Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star

The NASA site ‘Astronomy Picture of the Day‘ continues to blow me away.

This is the photo for this morning, February 27, 2014.

venus-moon-occultation(Image Credit & Copyright: Cui Yongjiang and Shi Zexing)

Here is NASA’s blurb…

Explanation: Venus now appears as planet Earth’s brilliant morning star standing above the eastern horizon before dawn. For most, the silvery celestial beacon rose in a close pairing with an old crescent Moon on February 26. But seen from locations in western Africa before sunrise, the lunar crescent actually occulted or passed in front of Venus, also in a crescent phase. Farther to the east, the occultation occurred during daylight hours. In fact, this telescopic snapshot of the dueling crescents was captured just before the occultation began under an afternoon’s crystal clear skies from Yunnan Province, China. The unforgettable scene was easily visible to the naked eye in broad daylight.

If you don’t already do so, please consider making NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day part of your daily online routine.

You won’t regret it.

aa-kendo-kanji-red

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The coldest place on earth.

Antarctica. August 10, 2o1o and July 31, 2o13.

coldestplace

-135.8F (-93.2C)!

Mighty brisk, I can tell you that right now.

Puts things in perspective.

aa-kendo-kanji-red

Read Full Post »

North Celestial Tree

Sometimes I run into a photograph where it is not so much the tree itself that is so awesome but the way the photographer uses the tree to create a spectacular image.

Such is the case with the photo below, taken from NASA’s wonderful site, Astronomy Picture of the Day.

NCTreeLosada(Image Credit: Jerónimo Losada)

Explanation: If you climbed this magnificent tree, it looks like you could reach out and touch the North Celestial Pole at the center of all the star trail arcs. The well-composed image was recorded over a period of nearly 2 hours as a series of 30 second long, consecutive exposures on the night of October 5. The exposures were made with a digital camera fixed to a tripod near Almaden de la Plata, province of Seville, in southern Spain, planet Earth. Of course, the graceful star trails reflect the Earth’s daily rotation around its axis. By extension, the axis of rotation leads to the center of the concentric arcs in the night sky. Convenient for northern hemisphere night sky photographers and celestial navigators alike, the bright star Polaris is very close to the North Celestial Pole and so makes the short bright trail in the central gap between the leafy branches.

aa-kendo-kanji-red

Read Full Post »

Thanks once again to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day for this amazing Photograph.

Explanation: What type of cloud is that? This retreating cumulonimbus cloud, more commonly called a thundercloud, is somewhat unusual as it contains the unusual bumpiness of a mammatus cloud on the near end, while simultaneously producing falling rain on the far end.

Retreating Thunderstorm at Sunset Panorama(Credit: Amazing Sky Photography: Alan Dyer)

Taken in mid-June in southern AlbertaCanada, the cloud is moving to the east, into the distance, as the sun sets in the west, behind the camera. In the above image, graphic sunset colors cross the sky to give the already photogenic cloud striking orange and pink hues.

A darkening blue sky covers the background. Further in the distance, a risingwaxinggibbous moon is visible on the far right.

aa-kendo-kanji-red

Read Full Post »

Explanation: An unusual type of solar eclipse occurred last year. Usually it is the Earth’s Moon that eclipses the Sun. Last June, most unusually, the planet Venus took a turn. Like a solar eclipse by the Moon, the phase of Venus became a continually thinner crescent as Venus became increasingly better aligned with the Sun. Eventually the alignment became perfect and the phase of Venus dropped to zero. The dark spot of Venus crossed our parent star.

venus-sun-ultraviolet(Venus eclipse – the small dot on the 3-colour ultraviolet sun image) [1]

The situation could technically be labeled a Venusian annular eclipse with an extraordinarily large ring of firePictured above during the occultation, the Sun was imaged in three colors of ultraviolet light by the Earth-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, with the dark region toward the right corresponding to a coronal hole. Hours later, as Venus continued in its orbit, a slight crescent phase appeared again. The next Venusian solar eclipse will occur in 2117.

Thanks, once again, to the amazing minds down at NASA for this mind-blowing image.

aa-kendo-kanji-red__________________________________________________________________________

[1] Image Credit: NASA/SDO & the AIA, EVE, and HMI teams; Digital Composition: Peter L. Dove.

Read Full Post »

What it would look like to leave planet Earth? Such an event was recorded visually in great detail by the MESSENGER spacecraft as it swung back past the Earth, eight years ago, on its way in toward the planet Mercury. Earth can be seen rotating in this time-lapse video, as it recedes into the distance.

The sunlit half of Earth is so bright that background stars are not visible. The robotic MESSENGER spacecraft is now in orbit aroundMercury and has recently concluded the first complete map of the surface.

departing-earth

On occasion, MESSENGER has continued to peer back at its home world. MESSENGER is one of the few things created on the Earth that has left and will never return — at the end of its mission MESSENGER will be crashed into Mercury’s surface.

aa-kendo-kanji-red__________________________________________________________________________

Thanks to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day!

Read Full Post »

What happens when two galaxies collide? Although it may take over a billion years, such titanic clashes are quite common. Since galaxies are mostly empty space, no internal stars are likely to themselves collide. Rather the gravitation of each galaxy will distort or destroy the other galaxy, and the galaxies may eventually merge to form a single larger galaxy.

Expansive gas and dust clouds collide and trigger waves of star formation that complete even during the interaction process. Pictured above is a computer simulation of two large spiral galaxies colliding, interspersed with real still images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Our own Milky Way Galaxy has absorbed several smaller galaxies during its existence and is even projected to merge with the larger neighboring Andromeda galaxy in a few billion years.

colliding_galaxies(When worlds collide. Literally!)

Thanks as always to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day!

aa-kendo-kanji-red

___________________________________________________________

From Tuesday May 14 to Monday 20, I will be out of town for (among other reasons) the Jewish holiday of Shavuot as well as the following Sabbath. See you when I get back!

Read Full Post »