Free Republic 1st Qtr 2021 Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $19,626
22%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 22% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Keyword: apod

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - NGC 1365: Majestic Island Universe

    01/08/2021 1:47:35 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 9 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 8 Jan, 2021 | Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Selby, Leonardo Orazi
    Explanation: Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majestic island universe some 200,000 light-years across. Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the chemical constellation Fornax, NGC 1365 is a dominant member of the well-studied Fornax Cluster of galaxies. This impressively sharp color image shows the intense, reddish star forming regions near the ends of central bar and along the spiral arms, with details of the obscuring dust lanes cutting across the galaxy's bright core. At the core lies a supermassive black hole. Astronomers think NGC 1365's prominent bar plays a crucial role in the galaxy's evolution, drawing...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Striped Sand Dunes on Mars

    01/06/2021 3:30:58 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 11 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 6 Jan, 2021 | Image Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA; Processing: Włodek Głażewski; Text: Alex R. Howe
    Explanation: Why are these sand dunes on Mars striped? No one is sure. The featured image shows striped dunes in Kunowsky Crater on Mars, photographed recently with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE Camera. Many Martian dunes are known to be covered unevenly with carbon dioxide (dry ice) frost, creating patterns of light and dark areas. Carbon dioxide doesn’t melt, but sublimates, turning directly into a gas. Carbon dioxide is also a greenhouse material even as a solid, so it can trap heat under the ice and sublimate from the bottom up, causing geyser-like eruptions. During Martian spring, these eruptions can...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - 21st Century Wet Collodion Moon

    01/02/2021 2:55:26 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 19 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 2 Jan, 2021 | Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Smolinsky
    Explanation: In the mid 19th century, one of the first photographic technologies used to record the lunar surface was the wet-plate collodion process, notably employed by British astronomer Warren De la Rue. To capture an image, a thick, transparent mixture was used to coat a glass plate, sensitized with silver nitrate, exposed at the telescope, and then developed to create a negative image on the plate. To maintain photographic sensitivity, the entire process, from coating to exposure to developing, had to be completed before the plate dried, in a span of about 10 to 15 minutes. This modern version of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Galaxies and the South Celestial Pole

    01/01/2021 4:30:22 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 18 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 1 Jan, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Petr Horalek, Josef Kujal
    Explanation: The South Celestial Pole is easy to spot in star trail images of the southern sky. The extension of Earth's axis of rotation to the south, it's at the center of all the southern star trail arcs. In this starry panorama streching about 60 degrees across deep southern skies the South Celestial Pole is somewhere near the middle though, flanked by bright galaxies and southern celestial gems. Across the top of the frame are the stars and nebulae along the plane of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Gamma Crucis, a yellowish giant star heads the Southern Cross near top...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Trail of the Returner

    12/31/2020 3:06:17 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 2 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 31 Dec, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Zhuoxiao Wang
    Explanation: Familiar stars of a northern winter's night shine in this night skyview, taken near Zhangye, Gansu, China and the border with Inner Mongolia. During the early hours of December 17 Orion is near center in the single exposure that captures a fireball streaking across the sky, almost as bright as yellowish Mars shining on the right. Splitting Gemini's twin bright stars Castor and Pollux near the top of the frame, the fireball's trail and timing are consistent with the second skipping atmospheric entry of the Chang'e 5 mission's returner capsule. The returner capsule was successfully recovered after landing in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Jupiter and Saturn Great Conjunction: The Movie

    12/30/2020 2:55:26 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 4 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 30 Dec, 2020 | Video Credit: Thanakrit Santikunaporn (National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand); Text:
    Today's image is a video at link. Explanation: Yes, but have you seen a movie of Jupiter and Saturn's Great Conjunction? The featured time-lapse video was composed from a series of images taken from Thailand and shows the two giant planets as they angularly passed about a tenth of a degree from each other. The first Great Conjunction sequence shows a relative close up over five days with moons and cloud bands easily visible, followed by a second video sequence, zoomed out, over 9 days. Even though Jupiter and Saturn appeared to pass unusually close together on the sky on...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Earth During a Total Solar Eclipse

    12/29/2020 2:49:33 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 16 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 29 Dec, 2020 | Video Credit: GOES-16, ABI, NOAA, NASA
    Video of December 14, 2020 eclipse shadow at link. Explanation: What does the Earth look like during a total solar eclipse? It appears dark in the region where people see the eclipse, because that's where the shadow of the Moon falls. The shadow spot rapidly shoots across the Earth at nearly 2,000 kilometers per hour, darkening locations in its path -- typically for only a few minutes -- before moving on. The featured video shows the Earth during the total solar eclipse earlier this month. The time-lapse sequence, taken from a geostationary satellite, starts with the Earth below showing night...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Dat - M16: Inside the Eagle Nebula

    12/28/2020 2:33:16 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 12 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 28 Dec, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Nicolas Paladini
    Explanation: From afar, the whole thing looks like an Eagle. A closer look at the Eagle Nebula, however, shows the bright region is actually a window into the center of a larger dark shell of dust. Through this window, a brightly-lit workshop appears where a whole open cluster of stars is being formed. In this cavity tall pillars and round globules of dark dust and cold molecular gas remain where stars are still forming. Already visible are several young bright blue stars whose light and winds are burning away and pushing back the remaining filaments and walls of gas and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Portrait of NGC 1055

    12/24/2020 12:38:40 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 6 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 24 Dec, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh
    Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 1055 is a dominant member of a small galaxy group a mere 60 million light-years away toward the aquatically intimidating constellation Cetus. Seen edge-on, the island universe spans over 100,000 light-years, a little larger than our own Milky Way galaxy. The colorful, spiky stars decorating this cosmic portrait of NGC 1055 are in the foreground, well within the Milky Way. But the telltale pinkish star forming regions are scattered through winding dust lanes along the distant galaxy's thin disk. With a smattering of even more distant background galaxies, the deep image also reveals a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Jupiter Meets Saturn: A Red Spotted Great Conjunction

    12/23/2020 3:30:14 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 14 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 23 Dec, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach
    Explanation: It was time for their close-up. Two days ago Jupiter and Saturn passed a tenth of a degree from each other in what is known a Great Conjunction. Although the two planets pass each other on the sky every 20 years, this was the closest pass in nearly four centuries. Taken early in day of the Great Conjunction, the featured multiple-exposure combination captures not only both giant planets in a single frame, but also Jupiter's four largest moons (left to right) Callisto, Ganymede, Io, and Europa -- and Saturn's largest moon Titan. If you look very closely, the clear...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Mons Rumker in the Ocean of Storms

    12/05/2020 4:03:57 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 5 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 5 Dec, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Jean-Yves Letellier
    Explanation: Mons Rumker, a 70 kilometer wide complex of volcanic domes, rises some 1100 meters above the vast, smooth lunar mare known as Oceanus Procellarum, the Ocean of Storms. Daylight came to the area late last month. The lunar terminator, the shadow line between night and day, runs diagonally across the left side in this telescopic close-up of a waxing gibbous Moon from November 27. China's Chang'e-5 mission landing site is also in the frame. The probe's lander-ascender combination touch down on the lunar surface within a region right of center and north of Mons Rumker's domes on December 1....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The Antennae Galaxies in Collision

    12/03/2020 3:29:36 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 22 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 3 Dec, 2020 | Image Credit: ESA/Hubble NASA
    Explanation: Sixty million light-years away toward the southerly constellation Corvus, these two large galaxies are colliding. The cosmic train wreck captured in stunning detail in this Hubble Space Telescope snapshot takes hundreds of millions of years to play out. Cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, the galaxies' individual stars don't often collide though. Their large clouds of molecular gas and dust do, triggering furious episodes of star formation near the center of the wreckage. New star clusters and interstellar matter are jumbled and flung far from the scene of the accident by gravitational forces. This Hubble close-up frame is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The Great Turkey Nebula

    11/26/2020 6:03:48 AM PST · by MtnClimber · 22 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 26 Nov, 2020 | Imagination Credit & Copyright: Eric Coles
    Explanation: Surprisingly reminiscent of The Great Nebula in Orion, The Great Turkey Nebula spans this creative field of view. Of course if it were the Orion Nebula it would be our closest large stellar nursery, found at the edge of a large molecular cloud a mere 1,500 light-years away. Also known as M42, the Orion Nebula is visible to the eye as the middle "star" in the sword of Orion the Hunter, a constellation now rising in planet Earth's evening skies. Stellar winds from clusters of newborn stars scattered throughout the Orion Nebula sculpt its ridges and cavities seen in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - A Glowing STEVE and the Milky Way

    11/17/2020 3:17:02 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 24 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 17 Nov, 2020 | Image Credit: NASA, Krista Trinder
    Explanation: What's creating these long glowing streaks in the sky? No one is sure. Known as Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancements (STEVEs), these luminous light-purple sky ribbons may resemble regular auroras, but recent research reveals significant differences. A STEVE's great length and unusual colors, when measured precisely, indicate that it may be related to a subauroral ion drift (SAID), a supersonic river of hot atmospheric ions thought previously to be invisible. Some STEVEs are now also thought to be accompanied by green picket fence structures, a series of sky slats that can appear outside of the main auroral oval that...
  • The Central Soul Nebula Without Stars

    11/10/2020 3:06:06 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 26 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 10 Nov, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Jason Guenzel
    Explanation: This cosmic close-up looks deep inside the Soul Nebula. The dark and brooding dust clouds near the top, outlined by bright ridges of glowing gas, are cataloged as IC 1871. About 25 light-years across, the telescopic field of view spans only a small part of the much larger Heart and Soul nebulae. At an estimated distance of 6,500 light-years the star-forming complex lies within the Perseus spiral arm of our Milky Way Galaxy, seen in planet Earth's skies toward the constellation Cassiopeia. An example of triggered star formation, the dense star-forming clouds in the Soul Nebula are themselves sculpted...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Fifty Gravitational Wave Events Illustrated

    11/04/2020 4:16:36 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 14 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 4 Nov, 2020 | Image Credit: LIGO Virgo Collaborations, Frank Elavsky, Aaron Geller, Northwestern U.
    Explanation: Over fifty gravitational wave events have now been detected. These events mark the distant, violent collisions of two black holes, a black hole and a neutron star, or two neutron stars. Most of the 50 events were detected in 2019 by the LIGO gravitational wave detectors in the USA and the VIRGO detector in Europe. In the featured illustration summarizing the masses of the first 50 events, blue dots indicate higher-mass black holes while orange dots denote lower-mass neutron stars. Astrophysicists are currently uncertain, though, about the nature of events marked in white involving masses that appear to be...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Tagging Bennu: The Movie

    11/03/2020 2:49:00 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 3 Nov, 2020 | Video Credit: OSIRIS-REx, NASA's GSFC, U. Arizona, Lockheed Martin
    Explanation: This is what it looks like to punch an asteroid. Last month, NASA's robotic spacecraft OSIRIS-REx descended toward, thumped into, and then quickly moved away from the small near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu. The featured video depicts the Touch-And-Go (TAG) sampling event over a three-hour period. As the movie begins, the automated probe approaches the 500-meter, diamond-shaped, space rock as it rotates noticeably below. About 20 seconds into the video, Nightingale comes into view -- a touchdown area chosen to be relatively flat and devoid of large boulders that could damage the spaceship. At 34 seconds, the shadow of OSIRIS-REx's...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Half Sun with Prominence

    11/02/2020 3:53:19 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 11 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 2 Nov, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Rainee Colacurcio
    Explanation: What's happening to the Sun? Clearly, the Sun's lower half is hidden behind a thick cloud. Averaging over the entire Earth, clouds block the Sun about 2/3rds of the time, although much less over many land locations. On the Sun's upper right is a prominence of magnetically levitating hot gas. The prominence might seem small but it could easily envelop our Earth and persist for over a month. The featured image is a combination of two exposures, one optimizing the cloud and prominence, and the other optimizing the Sun's texture. Both were taken about an hour apart with the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Venusian Volcano Imagined

    10/27/2020 3:35:08 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 21 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 27 Oct, 2020 | Illustration Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Peter Rubin
    Explanation: What would an erupting volcano on Venus look like? Evidence of currently active volcanoes on Venus was announced earlier this year with the unexplained warmth of regions thought to contain only ancient volcanoes. Although large scale images of Venus have been taken with radar, thick sulfuric acid clouds would inhibit the taking of optical light vistas. Nevertheless, an artist's reconstruction of a Venusian volcano erupting is featured. Volcanoes could play an important role in a life cycle on Venus as they could push chemical foods into the cooler upper atmosphere where hungry microbes might float. Pictured, the plume from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Dat - Reflections of the Ghost Nebula

    10/26/2020 4:05:56 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 18 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 26 Oct, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Bogdan Jarzyna
    Explanation: Do any shapes seem to jump out at you from this interstellar field of stars and dust? The jeweled expanse, filled with faint, starlight-reflecting clouds, drifts through the night in the royal constellation of Cepheus. Far from your own neighborhood on planet Earth, these ghostly apparitions lurk along the plane of the Milky Way at the edge of the Cepheus Flare molecular cloud complex some 1,200 light-years away. Over two light-years across and brighter than the other spooky chimeras, VdB 141 or Sh2-136 is also known as the Ghost Nebula, seen at toward the bottom of the featured image....