1. Mare Humorum, from a study made in 1875. 2. The Planet Mars, observed September 3, 1877. 3. Aurora Borealis, observed March 1, 1872. 4. Star Clusters in Hurcules, from a study made in June, 1877. 5. The Planet Jupiter, observed November 1, 1880. 6. The Great Nebula in Orion, from a study made in the years 1875-76. 7. The Zodiacal Light, observed February 20, 1876. 8. Total Eclipse of the Sun, observed in Wyoming, July 29, 1878. 9. Partial Eclipse of the Moon, observed October 24, 1874. 10. The Planet Saturn, observed on November 30, 1874.
Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, passed away Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla., on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing. Mitchell was the sixth man to walk on the Moon.
“To me, that (spaceflight) was the culmination of my being, and what can I learn from this? What is it we are learning? That’s important, because I think what we’re trying to do is discover ourselves and our place in the cosmos, and we don’t know. We’re still looking for that.” - Edgar Mitchell in 1997 interview for NASA’s oral history program.
hubble’s panorama of the carina nebula, some 7500 light years away from earth, and about fifty light years in length here. stars old and new illuminate clouds of cosmic dust and gas, like the clumping hydrogen from which they were born.
the top star seen at the bisection of the first two panels, part of the eta carinae binary star system (most stars are in binary systems), is estimated to be more than a hundred times the mass of the sun - large enough to go supernoava in about a million years.
it also produces four million times as much light as the sun, and was once the second brightest star in the night sky. but surrounding dust and gas has dimmed our view of the star, though it’s still visible in the night sky to all but those in the most light polluted cities.
he fifth panel shows ‘the mystic mountain,’ where nascent stars in the cloud are spewing hot ionized gas and dust at 850,000 miles an hour . eventually, the ultraviolet radiation from these stars will blow away the dust, leaving visible the stars, like the cluster seen at the top of the panel, which were formed only half a million years ago.
Comet Meets Moon and Morning Star : A crescent Moon and brilliant Venus met in predawn skies on December 7, a beautiful conjunction of planet Earths two brightest celestial beacons after the Sun. Harder to see but also on the scene was Comet Catalina . The fainter comet clearly sporting two tails, lunar night side, bright sunlit lunar crescent, and brilliant morning star, are all recorded here by combining short and long exposures of the same field of view. Pointing down and right, Catalinas dust tail tends to trail behind the comets orbit. Its ion tail, angled toward the top left of the frame, is blowing away from the Sun. Discovered in 2013, the new visitor from the Oort cloud was closest to the Sun on November 15 and is now outbound, headed for its closest approach to Earth in mid-January. via NASA
When Gemini Sends Stars to Paranal : From a radiant point in the constellation of the Twins, the annual Geminid meteor shower rain down on planet Earth. Tonight, the Geminds reach their peak and could be quite spectacular. The featured blended image, however, captured the showers impressive peak in the year 2012. The beautiful skyscape collected Geminis lovely shooting stars in a careful composite of 30 exposures, each 20 seconds long, from the dark of the Chilean Atacama Desert over ESOs Paranal Observatory. In the foreground Paranals four Very Large Telescopes, four Auxillary Telescopes, and the VLT Survey telescope are all open and observing. The skies above are shared with bright Jupiter , and the faint light of the Milky Way. Dust swept up from the orbit of active asteroid 3200 Phaethon, Geminis meteors enter Earths atmosphere traveling at about 22 kilometers per second. via NASA