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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Pleiades: The Seven Sisters Star Cluster

    12/05/2022 1:15:42 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 5 Dec, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Blake Estes (iTelescope Siding Spring Obs.) & Christian Sasse
    Explanation: Have you ever seen the Pleiades star cluster? Even if you have, you probably have never seen it as large and clear as this. Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the bright stars of the Pleiades can be seen with the unaided eye even from the depths of a light-polluted city. With a long exposure from a dark location, though, the dust cloud surrounding the Pleiades star cluster becomes very evident. The featured 11-hour exposure, taken from the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, covers a sky area several times the size of the full moon. Also...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Video: Powers of Ten

    12/04/2022 12:28:35 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 4 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 4 Dec, 2022 | Video Credit & Copyright: Charles & Ray Eames (Eames Office)
    Explanation: How different does the universe look on very small scales? On very large scales? The most famous short science film of its generation gives breathtaking comparisons. That film, Powers of Ten, originally created in the 1960s, has been officially posted to YouTube and embedded here. From a picnic blanket near Chicago out past the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, every ten seconds the film zooms out to show a square a factor of ten times larger on each side. The 9-minute video then reverses, zooming back in a factor of ten every two seconds and ends up inside a single...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Stereo Mars near Opposition

    12/03/2022 12:33:46 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 17 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 3 Dec, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Marco Lorenzi
    Explanation: Mars looks sharp in these two rooftop telescope views captured in late November from Singapore, planet Earth. At the time, Mars was about 82 million kilometers from Singapore and approaching its opposition, opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky on December 8. Olympus Mons, largest of the volcanoes in the Tharsis Montes region (and largest known volcano in the Solar System), is near Mars' western limb. In both the images it's the whitish donut-shape at the upper right. The dark area visible near center is the Terra Sirenum region while the long dark peninsula closest to the planet's eastern...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Merging Galaxy Pair IIZw096

    12/02/2022 6:03:38 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 16 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 2 Dec, 2022 | Image Credit: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, L. Armus, A. Evans
    Explanation: Bright at infrared wavelengths, this merging galaxy pair is some 500 million light-years away toward the constellation Delphinus. The cosmic mashup is seen against a background of even more distant galaxies, and occasional spiky foreground stars. But the galaxy merger itself spans about 100,000 light-years in this deep James Webb Space Telescope image. The image data is from Webb's Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI). Their combined, sharp infrared view follows galactic scale restructuring in the dusty merger's wild jumble of intense star forming regions and distorted spiral arms
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Artemis 1: Flight Day 13

    12/01/2022 1:19:26 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 20 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 1 Dec, 2022 | Image Credit: NASA, Artemis 1
    Explanation: On flight day 13 (November 28) of the Artemis 1 mission the Orion spacecraft reached its maximum distance from Earth. In fact, over 430,000 kilometers from Earth its distant retrograde orbit also put Orion nearly 70,000 kilometers from the Moon. In the same field of view in this video frame from flight day 13, planet and large natural satellite even appear about the same apparent size from the uncrewed spacecraft's perspective. Today (December 1) should see Orion depart its distant retrograde orbit. En route to planet Earth it will head toward a second powered fly by of the Moon....
  • NASA cancels greenhouse gas monitoring satellite due to cost

    11/30/2022 10:06:57 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 48 replies
    Associated Press ^ | November 29, 2022 | Seth Borenstein
    NASA is canceling a planned satellite that was going to intensely monitor greenhouse gases over the Americas because it got too costly and complicated. But the space agency said it will still be watching human-caused carbon pollution but in different ways. NASA on Tuesday announced that its GeoCarb mission, which was supposed to be a low-cost satellite to monitor carbon dioxide, methane and how plant life changes over North and South America, was being killed because of cost overruns. When it was announced six years ago, it was supposed to cost $166 million, but the latest NASA figures show costs...
  • Astronomy Picture od the Day - The Light, the Dark, and the Dusty

    11/30/2022 5:45:40 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 4 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 30 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Anthony Quintile
    Explanation: This colorful skyscape spans about four full moons across nebula rich starfields along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy in the royal northern constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of the region's massive molecular cloud some 2,400 light-years away, bright reddish emission region Sharpless (Sh) 155 is at the center of the frame, also known as the Cave Nebula. About 10 light-years across the cosmic cave's bright walls of gas are ionized by ultraviolet light from the hot young stars around it. Dusty reflection nebulae, like vdB 155 to the right, and dense obscuring clouds of dust also abound...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The Gum Nebula Supernova Remnant

    11/29/2022 1:32:13 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 29 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Victor Lima
    Explanation: Because the Gum Nebula is the closest supernova remnant, it is actually hard to see. Spanning 40 degrees across the sky, the nebula appears so large and faint that it is easily lost in the din of a bright and complex background. The Gum Nebula is highlighted nicely in red emission toward the right of the featured wide-angle, single-image photograph taken in late May. Also visible in the frame are the Atacama Desert in Chile in the foreground, the Carina Nebula in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy running diagonally down from the upper left, and the neighboring...
  • NASA's pioneering spaceship snaps stunning view of the moon orbiting Earth

    11/28/2022 3:08:22 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 36 replies
    mashable ^ | November 28, 2022 | Mark Kaufman on
    The spacecraft's current orbit around the moon, called "distant retrograde orbit," put Orion in position to view Earth and its satellite from a rare vantage point. In this orbit, the spacecraft is flying some 40,000 miles above the lunar surface, enabling it to at times "look back" at our natural satellite and beyond. Orion is actually beaming back a livestream of the Artemis I mission, which you can watch on this link from NASA. (At times, however, the moon moves between Earth and the spacecraft, which temporarily cuts off your cosmic livestreaming service.)
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Leonid Meteors Through Orion

    11/28/2022 12:41:30 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 9 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 28 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Luo Hongyang
    Image Credit & Copyright: Luo Hongyang Explanation: Where will the next meteor appear? Even during a meteor shower, it is practically impossible to know. Therefore, a good way to enjoy a meteor shower is to find a place where you can sit comfortably and monitor a great expanse of dark sky. And it may be satisfying to share this experience with a friend. The meteor shower depicted was the 2022 Leonids which peaked earlier this month, and the view is from Hainan, China looking out over the South China Sea. Meteor streaks captured over a few hours were isolated and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Supernumerary Rainbows over New Jersey

    11/27/2022 1:18:36 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 14 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 27 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: John Entwistle
    Explanation: Yes, but can your rainbow do this? After the remnants of Hurricane Florence passed over the Jersey Shore, New Jersey, USA in 2018, the Sun came out in one direction but something quite unusual appeared in the opposite direction: a hall of rainbows. Over the course of a next half hour, to the delight of the photographer and his daughter, vibrant supernumerary rainbows faded in and out, with at least five captured in this featured single shot. Supernumerary rainbows only form when falling water droplets are all nearly the same size and typically less than a millimeter across. Then,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Saturn at Night

    11/26/2022 12:28:23 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 30 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 26 Nov, 2022 | NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute, Mindaugas Macijauskas
    Explanation: Saturn is still bright in planet Earth's night skies. Telescopic views of the distant gas giant and its beautiful rings often make it a star at star parties. But this stunning view of Saturn's rings and night side just isn't possible from telescopes closer to the Sun than the outer planet. They can only bring Saturn's day into view. In fact, this image of Saturn's slender sunlit crescent with night's shadow cast across its broad and complex ring system was captured by the Cassini spacecraft. A robot spacecraft from planet Earth, Cassini called Saturn orbit home for 13 years...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - NGC 6744: Extragalactic Close-Up

    11/25/2022 3:32:14 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 5 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 25 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the LEGUS team
    Explanation: Beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6744 is nearly 175,000 light-years across. That's larger than the Milky Way. It lies some 30 million light-years distant in the southern constellation Pavo, with its galactic disk tilted towards our line of sight. This Hubble close-up of the nearby island universe spans about 24,000 light-years or so across NGC 6744's central region. The Hubble view combines visible light and ultraviolet image data. The giant galaxy's yellowish core is dominated by the visible light from old, cool stars. Beyond the core are star-forming regions and young star clusters scattered along the inner spiral arms. NGC...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Lynds Dark Nebula 1251

    11/24/2022 2:44:19 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 6 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 24 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Stefano Attalienti
    Explanation: Stars are forming in Lynds Dark Nebula (LDN) 1251. About 1,000 light-years away and drifting above the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the dusty molecular cloud is part of a complex of dark nebulae mapped toward the Cepheus flare region. Across the spectrum, astronomical explorations of the obscuring interstellar clouds reveal energetic shocks and outflows associated with newborn stars, including the telltale reddish glow from scattered Herbig-Haro objects hiding in the image. Distant background galaxies also lurk on the scene, almost buried behind the dusty expanse. This alluring view spans over four full moons on the sky, or...
  • NASA program predicted impact [location] of small asteroid over Ontario, Canada

    11/23/2022 7:06:33 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    phys.org ^ | NOVEMBER 23, 2022 | JPL/NASA
    In the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 19, the skies over southern Ontario, Canada, lit up as a tiny asteroid harmlessly streaked across the sky high in Earth's atmosphere, broke up, and likely scattered small meteorites over the southern coastline of Lake Ontario. The fireball wasn't a surprise. Roughly 1 meter (3 feet) wide, the asteroid was detected 3 ½ hours before impact, making this event the sixth time in history a small asteroid has been tracked in space before impacting Earth's atmosphere. NASA is tasked with the detection and tracking of much larger near-Earth objects that could survive passage...
  • NASA loses contact with Artemis 1's Orion spacecraft for 47 minutes

    11/23/2022 2:11:11 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 44 replies
    space.com ^ | Mike Wall
    NASA unexpectedly lost contact with its moonbound Orion capsule early Wednesday morning (Nov. 23), for reasons that remain unclear. Mission controllers lost communication with Orion at 1:09 a.m. EST (0609 GMT) while reconfiguring a link between the capsule and the Deep Space Network, the set of radio dishes that NASA uses to talk to its farflung spacecraft. Orion is gearing up for a crucial maneuver: It's scheduled to perform an engine burn on Friday (Nov. 25) that will insert the capsule into orbit around the moon. If all goes well, Orion will stay in that orbit for about a week,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Earthset from Orion

    11/23/2022 1:19:04 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 10 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 23 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit: NASA, Artemis 1
    Explanation: Eight billion people are about to disappear in this snapshot from space. Taken on November 21, the sixth day of the Artemis 1 mission, their home world is setting behind the Moon's bright edge as viewed by an external camera on the outbound Orion spacecraft. The Orion was headed for a powered flyby that took it to within 130 kilometers of the lunar surface. Velocity gained in the flyby maneuver will be used to reach a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. That orbit is considered distant because it's another 92,000 kilometers beyond the Moon, and retrograde because the...
  • NASA’s Orion spacecraft makes close flyby of the Moon and heads on to orbit

    11/22/2022 9:54:16 AM PST · by Red Badger · 39 replies
    https://www.theverge.com ^ | Nov 22, 2022, 11:46 AM CST | By GEORGINA TORBET
    NASA’s Orion capsule snaps a selfie, with the far side of the Moon in the background. Image: NASA NASA’s Orion spacecraft has made it past the Moon as part of the uncrewed Artemis I mission, firing its engines to pass within 81 miles of the lunar surface, and is operating with high accuracy. The spacecraft performed an outbound powered flyby burn yesterday, Monday, November 21st, completing its closest flyby. The engines “all worked perfectly,” said Judd Frieling, a flight director at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, in a press conference. With three trajectory correction burns performed, the spacecraft has now fired...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - A Double Star Cluster in Perseus

    11/22/2022 1:14:52 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 8 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 22 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit & Copyright: Tommy Lease
    Explanation: Few star clusters are this close to each other. Visible to the unaided eye from dark sky areas, it was cataloged in 130 BC by Greek astronomer Hipparchus. Some 7,000 light-years away, this pair of open star clusters is also an easy binocular target, a striking starfield in the northern constellation of the mythical Greek hero Perseus. Now known as h and chi Persei, or NGC 869 (above right) and NGC 884, the clusters themselves are separated by only a few hundred light-years and contain stars much younger and hotter than the Sun. In addition to being physically close...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble

    11/21/2022 5:54:40 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 11 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 21 Nov, 2022 | Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing: William Ostling
    Explanation: Stars can make beautiful patterns as they age -- sometimes similar to flowers or insects. NGC 6302, the Butterfly Nebula, is a notable example. Though its gaseous wingspan covers over 3 light-years and its estimated surface temperature exceeds 200,000 degrees C, the aging central star of NGC 6302, the featured planetary nebula, has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in visible and ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This sharp close-up was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope and is processed here to show off remarkable details of the complex planetary nebula, highlighting...