The Blue Horsehead Nebula looks quite different in infrared light. In visible light, the reflecting dust of the nebula appears blue and shaped like a horse's head. In infrared light, however, a complex labyrinth of filaments, caverns, and cocoons of glowing dust and gas emerges, making it hard to even identify the equine icon. The featured image of the nebula was created in three infrared colors (R=22, G=12, B=4.6 microns) from data taken by NASA's orbiting Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. The nebula is cataloged as IC 4592 and spans about 40 light years, lying about 400 light years away toward the constellation Scorpius along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. IC 4592 is fainter but covers an angularly greater region than the better known Horsehead Nebula of Orion. The star that predominantly illuminates and heats the dust is Nu Scorpii, visible as the yellow star left of center.


Pelícano pardo de las Galápagos (Pelecanus occidentalis urinator), Punta Pitt, isla de San Cristóbal, islas Galápagos, Ecuador, 2015-07-24, DD 81.JPG

Exemplar of brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.


Did you see it? One of the more common questions during a meteor shower occurs because the time it takes for a meteor to flash is typically less than the time it takes for a head to turn. Possibly, though, the glory of seeing bright meteors shoot across and knowing that they were once small granules on another world might make it all worthwhile, even if your observing partner(s) could not share in every particular experience. Peaking late tonight, a dark sky should enable the Lyrids meteor shower to exhibit as many as 20 visible meteors per hour from some locations. In the featured composite of nine exposures taken during the 2012 shower, a bright Lyrid meteor streaks above picturesque Crater Lake in Oregon, USA. Snow covers the foreground, while the majestic central band of our home galaxy arches well behind the serene lake. Other meteor showers this year -- and every year -- include the Perseids in mid-August and the Leonids in mid-November.


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Panorama of the Imperial Academy of Arts building in Saint Petersburg, Russia.


NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) began its search for planets orbiting other stars by leaving planet Earth on April 18. The exoplanet hunter rode to orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 is so designated for its 9 Merlin first stage engines seen in this sound-activated camera close-up from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. In the coming weeks, TESS will use a series of thruster burns to boost it into a high-Earth, highly elliptical orbit. A lunar gravity assist maneuver will allow it to reach a previously untried stable orbit with half the orbital period of the Moon and a maximum distance from Earth of about 373,000 kilometers (232,000 miles). From there, TESS will carry out a two year survey to search for planets around the brightest and closest stars in the sky.


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A port security boat assigned to Martime Expeditionary Squadron (MSRON) 1 patrols the waters near Kuwait Naval Base. MSRON-1 is deployed supporting maritime security operations and port security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Galapagos Islands

"The Enchanted Islands of #Ecuador – the Galápagos," were photographed by @astro_ricky, NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold, currently aboard the International Space Station with the Expedition 55 crew. This view from more than 200 miles above our Earth shows the cloud-covered Galápagos Islands and sunglint in the waters off the coast of Ecuador on April 13, 2018, as the station orbited above the Pacific Ocean.

Image Credit: NASA


Source: www.nasa.gov

Have you seen the Moon lately? On April 18, its waxing sunlit crescent moved through planet Earth's night across a background of stars in the Hyades. Anchored by bright star Aldebaran, the nearby, V-shaped star cluster and complete lunar orb appear in this telephoto image. The engaging skyview is actually digitally composed from a series of varying exposures. Recorded in 1/60th of a second, the shortest in the series captures the Moon's bright crescent in sharp detail. Longer exposures, ranging up to 15 seconds, capture fainter background stars as well as earthshine, visible to the eye as the earthlit lunar night side.


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A tape head cleaner cassette made of clear hard plastic. The plastic is birefringent and demonstrates internal stress as coloured patterns (photoelasticity) when photographed using cross polarisation. The polarising light source (an LCD monitor) has been rotated such that the polarising filter on the lens is oppositely oriented and so cuts out all the direct light, leaving a black background.

Photoelasticity - TDK Head Cleaner - Black background.jpg

A tape head cleaner cassette made of clear hard plastic. The plastic is birefringent and demonstrates internal stress as coloured patterns (photoelasticity) when photographed using cross polarisation. The polarising light source (an LCD monitor) has been rotated such that the polarising filter on the lens is oppositely oriented and so cuts out all the direct light, leaving a black background.

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Salvatore Puccio from Sky team \xe2\x80\x93 1st stage Tour of Slovenia 2015. Time trial on the streets of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Cirrus front over Austnesfjorden, Austv\xc3\xa5g\xc3\xb8ya, Lofoten, Norway, 2015 April.jpg

A Cirrus fibratus cloud front on evening sky as seen over Austnesfjorden from Sildpollneset in Austv\xc3\xa5g\xc3\xb8ya, Lofoten, Norway in April 2015.

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View of the Castle of Zafra, Campillo de Due\xc3\xb1as, Guadalajara, Spain. The castle was built in the late 12th or early 13th centuries on a sandstone outcrop and stands on the site of a former Visigothic and Moorish fortification that fell into Christian hands in 1129. It had considerable strategic importance as a virtually impregnable defensive work on the border between Christian and Muslim-ruled territory. The castle was never conquered and was successfully defended against the King of Castile in the 13th century. The successful completion of the Reconquista at the end of the 15th century ended its military significance.

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A MK-46 exercise torpedo is launched from the deck of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) during a torpedo launch exercise in Philippine Sea.

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Panorama of the Tobolsk Kremlin from the Cape Chukman. Tobolsk, Russia.

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Indosylvirana urbis, Urban Golden-backed Frog, is a species of frog known only in the southern Western Ghats in Kerala. Here it is resting comfortably in the pink colored boat-shaped bract of the Curcuma angustifolia (East Indian Arrowroot) flower.

Photoelasticity - TDK Head Cleaner - Black background.jpg

A tape head cleaner cassette made of clear hard plastic. The plastic is birefringent and demonstrates internal stress as coloured patterns (photoelasticity) when photographed using cross polarisation. The polarising light source (an LCD monitor) has been rotated such that the polarising filter on the lens is oppositely oriented and so cuts out all the direct light, leaving a black background.

aqua, magenta, black, colorful clouds in space

This colorful image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, celebrates the Earth-orbiting observatory’s 28th anniversary of viewing the heavens, giving us a window seat to the universe’s extraordinary stellar tapestry of birth and destruction. At the center of this image is a monster young star 200,000 times brighter than our Sun that is blasting powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds, carving out a fantasy landscape of ridges, cavities, and mountains of gas and dust.

This mayhem is all happening at the heart of the Lagoon Nebula, a vast stellar nursery located 4,000 light-years away, visible in binoculars as merely a smudge of light with a bright core.

The giant star, called Herschel 36, is bursting out of its natal cocoon of material, unleashing blistering radiation and torrential stellar winds, which are streams of subatomic particles, that push dust away in curtain-like sheets. This action resembles the Sun bursting through the clouds at the end of an afternoon thunderstorm.

Herschel 36’s violent activity has blasted holes in the bubble-shaped cloud, allowing astronomers to study this action-packed stellar breeding ground. The hefty star is 32 times more massive and 40,000 times hotter than our Sun, and is nearly nine times our Sun’s diameter. Herschel 36 is still very active because it is young by a star’s standards, only 1 million years old. Based on its mass, it will live for another 5 million years. In comparison, our smaller Sun is 5 billion years old and will live another 5 billion years.

The image shows a region of the nebula measuring about 4 light-years across.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI


Source: www.nasa.gov

Blown by the wind from a massive star, this interstellar apparition has a surprisingly familiar shape. Cataloged as NGC 7635, it is also known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Although it looks delicate, the 7 light-year diameter bubble offers evidence of violent processes at work. Above and left of the Bubble's center is a hot, O-type star, several hundred thousand times more luminous and some 45 times more massive than the Sun. A fierce stellar wind and intense radiation from that star has blasted out the structure of glowing gas against denser material in a surrounding molecular cloud. The intriguing Bubble Nebula and associated cloud complex lie a mere 7,100 light-years away toward the boastful constellation Cassiopeia. This sharp, tantalizing view of the cosmic bubble is a composite of Hubble Space Telescope image data from 2016, reprocessed to present the nebula's intense narrowband emission in an approximate true color scheme.


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Salvatore Puccio from Sky team - 1st stage Tour of Slovenia 2015. Time trial on the streets of Ljubljana, Slovenia.


What planet is this? It is the only planet currently known to have trees. The trees in Deadvlei, though, have been dead for over 500 years. Located in Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia (Earth), saplings grew after rainfall caused a local river to overflow, but died after sand dunes shifted to section off the river. High above and far in the distance, the band of our Milky Way Galaxy forms an arch over a large stalk in this well-timed composite image, taken last month. The soil of white clay appears to glow by reflected starlight. Rising on the left, under the Milky Way's arch, is a band of zodiacal light -- sunlight reflected by dust orbiting in the inner Solar System. On the right, just above one of Earth's larger sand dunes, an astute eye can find the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our galaxy. Finding the Small Magellanic Cloud in the featured image, though, is perhaps too hard.