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Cosmic Monster

Part of the Carina Nebula as seen in Astronomy Picture of the Day for 25/5/20.

It looks like something from the cover of a Fantasy novel:-

Part of Carina Nebula

A Barred Spiral Galaxy

Form Astronomy Picture of the Day for 11/6/20, barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300.

Isn’t it lovely?

NGC 1300

The View from Saturn’s Rings

This appears to be an update – or at least a re-angled view – of a picture I posted before.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for 27/5/20, does however show Earth’s Moon better than the previous one:-

Earth and Moon from Saturn

The Largest Canyon in the Solar System

… that we know of, is Valles Marineris on Mars.

It shows up stretching across the centre of Mars in this mosaic image as seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day for 24/5/20.

Valles Marineris is over 3,000 kilometres long, 600km wide and in parts 8km deep. (Compare the Grand Canyon, only 800 kilometers long, 30km across, and 1.8km deep.)

The three round features on the left are the Martian Shield Volcanoes, one of which, Olympus Mons, is the highest mountain in the Solar System.

Valles Marineris on Mars

Celestial Jewel

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 6/4/20.

Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672.

NGC 1672

Has Something Happened to Saturn’s Rings?

Glancing at the image on Astronomy Picture of the Day for 16/3/20 you’d be forgiven for thinking so.

But it’s not Saturn.

It’s the Moon with a cloud partially obscuring it.

“Snow” on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

From You Tube via Astronomy Picture of the Day for 15/3/20. A scene constructed from 33 consecutive still images captured by the Rosetta spacecraft‘s camera over 25 minutes.

It’s not snow but dust and ice particles drifting near the comet’s surface. The brighter specks are most likely cosmic rays though. From the camera’s perspective background stars are moving from top to bottom.

Jupiter’s Magnetic Field

What an odd apparition Jupiter’s magnetic field is, with various magnetic poles. At least as seen from NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

This is from YouTube via Astronomy Picture of the Day for 25/2/20.

Changing Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse is a huge star as can be seen from this graphic from Astronomy Picture of the Day for 1/2/20.

Betelgeuse: relative size

It is so huge it can be imaged from Earth-based telescopes.

Between January and December last year the appearance of the star changed and it also became dimmer. Whether this is a prelude to its imminently going supernova (as it will one day) is a matter for discussion.


Photos from Astronomy Picture of the Day for 17/2/20

A Star’s Bow Wave

Seen in a false-coloured infra-red image on Astronomy Picture of the Day for 2/2/20 this shows the bow wave of runaway star Zeta Oph (centre, blue) travelling at 24 kilometres a second after its more massive companion star exploded and blew it out of the system.

Zeta Oph is 460 light years away and 65,000 times brighter than the Sun. Its true luminosity is obscured by dust though.

Zeta Oph

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