On April 15, 2013, the cameras on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft photographed a strange kink at the edge of Saturn’s A ring. Carl Murray, an astronomer at Queen Mary University of London and member of Cassini’s imaging team, spotted it a few days later. He said this week at the 2013 American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco that he’d personally never seen anything like it before. He said that – because he was analyzing the images on April 19, the same day as his mother-in-law’s 80th birthday – he decided to named the mystery object Peggy, in her honor.
Remember how on Star Trek, you’d always see each new planet in that big view screen on the bridge of the starship? Check out this starship-like view of Earth, taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it flew past Earth on October 9, 2013.
Astronomers released this photo yesterday (December 9, 2013) of M82, one of the best known galaxies to both amateur and professional observers. They used new equipment on the National Science Foundation’s Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to obtain this photo, and they say some details in the photo have never been observed previously. For example, streamers of material (in red) are seen fleeing the disk of the galaxy, while concentrations of dense molecular gas (yellow and red) surround pockets of intense star formation.
Brrrr! Sunrise over a frozen marsh in Birch Bay, Washington. Thank you to Chris Williams Exploration Photography for sharing this cool photo!
On December 3, 2013, astronomers from the U.S. and Japan used a wide-field camera on the orbiting Subaru Telescope to capture this beautiful image of the tail of Comet Lovejoy. At that time, the comet was 50 million miles (80 million km) from Earth and 80 million miles (130 million km) from the sun. As Comet ISON has fizzled, Comet Lovejoy has become a big attraction to those willing to search for it in dark skies of Earth.
Multi-layered lenticular cloud hovers near the Mount Discovery volcano in this photo taken from a NASA research flight over Antarctica.
Have you ever been outside on a clear night and had the unexpected pleasure of seeing a shooting star go whizzing by? Ever wanted to try and capture a shooting star – also called a meteor – with your camera? In this post, I’ll tell you the equipment you need, and also the steps you should follow, to capture your very own meteor. Follow the links below to learn more about how to shoot photos of meteors, or shooting stars.
Places where hot new stars are born and die – and sculpt their surroundings into odd shapes – in the dwarf galaxy orbiting our own Milky Way.
As Comet ISON is approaching the sun this week, it cannot be seen from Earth, but it’s coming into the field of view of a whole fleet of ESA and NASA space-based observatories.
The Crab Nebula, by EarthSky Facebook friend Fernando Roquel Torres