Posted 4 hours ago
Posted 6 hours ago


The Flame Nebula (NGC2024), the Horsehead Nebula (B33), the Orion Nebula (M42)

Posted 8 hours ago


Scott # 1172 Czechoslovakia 1963.  Mars.

Posted 10 hours ago


"The bright core and outer reaches of giant elliptical galaxy M60 (NGC 4649) loom large at the upper left of this sharp close-up from the Hubble Space Telescope. Some 54 million light-years away and 120,000 light-years across, M60 is one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster. In cosmic contrast, the small, round smudge at picture center is now recognized as an ultra-compact dwarf galaxy. Cataloged as M60-UCD1, it may well be the densest galaxy in the nearby universe. ”

Posted 12 hours ago


X-Ray View Of The Crab Nebula

In 1054 AD, Chinese astronomers and others around the world noticed a new bright object in the sky. This “new star” was, in fact, the supernova explosion that created what is now called the Crab Nebula. At the center of the Crab Nebula is an extremely dense, rapidly rotating neutron star left behind by the explosion. The neutron star, also known as a pulsar, is spewing out a blizzard of high-energy particles, producing the expanding X-ray nebula seen by Chandra. In this new image, lower-energy X-rays from Chandra are red, medium energy X-rays are green, and the highest-energy X-rays are blue.

 Caption: NASA

Posted 15 hours ago


The Orion Deepfield
Credit: Robert Gendler Astropics

Posted 17 hours ago


Expansive Comet Holmes 
Credit & CopyrightJean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT) & Giovanni Anselmi (Coelum Astronomia), Hawaiian Starlight

Explanation: The spherical coma of Comet Holmes has swollen to a diameter of over 1.4 million kilometers, making the tenuous, dusty cloud even bigger than the Sun. Scattering sunlight, all that dust and gas came from the comet’s remarkably active nucleus, whose diameter before the late October outburst was estimated to be a mere 3.4 kilometers. In this sharp image, recorded on November 14 with the Canada-France-HawaiiTelescope, stars are easily visible right through the outer coma, while the nucleus is buried inside the condensed, bright region. The bright region of the coma seems offset from the center, consistent with the idea that a large fragment drifted away from the nucleus and disintegrated, producing the comet’s spectacular outburst. Of course, more recent images of Holmes also show the bright star Mirfak (Alpha Persei) shining through as the comet sweeps slowly through the constellation Perseus.

Posted 19 hours ago


Mysterious Changing feature on Titan 

Explanation: What is that changing object in a cold hydrocarbon sea of Titan? Radar images from the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn have been recording the surface of the cloud-engulfed moon Titan for years. When imaging the flat — and hence radar dark — surface of the methane and ethane lake called Ligeia Mare, an object appeared in 2013 just was not there in 2007. Subsequent observations in 2014 found the object remained — but had changed! The featured image shows how the 20-km long object has appeared and evolved. Current origin speculative explanations include bubbling foam and floating solids, but no one is sure. Future observations may either resolve the enigma or open up more speculation.

Posted 21 hours ago


Astronomy Photo of the Day (APotD): 10/15/14 — The Crowning Jewel of the Circinus Molecular Cloud

Meet IRAS 14568-6304 — which, for the sake of brevity, we’ll call IRAS — a unique stellar object situated in the Circinus molecular cloud complex. Learn more here:

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA (Acknowledgements: R. Sahai, Serge Meunier)

Posted 23 hours ago


Space shuttle Endeavour