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Milky Way over Chilean Volcanoes

This picture shared by APoD is truly enchanting to me!
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170821.html

Sometimes, the sky mimics the ground. Taken in 2017 May from the Atacama Desert in Chile, the foreground of the featured image encompasses the dipping edge of the caldera of an extinct volcano. Poetically echoing the dip below is the arch of our Milky Way Galaxy above. Many famous icons dot this southern nighttime vista, including the center of our Milky Way Galaxy on the far left, the bright orange star Antares also on the left, the constellation of the Southern Cross near the top of the arch, and the red-glowing Gum Nebula on the far right. Just above the horizon and splitting two distant volcanic peaks near the image center is the Large Magellanic Cloud -- the largest satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.

Further reading

► Caldera>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caldera

► The Milky Way Galaxy:
- Basic>> https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/objects/milkyway1.html
- Advanced>> https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/objects/milkyway2.html

► Antares>> http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/antares.html

► The Southern Cross>> https://teara.govt.nz/en/diagram/7486/navigating-by-the-southern-cross

► Gum Nebula>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gum_Nebula

► Large Magellanic Cloud>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwZQYkaIWaE

► Satellite galaxies of the Milky Way>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_galaxies_of_the_Milky_Way


#Astrophotography, #MillyWayGalaxy, #Space
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Blue Tears and the Milky Way

Lapping at rocks along the shore of the Island of Nangan, Taiwan, planet Earth, waves are infused with a subtle blue light in this sea and night skyscape.
Composed of a series of long exposures made on April 16, 2015 the image captures the faint glow from Noctiluca scintillans.
Also known as sea sparkles or blue tears, the marine plankton's bioluminescence is stimulated by wave motion.

City lights along the coast of mainland China shine beneath low clouds in the west but stars and the faint Milky Way still fill the night above. Over the horizon the galaxy's central bulge and dark rifts seem to echo the rocks and luminous waves.

► Source>> https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150424.html

Image Credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

Further reading

Noctiluca scintillans >> http://www.imas.utas.edu.au/zooplankton/image-key/noctiluca-scintillans

► Milky Way Viewed From the International Space Station>> https://www.nasa.gov/content/milky-way-viewed-from-the-international-space-station

► Bioluminescence in the Gippsland Lakes>> http://philhart.com/content/bioluminescence-gippsland-lakes-again


#Astrophotography, #Noctiluca_scintillans, #Bioluminescence, #PlanetEarth
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A Heart Shaped Lenticular Cloud

Can a cloud love a mountain?
Perhaps not, but, on a Valentine's Day like today, one might be prone to seeing heart-shaped symbols where they don't actually exist.

A fleeting pareidolia, the featured heart was really a lenticular cloud that appeared one morning last July above Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand.
A companion video shows the lenticular cloud was mostly stationary in the sky but shifted and vibrated with surrounding winds.

The cloud's red color was caused by the Sun rising off the frame to the right. Lenticular clouds are somewhat rare but can form in air that passes over a mountain. Then, vertical eddies may form where rising air cools past the dew point causing water carried by the air to condense into droplets.

Image Credit & Copyright: Michael Kunze

► Source>> https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160214.html

Further reading and references

► Pareidolia>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia

► Lenticular cloud>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular_cloud

► Cloud Tutorial>> https://scool.larc.nasa.gov/tutorial/clouds/newusers-CT.html

► How Clouds Form>> https://scied.ucar.edu/webweather/clouds/how-clouds-form

► Dew point>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dew_point

► Eddy (fluid dynamics)>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_(fluid_dynamics)

#Astrophotography, #NaturalPhenomena, #LenticularClouds, #ValentinesDay, #PlanetEarth
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Milky Way with Airglow Australis

ApoD shared this fabulous astronomy picture of the day on 2017 February 3 (see>> https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170203.html).

What is an airglow?

Well, airglow (also called nightglow) is a faint emission of light by a planetary atmosphere. In the case of Earth's atmosphere, this optical phenomenon causes the night sky never to be completely dark, even after the effects of starlight and diffused sunlight from the far side are removed.

Airglow is caused by various processes in the upper atmosphere, such as the recombination of atoms which were photoionized by the sun during the day, luminescence caused by cosmic rays striking the upper atmosphere, and chemiluminescence caused mainly by oxygen and nitrogen reacting with hydroxyl ions at heights of a few hundred kilometres. It is not noticeable during the daytime because of the scattered light from the sun.

Captured last April after sunset on a Chilean autumn night an exceptionally intense airglow flooded this scene. The panoramic skyscape is also filled with stars, clusters, and nebulae along the southern Milky Way including the Large and Small Magellanic clouds.

Originating at an altitude similar to aurorae, the luminous airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light through chemical excitation. Commonly recorded with a greenish tinge by sensitive digital cameras, both red and green airglow emission here is predominately from atmospheric oxygen atoms at extremely low densities and has often been present in southern hemisphere nights during the last few years.

Like the Milky Way on that dark night the strong airglow was visible to the eye, but seen without color. Mars, Saturn, and bright star Antares in Scorpius form the celestial triangle anchoring the scene on the left. The road leads toward the 2,600 meter high mountain Cerro Paranal and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescopes.

Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN)

Further reading and references

► Airglow Formation>> http://www.atoptics.co.uk/highsky/airglow2.htm

► Airglow and Earth's Magnetic Field>>
https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2016/airglow-and-earths-magnetic-field

► Airglow>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airglow

#Astrophotography, #Airglow, #NaturalPhenomena, #Earth, MilkyWay
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Mars and Orion Over Monument Valley

► Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (www.astropics.com)

APoD shared this wonderful and suggestive photo on Christmas Day, 2007.

Sharing the night sky seen around the world, this view from Monument Valley, USA includes a picturesque foreground of famous buttes.

Buttes are composed of hard rock left behind after water eroded away the surrounding soft rock.
The two buttes on the image left are known as the Mittens, while Merrick Butte is on the right.
Planet Mars is at the left of the skyscape, a glowing beacon of orange that is the brightest object in the frame. To the right of Mars lies the constellation of Orion.
Betelgeuse is the reddish star near the center and the Belt of Orion and the Orion Nebula are farther right.
Finally, the bright blue star Rigel appears above Merrick Butte in this stunning view of the world at night.

► Source>> http://go.nasa.gov/2hZk1HO

Further reading

► Monument Valley>> http://bit.ly/2i7sG8V

► Butte>> http://bit.ly/2hZujYb

► The Mittens and Merrick Butte>> http://bit.ly/2ivv2BL

► Betelgeuse>> http://go.nasa.gov/2iwwOOT

► Rigel>> http://bit.ly/2hH5ehO

#Atrophotography, #Earth, #NaturalPhenomena, #APoD, #Buttes
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Yosemite Winter Night

In this evocative night skyscape a starry band of the Milky Way climbs over Yosemite Valley, Sierra Nevada Range, planet Earth.

Jupiter is the brightest celestial beacon on the wintry scene, though. Standing nearly opposite the Sun in the constellation Taurus, the wandering planet joins yellowish Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster.

Below, Orion always comes up sideways over a fence of mountains. And from there the twin stars of Gemini rise just across the Milky Way.
As this peaceful winter night began, they followed Auriga the charioteer, its alpha star Capella near the top of the frame.

Image Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (AstroPics.com, TWAN)

► Source>> http://go.nasa.gov/2hjhpDE

Further reading and reference

► Auriga the charioteer>> http://bit.ly/2hnu2za

► The Hyades Star Cluster>> http://bit.ly/2hCZHbU


#Astrophotography, #Earth, #Astronomy, #Stars, #MilkyWay
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Spectacular Eagle Aurora over Norway

This wonderful aurora is part of arctic photographs from photographer Bjørn Jørgensen.

Shared by APoD on October 23, 2016, it was taken in Jan. 22, 2012, when a large coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred on our Sun, just five days before this shot, throwing a cloud of fast moving electrons, protons, and ions toward the Earth.

A coronal mass ejection is an unusually large release of plasma and magnetic field from the solar corona. They often follow solar flares and are normally present during a solar prominence eruption. The plasma is released into the solar wind, and can be observed in coronagraph imagery.

Coronal mass ejections are often associated with other forms of solar activity, but a broadly accepted theoretical understanding of these relationships has not been established. CMEs most often originate from active regions on the Sun's surface, such as groupings of sunspots associated with frequent flares. Near solar maxima, the Sun produces about three CMEs every day, whereas near solar minima, there is about one CME every five days.

Regarding the CME, here pointed out, although most of this cloud passed above the Earth, some of it impacted our Earth's magnetosphere and resulted in spectacular auroras being seen at high northern latitudes.

Featured below is a particularly photogenic auroral corona captured above Grotfjord, Norway. To some, this shimmering green glow of recombining atmospheric oxygen might appear as a large eagle, but feel free to share what it looks like to you.

► Source>> https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap161023.html

Image Credit & Copyright: Bjørn Jørgensen

► Visit "Arctic Photo", Bjørn Jørgensen's website>> http://www.arcticphoto.no/index.html

Further reading

► Coronal mass ejection>> http://bit.ly/2blcm17

► Magnetosphere>> http://bit.ly/2fBCfdo

► Auroral corona>> http://bit.ly/2gvjfBS

► Solar maximum>>http://go.nasa.gov/2g76g8R

► Solar minimum>> http://bit.ly/2fBE21Z

#Astrophotography, #Auroras , #APoD , #CoronalMassEjection , #Magnetosphere , #AuroralCorona
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Equinox Sunset

Often inspiring, or offering a moment for contemplation, a sunset is probably the most commonly photographed celestial event. But this uncommonly beautiful sunset picture was taken on a special day, the Equinox on September 22, 2009.
Marking the astronomical change of seasons, on that day Earth dwellers experienced nearly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness (an equal night).
Reflected in the calm waters of Lake Balaton with a motionless sailboat in silhouette, the Sun is setting due west and heading south across the celestial equator.
In the background lies the Benedictine Archabbey of Tihany, Hungary.

► Source>> http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090924.html

► Author: Tamas Ladanyi (TWAN)

Further reading

► Seasons of the Year>> http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Sseason.htm

► Equinoxes>> http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/equinoxes.php

#Astrophootography, #Equinox, #Sunset, #Photographs, #LakeBalaton
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Anything But Black

ESO’s various observatory sites in Chile — Paranal, La Silla, Chajnantor — boast enviably low levels of light pollution. However, the skies overhead are rarely pitch-black!

As shown in this image of Paranal Observatory, the skies regularly display a myriad of colours and astronomical sights, from the plane of the Milky Way shining brightly overhead to the orange-hued speck of Mars (left), the starry constellations of Scorpius and Orion, and the magenta splash of the Carina Nebula (upper middle).
Despite the remote location there are also occasional signs of human activity, for example the sequence of lamps seen in the centre of the frame. These faint lights illuminate the route from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) where this image was taken.

Due to the highly sensitive camera this photograph also showcases a mysterious phenomenon called airglow. The night sky is ablaze with deep red and eerie green hues, caused by the faint glow of Earth’s atmosphere. Because of airglow, no observatory site on Earth could ever be absolutely, completely dark — although ESO’s do come pretty close.

This image was taken by talented astronomer and photographer Yuri Beletsky, a member of the 2016 ESO Fulldome Expedition team. This team visited Chile to gather spectacular images for use in the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre.

Credit: Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

► Source>> http://www.eso.org/public/unitedkingdom/images/potw1638a/

Further reading

► Airglow>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airglow


#Astrophotography, #ESO, #MilkyWay, #constellationScorpius, #constellationOrion, #airglow, #VLT, #VISTA, #Mars, #CarinaNebula
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Southern Craters and Galaxies

The Henbury craters in the Northern Territory, Australia, planet Earth, are the scars of an impact over 4,000 years old.
When an ancient meteorite fragmented into dozens of pieces, the largest made the 180 meter diameter crater whose weathered walls and floor are lit in the foreground of this southern hemisphere nightscape.

The vertical panoramic view follows our magnificent Milky Way galaxy stretching above horizon, its rich central starfields cut by obscuring dust clouds. A glance along the galactic plane also reveals Alpha and Beta Centauri and the stars of the Southern Cross.

Captured in the region's spectacular, dark skies, the Small Magellanic Cloud, satellite of the Milky Way, is the bright galaxy to the left.
Not the lights of a nearby town, the visible glow on the horizon below it is the Large Magellanic Cloud rising.

► Source>> http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap151226.html

Further reading

http://www.passc.net/EarthImpactDatabase/Australia.html

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2016/01/07/babak_tafreshi_photo_of_the_milky_way.html


#Astrophotography, #MilkyWay, #LargeMagellanicCloud, #SouthernCross, #SmallMagellanicCloud, #Henburycraters
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