Tuesday, July 2, 2013: Two large coronal mass ejections (CMEs) erupted from the sun into space in less than a day, on June 23-24, 2013, as witnessed by…Read More »
the STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft. The front edge of the first CME showed a bending motion up and to the left. Before that CME drifted out of the field of view, a second CME, more bulbous in shape, headed down and to the right. These CMEs suggest that powerful and frequent solar storms will intensify as the sun likely nears its maximum period of activity.
Credit: Luca Parmitano (via Twitter as @astro_luca)
Wednesday, July 3, 2013: ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano tweeted this photo of clouds seen from the International Space Station on June 17, 2013. He wrote:…Read More »
"And this is why they’re called noctilucent #Volare pic.twitter.com/qejtxc7Z6o" Noctilucent (or night-shining) clouds form high in the atmosphere, where they reflect sunlight even after the sun has set below the horizon.
Friday, July 5, 2013: Astrophotographer Gregg Ruppel of Ellisville, MO, sent in an image of emission nebula Sh2-115 made during the supermoon period of…Read More »
June 20-22, 2013. He writes: “The full moon is the bane of deep sky astrophotographers, so when the moon is full many of us turn to Ha [hydrogen-alpha] or other narrow band filters to record emission nebulae.... This HII area is just two degrees from the bright star Deneb and is designated Sh2-115 in the Sharpless catalog of emission nebulae. The small round nebulosity near the top right is cataloged as Sh2-116 but is actually a planetary nebula (also designated as Abell 71 and PK 85+4.1).”
Friday, July 12, 2013: This image captures hundreds of frozen lava flows that once ran down the flanks of Mars' impressive Olympus Mons, the largest volcano…Read More »
in the solar system. The hundreds of narrow, individual lava flows contrast starkly with the smooth lava plains that surround the volcano. Olympus Mons stands about 13.7 miles high (22 km), more than double the height of Mauna Kea, the tallest volcano on Earth.
Credit: Terry Hancock, Fred Herrmann and André van der Hoeven
Monday, July 15, 2013: In 1764, Charles Messier discovered this celestial object, M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, the 27th on Messier’s famous list, and the…Read More »
first planetary nebula to be included. The image shown here represents an international collaboration between Andre van der Hoeven in Holland, Fred Herrmann in Alabama and Terry Hancock in Fremont, Michigan. Almost 40 hours of data collected using different telescopes and CCD cameras combine in the final image. Says Hancock, "Using narrow band filters and very long exposures we were able to capture the outer hydrogen and oxygen shell of M27, which is not normally visible in amateur images."
Tuesday, July 16, 2013: Ligeia Mare represents the second largest known body of liquid on Saturn's moon, Titan, shown here in a false-color image obtained…Read More »
by NASA's Cassini mission. Ligeia Mare contains liquid hydrocarbons, such as ethane and methane, and makes up one of the many seas and lakes located in Titan's north polar region. The image consists of a false-color mosaic of synthetic aperture radar images obtained by the Cassini spacecraft between February 2006 and April 2007. In this image, liquids, dark to the radar, appear black and the solid surface of Titan, which appears bright to the radar, appears yellow. Image released May 22, 2013.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013: One of the largest sunspot groups of this solar cycle rotated across the sun July 3-11, 2013, but remained surprisingly quiet…Read More »
in terms of solar activity. This still came from a video made of Intensitygrams, taken by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager instrument on SDO. As a scale reference, the largest spot could contain a couple of Earths.
Thursday, July 18, 2013: The shadows of Saturn's rings slide farther southward as Saturn approaches southern winter (or northern summer). Saturn now lies…Read More »
almost exactly halfway between its equinox (August 2009) and southern winter solstice (in May 2017). This view centers on an area at 22 degrees south latitude on Saturn. Cassini spacecraft took the image with its wide-angle camera on May 6, 2013.
Friday, July 19, 2013: Astrophotographer Meldeine Sipes sent in a photo of the night sky over Sequoia National Park in California. She writes: “Over the…Read More »
4th of July weekend, my family went on a road trip to the Sequoia National Park to see giants and stars. For the first time, we saw the night sky as nature intended. The sequoias reminded us how small we are, and the night sky showed us that the giants surrounding us were smaller than we could ever imagine.”
Tuesday, July 23, 2013: NGC 6744 gleams in this image from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer. NGC 6744 lies in the constellation of Pavo about 30 million…Read More »
light-years away, and this galaxy represents one of the most similar to our Milky Way in the local universe. The ultraviolet view shown here displays the extent of the spiral arms, and demonstrates that star formation can occur in the outer regions of galaxies. NGC 6744 looms larger than the Milky Way, having a disk stretching 175,000 light-years across. Image released June 28, 2013.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013: Southern stars gleam over the Franco-Italian Concordia outpost in Antarctica, the remotest base on earth. Currently the station…Read More »
experiences the deepest part of southern winter, with no sun rising above the horizon. Situated on a plateau 10500 feet (3200 meters) above sea level in extremely dry, cold, brutal conditions, the isolated location makes a good testing ground for future space missions. Italian electronics technician Antonio Litterio took this photo, released on July 23, 2013. He wrote on the Concordia blog, “I went out to take photos and I tasted the icy wind, the snow whipping up to cut my face, and the darkness that swallows you up completely.”
Thursday, July 25, 2013: Pandora, moon of Saturn, looks misshaped next to its compatriot, Mimas, as Pandora lacks sufficient gravity to pull itself into…Read More »
a sphere. Researchers believe that the elongated shape of Pandora (50 miles, or 81 kilometers across) may give clues as to how it and other moons near the rings formed. Mimas stretches 246 miles, or 396 kilometers across. The Cassini spacecraft took the image in blue light on May 14, 2013, at a distance of approximately 690,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Mimas.
Friday, July 26, 2013: A large disturbance of the magnetic field on the sun took place on July 17, 2013, as seen in this still from a video made by the…Read More »
orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory. The disturbance likely took the form of a coronal mass ejection followed by a number of bright coronal loops coiling in a long line. The image was taken in extreme ultraviolet light. The very dark area near the top of the image represents an elongated coronal hole.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013: Spiral galaxy NGC 4517 looms in space with a size slightly bigger than our Milky Way. From Hubble Space Telescope’s vantage point…Read More »
orbiting Earth, the galaxy appears edge-on, crowned by a very bright star. The star actually lies much closer to us than the galaxy making it appear large and dazzling in the photo. Visible and infrared light gathered by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope combines in this image. Contestant Gilles Chapdelaine entered a version of this image into the Hubble’s Hidden treasures image processing competition. Image released July 29, 2013.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013: Intriuging structures mark galaxy NGC 474’s unusual appearance. Astronomer call it a shell galaxy owing to stars creating the…Read More »
well-defined structures through some as-yet-not-understood process. Researchers do know, however, that galaxies collide over hundreds of millions of years in interactions called tidal stripping, as galaxies rip each other apart.