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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?

Another Cubic Asteroid

This one is 101955 Bennu as featured in Astronomy Picture of the Day for 13/11/2018 and photographed by the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer aka (OSIRIS-REx) on its mission to map the asteroid’s surface.

The video collapses Bernnu’s 4.25 hour day into 7 seconds:-

Space Jellyfish

It’s amazing what some of the images from Astronomy Picture of the Day resemble.

This one is from 20/10/18. The halo round the Cat’s Eye Nebula. I’ve not reproduced it here for copyright reasons but click on the link to see it.

To me it looks like a jellyfish.

The central nebula itself, NGC 6543, looks like this in X-ray and visible light:-

Cat's Eye Nebula

The Moon’s Movements

Taken from You Tube via Astronomy Picture of the Day for 12/9/18.

All the ways the Moon moves in a year. Courtesy of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. For full explanation see the 12/9/18 link.

(The soundtrack they’ve used is Johann Strauss II’s An der schönen blauen Donau known in English as The Blue Danube, which of course brings to mind the docking sequence from the film of 2001: A Space Odyssey.)

Spiral in LL Pegasi

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 28/6/18.

Modern Astronomy provides some amazing sights. Why does the structure in this photo appear as such a perfect spiral?

LL Pegasi Spiral

Charon Then, and Then Again

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 6/7/2018, this is a picture of Pluto’s moon Charon (though which is primary and which satellite when one’s diameter is only twice the other’s is pushing it) taken by the New Horizons probe in its journey through Pluto’s system.

The inset shows the first ever indication of Charon’s existence – a grainy bump on an indistinct photograph from 40 years ago.

Charon

When Galaxies Collide

“Two thousand million or so years ago two galaxies were colliding; or, rather, were passing through each other,” is the first sentence of E E ‘Doc’ Smith‘s Triplanetary, the first in his Lensman series. I read it at an impressionable young age and that sentence has stuck with me ever since, probably because the concept struck my young mind as awesome. (Awesome in the British sense and not as our USian cousins use the term, almost as a throwaway.)

Smith wasn’t the greatest stylist (he wasn’t a stylist at all) and his characterisation was rudimentary but he more or less invented space opera. About the only things I can remember about the Lensman series is that first sentence and the frequently repeated call sign (no doubt modelled on William Joyce as “Lord Haw-Haw“) “This is Helmuth, speaking for Boskone.”

Anyway, this, from Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) for 23/5/18, is a picture of two galaxies (NGC 4038 and NGC 4039) colliding; or, rather, passing through each other, not two thousand million years ago but for the last 100 million at least.

NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 Colliding

The two galaxies are known as the antennae. A wider angle (which was featured on APOD on 29/4/2011) shows why.

The Antennae

Stickney Crater

Stickney Crater is almost half the diameter of the astronomical object of which it forms part of the surface, Mars’s largest moon, Phobos.

This view of it taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter appeared on Astronomy Picture of the Day, on 5/5/18.

It’s a bit weird-looking, possibly due to enhanced colouring, but what an impressive sight!

Stickney Crater, Phobos

The Cartwheel Galaxy

From Astronomy Picture of the Day, for 25/1/2018.

Simply beautiful.

The Cartwheel Galaxy

Fly Through Orion

Courtesy of The Daily Galaxy (and the Hubble Telescope) plus some technological trickery here is a visual fly-through of the Orion Nebula in visible and infra-red light.


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