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Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks
Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh; Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160524.html

That's not lightning, and it did not strike between those mountains. The diagonal band is actually the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, while the twin peaks are actually called the Spanish Peaks -- but located in Colorado, USA. Although each Spanish peak is composed of a slightly different type of rock, both are approximately 25 million years old. This serene yet spirited image composite was meticulously created by merging a series of images all taken from the same location on one night and early last month. In the first series of exposures, the background sky was built up, with great detail being revealed in the Milky Way dust lanes as well as the large colorful region surrounding the star Rho Ophiuchus just right of center. One sky image, though, was taken using a fogging filter so that brighter stars would appear more spread out and so more prominent. As a bonus, the planets Mars and Saturn are placed right above peaks and make an orange triangle with the bright star Antares. Later that night, after the moonrise, the Moon itself naturally illuminated the snow covered mountain tops.
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Elena GXT's profile photoAneleh Mcmains's profile photo
14 comments
 
so butiful
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LL Orionis: When Cosmic Winds Collide
Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA / STScI), C. R. O'Dell(Vanderbilt U.), +NASA
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160522.html

What created this great arc in space? This arcing, graceful structure is actually a bow shock about half a light-year across, created as the wind from young star LL Orionis collides with the Orion Nebula flow. Adrift in Orion's stellar nursery and still in its formative years, variable star LL Orionis produces a wind more energetic than the wind from our own middle-aged sun. As the fast stellar wind runs into slow moving gas a shock front is formed, analogous to the bow wave of a boat moving through water or a plane traveling at supersonic speed. The slower gas is flowing away from the Orion Nebula's hot central star cluster, the Trapezium, located off the lower right hand edge of the picture. In three dimensions, LL Ori's wrap-around shock front is shaped like a bowl that appears brightest when viewed along the "bottom" edge. The complex stellar nursery in Orion shows a myriad of similar fluid shapes associated with star formation, including the bow shock surrounding a faint star at the upper right. Part of a mosaic covering the Great Nebula in Orion, this composite color image was recorded in 1995 by the Hubble Space Telescope.
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Mousumi Biswas's profile photoPierrette Leuenberger's profile photoMary Thomas's profile photo
9 comments
 
A white space in the middle of a ball it looks like to me A blob on each side

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3D Mercury Transit
Image Credit & Copyright: Stefan Seip (TWAN)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160520.html

On May 9, innermost planet Mercury crossed IN FRONT of the Sun. Though pictures project the event in only two dimensions, a remarkable three dimensional perspective on the transit is possible by free viewing this stereo pair. The images were made 23 minutes apart and rotated so that Mercury's position shifts horizontally between the two. As a result, Mercury's orbital motion produced an exaggerated parallax simulating binocular vision. Between the two exposures, the appropriately named planet's speedy 47.4 kilometer per second orbital velocity actually carried it over 65,000 kilometers. Taken first, the left image is intended for the right eye, so a cross-eyed view is needed to see Mercury's tiny silhouette suspended in the foreground. Try it. Merging the text below the images helps.
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Samuel Falvo II's profile photoTheLance3185's profile photoMichelle Bradford's profile photo
4 comments
 
Am I the only one that can see the nipples with the double?
I'm straight and all, but I'm massively disappointed. 
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Halo from Atacama
Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160518.html

Influenced by the strong Pacific El Nino, cloudy skies have more often come to Chile's high Atacama Desert this season, despite its reputation as an astronomer's paradise. Located in one of the driest, darkest places on planet Earth, domes of the region's twin 6.5 meter Magellan telescopes of Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory were closed on May 13. Still, a first quarter Moon and bright stars shine through in this panoramic night skyscape, the lunar disk surrounded by a beautiful, bright halo. The angular radius of the halo is 22 degrees. Not determined by the brightness or phase of the Moon itself, the angle is set by the hexagonal geometry of atmospheric ice crystals that reflect and refract the moonlight. On that night, the brilliant star just inside the halo's radius was really planet Jupiter. Flanking the halo to the far left is brightest star Sirius, with Arcturus to the right.
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Kelly Grebinski's profile photoAdriene Hunter's profile photoStephanise Rivers's profile photoSilvano Berardinelli Jr's profile photo
14 comments
 
Fantastic photo! 
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Clouds of the Carina Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: John Ebersole
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160516.html

What forms lurk in the mists of the Carina Nebula? The dark ominous figures are actually molecular clouds, knots of molecular gas and dust so thick they have become opaque. In comparison, however, these clouds are typically much less dense than Earth's atmosphere. Featured here is a detailed image of the core of the Carina Nebula, a part where both dark and colorful clouds of gas and dust are particularly prominent. The image was captured last month from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Although the nebula is predominantly composed of hydrogen gas -- here colored green, the image was assigned colors so that light emitted by trace amounts of sulfur and oxygen appear red and blue, respectively. The entire Carina Nebula, cataloged as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light years and lies about 7,500 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. Eta Carinae, the most energetic star in the nebula, was one of the brightest stars in the sky in the 1830s, but then faded dramatically.
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Sebrina Kostreba's profile photonagendra s's profile photoeturnaty barr's profile photoDr.Munavvar S's profile photo
22 comments
 
Very colourful and beautiful! !
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ISS and Mercury Too
Image Credit & Copyright: Thierry Legault
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160513.html

Transits of Mercury are relatively rare. Monday's leisurely 7.5 hour long event was only the 2nd of 14 Mercury transits in the 21st century. If you're willing to travel, transits of the International Space Station can be more frequent though, and much quicker. This sharp video frame composite was taken from a well-chosen location in Philadelphia, USA. It follows the space station, moving from upper right to lower left, as it crossed the Sun's disk in 0.6 seconds. Mercury too is included as the small, round, almost stationary silhouette just below center. In apparent size, the International Space Station looms larger from low Earth orbit, about 450 kilometers from Philadelphia. Mercury was about 84 million kilometers away. (Editor's note: The stunning video includes another double transit, Mercury and a Pilatus PC12 aircraft. Even quicker than the ISS to cross the Sun, the aircraft was about 1 kilometer away.)
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Ruth Billares's profile photo
6 comments
 
Jj d kid ed j ed j we kk Wed k
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Have them in circles
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Inside a Daya Bay Antineutrino Detector
Image Credit & Copyright: DOE, Berkeley Lab - Roy Kaltschmidt, photographer
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160523.html

Why is there more matter than antimatter in the Universe? To better understand this facet of basic physics, energy departments in China and the USA led in the creation of the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment. Located under thick rock about 50 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong, China, eight Daya Bay detectors monitor antineutrinos emitted by six nearby nuclear reactors. Featured here, a camera looks along one of the Daya Bay detectors, imaging photon sensors that pick up faint light emitted by antineutrinos interacting with fluids in the detector. Early results indicate an unexpectedly high rate of one type of antineutrino changing into another, a rate which, if confirmed, could imply the existence of a previously undetected type of neutrino as well as impact humanity's comprehension of fundamental particle reactions that occurred within the first few seconds of the Big Bang.
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Orla Gerrity's profile photoRumon Ahmed's profile photo
11 comments
 
Good
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Milky Way and Planets Near Opposition
Image Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160521.html

In this early May night skyscape, a mountain road near Bursa, Turkey seems to lead toward bright planets Mars and Saturn and the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, a direction nearly opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. The brightest celestial beacon on the scene, Mars, reaches its opposition tonight and Saturn in early June. Both will remain nearly opposite the Sun, up all night and close to Earth for the coming weeks, so the time is right for good telescopic viewing. Mars and Saturn form the tight celestial triangle with red giant star Antares just right of the Milky Way's central bulge. But tonight the Moon is also at opposition. Easy to see near bright Mars and Saturn, the Full Moon's light will wash out the central Milky Way's fainter starlight though, even in dark mountain skies.
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Anna Fajardo's profile photoSwapnanil Dey's profile photo
8 comments
 
Fantastic
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The Surface of Europa
Image Credit: +NASA, +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech, SETI Institute
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160519.html

An enhanced-color view, this image covers a 350 by 750 kilometer swath across the surface of Jupiter's tantalizing moon Europa. The close-up combines high-resolution image data with lower resolution color data from observations made in 1998 by the Galileo spacecraft. Smooth ice plains, long fractures, and jumbled blocks of chaos terrain are thought to hide a deep ocean of salty liquid water beneath. Though the ice-covered alien ocean world is outside the Solar System's habitable zone, new studies show the potential chemistry driving its oxygen and hydrogen production, a key indicator of the energy available for life, could produce amounts comparable in scale to planet Earth. Hydrogen would be generated by chemical reactions of the salty water in contact with the rocky ocean floor. Oxygen and other compounds that react with hydrogen would come from Europa's surface. There water ice molecules would be split apart by the intense flux of high-energy radiation from Jupiter and cycled into the Europan ocean from above.
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Henk van der Gaast's profile photoConnor O'Hara's profile photoQuinteria Grier's profile photo
3 comments
 
It looks like they took this picture after a flood. It's exactly how it looks after the mud begins to thicken and dry smh..
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The Orion Nebula in Visible and Infrared
Image Credit & Copyright: Infrared: +NASA, Spitzer Space Telescope; Visible: Oliver Czernetz, Siding Spring Obs.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160517.html

The Great Nebula in Orion is a colorful place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. Long exposure, multi-wavelength images like this, however, show the Orion Nebula to be a busy neighborhood of young stars, hot gas, and dark dust. This digital composite features not only three colors of visible light but four colors of infrared light taken by NASA's orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope as well. The power behind much of the Orion Nebula (M42) is the Trapezium - four of the brightest stars in the nebula. Many of the filamentary structures visible are actually shock waves - fronts where fast moving material encounters slow moving gas. The Orion Nebula spans about 40 light years and is located about 1500 light years away in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy as the Sun.
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Ruth Billares's profile photo
12 comments
 
K ed I s we o ed ed iuwk we
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Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest
Image Credit & Copyright: Florian Breuer
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160515.html

In front of a famous background of stars and galaxies lies some of Earth's more unusual trees. Known as quiver trees, they are actually succulent aloe plants that can grow to tree-like proportions. The quiver tree name is derived from the historical usefulness of their hollowed branches as dart holders. Occurring primarily in southern Africa, the trees pictured in the above 16-exposure composite are in Quiver Tree Forest located in southern Namibia. Some of the tallest quiver trees in the park are estimated to be about 300 years old. Behind the trees is light from the small town of Keetmanshoop, Namibia. Far in the distance, arching across the background, is the majestic central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Even further in the distance, visible on the image left, are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, smaller satellite galaxies of the Milky Way that are prominent in the skies of Earth's southern hemisphere.
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Amy Simmons's profile photoBrian Bell's profile photoDenise Campbell's profile photoJOHN BENFIELD's profile photo
9 comments
 
Beutiful
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Falcon 9 and Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Derek Demeter (Emil Buehler Planetarium)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160514.html

On May 6, the after midnight launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lit up dark skies over Merritt Island, planet Earth. Its second stage bound for Earth orbit, the rocket's arc seems to be on course for the center of the Milky Way in this pleasing composite image looking toward the southeast. Two consecutive exposures made with camera fixed to a tripod were combined to follow rocket and home galaxy. A 3 minute long exposure at low sensitivity allowed the rocket's first stage burn to trace the bright orange arc and a 30 second exposure at high sensitivity captured the stars and the faint Milky Way. Bright orange Mars dominates the starry sky at the upper right. A few minutes later, booster engines were restarted and the Falcon 9's first stage headed for a landing on the autonomous spaceport drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, patiently waiting in the Atlantic 400 miles east of the Cape Canaveral launch site.
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Melissa Johnson's profile photoelizabeth swain's profile photo
10 comments
 
I love this!
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Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD)'s Collections
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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.