Friday, May 1, 2015: Astrophotographer Manish Mamtani provided a number of shots he took in Borrego Springs, California (south of Palm Springs), during…Read More »
the weekend of April 17-19, 2015. Here, dinosaur sculptures of Ricardo Breceda stand under the night sky. Mamtani writes in an email message to Space.com: “It is fun to [view] these sculptures in the day but during the night, with the Milky Way, they become even more beautiful.”
Thursday, April 30, 2015: Spiral galaxy NGC 4651 lies 62 million light-years from Earth toward the northern constellation of Coma Berenices ("Berenice's…Read More »
Hair"). Galaxies collide and tear each other apart over hundreds of millions of years in a gravitational process called tidal stripping. Here the large spiral galaxy retained its original form while stellar streams and diffuse shell-like structures remain from an accreted dwarf galaxy, parts of which produced the umbrella shape at left. Image released April 2015.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015: Astronomers consider galaxy UGC 5797 an emission line galaxy, meaning that it is currently undergoing active star formation.…Read More »
Its stellar population constantly undergoes refurbishment as massive bright blue stars form. Many spiral galaxies with varying colors and lying at different angles also appear in the image. Large amounts of dust and gas for necessary for star formation fill these spiral galaxies, and as such they often also belong to the class of emission line galaxies. Image released April 27, 2015.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015: The sun sets and the Milky Way rises over Unit Telescope number 4 at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. The Milky Way consists…Read More »
of 100–400 billion individual stars stretching along its 100,000 light-year length. Unit Telescope number 4, known as Yepun, makes up one of four 8.2-meter telescopes that work together as one huge telescope, allowing the detection of details up to 16 times finer than possible with the individual telescopes. Image released April 27, 2015.
Monday, April 27, 2015: A group of active regions on the sun came into view, creating a number of entwined looping arches on Apr. 11-15, 2015, as seen…Read More »
by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The loops, here visible when viewed in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, consist of charged particles tracing magnetic field lines emanating from active regions. Such regions can potentially produce significant solar storms.
Friday, April 24, 2015: Workers at the Perkin-Elmer company view Hubble Space Telescope's primary, 8-foot (2.4 m) mirror in a photo dated June 6, 1984.…Read More »
The telescope launched into space on April 24, 1990. Hubble’s main mirror reflects light onto a smaller, secondary mirror which sends the light back through a two-foot (0.6 m) hole in the center of the main mirror to instruments that collect the scientific data. The hole is covered here. Famously, the main mirror suffered from flaws that made the telescope unable to provide clear images until astronauts made repairs on-orbit. Today, after 25 years in space, Hubble continues contributing to discoveries revolutionizing the field of astronomy. [See related article.]
Wednesday, April 22, 2015: Galaxy ESO 162-17 lies about 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Carina. Researchers call ESO 160-17 a “peculiar…Read More »
galaxy,” because it has interacted with other cosmic neighbors. Galaxies of this type possess an usual shape, composition, or amount of dust and gas. Additionally, astronomers became aware, on February 23, 2010, of a faint and rare supernova named SN 2010ae located within the galaxy. Incidentally, the four points seen on the foreground stars in this image result from incoming light diffracted by the supporting struts of the Hubble Space Telescope’s secondary mirror. Image released April 20, 2015.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015: The sun sets while the Milky Way and zodiacal light glow over the platform of the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope…Read More »
(VLT) on Cerro Paranal, Chile. Pink regions in the disc of our galaxy show where new stars come into existence. The sun represents just one of over 400 billion stars found in the Milky Way. In the image, one of the Unit Telescopes (foreground) and three of the four Auxiliary Telescopes stand as parts of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. To the left of the Unit Telescope a very faint meteor appears, and the red supergiant star Antares, in the constellation of Scorpius, stands out above the Auxiliary Telescopes. Image released April 20, 2015.
Monday, April 20, 2015: Saturn’ moon Mimas (top right) appears in light reflected from the ringed planet, called “Saturnshine.” As the sunlight reflected…Read More »
from Saturn decreases significantly in intensity, for this photo Mimas has been boosted in brightness 2.5 times that of the rings. Cassini spacecraft obtained the image in visible light with the narrow-angle camera on Feb. 16, 2015. Image released April 13, 2015.
Friday, April 17, 2015: NASA astronaut Terry Virts tweeted this photo of the Scandinavian countries seen from the International Space Station on April…Read More »
13, 2015. He wrote: "Most of Scandinavia seen at night. #Norway, #Sweden, #Denmark, and my former home #Finland in the distance. http://t.co/0HCtqalsIH" A green aurora glows over the limb of the Earth.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015: Elliptical galaxy NGC 2865 lies just over 100 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Hydra, the Sea Serpent.…Read More »
Old, dying stars usually fill elliptical galaxies. NGC 2865, however, is relatively youthful, containing a rapidly rotating disc filled with young stars and metal-rich gas. In fact, it holds an unusually high number of young stars, suggesting that a galaxy-wide starburst occurred about one billion years ago. The starburst stemmed from a merger between a spiral galaxy and much more massive elliptical galaxy, the progenitor galaxy of NGC 2865. The faint halo surrounding the galaxy also resulted from the merger, when cold gas tore away from the spiral galaxy.
Friday, April 10, 2015: The HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft obtained this image of a circular depression in a dark-toned…Read More »
unit, associated with a field of cones to the northeast. A Context Camera image of the area shows apparent layers exposed by the depression, especially on its sides or walls, overlain by dark sands presumably associated with the dark-toned unit. The higher resolution of HiRISE camera can help identify possible layers.
Thursday, April 9, 2015: Globular cluster Messier 22, also known as M22, lies 10,000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius, making the cluster…Read More »
one of the closest to Earth. Globular clusters consist of densely packed stars in spherical collections, dating from early years of the universe, typically with ages of 12 to 13 billion years. Intriguingly, M22 contains six planet-sized objects not orbiting a star, two black holes and — unsually for a globlular cluster — a planetary nebula, a short-lived gaseous shell ejected by a massive star at the end of its life. Image released April 6, 2015.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015: Stars appear to trail over one of the 66 antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) on the Chajnantor…Read More »
Plateau in the Chilean Andes. This location possesses very little moisture in the air, a condition optimal for detecting radio waves passing through the atmosphere. A long exposure creates the trailing effect in the image, which was provided by courtesy of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). Image released April 6, 2015.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015: Astrophotographer Dylan Martin caught the zodiacal light near the base of Kitt Peak, Arizona, on March 22, 2015. The moon and Venus…Read More »
appear in the center of the image. Zodiacal light, the triangular shape at center, arises from sunlight reflecting from dust particles lying in the plane of the ecliptic, the sun's apparent path in the sky.
Credit: NASA & ESA; Acknowledgement: A. Riess (STScI)
Friday, April 3, 2015: Spiral galaxy NGC 3021 lies about 100 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo Minor (The Little Lion), as seen in this…Read More »
Hubble Space Telescope image. The presence of Cepheid variable stars in this galaxy can be used to calculate the distance to the galaxy, as the variable stars’ pulsation correlate with their intrinsic brightness. Measurements of their pulsation rate and observed brightness.. Image released March 30, 2015.