Image of the Day: May 2013


NASA/Bill Ingalls

Wednesday, May 29, 2013: A policeman patrolled alongside the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft as it rolled out on a train to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad, Kazakhstan, Sunday, May 26, 2013. The Soyuz rocket launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 29, 2013 (Kazakh time). The rocket carried Expedition 36/37 Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and flight engineers Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Karen Nyberg of NASA.

— Tom Chao

Paint the Sky With Stars

ESO/S. Brunier

Thursday, May 30, 2013: Stars appear to move through the sky above Cerro Armazones, a mountain peak 10,000 feet (3060 meters) above sea level, lying in the central part of the Atacama Desert of Chile. Many shorter exposures combine to form the final image, showing the apparent motion of the stars through the southern sky, as the Earth rotated underneath. The very wide-angle lens used shows the celestial pole to the right, and the equator (straight trails) just above the short tower. The large number of star trails in this picture shows why this mountain will host the future world’s biggest optical/near-infrared telescope, the upcoming European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

— Tom Chao

Three Lobes in the Nebula

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum

Friday, May 31, 2013: The Trifid Nebula, composed of an emission and a dark nebula, appears to possess three lobes owing to the thick dust lanes crossing its bright core (thus inspiring the name of the nebula). Radiation pressure from young stars has blown away dust and hydrogen, creating the central cavity.

— Tom Chao

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Tom Chao
Tom Chao has contributed to as a producer and writer since 2000. As a writer and editor, he has worked for the Voyager Company, Time Inc. New Media, HarperCollins and Worth Publishers. He has a bachelor’s degree in Cinema Production from the University of Southern California, and a master’s degree from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Tom on Google+.