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Layer Cake Sunset
Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN)
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170120.html

On January 18 a tantalizing sunset was captured in this snapshot. Seemingly sliced into many horizontal layers the Sun shimmered moments before it touched the horizon, setting over the Pacific Ocean as seen from the mountaintop Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Pink hues of filtered sunlight were created by the long sight-line through the hazy atmosphere. But the remarkable layers correspond to low atmospheric layers of sharply different temperature and density also along the line of sight. Over a long path through each layer the rays of sunlight are refracted strongly and create different images or mirages of sections of the setting Sun.
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Karin Ettinger's profile photoSasidhar Sasi's profile photoKenneth Wilson's profile photo
3 comments
 
looks
nice
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Fly Me to the Moon
Image Credit & Copyright: Tamas Ladanyi (TWAN)
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170117.html

No, this is not a good way to get to the Moon. What is pictured is a chance superposition of an airplane and the Moon. The contrail would normally appear white, but the large volume of air toward the setting Sun preferentially knocks away blue light, giving the reflected trail a bright red hue. Far in the distance, to the right of the plane, is the young Moon. This vast world shows only a sliver of itself because the Sun is nearly lined up behind it. Captured two weeks ago, the featured image was framed by an eerie maroon sky, too far from day to be blue, too far from night to be black. Within minutes the impromptu sky show ended. The plane crossed the Moon. The contrail dispersed. The Sun set. The Moon set. The sky faded to black, only to reveal thousands of stars that had been too faint to see through the rustic red din.
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Ronnie k. Terrell's profile photoTheLance3185's profile photoAnges K's profile photo
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Anges K
 
Erdekes
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Geostationary Highway through Orion
Image Credit & Copyright: James A. DeYoung
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170116.html

Put a satellite in a circular orbit about 42,000 kilometers from the center of the Earth and it will orbit once in 24 hours. Because that matches Earth's rotation period, it is known as a geosynchronous orbit. If that orbit is also in the plane of the equator, the satellite will hang in the sky over a fixed location in a geostationary orbit. As predicted in the 1940s by futurist Arthur C. Clarke, geostationary orbits are in common use for communication and weather satellites, a scenario now well-known to astroimagers. Deep images of the night sky made with telescopes that follow the stars can also pick up geostationary satellites glinting in sunlight still shining far above the Earth's surface. Because they all move with the Earth's rotation against the background of stars, the satellites leave trails that seem to follow a highway across the celestial landscape. The phenomenon was captured last month in this video showing several satellites in geostationary orbit crossing the famous Orion Nebula.
2017 January 16
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Bill Winston Sermons 2017's profile photoRita Ezzat's profile photoWilliam Cotterman's profile photoThorsten Trappiel's profile photo
6 comments
 
Super cool
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When Mars met Neptune
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Mudge
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170113.html

On January 1, a Mars-assisted viewing opportunity allowed binocular-equipped skygazers to cross an ice giant off their life list. Remarkably, the line-of-sight to the bright Red Planet could guide you to within 0.02 degrees of a faint, pale Neptune in Earth's night skies. Taken within 3 hours of their closest conjunction, these panels capture the odd couple's appearance in skies over Brisbane, Australia. A wide field view includes the new year's slender crescent moon near the western horizon and Venus as the brilliant evening star. Mars and Neptune are indicated at the upper right. The two inset magnified views were taken with the same telephoto lens and so do show the Mars-Neptune conjunction and the apparent size of the crescent moon at the same scale. This week Neptune hangs out near Venus on the western sky.
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guy laurent's profile photoSeldom Seen's profile photoPhilip Lewis's profile photoKarin Ettinger's profile photo
4 comments
 
The 0lDend meta Newt BeginIn
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Mimas, Crater, and Mountain
Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, +European Space Agency, ESA, +NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170111.html

Mimas is an icy, crater-pocked moon of Saturn a mere 400 kilometers (250 miles) in diameter. Its largest crater Herschel is nearly 140 kilometers wide. About a third the diameter of Mimas itself, Herschel crater gives the small moon an ominous appearance, especially for scifi fans of the Death Star battlestation of Star Wars fame. In fact, only a slightly bigger impact than the one that created such a large crater on a small moon could have destroyed Mimas entirely. In this Cassini image from October 2016, the anti-Saturn hemisphere of the synchronously rotating moon is bathed in sunlight, its large crater near the right limb. Casting a long shadow across the crater floor, Herschel's central mountain peak is nearly as tall as Mount Everest on planet Earth.
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Alan Poon's profile photoTom Cooper (Austin)'s profile photoThe Social Raptor's profile photoJoe Smith's profile photo
11 comments
 
+The Social Raptor
I speak of UNSPOKEN FAMILY members of THE LIGHT☆°•○●
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In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 5033
Image Credit: +NASA, +European Space Agency, ESA, Hubble, MAST - Processing: Judy Schmidt
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170109.html

What's happening in the center of spiral NGC 5033? Many things -- some circular, some energetic, and some not well understood. NGC 5033 is known as a Seyfert galaxy because of the great activity seen in its nucleus. Bright stars, dark dust, and interstellar gas all swirl quickly around a galactic center that appears slightly offset from a supermassive black hole. This offset is thought to be the result of NGC 5033 merging with another galaxy sometime in the past billion years. The featured image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2005. NGC 5033 spans about 100,000 light years and is so far away that we see it only as it existed about 40 million years ago.
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REZA M's profile photoZanele Jase's profile photoRANJAN KUMAR RAJAK's profile photo
3 comments
 
HII,,
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The Elephant's Trunk Nebula in Cepheus
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170119.html

Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Also known as vdB 142, the cosmic elephant's trunk is over 20 light-years long. This colorful close-up view includes image data from a narrow band filter that transmits the light from ionized hydrogen atoms in the region. The resulting composite highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees. This dramatic scene spans a 1 degree wide field, about the size of 2 Full Moons.
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Arc Michael's profile photoPamela Vijayagopalan's profile photo
2 comments
 
Beautiful 
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Space Station Vista: Planet and Galaxy
Image Credit: +NASA, JSC, ESRS
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170118.html

If you could circle the Earth aboard the International Space Station, what might you see? Some amazing vistas, one of which was captured in this breathtaking picture in mid-2015. First, visible at the top, are parts of the space station itself including solar panels. Just below the station is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy, glowing with the combined light of billions of stars, but dimmed in patches by filaments of dark dust. The band of red light just below the Milky Way is airglow -- Earth's atmosphere excited by the Sun and glowing in specific colors of light. Green airglow is visible below the red. Of course that's our Earth below its air, with the terminator between day and night visible near the horizon. As clouds speckle the planet, illumination from a bright lightning bolt is seen toward the lower right. Between work assignments, astronauts from all over the Earth have been enjoying vistas like this from the space station since the year 2000.
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Tom Cooper (Austin)'s profile photoalauddin malik's profile photo
6 comments
 
Very Good 
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The Matter of the Bullet Cluster
Image Credit: X-ray: +NASA /CXC/CfA/ M. Markevitch et al.;
Lensing Map: NASA/STScI; ESO WFI; Magellan/U.Arizona/ D.Clowe et al.
Optical: NASA/STScI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170115.html

What's the matter with the Bullet Cluster? This massive cluster of galaxies (1E 0657-558) creates gravitational lens distortions of background galaxies in a way that has been interpreted as strong evidence for the leading theory: that dark matter exists within. Different recent analyses, though, indicate that a less popular alternative -- modifying gravity-- could explain cluster dynamics without dark matter, and provide a more likely progenitor scenario as well. Currently, the two scientific hypotheses are competing to explain the observations: it's invisible matter versus amended gravity. The duel is dramatic as a clear Bullet-proof example of dark matter would shatter the simplicity of modified gravity theories. For the near future, the battle over the Bullet cluster is likely to continue as new observations, computer simulations, and analyses are completed. The featured image is a Hubble/Chandra/Magellan composite with red depicting the X-rays emitted by hot gas, and blue depicting the suggested separated dark matter distribution.
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Stam Nicolis's profile photoabdramane. abdramane's profile photoEmmette Davidson's profile photo
10 comments
 
+Stam Nicolis Those are conclusions of "the leading theory." Is there no room for arguments ostensibly from "different recent analyses"? [p.s. I see that's basically what your (appended) last sentence says. So all good! ;)]
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Stardust in the Perseus Molecular Cloud
Image Credit & Copyright: Lorand Fenyes
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170114.html

Clouds of stardust drift through this deep skyscape. The cosmic scene spans nearly 2 degrees across the Perseus molecular cloud some 850 light-years away. A triangle of dusty nebulae reflecting light from embedded stars is captured in the telescopic field of view. With a characteristic bluish color reflection nebula NGC 1333 is at left, vdB13 at bottom right, and rare yellowish reflection nebula vdB12 lies at the top. Stars are forming in the Perseus molecular cloud, though most are obscured at visible wavelengths by the pervasive dust. Still, hints of contrasting red emission from Herbig-Haro objects, the jets and shocked glowing gas emanating from recently formed stars, are evident in NGC 1333. At the estimated distance of the molecular cloud, legs of the triangle formed by the reflection nebulae would be about 20 light-years long.
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Yaa Adoma Obeng's profile photoSonika Rattan's profile photonagendra s's profile photo
6 comments
 
Ngc 1333 its a ungava peninsula in north America 
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Edge-On NGC 891
Image Credit & Copyright: Alessandro Falesiedi
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170112.html

Large spiral galaxy NGC 891 spans about 100 thousand light-years and is seen almost exactly edge-on from our perspective. In fact, about 30 million light-years distant in the constellation Andromeda, NGC 891 looks a lot like our Milky Way. At first glance, it has a flat, thin, galactic disk of stars and a central bulge cut along the middle by regions of dark obscuring dust. But remarkably apparent in NGC 891's edge-on presentation are filaments of dust that extend hundreds of light-years above and below the center line. The dust has likely been blown out of the disk by supernova explosions or intense star formation activity. Fainter galaxies can also be seen near the edge-on disk in this deep portrait of NGC 891.
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Xiomara Fernández's profile photoLarry Hicks's profile photoVictor Jara's profile photoKarin Ettinger's profile photo
4 comments
 
SpinAl firmAmeAnt aboOriGinAl aboardShun
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Sentinels of a Northern Sky
Image Credit & Copyright: Pierre Destribats
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170110.html

Who guards the north? The featured picture was taken last March in Finnish Lapland where weather can include sub-freezing temperatures and driving snow. Surreal landscapes sometimes result, where white alien-looking sentinels seem to patrol the landscape. In actuality though, the aliens are snow-covered trees, and the red hut they seem to be guarding is an outhouse. Far in the distance, behind this uncommon Earthly vista, is a beautiful night sky which includes a green aurora, bright stars, and streaks of orbiting satellites. Of course, in the spring, the trees thaw and Lapland looks much different.
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Richard Holmes's profile photoThe Social Raptor's profile photoRANJAN KUMAR RAJAK's profile photoKarin Ettinger's profile photo
11 comments
 
NorYeasTurnEd Goddianz¿¿¿
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Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD)'s Collections
Story
Tagline
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.