astronomy

Joshua Tree National Park’s iconic Joshua Trees come in many shapes and sizes. No two are the same. This one is trying to imitate the Milky Way.

Explore Joshua Tree’s unique landscape and photograph the park’s dark skies this Saturday (May 23). An all-night Instameet will give skilled and amateur photographers the chance to capture amazing pics of Joshua Tree’s starry nights. The meetup starts at 8 pm at the park’s Cap Rock. Photo courtesy of Juan Moreno.

New record broken! 

NASA discovered a remote galaxy shining with the light of more than 300 trillion suns. It is the most luminous galaxy found to date and belongs to a new class of objects recently discovered by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) – extremely luminous infrared galaxies.

More info: http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-wise-spacecraft-discovers-most-luminous-galaxy-in-universe

Carina Nebula landscapes

[top] - An approximately one-light-year tall “pillar” of cold hydrogen towers above the wall of the molecular cloud. The 2.5-million-year-old star cluster called Trumpler 14 appears at the right side of the image. A small nugget of cold molecular hydrogen, called a Bok globule, is silhouetted against the star cluster.

[middle] - Detailed view of the central portion of the Carina Nebula near the so-called Keyhole Nebula.

[bottom] - These great clouds of cold hydrogen resemble summer afternoon thunderheads. They tower above the surface of a molecular cloud on the edge of the nebula. So-called “elephant trunk” pillars resist being heated and eaten away by blistering ultraviolet radiation from the nebula’s brightest stars.

Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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Saturn: Crash Course Astronomy #18 By CrashCourse

Saturn is the crown jewel of the solar system, beautiful and fascinating. It is a gas giant, and has a broad set of rings made of ice particles. Moons create gaps in the rings via their gravity. Saturn has dozens of moons, including Titan, which is as big as Mercury and has a thick atmosphere and lakes of methane; and Enceladus which has an undersurface ocean and eruptions of water geysers. While we are still uncertain, it is entirely possible that either or both moons may support life.