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A Ring Galaxy

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 27/11/19.

This is Hoag’s Object, in a newly reprocessed picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. How this unusual structure formed is something of a mystery. Remarkably within the dark part of the ring you can see another ring galaxy:-

Hoag's Object

Happy Halloween

As no-one ever says round here. (And we Scots invented the damn thing.)

Cheshire Cat galaxy group

The picture above is from Astronomy Picture of the Day for 26/10/2019. It’s a photo of the Cheshire Cat galaxy group – the image is an example of gravitational lensing – but it looks to me more like a Halloween lantern.

Ignore most of the pictures in that lantern link.

A Halloween lantern should never be made from a pumpkin unless you’re North American. Emigrants to that continent adapted one of its native plants to the purpose.

In these islands – well the Scottish and Northern Irish parts anyway, where the tradition continues largely unchanged to this day and from which it was exported with those emigrants before being altered in its new setting – the only proper Halloween lantern is one cut out of a turnip (which our Sassenach neighbours insist on calling a swede.) A turnip is much harder to carve than a pumpkin.

Five Moons of Saturn

I love photographs like this.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 17/10/19.

Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea, not to mention an arc of Saturn’s rings almost end-on. Taken by the Cassini probe.

Five Moons of Saturn

Stellar Glitter

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 13/10/19.

Open cluster NGC 290.

NGC 290


Wow. Just wow.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 12/10/19.

On the left the pale blue dot (Earth) as seen from Saturn. On the right Earth and Moon from Mercury.

Earth from Saturn and Mercury

Galactic Collision

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 9/10/19.

The aftermath of a collision between the two galaxies NGC 7715 (off to left) with NGC 7714 (centre.)

The bright centre of the swirl is due to a burst of star formation triggered by the collision.

Collision of NGC 7715 and NGC 7714

The Jewels in M33

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 3/10/19.

A beautiful jewel-like pinwheel galaxy as shown by its hydrogen emission lines.

M33's Ionised Hydrogen

Islands in the Sky

This is from Astronomy Picture of the Day for 2/10/19.

The blurb calls these molecular clouds. They are in the Carina Nebula.

It looks like an aerial shot (or a map) of an archipelago surrounded by muddy water.

Clouds in the Carina Nebula


18th century French astronomer, Charles Messier, famously compiled a list of astronomical apparitions that were neither stars, planets, nor comets and which he called nebulae. These became known as Messier Objects and include star clusters, galaxies and “proper” nebulae.

Astronomy Picture of the Day featured one such on 29/8/19. The picture is copyright to A Bob Franke so i have not reproduced it here.

Is it just me or does that planetary nebula look like a biological cell as seen through a microscope?

1994 Supernova and Spiral Galaxy

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 4/8/19.

Supernova (bottom left) and sideways -on spiral galaxy

Supernova & Spiral Galaxy

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