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Pan from Cassini

Nasa’s Cassini probe has produced an intriguing close-up view of Saturn’s moon Pan.

This photograph is today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Pan from Cassini

Pan orbits inside the the Encke Gap of Saturn’s A-ring but is an odd object indeed.

Exo-Planets in Motion

This is stunning. From Astronomy Picture of the Day, 1/2/2107.

A time-lapse video, taken over seven years, of Four Planets Orbiting Star HR 8799. (The system’s central star itself has been occluded to allow the planets to be seen.)

Making Waves in Saturn’s Rings

From Astronomy Picture of the Day 21/1/2017.

Saturn’s tiny moon Daphnis amid the wave striations and ring gap caused by its presence.

Daphnis

Cartwheel Galaxy

Another stunning picture from the Hubble Space Telescope via Astronomy Picture of the Day, 18/12/2016.

Cartwheel Galaxy

Atmospheric Pluto

A stunning picture taken by the New Horizons probe of a backlit Pluto showing its hazy but stratified atmosphere appeared on Astronomy Picture of the Day on 9/6/16.

Pluto at Night

The Bubble Nebula

This NASA image made from assigning colours to three monochromatic photos taken through the Hubble Telescope was Astronomy Picture of the Day for 22/4/16.

Bubble Nebula

It almost looks like a living cell of some sort.

Charon Fly-over

Yet more fruit from NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft’s visit to Pluto.

An astounding video of Pluto’s moon Charon.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day via You Tube:-

Gravitational Waves

Not only Astronomy Picture of the Day and the Daily Galaxy but also the BBC News majored today on the first detection of gravitational waves.

I first heard of such waves while I was still at University back in the long ago when a Physics Prof at Glasgow University came along to the Alchemists’ Club (as the post-grad Chemists association was called) to tell us all about his research, so it’s been a long time coming.

The discovery is a major confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity certainly but can it really be the opening of a new window onto the universe akin to Galileo’s pointing of a telescope at Jupiter as the TV news had it? Given that the signals are so hard to detect as a result of the disturbances to matter being so small surely the technique cannot become as routine as results from electromagnetic instruments are?

The Origins of Atoms

Here’s a Periodic Table with a difference.

Yes, it lists the elements in the usual way but the information within the boxes is distinctive. It tells where the atoms of each element first came into being whether it was in the big bang – for hydrogen and hydrogen alone – or, for most elements, in stars of varying types, or else by human activity.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 25/1/16:-

APOD 25/1/16

Edit:- I’ve just noticed the table has helium also being produced by the big bang. I’m sure it’s made by fusion in stars, though.

Ceres

Ceres, the largest of the Solar System’s asteroids, has around 150 mysteriously bright spots which are now thought to be composed of a form of hydrated magnesium sulphate.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day 11/12/15 this is the brightest of them:-

Ceres Bright Spot

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