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Astronomy Pic of the Day


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Author Topic: Astronomy Pic of the Day  (Read 550 times)
The Universeable
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2009, 03:39:24 am »

2009 June 26

Solstice to Solstice Solargraph



Explanation: This six month long exposure compresses the time from solstice to solstice (~ December 21, 2008 to June 20, 2009) into a single point of view. Dubbed a solargraph, the unconventional picture was recorded with a pinhole camera made from an aluminum can lined with a piece of photographic paper. Fixed to a single spot for the entire exposure, the simple camera continuously records the Sun's daily path as a glowing trail burned into the photosensitive paper. Breaks and gaps in the trails are caused by cloud cover. In this case, the spot was chosen to look out from inside a radio telescope at the Ondrejov Observatory in the Czech Republic. At the end of the exposure, the paper was removed from the can and immediately scanned digitally. Contrasts and colors were then enhanced and added to the digital image. Of course, in December, the Sun trails begin lower down at the northern hemisphere's winter solstice. The trails climb higher in the sky as the June 21st summer solstice approaches.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 03:41:17 am by Cosmos » Report Spam   Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2009, 06:07:47 pm »

WOW I'm speechless........................(yer it does happen but not often)heheheheehhe


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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2009, 08:21:47 am »


2009 June 25

Sarychev Peak Volcano in Stereo



Explanation: From 400 kilometers above planet Earth, the Expedition 20 Crew onboard the International Space Station (ISS) was able to witness a remarkable event from a remarkable vantage point -- the June 12 eruption of the Sarychev Peak Volcano. The active volcano is located in Russia's Kuril Island chain, stretching to the northeast of Japan. Emphasizing the orbital perspective, this stunning color stereo view was made by combining two images from the ISS and is intended to be viewed with red/blue glasses (red for the left eye). Punching upwards into the atmosphere at an early stage of the eruption, the volcanic plume features a brown column of ash topped with a smooth, bubble-like, white cloud that is likely water condensation. Below, a cloud of denser grey ash slides down the volcanic slope. About 1.5 kilometers of the island coastline is visible at ground level. The evolving ash plume posed no danger to the Expedition 20 crew, but commercial airline flights were diverted away from the region to minimize the danger of engine failures from ash intake.
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2009, 04:23:24 pm »

WOW Thats a beautiful picture Cosmos baby ................................


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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2009, 11:52:59 am »

It is a very beautiful Cosmos isn't it?
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2009, 09:11:15 am »


2009 June 24

Noctilucent Clouds Over Germany



Explanation: Sometimes it's night on the ground but day in the air. As the Earth rotates to eclipse the Sun, sunset rises up from the ground. Therefore, at sunset on the ground, sunlight still shines on clouds above. Under usual circumstances, a pretty sunset might be visible, but unusual noctilucent clouds float so high up they can be seen well after dark. Pictured above last week, a network of noctilucent clouds cast an eerie white glow after dusk, beyond a local field near Potsdam, Germany. Although noctilucent clouds are thought to be composed of small ice-coated particles, much remains unknown about them. Satellites launched to help study these clouds includes Sweden's Odin and NASA's AIM. Recent evidence indicates that at least some noctilucent clouds result from freezing water exhaust from Space Shuttles.
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2009, 09:09:58 am »


2009 June 23

Molecular Cloud Barnard 68



Explanation: Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars. The eerily dark surroundings help make the interiors of molecular clouds some of the coldest and most isolated places in the universe. One of the most notable of these dark absorption nebulae is a cloud toward the constellation Ophiuchus known as Barnard 68, pictured above. That no stars are visible in the center indicates that Barnard 68 is relatively nearby, with measurements placing it about 500 light-years away and half a light-year across. It is not known exactly how molecular clouds like Barnard 68 form, but it is known that these clouds are themselves likely places for new stars to form. In fact, Barnard 68 itself has recently been found likely to collapse and form a new star system. It is possible to look right through the cloud in infrared light.
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2009, 09:03:06 am »


2009 June 22


Atlas 5 Rocket Launches to the Moon



Explanation: This rocket is headed for the Moon. Pictured above, a huge Altas V rocket roared off the launch pad last week to start NASA's first missions to Earth's Moon in 10 years. The rocket is carrying two robotic spacecraft. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is scheduled to orbit and better map the Moon, search for buried and hidden ice, and return many high resolution images. Some images will be below one-meter in resolution and include images of historic Apollo landing sites. Exploratory data and images should allow a more informed choice of possible future astronaut landing sites. The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is scheduled to monitor the controlled impact of the rocket's upper stage into a permanently shadowed crater near the Moon's south pole. This impact, which should occur in about three months, might be visible on Earth through small telescopes.
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 09:01:55 am »


2009 June 21

Sunrise over the Parthenon



Explanation: Today, the sun will stay in the sky longer than any other day of the year, as seen from the northern hemisphere of Earth. Named the Summer Solstice, today's maximum daylight is indicative of the high amount of sunlight this time of year that is primarily responsible for the heat of the summer season. At the north pole and for all places above the arctic circle, there will be no night -- the entire day today will be lit by sunlight. The situation is reversed in Earth's southern hemisphere, where today has the least sunlight of any day. Today's solstice is commemorated above by a well-planned picture of our five billion year old Sun rising behind the 2,500 year old Parthenon in Greece. Trees and birds occupy the foreground, while a modern crane is shown restoring parts of this historic symbol of a cultural civilization.
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 08:59:59 am »


2009 June 20

Seaside Moon Mirage



Explanation: This surprising view of the Full Moon rising on June 7 was captured with a telephoto lens from a seaside balcony near Nice, France. The orange Moon's dark markings and odd shape put the photographer in mind of an alien creature's face staring down at the passing ship. Of course, the Moon's distorted appearance is due to the unusual bending (refraction) of light rays creating multiple images or mirages, similar to sunset and sunrise mirages. The effects are most pronounced when temperature layers in the atmosphere produce sharp changes in air density and refractive index. Acting over long sight-lines to the rising and setting Sun or Moon, the refraction significantly alters the path of light rays creating merged, distorted images. Such mirages are also associated with the Green Flash.
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 08:58:47 am »


2009 June 19

Dunhuang Star Atlas



Explanation: This ancient Chinese map of planet Earth's northern sky is part of the Dunhuang Star Atlas, one of the most impressive documents in the history of astronomy. The oldest complete star atlas known, it dates to the years 649 to 684, discovered at the Silk Road town of Dunhuang in 1907. A recent analysis that examines the accuracy and projections used to make it notes the atlas marks positions of over 1,300 stars and outlines 257 Chinese star groups or asterisms. The star positions in the hand drawn atlas were found to be accurate to within a few degrees. In this example showing the north polar region, a very recognizable Big Dipper, part of the modern constellation Ursa Major, lies along the bottom of the chart. An additional 12 charts depict equatorial regions in 30 degree sections and also include a grouping resembling the modern constellation Orion. The atlas is on display at the British Library in London to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy.
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 01:30:54 am »

2009 June 18

NGC 6240: Merging Galaxies



Explanation: NGC 6240 offers a rare glimpse of a cosmic catastrophe in its final throes. The titanic galaxy-galaxy collision is located a mere 400 million light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. One of the brightest sources in the infrared sky, the merging galaxies spew distorted tidal tails of stars, gas, and dust and undergo frantic bursts of star formation. The two supermassive black holes in the original galactic cores will also coalesce into a single, even more massive black hole. Soon, only one large galaxy will remain. This dramatic image of the scene is a multiwavelength composite; red colors trace infrared emission from dust recorded by the Spitzer Space Telescope, with Hubble visible light images of stars and gas in green and blue hues. The view spans over 300,000 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 6240.
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 01:30:00 am »


2009 June 17

M13: A Great Globular Cluster of Stars



Explanation: M13 is one of the most prominent and best known globular clusters. Visible with binoculars in the constellation of Hercules, M13 is frequently one of the first objects found by curious sky gazers seeking celestials wonders beyond normal human vision. M13 is a colossal home to over 100,000 stars, spans over 150 light years across, lies over 20,000 light years distant, and is over 12 billion years old. At the 1974 dedication of Arecibo Observatory, a radio message about Earth was sent in the direction of M13. The reason for the low abundance of unusual blue straggler stars in M13 remains unknown.
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 01:28:35 am »


2009 June 16

Moonrise Over Turkey



Explanation: Is the Moon larger when near the horizon? No -- as shown above, the Moon appears to be very nearly the same size no matter its location on the sky. Oddly, the cause or causes for the common Moon Illusion are still being debated. Two leading explanations both hinge on the illusion that foreground objects make a horizon Moon seem farther in the distance. The historically most popular explanation then holds that the mind interprets more distant objects as wider, while a more recent explanation adds that the distance illusion may actually make the eye focus differently. Either way, the angular diameter of the Moon is always about 0.5 degrees. In the above time-lapse sequence of the Moon taken in 2007, with one exposure taken to bring up the foreground of Izmit Bay in Turkey. On the occasion of our 14th anniversary, the APOD editors thank all of our contributors and mirror site operators whose volunteer efforts help bring the wonders of astronomy to millions of people around the world.
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« on: June 16, 2009, 05:49:34 am »


As per usual, i will post a new astronomy pic every day

For the archives, visit http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html

Note: I take no credit for these pictures, i simply distribute them freely, as part of free advertising for NASA.
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