Venus Jupiter Conjunction - right now

Several times each decade Venus and Jupiter appear quite close in the sky, as seen here in this 2009 photo from the European Southern Observatory. This arrangement results from all the planets being in the same plane - as the two objects orbit the sun sometimes they wind up close to on a line with the Earth. This year’s conjunction is happening right now, literally - if you have dark sky head out just after sunset and look to the west. This year’s conjunction is also special, as these two night lights are as close together in the sky as they will be for the next 40 years.


Image credit: ESO

Reference/more information:

The Wonders of the Carina Nebula

“This broad image of the Carina Nebula, a region of massive star formation in the southern skies, was taken in infrared light using the HAWK-I camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Many previously hidden features, scattered across a spectacular celestial landscape of gas, dust and young stars, have emerged.”

Credit: ESO/ESO top 100

The Great Tarantula Nebula

This spidery nebula, known as the Tarantula Nebula, is seen in the top center of this cosmic image. If you look to the lower right of the Great Nebula, a web of filaments contain the famous supernova SN 1987A - with its remnants now illuminating these regions. Many other reddish nebulae are visible in the image, as well as a cluster of young stars on the left, known as NGC 2100.

Credit: ESO/R. Fosbury (ST-ECF)


Stars in a Pink Haze - A Stellar Nursery

Here, within the stellar nursery IC 2944, we see a group of thick clouds of dust known as the Thackeray globules (a more specific Bok Globule) silhouetted against the pale pink glowing gas of the nebula. These globules are under fierce bombardment from the ultraviolet radiation from nearby hot young stars within the surrounding emission-type nebula. They are both being eroded away and also fragmenting, rather like lumps of butter dropped onto a hot frying pan. Due to this process, it is likely that Thackeray’s globules will be destroyed before they can collapse and form new stars.

Credit: ESO

p.s. I’m trying a new thing. I’m going to do some inline links to extra sources, let me know how you like it!

M’aiq the Liar

M’aiq the Liar is a very odd character that first appeared in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. He has appeared in every game since–Oblivion, Skyrim, and ESO. He is called M’aiq the Liar because in Morrowind, every line he said was a lie: except the one truth he told that related to the Boethiah’s Quest. The other things M’aiq says are references to the game itself.

Most of M’aiq’s dialogue addresses features of the game that were controversial and, in a playful tone, backs up the designers decisions in making the game. Other lines simply reference the game, like many of those in ESO.

“Wood Elves aren’t made of wood. Sea Elves aren’t made of water. M'aiq still wonders about High Elves.” (ESO)

“M'aiq does not remember his childhood, perhaps he never had one.“  (Skyrim, reference to the lack of Khajiit children in the game)

"M'aiq prefers to adventure alone. Others just get in the way. And they talk, talk, talk.” (Oblivion, reference to the lack of multiplayer)

“Dragons? Oh, they’re everywhere! You must fly very high to see most of them, though. The ones nearer the ground are very hard to see, being invisible.”  (Morrowind, on the lack of dragons)

“Dragons were never gone. They were just invisible, and very very quiet." (Skyrim, referencing the quote above from Morrowind)

"M'aiq’s father was also called M'aiq. As was M'aiq’s father’s father. At least, that’s what his father said." (Skyrim, M’aiq explaining his appearance in three games that span hundreds of years)

All other M’aiq quotes from each game can be found on their respective UESP pages: Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, ESO.