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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

‘Photo Essays’ Archives

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

  NGC 3621: Far Beyond the Local Group   Credit & Copyright: Robert Gendler Explanation: Far beyond the local group of galaxies lies NGC 3621, some 22 million light-years away. Found in the multi-headed southern constellation Hydra, the winding spiral arms of this gorgeous island universe are loaded with luminous young star clusters and dark dust lanes. Still, for earthbound astronomers NGC 3621 is not just another pretty face-on spiral galaxy. Some of ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

      eta Oph: Runaway Star Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, WISE Team Explanation: Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star Zeta Ophiuchi produces the arcing interstellar bow wave or bow shock seen in this stunning infrared portrait from the WISE spacecraft. In the false-color view, bluish Zeta Oph, a star about 20 times more massive than the Sun, lies near the center of the frame, moving toward the top at 24 kilometers per second. Its strong stellar wind ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

  Sideways Galaxy NGC 3628 Image Credit & Copyright: Ken Crawford (Rancho Del Sol Obs.) Explanation: Dark dust lanes cut across the middle of this gorgeous island universe, a strong hint that NGC 3628 is a spiral galaxy seen sideways. About 35 million light-years away in the northern springtime constellation Leo, NGC 3628 bears the distinction of being the only member of the well known Leo triplet of galaxies not in Charles Messier's famous catalog. Otherwise similar in ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

  Mirach's Ghost Credit & Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis (TWAN) Explanation: As far as ghosts go, Mirach's Ghost isn't really that scary. In fact, Mirach's Ghost is just a faint, fuzzy galaxy, well known to astronomers, that happens to be seen nearly along the line-of-sight to Mirach, a bright star. Centered in this star field, Mirach is also called Beta Andromedae. About 200 light-years distant, Mirach is a red giant star, cooler than the Sun but much larger and so ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

  Dust Pillar of the Carina Nebula Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI) Explanation: Inside the head of this interstellar monster is a star that is slowly destroying it. The monster, on the right, is actually an inanimate pillar of gas and dust that measures over a light year in length. The star, not itself visible through the opaque dust, is bursting out partly by ejecting energetic beams of particles. Similar epic ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

  NGC 4755: A Jewel Box of Stars Credit & Copyright: Dieter Willasch (Astro-Cabinet) Explanation: The great variety of star colors in this open cluster underlies its name: The Jewel Box. One of the bright central stars is a red supergiant, in contrast to the many blue stars that surround it. The cluster, also known as Kappa Crucis contains just over 100 stars, and is about 10 million years old. Open clusters are younger, contain few stars, and contain a much higher ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

    Mare Orientale Credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State Univ. / Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Explanation: Shaped like a target ring bull's-eye, the Mare Orientale is one of the most striking large scale lunar features. Located on the Moon's extreme western edge, it is unfortunately difficult to see from an earthbound perspective. Still, this mosaic of the multi-ring impact basin, the youngest of the large lunar basins shows off intriguing details (full resolution mosaic), ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

  AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula Image Credit & Copyright: Rolf Geissinger Explanation: AE Aurigae is the bright star below and left of center in this evocative portrait of IC 405, also known as the Flaming Star Nebula. Embedded in the cosmic cloud, the hot, variable O-type star energizes the glow of hydrogen along convoluted filaments of atomic gas, its blue starlight scattered by interstellar dust. But AE Aurigae wasn't formed in the nebula it illuminates. ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

    NGC 1999: South of Orion Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona Explanation: South of the large star-forming region known as the Orion Nebula, lies bright blue reflection nebula NGC 1999. Also at the edge of the Orion molecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years distant, NGC 1999's illumination is provided by the embedded variable star V380 Orionis. The nebula is marked with a dark sideways T-shape near center in this broad ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

  Discovery in Twilight Image Credit & Copyright: Tamas Ladanyi (TWAN) Explanation: As evening twilight faded on March 7, sky gazers around planet Earth enjoyed a beautiful pairing of young crescent Moon and brilliant planet Jupiter. Along with stars setting in the west, the two bright celestial beacons, Moon above and Jupiter below, leave short trails in this well-planned time exposure, a composite of 54 individual frames each 4 seconds long. On its final flight, the Space ... Full Story

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