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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Posts Tagged ‘astronomy’

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Explanation: The dark, inner shadow of planet Earth is called the umbra. Shaped like a cone extending into space, it has a circular cross section most easily seen during a lunar eclipse. For example, last Saturday the Full Moon slid across the southern half of Earth's umbral shadow, entertaining moonwatchers around much of the planet. In the total phase of the eclipse, the Moon was completely within the umbra for 51 minutes.       The Umbra of Earth  Image ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The cosmic brush of star formation composed this alluring mix of dust and dark nebulae. Cataloged as Sh2-239 and LDN 1551, the region lies near the southern end of the Taurus molecular cloud complex some 450 light-years distant. Stretching for nearly 3 light-years, the canvas abounds with signs of embedded young stellar objects driving dynamic outflows into the surrounding mediumSh2-239: Celestial Impasto  Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

For reasons unknown, star V838 Mon's outer surface suddenly greatly expanded with the result that it became the brightest star in the entire Milky Way Galaxy in January 2002. Then, just as suddenly, it faded. A stellar flash like this had never been seen before. It's true that supernovae and novae expel matter out into space. But while the V838 Mon flash appears to expel material into space, what is seen here is actually an outwardly moving light echo of the bright ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

A fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds, and imposing dark dust lanes surrounds the central region of the active galaxy Centaurus A. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope has been processed to present a natural color picture of this cosmic maelstrom. Infrared images from the Hubble have also shown that hidden at the center of this activity are what seem to be disks of matter spiraling into a black hole with a billion times the mass of the ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The prominent ridge of emission featured in this vivid skyscape is designated IC 5067. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive shape, popularly called The Pelican Nebula, the ridge spans about 10 light-years and follows the curve of the cosmic pelican's head and neck.       Pelican Nebula Close-up  Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh Explanation: The prominent ridge of emission featured in this vivid skyscape is designated IC 5067. Part ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Two distant galaxies which formed about 2 billion years after the big bang are caught in the afterglow of GRB090323, a gamma-ray burst seen across the Universe. Shining through its own host galaxy and another nearby galaxy, the alignment of gamma-ray burst and galaxies was inferred from the afterglow spectrum following the burst's initial detection by the Fermi Gamma Ray Space TelescopeCaught in the Afterglow Illustration Credit: ESO, L. Calçada - Research Team: Sandra Savaglio (MPE) et ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The image highlights a part of W5 spanning about 2,000 light years that is rich in star forming pillars. W5 lies about 6,500 light years away toward the constellation of Cassiopeia.     W5: Pillars of Star Formation  Image Credit & Copyright: Lori Allen, Xavier Koenig (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) et al., JPL-Caltech, NASA Explanation: How do stars form? A study of star forming region W5 by the sun-orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope provides clear clues by ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The cosmic apparitions are nearly 1,400 light-years away along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, pockets of interstellar dust in the region block light from background stars or scatter light from the embedded bright star giving the the nebulaits characteristic blue color.In Wolf's Cave  Image Credit & Copyright: Jerry Lodriguss (Catching the Light) Explanation: The mysterious blue reflection nebula found in catalogs as ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Within the nebula, bright edges and dark shapes are highlighted in this colorful skyscape. The image includes data from narrowband filters, mapping emission from atomic oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur into blue, green, and red hues.     NGC 7822 in Cepheus  Image Credit & Copyright: Manuel Fernández Suarez Explanation: Hot, young stars and cosmic pillars of gas and dust seem to crowd into NGC 7822. At the edge of a giant molecular cloud toward the ... Full Story

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Few butterflies have a wingspan this big. The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects, and NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the central star of this particular planetary nebula is exceptionally hot though -The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble  Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team Explanation: Few butterflies have a wingspan this big. The bright clusters and ... Full Story

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