Маяк Анива.jpg

Aniva lighthouse on Sakhalin, Russia


Ermita de San Bartolomé, Parque Natural del Cañón del Río Lobos, Soria, España, 2017-05-26, DD 04-08 PAN.jpg

Hermitage of St Bartholomew, Canyon of the Lobos River Natural Park, province of Soria, Castile and León, Spain. The hermitage was built in the beginning of the 13th century showing the transition from Romanesque to Gothic styles. The temple is located in a remote and quite location inside the Lobos River Canyon, a National Park.



In time stars trace lines through the night sky on a rotating planet. Taken over two hours or more, these digitally added consecutive exposures were made with a camera and wide angle lens fixed to a tripod near Orel farm, Primorsky Krai, Russia, planet Earth. The stars trail in concentric arcs around the planet's south celestial pole below the scene's horizon, and north celestial pole off the frame at the upper right. Combined, the many short exposures also bring out the pretty star colours. Bluish trails are from stars hotter than Earth's Sun, while yellowish trails are from cooler stars. A long time ago this tree blossomed, but now reveals the passage of time in the wrinkled and weathered lines of its remains.


Nezara viridula f. torquata MHNT.jpg

Nezara viridula (Southern green stink bug, brown winter forme), with, on the head, egg of Trichopoda pennipes.



This cosmic vista stretches almost 20 degrees from top to bottom, across the dusty constellation Taurus. It begins at the Pleiades and ends at the Hyades, two star clusters recognized since antiquity in Earth's night sky. At top, the compact Pleiades star cluster is about 400 light-years away. The lovely grouping of young cluster stars shine through dusty clouds that scatter blue starlight. At bottom, the V-shaped Hyades cluster looks more spread out in comparison and lies much closer, 150 light-years away. The Hyades cluster stars seem anchored by bright Aldebaran, a red giant star with a yellowish appearance. But Aldebaran actually lies only 65 light-years distant and just by chance along the line of sight to the Hyades cluster. Faint and darkly obscuring dust clouds found near the edge of the Taurus Molecular Cloud are also evident throughout the celestial scene. The wide field of view includes the dark nebula Barnard 22 at left with youthful star T Tauri and Hind's variable nebula just above Aldebaran in the frame.


Estornino de El Cabo (Lamprotornis nitens), parque nacional Kruger, Sudáfrica, 2018-07-25, DD 56.jpg



View southwest from Ben Lawers, Scottish Highlands, Scotland.jpg

Early morning view to southwest from Ben Lawers: Meall Corranaich on the right, Meall nan Tarmachan on the left. Scottish Highlands, Scotland



It may appear, at first, like the Galaxy is producing the lightning, but really it's the Earth. The featured nighttime landscape was taken from a southern tip of the Italian Island of Sardinia in early June. The foreground rocks and shrubs are near the famous Capo Spartivento Lighthouse, and the camera is pointed south toward Algeria in Africa. In the distance, across the Mediterranean Sea, a thunderstorm is threatening, with several electric lightning strokes caught together during this 25-second wide-angle exposure. Much farther in the distance, strewn about the sky, are hundreds of stars in the neighborhood of our Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy. Furthest away, and slanting down from the upper left, are billions of stars that together compose the central band of our Milky Way.

Free Lecture: APOD editor to speak in NYC on January 3

Three Sisters from Police Creek.jpg

The Three Sisters from Policeman Creek, Canmore, Alberta, Canada. The Three Sisters are a trio of peaks. They are known individually as Big Sister, Middle Sister and Little Sister.



Is this what will become of our Sun? Quite possibly. The first hint of our Sun's future was discovered inadvertently in 1764. At that time, Charles Messier was compiling a list of diffuse objects not to be confused with comets. The 27th object on Messier's list, now known as M27 or the Dumbbell Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the type of nebula our Sun will produce when nuclear fusion stops in its core. M27 is one of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky, and can be seen toward the constellation of the Fox (Vulpecula) with binoculars. It takes light about 1000 years to reach us from M27, featured here in colors emitted by hydrogen and oxygen. Understanding the physics and significance of M27 was well beyond 18th century science. Even today, many things remain mysterious about bipolar planetary nebula like M27, including the physical mechanism that expels a low-mass star's gaseous outer-envelope, leaving an X-ray hot white dwarf.

APOD across world languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese (Beijing), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Farsi, French,
French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Montenegrin, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish and Ukrainian

Puente colgante sobre el cañón Lynn, Vancouver, Canadá, 2017-08-14, DD 10.jpg

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, Lynn Canyon Park, Vancouver, Canada. The bridge, built in 1912, is 50 metres (160 ft) high from the bottom of the canyon.


Black-chested snake-eagle (Circaetus pectoralis).jpg




Why does this galaxy have a ring of bright blue stars? Beautiful island universe Messier 94 lies a mere 15 million light-years distant in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici). A popular target for Earth-based astronomers, the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across, with spiral arms sweeping through the outskirts of its broad disk. But this Hubble Space Telescope field of view spans about 7,000 light-years across M94's central region. The featured close-up highlights the galaxy's compact, bright nucleus, prominent inner dust lanes, and the remarkable bluish ring of young massive stars. The ring stars are all likely less than 10 million years old, indicating that M94 is a starburst galaxy that is experiencing an epoch of rapid star formation. The circular ripple of blue stars is likely a wave propagating outward, having been triggered by the gravity and rotation of a oval matter distributions. Because M94 is relatively nearby, astronomers can better explore details of its starburst ring.

Astrophysicists: Browse 2,000+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library

Dülmen, St.-Viktor-Kirche, Innenansicht -- 2018 -- 0773.jpg

Chapel in the St Viktor Church, Dülmen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany



Looping through the Jovian system in the late 1990s, the Galileo spacecraft recorded stunning views of Europa and uncovered evidence that the moon's icy surface likely hides a deep, global ocean. Galileo's Europa image data has been remastered here, using improved new calibrations to produce a color image approximating what the human eye might see. Europa's long curving fractures hint at the subsurface liquid water. The tidal flexing the large moon experiences in its elliptical orbit around Jupiter supplies the energy to keep the ocean liquid. But more tantalizing is the possibility that even in the absence of sunlight that process could also supply the energy to support life, making Europa one of the best places to look for life beyond Earth. What kind of life could thrive in a deep, dark, subsurface ocean? Consider planet Earth's own extreme shrimp.



Does Mars have a north star? In long exposures of Earth's night sky, star trails make concentric arcs around the north celestial pole, the direction of our fair planet's axis of rotation. Bright star Polaris is presently the Earth's North Star, close on the sky to Earth's north celestial pole. But long exposures on Mars show star trails too, concentric arcs about a celestial pole determined by Mars' axis of rotation. Tilted like planet Earth's, the martian axis of rotation points in a different direction in space though. It points to a place on the sky between stars in Cygnus and Cepheus with no bright star comparable to Earth's north star Polaris nearby. So even though this ruddy, weathered landscape is remarkably reminiscent of terrain in images from the martian surface, the view must be from planet Earth, with north star Polaris near the center of concentric star trails. The landforms in the foreground are found in Qinghai Province in northwestern China.


Soviet POWs.jpg

80 years ago on this day, the Winter War began when the Soviet Union invaded Finland. The war was fought in temperatures down to −43 °C (−45 °F). In the photograph, Soviet prisoners of war dressed in new clothes near the Arctic Circle at Rovaniemi, Finland, during the war on 6 January 1940.



Looping through the Jovian system in the late 1990s, the Galileo spacecraft recorded stunning views of Europa and uncovered evidence that the moon's icy surface likely hides a deep, global ocean. Galileo's Europa image data has been remastered here, using improved new calibrations to produce a color image approximating what the human eye might see. Europa's long curving fractures hint at the subsurface liquid water. The tidal flexing the large moon experiences in its elliptical orbit around Jupiter supplies the energy to keep the ocean liquid. But more tantalizing is the possibility that even in the absence of sunlight that process could also supply the energy to support life, making Europa one of the best places to look for life beyond Earth. What kind of life could thrive in a deep, dark, subsurface ocean? Consider planet Earth's own extreme shrimp.


Nürnberg St. Lorenz Keyper-Epitaph 01.jpg

The lamentation over the dead Christ by Michael Wolgemut († 30 November 1519). Epitaph for Georg Keyper in St. Lorenz Church Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany.



This week's ongoing conjunction of Venus and Jupiter may have whetted your appetite for skygazing. Tonight is the main course though. On November 28, a young crescent Moon will join them posing next to the two bright planets above the western horizon at twilight. Much like tonight's visual feast, this night skyscape shows a young lunar crescent and brilliant Venus in the western evening twilight on October 29. The celestial beacons are setting over distant mountains and the Minya monastery, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China, planet Earth. Then Mercury, not Jupiter, was a celestial companion to Venus and the Moon. The fleeting innermost planet is just visible here in the bright twilight, below and left of Venus and near the center of the frame. Tomorrow, November 29, the crescent Moon will also help you spot planet Saturn for desert.


Cucurbita 2018 G1.jpg

Squashes Cucurbita maxima (red) and butternut squashes Cucurbita moschata (yellow-orange), ripe fruits. Ukraine, Vinnytsia raion.