Free Republic 1st Qtr 2022 Fundraising Target: $82,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $14,192
17%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 17% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Astronomy Picture of the Day (General/Chat)

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day- A Retreating Thunderstorm at Sunset

    01/16/2022 3:13:26 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 11 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 16 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Alan Dyer (The Amazing Sky)
    Explanation: What type of cloud is that? This retreating cumulonimbus cloud, more commonly called a thundercloud, is somewhat unusual as it contains the unusual bumpiness of a mammatus cloud on the near end, while simultaneously producing falling rain on the far end. Taken in mid-2013 in southern Alberta, Canada, the cloud is moving to the east, into the distance, as the sun sets in the west, behind the camera. In the featured image, graphic sunset colors cross the sky to give the already photogenic cloud striking orange and pink hues. A darkening blue sky covers the background. Further in the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Galileo's Europa

    01/15/2022 1:42:48 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 13 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 15 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SETI Institute, Cynthia Phillips, Marty Valenti
    Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Explanation: Looping through the Jovian system in the late 1990s, the Galileo spacecraft recorded stunning views of Europa and uncovered evidence that the moon's icy surface likely hides a deep, global ocean. Galileo's Europa image data has been remastered here, with improved calibrations to produce a color image approximating what the human eye might see. Europa's long curving fractures hint at the subsurface liquid water. The tidal flexing the large moon experiences in its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - NGC 1566: The Spanish Dancer Spiral Galaxy

    01/14/2022 1:11:39 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 16 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 14 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Mark Hanson and Mike Selby
    Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Explanation: An island universe of billions of stars, NGC 1566 lies about 60 million light-years away in the southern constellation Dorado. Popularly known as the Spanish Dancer galaxy, it's seen face-on from our Milky Way perspective. A gorgeous grand design spiral, this galaxy's two graceful spiral arms span over 100,000 light-years, traced by bright blue star clusters, pinkish starforming regions, and swirling cosmic dust lanes. NGC 1566's flaring center makes the spiral one of...
  • day Astronomy Picture of the Day - Supernova Remnant Simeis 147

    01/13/2022 3:21:47 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 6 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 13 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Jason Dain
    Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Explanation: It's easy to get lost following the intricate, looping, twisting filaments in this detailed image of supernova remnant Simeis 147. Also cataloged as Sharpless 2-240 it goes by the popular nickname, the Spaghetti Nebula. Seen toward the boundary of the constellations Taurus and Auriga, it covers nearly 3 degrees or 6 full moons on the sky. That's about 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years. This composite includes...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Comet Leonard Closeup from Australia

    01/12/2022 3:20:36 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 15 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 12 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Blake Estes (itelescope.net)
    Explanation: What does Comet Leonard look like up close? Although we can't go there, imaging the comet's coma and inner tails through a small telescope gives us a good idea. As the name implies, the ion tail is made of ionized gas -- gas energized by ultraviolet light from the Sun and pushed outward by the solar wind. The solar wind is quite structured and sculpted by the Sun's complex and ever changing magnetic field. The effect of the variable solar wind combined with different gas jets venting from the comet's nucleus accounts for the tail's complex structure. Following the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Orion's Belt Region in Gas and Dust

    01/11/2022 3:52:00 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 6 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 11 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Matt Harbison (Space4Everybody), Marathon Remote Imaging Observatory
    Explanation: You may have seen Orion's belt before -- but not like this. The three bright stars across this image are, from left to right, Mintaka, Alnilam, and Alnitak: the iconic belt stars of Orion. The rest of the stars in the frame have been digitally removed to highlight the surrounding clouds of glowing gas and dark dust. Some of these clouds have intriguing shapes, including the Horsehead and Flame Nebulas, both near Alnitak on the lower right. This deep image, taken last month from the Marathon Skypark and Observatory in Marathon, Texas, USA, spans about 5 degrees, required about...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Comet Leonard's Tail Wag

    01/10/2022 3:02:28 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 4 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 10 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit: NASA, NRL, STEREO-A; Processing: B. Gallagher
    Explanation: Why does Comet Leonard's tail wag? The featured time-lapse video shows the ion tail of Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) as it changed over ten days early last month. The video was taken by NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory-Ahead (STEREO-A) spacecraft that co-orbits the Sun at roughly the same distance as the Earth. Each image in this 29-degree field was subtracted from following image to create frames that highlight differences. The video clearly shows Comet Leonard's long ion tail extending, wagging, and otherwise being blown around by the solar wind -- a stream of fast-moving ions that stream out from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking Great Red Spot

    01/09/2022 3:48:44 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 38 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 9 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, OPAL Program, STScI; Processing: Karol Masztalerz
    Explanation: What will become of Jupiter's Great Red Spot? Gas giant Jupiter is the solar system's largest world with about 320 times the mass of planet Earth. Jupiter is home to one of the largest and longest lasting storm systems known, the Great Red Spot (GRS), visible to the left. The GRS is so large it could swallow Earth, although it has been shrinking. Comparison with historical notes indicate that the storm spans only about one third of the exposed surface area it had 150 years ago. NASA's Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program has been monitoring the storm more...
  • Astronomy Pcture of the Day - Quadrantids of the North

    01/08/2022 4:09:39 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 4 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 8 Jan, 2021 | Image Credit & Copyright: Cheng Luo
    Explanation: Named for a forgotten constellation, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower puts on an annual show for planet Earth's northern hemisphere skygazers. The shower's radiant on the sky lies within the old, astronomically obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis. That location is not far from the Big Dipper, at the boundaries of the modern constellations Bootes and Draco. In fact north star Polaris is just below center in this frame and the Big Dipper asterism (known to some as the Plough) is above it, with the meteor shower radiant to the right. Pointing back toward the radiant, Quadrantid meteors streak through the night...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Ecstatic Solar Eclipse

    01/07/2022 3:34:23 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 4 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 7 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Annie Schmidt (Point Blue Conservation Science)
    Explanation: A male Adelie penguin performed this Ecstatic Vocalization in silhouette during the December 4 solar eclipse, the final eclipse of 2021. Of course his Ecstatic Vocalization is a special display that male penguins use to claim their territory and advertise their condition. This penguin's territory, at Cape Crozier Antarctica, is located in one of the largest Adelie penguin colonies. The colony has been studied by researchers for over 25 years. From there, last December's eclipse was about 80 percent total when seen at its maximum phase as the Moon's shadow crossed planet Earth's southernmost continent.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The Last Days of Venus as the Evening Star

    01/06/2022 1:38:30 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 15 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 6 Jan, 2021 | Image Credit & Copyright: Tamas Ladanyi (TWAN)
    Explanation: That's not a young crescent Moon posing behind cathedral towers after sunset. It's Venus in a crescent phase. About 40 million kilometers away and about 2 percent illuminated by sunlight, it was captured with camera and telephoto lens in this series of exposures as it set in western skies on January 1 from Veszprem, Hungary. The bright celestial beacon was languishing in the evening twilight, its days as the Evening Star coming to a close as 2022 began. But it was also growing larger in apparent size and becoming an ever thinner crescent in telescopic views. Heading toward a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - A Year of Sunrises

    01/05/2022 3:18:38 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 9 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 5 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Luca Vanzella
    Explanation: Does the Sun always rise in the same direction? No. As the months change, the direction toward the rising Sun changes, too. The featured image shows the direction of sunrise every month during 2021 as seen from the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The camera in the image is always facing due east, with north toward the left and south toward the right. As shown in an accompanying video, the top image was taken in 2020 December, while the bottom image was captured in 2021 December, making 13 images in total. Although the Sun always rises in the east...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Moons Beyond Rings at Saturn

    01/04/2022 2:28:36 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 4 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit: NASA, ESA, JPL, Cassini Imaging Team
    Explanation: What's happened to that moon of Saturn? Nothing -- Saturn's moon Rhea is just partly hidden behind Saturn's rings. In 2010, the robotic Cassini spacecraft then orbiting Saturn took this narrow-angle view looking across the Solar System's most famous rings. Rings visible in the foreground include the thin F ring on the outside and the much wider A and B rings just interior to it. Although it seems to be hovering over the rings, Saturn's moon Janus is actually far behind them. Janus is one of Saturn's smaller moons and measures only about 180 kilometers across. Farther out from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Comet Leonard's Long Tail

    01/03/2022 3:35:15 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 3 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Jan Hattenbach
    Explanation: You couldn't see Comet Leonard’s extremely long tail with a telescope — it was just too long. You also couldn't see it with binoculars — still too long. Or with your eyes -- it was too dim. Or from a city — the sky was too bright. But from a dark location with a low horizon — your camera could. And still might -- if the comet survives today's closest encounter with the Sun, which occurs between the orbits of Mercury and Venus. The featured picture was created from two deep and wide-angle camera images taken from La Palma...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Quadruple Lunar Halo Over Winter Road

    01/03/2022 6:13:58 AM PST · by MtnClimber · 16 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 2 Dec, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Dani Caxete
    Explanation: Sometimes falling ice crystals make the atmosphere into a giant lens causing arcs and halos to appear around the Sun or Moon. One Saturday night in 2012 was just such a time near Madrid, Spain, where a winter sky displayed not only a bright Moon but four rare lunar halos. The brightest object, near the top of the featured image, is the Moon. Light from the Moon refracts through tumbling hexagonal ice crystals into a somewhat rare 22-degree halo seen surrounding the Moon. Elongating the 22-degree arc horizontally is a more rare circumscribed halo caused by column ice crystals....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The Full Moon of 2021

    01/01/2022 4:41:20 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 1 Jan, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Soumyadeep Mukherjee
    Explanation: Every Full Moon of 2021 shines in this year-spanning astrophoto project, a composite portrait of the familiar lunar nearside at each brightest lunar phase. Arranged by moonth, the year progresses in stripes beginning at the top. Taken with the same camera and lens the stripes are from Full Moon images all combined at the same pixel scale. The stripes still looked mismatched, but they show that the Full Moon's angular size changes throughout the year depending on its distance from Kolkata, India, planet Earth. The calendar month, a full moon name, distance in kilometers, and angular size is indicated...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - JWST on the Road to L2 (Jim Webb Space Telescope)

    12/31/2021 2:50:50 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 11 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 31 Dec, 2021 | Image Credit & Copyright: Malcolm Park (North York Astronomical Association)
    Explanation: This timelapse gif tracks the James Webb Space Telescope as it streaks across the stars of Orion on its journey to a destination beyond the Moon. Recorded on December 28, 12 consecutive exposures each 10 minutes long were aligned and combined with a subsequent color image of the background stars to create the animation. About 2.5 days after its December 25 launch, JWST cruised past the altitude of the Moon's orbit as it climbed up the gravity ridge from Earth to reach a halo orbit around L2, an Earth-Sun Lagrange point. Lagrange points are convenient locations in space where...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The Further Tail of Comet Leonard

    12/30/2021 1:56:20 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 30 Dec, 2021 | Image Credit & Copyright: Daniele Gasparri
    Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Explanation: Comet Leonard, brightest comet of 2021, is at the lower left of these two panels captured on December 29 in dark Atacama desert skies. Heading for its perihelion on January 3 Comet Leonard's visible tail has grown. Stacked exposures with a wide angle lens (also displayed in a reversed B/W scheme for contrast), trace the complicated ion tail for an amazing 60 degrees, with bright Jupiter shining near the horizon at lower right....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Giant Storms and High Clouds on Jupiter

    12/29/2021 4:01:04 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 29 Dec, 2021 | Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS; Processing & License: Kevin M. Gill
    Explanation: What and where are these large ovals? They are rotating storm clouds on Jupiter imaged last month by NASA's Juno spacecraft. In general, higher clouds are lighter in color, and the lightest clouds visible are the relatively small clouds that dot the lower oval. At 50 kilometers across, however, even these light clouds are not small. They are so high up that they cast shadows on the swirling oval below. The featured image has been processed to enhance color and contrast. Large ovals are usually regions of high pressure that span over 1000 kilometers and can last for years....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Sun Halo over Sweden

    12/28/2021 3:36:49 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 4 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 28 Dec, 2021 | Video Credit & Copyright: Håkan Hammar (Vemdalen Ski Resort, SkiStar)
    Explanation: What's happened to the Sun? Sometimes it looks like the Sun is being viewed through a giant lens. In the featured video, however, there are actually millions of tiny lenses: ice crystals. Water may freeze in the atmosphere into small, flat, six-sided, ice crystals. As these crystals flutter to the ground, much time is spent with their faces flat and parallel to the ground. An observer may find themselves in the same plane as many of the falling ice crystals near sunrise or sunset. During this alignment, each crystal can act like a miniature lens, refracting sunlight into our...