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.

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)