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Lunar Orbiter Earthset
Image Credit: +NASA / Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160827.html

August 10th was the 50th anniversary of the launch of Lunar Orbiter 1. It was the first of five Lunar Orbiters intended to photograph the Moon's surface to aid in the selection of future landing sites. That spacecraft's camera captured the data used in this restored, high-resolution version of its historic first image of Earth from the Moon on August 23, 1966 while on its 16th lunar orbit. Hanging almost stationary in the sky when viewed from the lunar surface, Earth appears to be setting beyond the rugged lunar horizon from the perspective of the orbiting spacecraft. Two years later, the Apollo 8 crew would record a more famous scene in color: Earthrise from lunar orbit.
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Curiosity at Murray Buttes on Mars
Image Credit: +NASA, +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech, MSSS
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160824.html

What are these unusual lumps on Mars? As NASA's robotic Curiosity rover continues rolling across Mars, it is now approaching Murray Buttes. Several of the 15-meter high buttes are visible ahead in this horizontally compressed 360-degree across image taken inside Gale Crater earlier this month. The buttes are thought similar to Earth buttes in that they are capped with dense rock that is relatively resistant to erosion. In the image center is Curiosity's "arm" and "hand" used to examine rocks up close, drill into rocks, and collect samples. Curiosity has reached its four year anniversary on Mars and has been cleared to spend the next two years further exploring the slopes of Mount Sharp, the peak of which is the distant light-colored structure visible on the far left.
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Benjamin Zavala's profile photo2B or Not 2B's profile photo
2 comments
 
Think of the treasure inside them! 
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Tutulemma: Solar Eclipse Analemma
Image Credit & Copyright: Cenk E. Tezel and Tunç Tezel (TWAN)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160822.html

If you went outside at exactly the same time every day and took a picture that included the Sun, how would the Sun's position change? With great planning and effort, such a series of images can be taken. The figure-8 path the Sun follows over the course of a year is called an analemma. At the Winter Solstice in Earth's northern hemisphere, the Sun appears at the bottom of the analemma. Analemmas created from different latitudes appear at least slightly different, as well as analemmas created at a different time each day. With even greater planning and effort, the series can include a total eclipse of the Sun as one of the images. Pictured is such a total solar eclipse analemma or Tutulemma - a term coined by the photographers based on the Turkish word for eclipse. The featured composite image sequence was recorded from Turkey starting in 2005. The base image for the sequence is from the total phase of a solar eclipse as viewed from Side, Turkey on 2006 March 29. Venus was also visible during totality, toward the lower right. If you want to create your own USA-based tutulemma ending at next August's total solar eclipse, now would be good time to start.
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Shivani Mishra's profile photoKarin  Ettinger's profile photoSusan Canale's profile photo
17 comments
 
I love seeing these! With Solar Eclipse it's much more special! ☺ Good work! 
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Gamma-rays and Comet Dust
Image Credit & Copyright: Daniel López (El Cielo de Canarias)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160820.html

Gamma-rays and dust from periodic Comet Swift-Tuttle plowed through planet Earth's atmosphere on the night of August 11/12. Impacting at about 60 kilometers per second the grains of comet dust produced this year's remarkably active Perseid meteor shower. This composite wide-angle image of aligned shower meteors covers a 4.5 hour period on that Perseid night. In it the flashing meteor streaks can be traced back to the shower's origin on the sky. Alongside the Milky Way in the constellation Perseus, the radiant marks the direction along the perodic comet's orbit. Traveling at the speed of light, cosmic gamma-rays impacting Earth's atmosphere generated showers too, showers of high energy particles. Just as the meteor streaks point back to their origin, the even briefer flashes of light from the particles can be used to reconstruct the direction of the particle shower, to point back to the origin on the sky of the incoming gamma-ray. Unlike the meteors, the incredibly fast particle shower flashes can't be followed by eye. But both can be followed by the high speed cameras on the multi-mirrored dishes in the foreground. Of course, the dishes are MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov) telescopes, an Earth-based gamma-ray observatory on the Canary Island of La Palma.
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arda moust-gerstel's profile photoJulio Cesar's profile photoKathy Candelaria's profile photoKarin  Ettinger's profile photo
6 comments
 
The spacePixies frothy spritzers swilling in spilling in grenandine glorious
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Perseid Night at Yosemite
Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Shaw
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160818.html

The 2016 Perseid meteor shower performed well on the night of August 11/12. The sky on that memorable evening was recorded from a perch overlooking Yosemite Valley, planet Earth, in this scene composed of 25 separate images selected from an all-night set of sequential exposures. Each image contains a single meteor and was placed in alignment using the background stars. The digital manipulation accounts for the Earth's rotation throughout the night and allows the explosion of colorful trails to be viewed in perspective toward the shower's radiant in the constellation Perseus. The fading alpenglow gently lights the west face of El Capitan just after sunset. Just before sunrise, a faint band zodiacal light, or the false dawn, shines upward from the east, left of Half Dome at the valley's far horizon. Car lights illuminate the valley road. Of course, the image is filled with other celestial sights from that Perseid night, including the Milky Way and the Pleiades star cluster.
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Lory Reed's profile photoKelly Grebinski's profile photoKarin  Ettinger's profile photo
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In the afterGlow of meteorite mysteria ms.wrong spins on the CapiTano cliff echo splinteRing, "Yo! Smitten"...foe fallen foe evAmour....
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Five Planets and the Moon over Australia
Image Credit & Copyright: Alex Cherney (Terrastro, TWAN)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160816.html

It is not a coincidence that planets line up. That's because all of the planets orbit the Sun in (nearly) a single sheet called the plane of the ecliptic. When viewed from inside that plane -- as Earth dwellers are likely to do -- the planets all appear confined to a single band. It is a coincidence, though, when several of the brightest planets all appear in nearly the same direction. Such a coincidence was captured just last week. Featured above, six planets and Earth's Moon were all imaged together last week, just before sunset, from Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. A second band is visible across the top of this tall image -- the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy.
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Ramone. Taylor's profile photo马锋's profile photo
28 comments
马锋
 
so beautiful!
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Have them in circles
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The Milky Way Sets
Image Credit & Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN, Earth and Stars)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160826.html

Under dark skies the setting of the Milky Way can be a dramatic sight. Stretching nearly parallel to the horizon, this rich, edge-on vista of our galaxy above the dusty Namibian desert stretches from bright, southern Centaurus (left) to Cepheus in the north (right). From early August, the digitally stitched, panoramic night skyscape captures the Milky Way's congeries of stars and rivers of cosmic dust, along with colors of nebulae not readily seen with the eye. Mars, Saturn, and Antares, visible even in more luminous night skies, form the the bright celestial triangle just touching the trees below the galaxy's central bulge. Of course, our own galaxy is not the only galaxy in the scene. Two other major members of our local group, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy, lie near the right edge of the frame, beyond the arc of the setting Milky Way.
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Alvin Tano's profile photoKerstin Thieme-Jäger's profile photo
6 comments
 
TOPP!
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Closest Star has Potentially Habitable Planet
Image Credit & License: Y. Beletsky (LCO), ESO, Pale Red Dot Team
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160825.html

The star closest to the Sun has a planet similar to the Earth. As announced yesterday, recent observations confirmed that this planet not only exists but inhabits a zone where its surface temperature could allow liquid water, a key ingredient for life on Earth. It is not yet known if this planet, Proxima b, has any life. Even if not, its potential ability to sustain liquid water might make it a good first hop for humanity's future trips out into the Milky Way Galaxy. Although the planet's parent star, Proxima Centauri, is cooler and redder than our Sun, one of the other two stars in the Alpha Centauri star system is very similar to our Sun. The featured image shows the sky location of Proxima Centauri in southern skies behind the telescope that made many of the discovery observations: ESO's 3.6-meter telescope in La Silla, Chile. The discovered planet orbits close in -- so close one year there takes only 11 days on Earth. The planet was discovered by the ESO's Pale Red Dot collaboration. Although seemingly unlikely, if Proxima b does have intelligent life, at 4.25 light years distance it is close enough to Earth for two-way communication.
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Tom Cooper (Austin)'s profile photoDavid Alston's profile photoJP Murphy's profile photo
18 comments
 
+Tom Cooper Sounds too small to pack our welcoming committee into... the entire US Congress.
 
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Gigantic Jet Lightning over China
Image Credit & Copyright: Phebe Pan
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160823.html

That's no meteor. While watching and photographing this year's Perseid Meteor Shower, something unexpected happened: a gigantic jet erupted from a nearby cloud. The whole thing was over in a flash -- it lasted less than a second -- but was fortunately captured by an already-recording digital camera. Gigantic jets are a rare form of lightning recognized formally only a few years ago. The featured high resolution color image, taken near the peak of Shikengkong mountain in China, may be the best image yet of this unusual phenomena. The same event appears to have been captured simultaneously by another photographer, further away. The gigantic jet appears to start somewhere in a nearby thundercloud and extend upwards towards Earth's ionosphere. The nature of gigantic jets and their possible association with other types of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) such as blue jets and red sprites remains an active topic of research.
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Karin  Ettinger's profile photoFlor Lezama's profile photoSusan Canale's profile photoBrian  Smith 's profile photo
9 comments
 
Wow didn't know that was even possible.how many times has this happened
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Map of Total Solar Eclipse Path in 2017 August
Image Credit: Fred Espenak (+NASA's GSFC), MrEclipse.com, +Google Maps
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160821.html

Would you like to see a total eclipse of the Sun? If so, do any friends or relatives live near the path of next summer's eclipse? If yes again, then you might want to arrange a visit for one year from today. Next year on this exact date, the path of a total solar eclipse will cut right across the center of the contiguous USA. All of North America and part of South America will experience, at the least, a partial solar eclipse. Featured here is a map of the path of totality, computed by eclipse expert Fred Espenak of NASA's GSFC. Many people who have seen a total solar eclipse tell stories about it for the rest of their lives. The last path of solar totality that included any part of the contiguous USA was in 1979, and the next two will be in 2024 and 2045.
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Tim Humphries's profile photoMatt Puleston's profile photo
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Brace yourselves, eclipse photos are coming
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Perseid Fireball at Sunset Crater
Image Credit & Copyright: Jeremy Perez
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160819.html

On the night of August 12, this bright Perseid meteor flashed above volcanic Sunset Crater National Monument, Arizona, USA, planet Earth. Streaking along the summer Milky Way, its initial color is likely due to the shower meteor's characteristically high speed. Entering at 60 kilometers per second, Perseid meteors are capable of exciting green emission from oxygen atoms while passing through the tenuous atmosphere at high altitudes. Also characteristic of bright meteors, this Perseid left a visibly glowing persistent train. Its evolution is seen over a three minute sequence (left to right) spanning the bottom of the frame. The camera ultimately captured a dramatic timelapse video of the twisting, drifting train.
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Lory Reed's profile photoMarisol Jane Beray's profile photoDavid Alston's profile photochery morvens's profile photo
7 comments
 
awww
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Meteor before Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Fritz Helmut Hemmerich
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160817.html

What's that green streak in front of the Andromeda galaxy? A meteor. While photographing the Andromeda galaxy last Friday, near the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, a sand-sized rock from deep space crossed right in front of our Milky Way Galaxy's far-distant companion. The small meteor took only a fraction of a second to pass through this 10-degree field. The meteor flared several times while braking violently upon entering Earth's atmosphere. The green color was created, at least in part, by the meteor's gas glowing as it vaporized. Although the exposure was timed to catch a Perseids meteor, the orientation of the imaged streak seems a better match to a meteor from the Southern Delta Aquariids, a meteor shower that peaked a few weeks earlier.
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maureen donhuysen's profile photoJuan Jo's profile photoAmit Varde's profile photoKarin  Ettinger's profile photo
27 comments
 
SpyRaiLing commaSumYungGai 2 RubyRed China???
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Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD)'s Collections
Story
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Discover the cosmos!
Introduction
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.