Tuesday, July 3, 2012: The Hubble Space Telescope has captured this view of the dwarf galaxy UGC 5497, a compact blue dwarf galaxy containing clusters…Read More »
of young blue stars. UGC 5497 is considered part of the M81 group of galaxies, and lies about 12 million light-years away in Ursa Major. UGC 5497 was discovered recently, in 2008, during a survey looking for new dwarf galaxy candidates associated with Messier 81.
Thursday, July 5, 2012: The Soyuz TMA-03M capsule (at center) carrying 3 crew members of Expedition 31 from the International Space Station landed in a…Read More »
remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on the Kazakh Steppe, Sunday, July 1, 2012. Flight Engineer Don Pettit, Commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency returned after staying more than six months in space. This photo was taken through the plexiglass window of the helicopter carrying Pettit to Karaganda.
Friday, July 6, 2012: A strong jet stream shoots through Saturn's northern hemisphere in this image by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Clouds associated with…Read More »
the jet stream are visible starting from the right side of the image about a third of the way down, appearing as a thin, peach-colored horizontal line with a hockey stick-like bend at the western end. Beyond that, blurrier jet stream clouds continue to move along the latitude circle. The images making up this photo were taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 13, 2008. Image released June 25, 2012.
Credit: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and N.S. van der Bliek (NOAO/AURA/NSF)
Monday, July 9, 2012: Thackeray's Globules are opaque clouds of interstellar dust and gas large enough to potentially form stars. They lie in IC 2944,…Read More »
a stellar nursery located about 5,900 light years away in Centaurus. The dark globules were first spotted by South African astronomer A. D. Thackeray in 1950. This image was obtained with the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo, Chile, on Jan. 12 and Feb. 7, 2012.
Credit: C. Smith, S. Points, the MCELS Team and NOAO/AURA/NSF
Wednesday, July 11, 2012: Yellow supergiant stars only live a few thousand years, and are thus rare. However, astronomers from Lowell Observatory have…Read More »
managed to hunt down hundreds of rare yellow and more common red supergiants in two neighboring galaxies. This image shows the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) galaxy with positions of the supergiant stars marked. Yellow supergiants may be the progenitors of core-collapse supernovae, so furthering our knowledge of them may well increase our understanding of cosmology. Image released April 16, 2012.
Thursday, July 12, 2012: Mysterious red sprites appear when electrical discharges take place about 50 miles (80 kilometers) up in the atmosphere during…Read More »
thunderstorms. The short-lived flashes only last a few milliseconds and can extend vertically 20 to 30 kilometers. Since the crimson apparitions manifest above thunderstorms, observers on the ground usually cannot see them. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station, on the other hand, have no such obstructions blocking their view. The red sprite seen here (above the bright lightning spot at right) was captured as the ISS was travelling over Myanmar (Burma) into Malaysia on April 30, 2012.
Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Keep Reaching for the Stars
Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov
Friday, July 13, 2012: The backup Expedition 32 crew members have some fun in front of a statue of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly in space, while…Read More »
visiting Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on July 7, 2012. The town lies near the Cosmodrome, from which the Expedition 32 prime crew members, NASA's Sunita Williams, Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, are scheduled to launch on July 15, 2012, to the International Space Station. Seen here are (L to R) Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, Soyuz Commander Roman Romanenko and NASA Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012: Night sky watcher Paul Zizka caught the aurora on July 9, 2012, at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. He writes:…Read More »
"Yet another sleepless night spent at Lake Minnewanka last night. And it was worth it. Immediately after returning to Banff from an evening ascent of Narao Peaks, I noticed the data looked good for a light show so I hastily made my way to my favorite aurora watching spot, Lake Minnewanka. The aurora danced on and off for hours. Most of the time it was barely visible to the naked eye, but now and then Mother Nature would put on a show that was hard to miss. The displays ranged from a very interesting, long-lasting pink streak directly overhead to wild green curls and purple pillars to the north and east."
Wednesday, July 18, 2012: A new photo of the Cat's Paw Nebula combines exposures from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope of the La Silla Observatory in Chile…Read More »
with 60 hours of exposures made by expert amateur astronomers Robert Gendler and Ryan M. Hannahoe. The additional colour information from Gendler and Hannahoe.brings out the faint blue nebulosity in the central region, not seen in the original ESO image. The Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334) lies in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). It is relatively near to Earth, about 5500 light-years away.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Matej Novak
Thursday, July 19, 2012: This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a detailed view of the spiral arms on one side of the galaxy Messier 99. Messier 99 possesses…Read More »
a structure somewhat similar to the Milky Way, with long, large and clearly defined spiral arms. Astronomers refer to such a structure as a grand design spiral. Messier 99 lies around 50 million light-years away in the Virgo Cluster, the closest cluster of galaxies to us.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012: NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered a new ultraluminous X-ray source, or ULX, in spiral galaxy M83,which lies about…Read More »
15 million light years from Earth. The extraordinary outburst by a black hole inside the galaxy gives off more X-rays than most normal binary systems, in which a companion star orbits a neutron star or black hole.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012: On July 17, 2012, SOHO spacecraft captured an image of a huge solar flare, which unfolded over several hours.
— Tom Chao
20 of 23
Better Late than Never
Thursday, July 26, 2012: A Russian Soyuz-FG launch vehicle lifted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Sunday, July 22, 2012. The rocket…Read More »
carried the Russian satellites Canopus-B and MKA-PN1, a Belarusian BKA satellite, the Canadian ADS-1B and German TET-1 into orbit. The launch was postponed several times over a disagreement between Russia and Kazakhstan on where the rocket’s first stage would land after separating.
Friday, July 27, 2012: The Red Bull Stratos capsule waits for launch at the flight line in in Roswell, New Mexico, on July 25, 2012. The capsule ascended…Read More »
by balloon (visible in distance) carrying skydiver Felix Baumgartner on his second test jump from an altitude of 96,640 feet (29,455 meters). The Red Bull Stratos mission is an attempt to break the speed of sound in freefall.
Monday, July 30, 2012: Saturn's moon Daphnis makes waves in the Keeler Gap of the planet's A ring in this view taken around the time of Saturn's August…Read More »
2009 equinox. Shadows cast by Daphnis fall on the A ring, just below the center of the image. The image was taken in visible light on Aug. 16, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) from Saturn.