 2012

Curiosity on the Move
Image Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ Univ. of Arizona, HiRise-LPL
quote:
Curiosity is on the move across Mars -- but where is it going? The car-sized rover's path after 29 Martian days on the surface is shown on the above map. Curiosity is still almost 300 meters from its first major destination, though, a meeting of different types of terrain called Glenelg and visible on the image right. It may take Curiosity two months or so to get to Glenelg as it stops to inspect interesting rocks or landscape features along the way. The above image was taken about one week ago from high up by the HiRise camera onboard the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
[  Edited by Dawn at   ]
 32yrs • F •
11 September 2012

Milky Way Over the Bungle Bungles
Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Salway
quote:
Which part of this picture do you find more interesting -- the land or the sky? Advocates for the land might cite the beauty of the ancient domes of the Bungle Bungle Range in Western Australia. These picturesque domes appear as huge layered beehives and are made of sandstones and conglomerates deposited over 350 million years ago. Advocates for the sky might laud the beauty of the Milky Way's central band shown arching from horizon to horizon. The photogenic Milky Way band formed over 10 billion years ago and now includes many well-known nebulae and bright stars. Fortunately, you don't have to decide and can enjoy both together in this beautiful 8-frame panorama taken from the dark skies of Purnululu National Park about two months ago.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
[  Edited by Dawn at   ]
 32yrs • F •
12 September 2012

M7: Open Star Cluster in Scorpius
Image Credit & Copyright: Dieter Willasch (Astro-Cabinet)
quote:
M7 is one of the most prominent open clusters of stars on the sky. The cluster, dominated by bright blue stars, can be seen with the naked eye in a dark sky in the tail of the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius). M7 contains about 100 stars in total, is about 200 million years old, spans 25 light-years across, and lies about 1000 light-years away. The above deep exposure was taken from Hakos Farm in Namibia. The M7 star cluster has been known since ancient times, being noted by Ptolemy in the year 130 AD. Also visible are a dark dust cloud and literally millions of unrelated stars towards the Galactic center.



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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
Astronomy Picture Of The Day
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