Archives » Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Galaxy’s Magnetic Field

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 11/3/19.

OK, it’s a manipulated image, magnetic field lines superimposed on visible light (grey) and hydrogen gas (red) pictures of the Cigar Galaxy, more systematically known as M82, but this is an amazing sight.

M82's magnetic field

Red Sprites

Weather phenomena can be very strange indeed.

I found this photograph on Astronomy Picture of the Day for 25/2/19 – which sprinkles the odd meteorological image amongst its astronomical ones.

The photograph shows red sprites – a form of lightning that was only recognised as such 30 years ago.

More information about atmospheric sprites can be found here.

Also on that page is an illustration of different atmospheric electrical phenomena which I reproduce below. These appear to take place at different heights abobe the ground. (Image credited to Abestrobi.)

Upperatmoslight1.jpg
By AbestrobiOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Star Eta Carinae

This is from Astronomy Picture of the Day for 20/2/19.

Eta Carinae is set to explode in a supernova – sometime.

Eta Carinae

The unusual nebula that surrounds it puts me in mind of a one of the sets of atomic orbitals wherein electrons occur round the nucleus of an atom. Specifically a p orbital.

p orbital

Ultima Thule Update

According to Astronomy Picture of the Day for 11/2/19 the asteroid Ultima Thule is not two spheres stuck together as it appeared from the angle at which the New Horizons spacecraft approached it but judging from the way stars reappeared from behind it more like a pancake stuck to a walnut, as represented in the graphic below.

Spiral Galaxy D100

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 28/1/19.

A pretty astonishing structure emanating from said galaxy. A long tail of gas.

Spiral Galaxy D100

The gas has been stripped from the galaxy due to its passage through the hot gas in a cluster of galaxies.

The Sombrero as a Ring

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 1/1/2019. The Sombrero Galaxy (also known as M104) in infra-red:-

Sombrero Galaxy in infra-red

That central portion is much less transparent in visible light – photo from Wikipedia:-

Sombrero Galaxy

NGC 1365

The image of galaxy NGC 1365 on Astronomy Picture of the Day for 28/12/18 is under copyright by Martin Pugh so I shan’t reproduce it here.

But I urge you to pop over via the link on the date.

Why does this remind me of a spider?

Ultima Thule

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 3/1/2019.

Ultime Thule from 28,000 kilometres away. This object is 6.5 billion* kilometres from the Sun. Astounding that we can get to see this.

Ultima Thule

As the pictures continue to stream in they’ll be even better I’m sure.

*(I assume that’s 65,000,000,000 not 65,000,000,000,000.)

Earthrise: Reconstruction

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 23/12/18. A video reconstruction of the famous Earthrise, photographed by Apollo 8’s astronauts, fifty years ago today.

Tadpole Galaxy

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 11/12/18.

A beautiful Hubble Telescope photo of the Tadpole Galaxy:-

Tadpole Galaxy

They could have nicknamed this something else but I suppose discretion prevailed.

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