astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Galaxy in a Crystal Ball

A small crystal ball seems to hold a whole galaxy in this creative snapshot. Of course, the galaxy is our own Milky Way. Its luminous central bulge marked by rifts of interstellar dust spans thousands of light-years. On this long southern hemisphere night it filled dark Chilean skies over Paranal Observatory. The single exposure image did not require a Very Large Telescope, though. Experiments with a digital camera on a tripod and crystal ball perched on a handrail outside the Paranal Residencia produced the evocative, cosmic marble portrait of our home galaxy. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180622.html
astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Northern Lights and Noctilucent Clouds

Skies after the near-solstice sunset on June 17 are reflected in this calm lake. The tranquil twilight scene was captured near Bashaw, Alberta, Canada, northern planet Earth. Usually spotted at high latitudes in summer months, night shining or noctilucent clouds hang just above the horizon, transfusing light into a darker sky. Near the edge of space, the icy apparitions are condensations on meteoric dust or volcanic ash still in sunlight at extreme altitudes. Also near the edge of space on this short northern night, solar activity triggered the lovely apparition of aurora borealis or northern lights. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180621.html
astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Pillars of the Eagle Nebula in Infrared

Newborn stars are forming in the Eagle Nebula. Gravitationally contracting in pillars of dense gas and dust, the intense radiation of these newly-formed bright stars is causing surrounding material to boil away. This image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope in near infrared light, allows the viewer to see through much of the thick dust that makes the pillars opaque in visible light. The giant structures are light years in length and dubbed informally the Pillars of Creation. Associated with the open star cluster M16, the Eagle Nebula lies about 6,500 light years away. The Eagle Nebula is an easy target for small telescopes in a nebula-rich part of the sky toward the split constellation Serpens Cauda (the tail of the snake). via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180620.html
NASA, news, space

NASA to Host Media Teleconference on National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Report

NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, June 20, to discuss a new report detailing U.S. plans for near-Earth objects (NEOs) that could pose a hazard to Earth.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-host-media-teleconference-on-national-near-earth-object-preparedness-report
#NASA #news #photos #space #astronomy

astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Ancients of Sea and Sky

They may look like round rocks, but they’re alive. Moreover, they are modern versions of one of the oldest known forms of life: stromatolites. Fossils indicate that stromatolites appeared on Earth about 3.7 billion years ago — even before many of the familiar stars in the modern night sky were formed. In the featured image taken in Western Australia, only the ancient central arch of our Milky Way Galaxy formed earlier. Even the Magellanic Clouds, satellite galaxies of our Milky Way and visible in the featured image below the Milky Way’s arch, didn’t exist in their current form when stromatolites first grew on Earth. Stromatolites are accreting biofilms of billions of microorganisms that can slowly move toward light. Using this light to liberate oxygen into the air, ancient stromatolites helped make Earth hospitable to other life forms including, eventually, humans. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180619.html
NASA, news, space

NASA, NSF Plunge Into Ocean ‘Twilight Zone’ to Explore Ecosystem Carbon Flow

A large multidisciplinary team of scientists, equipped with advanced underwater robotics and an array of analytical instrumentation, will set sail for the northeastern Pacific Ocean this August.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-nsf-plunge-into-ocean-twilight-zone-to-explore-ecosystem-carbon-flow
#NASA #news #photos #space #astronomy