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Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD)
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Cometary Globule CG4
Image Credit & Copyright: CEDIC Team - Processing: Christoph Kaltseis

The faint and somehow menacing cometary globule CG4 reaches through the center of this deep southern skyscape. About 1,300 light-years from Earth toward the constellation Puppis, its head is about 1.5 light-years in diameter and its tail about 8 light-years long. That's far larger than the Solar System's comets that it seems to resemble. In fact, the dusty cloud contains enough material to form several Sun-like stars and likely has ongoing star formation within. How its distinctive form came about is still debated, but its long tail trails away from the Vela Supernova remnant near the center of the Gum Nebula, while its head could represent the rupture of an originally more spherical cloud. Still, the edge-on spiral galaxy also near picture center is not actually being threatened by CG4. The galaxy lies in the distant background more than 100 million light-years away.
Mohamad Hosseini's profile photoDanilo Tomimatsu's profile photoEmily Thampoe's profile photoGiovana Magalhães's profile photo
Every time I look at it, I see different colors.
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Pillars and Jets in the Pelican Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Larry Van Vleet (LVVASTRO)

What dark structures arise from the Pelican Nebula? Visible as a bird-shaped nebula toward the constellation of a bird (Cygnus, the Swan), the Pelican Nebula is a place dotted with newly formed stars but fouled with dark dust. These smoke-sized dust grains formed in the cool atmospheres of young stars and were dispersed by stellar winds and explosions. Impressive Herbig-Haro jets are seen emitted by a star on the right that is helping to destroy the light year-long dust pillar that contains it. The featured image was scientifically-colored to emphasize light emitted by small amounts of ionized nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur in the nebula made predominantly of hydrogen and helium. The Pelican Nebula (IC 5067 and IC 5070) is about 2,000 light-years away and can be found with a small telescope to the northeast of the bright star Deneb.
Shivang Gupta's profile photogabriel murillo's profile photoGiovana Magalhães's profile photoArtGallery Villaverde's profile photo
20 comments looks molten
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Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus
Image Credit & Copyright: Nuno Serrão

It is not every day that such an interesting cloud photobombs your image. The original plan was to photograph a rare angular conjunction of Mars and Venus that occurred a week and a half ago, with the added bonus of a crescent Moon and the International Space Station (ISS) both passing nearby. Unfortunately, on Madeira Island, Portugal, this event was clouded out. During the next day, however, a spectacular lenticular cloud appeared before sunset, so the industrious astrophotographer quickly formulated a new plan. A close look at the resulting image reveals the Moon visible toward the left of the frame, while underneath, near the bottom, are the famous planets with Venus being the brighter. It was the unexpected lenticular cloud, though, perhaps looking like some sort of futuristic spaceship, that stole the show. The setting Sun illuminated the stationary cloud (and everything else) from the bottom, setting up an intricate pattern of shadows, layers, and brightly illuminated regions, all seen evolving in a corresponding video. Mars and Venus will next appear this close on the sky in late August, but whether any place on Earth will catch them behind such a photogenic cloud is unknown.
james roberts's profile photoSamuel Falvo II's profile photoAimee Alley's profile photoShivang Gupta's profile photo
ooohh!  So Beautifull!
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Moon-Venus-Mars Skyline
Image Credit & Copyright: Jay Ouellet

Taken on February 20, five different exposures made in rapid succession were used to created this tantalizing telephoto image. In combination, they reveal a wide range of brightness visible to the eye on that frigid evening, from the urban glow of the Quebec City skyline to the triple conjunction of Moon, Venus and Mars. Shortly after sunset the young Moon shows off its bright crescent next to brilliant Venus. Fainter Mars is near the top of the frame. Though details in the Moon's sunlit crescent are washed out, features on the dark, shadowed part of the lunar disk are remarkably clear. Still lacking city lights the lunar night is illuminated solely by earthshine, light reflected from the sunlit side of planet Earth.
MsSD76's profile photoYAB ELY MUR's profile photoJasna Salopek's profile photoSatt Minn's profile photo
Red light
Green light
Strawberry wine
A good friend of mine
Follows the stars
Venus and Mars are alright tonight 
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Love and War by Moonlight
Image Credit & Copyright: Kevin Bourque

Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love, and Mars, the war god's namesake, came together by moonlight in this lovely skyview, recorded on February 20 from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, planet Earth. Made in twilight with a digital camera, the three second time exposure also records earthshine illuminating the otherwise dark surface of the young crescent Moon. Of course, the Moon has moved on from this much anticipated triple conjunction. Venus still shines in the west though as the evening star, third brightest object in Earth's sky, after the Sun and the Moon itself. Seen here within almost a Moon's width of Venus, much fainter Mars approached even closer on the following evening. But Mars has since been moving slowly away from brilliant Venus, though Mars is still visible too in the western twilight.
Muhammad Ardan's profile photoMsSD76's profile photoDrew Lane's profile photoVijay Nagarajan's profile photo
Lovely sight.
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Unusual Plumes Above Mars
Image Credit & Copyright: W. Jaeschke

What is creating unusual plumes on Mars? No one is sure. Noted and confirmed by a global contingent of amateur astronomers on photos of the red planet in March 2012, possibly similar plumes have now been found on archived images as far back as 1997. Since the plumes reach 200 kilometers up, they seem too high to be related to wind-blown surface dust. Since one plume lasted for eleven days, it seemed too long lasting to be related to aurora. Amateur astronomers will surely continue to monitor the terminator and edge regions of Mars for new high plumes, and the armada of satellites orbiting Mars may be called upon to verify and study any newly reported plume that become visible. The featured 35-minute time-lapse animation was taken on 2012 March 20 by the plume's discoverer -- an attorney from Pennsylvania, USA.
Today's Memory's profile photoReginald Gordon's profile photoAlee Al-Lihabi's profile photoÇodingyuli MOTALEPE's profile photo
+Teklar Meeps Nice.
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Have them in circles
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Enhanced Color Caloris
Image Credit: +NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ. APL, Arizona State U., CIW

The sprawling Caloris basin on Mercury is one of the solar system's largest impact basins, created during the early history of the solar system by the impact of a large asteroid-sized body. The multi-featured, fractured basin spans about 1,500 kilometers in this enhanced color mosaic based on image data from the Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft. Mercury's youngest large impact basin, Caloris was subsequently filled in by lavas that appear orange in the mosaic. Craters made after the flooding have excavated material from beneath the surface lavas. Seen as contrasting blue hues, they likely offer a glimpse of the original basin floor material. Analysis of these craters suggests the thickness of the covering volcanic lava to be 2.5-3.5 kilometers. Orange splotches around the basin's perimeter are thought to be volcanic vents.
Арам Исраилян's profile photoInternationale Sternwarte Brandet's profile photoTingiun Lin's profile photoAlina Galliano's profile photo
+Luke Arozamena the photo caption explains that...
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A Dust Devil on Mars
Image Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), +NASA

It was late in the northern martian spring when the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spied this local denizen. Tracking across the flat, dust-covered Amazonis Planitia in 2012, the core of this whirling dust devil is about 140 meters in diameter. Lofting dust into the thin martian atmosphere, its plume reaches about 20 kilometers above the surface. Common to this region of Mars, dust devils occur as the surface is heated by the Sun, generating warm, rising air currents that begin to rotate. Tangential wind speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour are reported for dust devils in other HiRISE images.
Heinz Hemken's profile photoDanny Strong's profile photoDavid Sachs's profile photoJenny Fernandes's profile photo
+Alexandra D for sure what about that big red spot? could suck em up!
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Inside the Coma Cluster of Galaxies
Image Credit: +NASA, +European Space Agency, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA); 
Acknowledgment: D. Carter (LJMU) et al. and the Coma HST ACS Treasury Team

Almost every object in the above photograph is a galaxy. The Coma Cluster of Galaxies pictured above is one of the densest clusters known - it contains thousands of galaxies. Each of these galaxies houses billions of stars - just as our own Milky Way Galaxy does. Although nearby when compared to most other clusters, light from the Coma Cluster still takes hundreds of millions of years to reach us. In fact, the Coma Cluster is so big it takes light millions of years just to go from one side to the other! The above mosaic of images of a small portion of Coma was taken in unprecedented detail in 2006 by the Hubble Space Telescope to investigate how galaxies in rich clusters form and evolve. Most galaxies in Coma and other clusters are ellipticals, although some imaged here are clearly spirals. The spiral galaxy on the upper left of the above image can also be found as one of the bluer galaxies on the upper left of this wider field image. In the background thousands of unrelated galaxies are visible far across the universe.
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exatcly i agri
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Long Lovejoy and Little Dumbbell
Image Credit & Copyright: Rolando Ligustri (CARA Project, CAST)

Buffeted by the solar wind, Comet Lovejoy's crooked ion tail stretches over 3 degrees across this telescopic field of view, recorded on February 20. The starry background includes awesome bluish star Phi Persei below, and pretty planetary nebula M76 just above Lovejoy's long tail. Also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula, after its brighter cousin M27 the Dumbbell Nebula, M76 is only a Full Moon's width away from the comet's greenish coma. Still shining in northern hemisphere skies, this Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is outbound from the inner solar system some 10 light-minutes or 190 million kilometers from Earth. But the Little Dumbbell actually lies 3 to 5 thousand light-years away. Now sweeping steadily north toward the constellation Cassiopeia Comet Lovejoy is fading more slowly than predicted and is still a good target for small telescopes.
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The Rosette Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen
Image Credit & Copyright: Arno Rottal (Far-Light-Photography)

The Rosette Nebula is not the only cosmic cloud of gas and dust to evoke the imagery of flowers -- but it is the most famous. At the edge of a large molecular cloud in Monoceros, some 5,000 light years away, the petals of this rose are actually a stellar nursery whose lovely, symmetric shape is sculpted by the winds and radiation from its central cluster of hot young stars. The stars in the energetic cluster, cataloged as NGC 2244, are only a few million years old, while the central cavity in the Rosette Nebula, cataloged as NGC 2237, is about 50 light-years in diameter. The nebula can be seen firsthand with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros).
Whitney B.'s profile photoÇodingyuli MOTALEPE's profile photoMichaël Baudoux's profile photoCelestica - Iwan's profile photo
What beautiful colors
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The Milky Way Over the Arizona Toadstools
Image Credit & Copyright: David Lane & R. Gendler (3 insets)

Which is older -- the rocks you see on the ground or the light you see from the sky? Usually it’s the rocks that are older, with their origin sentiments deposited well before light left any of the stars or nebulas you see in the sky. However, if you can see, through a telescope, a distant galaxy far across the universe -- further than Andromeda or spiral galaxy NGC 7331 (inset) -- then you are seeing light even more ancient. Featured here, the central disk of our Milky Way Galaxy arches over Toadstool hoodoos rock formations in northern Arizona, USA. The unusual Toadstool rock caps are relatively hard sandstone that wind has eroded more slowly than the softer sandstone underneath. The green bands are airglow, light emitted by the stimulated air in Earth's atmosphere. On the lower right is a time-lapse camera set up to capture the sky rotating behind the picturesque foreground scene.
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super epic
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