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A Beautiful Trifid
The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a cosmic study in colorful contrasts. Also known as M20, it lies about 5,000 light-years away toward the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy, the Trifid illustrates three different types of astronomical nebulae; red emission nebulae dominated by light emitted by hydrogen atoms, blue reflection nebulae produced by dust reflecting starlight, and dark nebulae where dense dust clouds appear in silhouette.

The bright red emission region, roughly separated into three parts by obscuring, dark dust lanes, lends the Trifid its popular name. In this well met scene, the red emission is also juxtaposed with the telltale blue haze of reflection nebulae. Pillars and jets sculpted by newborn stars, below and left of the emission nebula's center, appear in Hubble Space Telescope close-up images of the region. The Trifid Nebula is about 40 light-years across.

Image and info via APOD
Image Credit & Copyright: R Jay Gabany

#space #nasa #universe #nebula #research #exploration #science 
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NGC 4565: Galaxy on Edge
Is our Galaxy this thin? We believe so. Magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 4565 is viewed edge-on from planet Earth. Also known as the Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile, bright NGC 4565 is a stop on many telescopic tours of the northern sky, in the faint but well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. This sharp, colorful image reveals the galaxy's bulging central core cut by obscuring dust lanes that lace NGC 4565's thin galactic plane.

An assortment of other background galaxies is included in the pretty field of view, with neighboring galaxy NGC 4562 at the upper left. NGC 4565 itself lies about 40 million light-years distant and spans some 100,000 light-years. Easily spotted with small telescopes, sky enthusiasts consider NGC 4565 to be a prominent celestial masterpiece Messier missed.

Image & info via APOD:
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit & Copyright: Lóránd Fényes

#nasa #space #universe #galaxy 
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In the Center of the Lagoon Nebula
The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible on the lower left, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. The tremendously bright nearby star, Hershel 36, lights the area.

Vast walls of dust hide and redden other hot young stars. As energy from these stars pours into the cool dust and gas, large temperature differences in adjoining regions can be created generating shearing winds which may cause the funnels. This picture, spanning about 5 light years, was taken in 1995 by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. The Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8, lies about 5000 light years distant toward the constellation of Sagittarius.

Image & info via APOD
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit: Hubble, A. Caulet (ST-ECF, ESA), NASA

#nasa #Hubble #ESA #space #universe #exploration 
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Approaching Jupiter

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_UaOhvLUYA&feature=push-u&attr_tag=VYhBEdD_XzYpbucs-6
Video Composition & Copyright: Peter Rosén et al.

#space #jupiter #science #research 
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A View Toward M101
Big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is one of the last entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog, but definitely not one of the least. About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way galaxy. M101 was also one of the original spiral nebulae observed by Lord Rosse's large 19th century telescope, the Leviathan of Parsontown. M101 shares this modern telescopic field of view with spiky foreground stars within the Milky Way, and more distant background galaxies.

The colors of the Milky Way stars can also be found in the starlight from the large island universe. Its core is dominated by light from cool yellowish stars. Along its grand spiral arms are the blue colors of hotter, young stars mixed with obscuring dust lanes and pinkish star forming regions. Also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101 lies within the boundaries of the northern constellation Ursa Major, about 25 million light-years away.

Image & info via APOD
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit & Copyright: Laszlo Bagi

#space #nasa #M101 #universe #research
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Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte
Named for the three astronomers instrumental in its discovery and identification, Wolf - Lundmark - Melotte (WLM) is a lonely dwarf galaxy. Seen toward the mostly southern constellation Cetus, about 3 million light-years from the Milky Way, it is one of the most remote members of our local galaxy group.

In fact, it may never have interacted with any other local group galaxy. Still, telltale pinkish star forming regions and hot, young, bluish stars speckle the isolated island universe. Older, cool yellowish stars fade into the small galaxy's halo, extending about 8,000 light-years across. This sharp portrait of WLM was captured by the 268-megapixel OmegaCAM widefield imager and survey telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory.

Source:
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit: ESO, VST/Omegacam Local Group Survey

#NASA #space #universe #ESO #wolfgalaxy #science

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Two Prominences Unraveling
A pair of prominences began to shift, turn and fall apart over the sun's edge on May 8-9, seen in this SDO footage.
Prominences are notoriously unstable. Competing magnetic forces pulled the plasma back and forth until they dissipated. The images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.

Source:
https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/potw/item/804

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.

#space #NASA #SDO #sun

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Galaxy Group Hickson 90
Scanning the skies for galaxies, Canadian astronomer Paul Hickson and colleagues identified some 100 compact groups of galaxies, now appropriately called Hickson Compact Groups (HCGs). This sharp Hubble image shows one such galaxy group, HCG 90, in startling detail. Three galaxies -- two visible here -- are revealed to be strongly interacting: a dusty spiral galaxy stretched and distorted in the image center, and two large elliptical galaxies. The close encounter will trigger furious star formation.

On a cosmic timescale, the gravitational tug of war will eventually result in the merger of the trio into a large single galaxy. The merger process is now understood to be a normal part of the evolution of galaxies, including our own Milky Way. HCG 90 lies about 100 million light-years away toward the constellation of the Southern Fish (Piscis Austrinus). This Hubble view spans about 40,000 light-years at that estimated distance. Of course, Hickson Compact Groups also make for rewarding viewing for Earth-bound astronomers with more modest sized telescopes.

Image & info via APOD
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit: NASA; ESA, Hubble Legacy Archive;
Processing: Oliver Czernetz

#space #nasa #science #galaxy #universe #Hubble


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Gemini Stars Pollux and Castor
Who are the twins of Gemini? It terms of astronomical objects, the famous constellation is dominated by two bright stars: Pollux (left) and Castor (right). Pictured, the two stars stand out because they are so bright, so close together both in angle and brightness, but so different in color. Pollux, at 33 light years distant, is an evolved red giant star twice as massive as our Sun. Castor, at 51 light years distant, is a blue main sequence star about 2.7 times more massive that our Sun. Castor is known to have at least two stellar companions, while Pollux is now known to be circled by at least one massive planet.

In terms of ancient Babylonian, Greek, and Roman mythology, Castor and Pollux represent twin brothers. Currently, the Earth's orbit is causing the Sun to appear to shift in front of the constellation of Gemini, with the result that, for much of humanity, Castor and Pollux will remain visible toward the west at sunset for only a few more weeks.

Image & info via APOD
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

#universe #NASA #stars #galaxies #science 
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Ganymede: The Largest Moon
What does the largest moon in the Solar System look like? Jupiter's moon Ganymede, larger than even Mercury and Pluto, has an icy surface speckled with bright young craters overlying a mixture of older, darker, more cratered terrain laced with grooves and ridges. The large circular feature on the upper right, called Galileo Regio, is an ancient region of unknown origin. Ganymede is thought to have an ocean layer that contains more water than Earth and might contain life.

Like Earth's Moon, Ganymede keeps the same face towards its central planet, in this case Jupiter. The featured image was taken about 20 years ago by NASA's Galileo probe, which ended its mission by diving into Jupiter's atmosphere in 2003. Currently, NASA's Juno spacecraft orbits Jupiter and is studying the giant planet's internal structure, among many other attributes.

Image & info via APOD
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit: NASA, JPL, Galileo Probe

#nasa #space #Ganymede #GalileoProbe #science #jupiter

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