Spaceflight finale: To some this may look like a sunset. But it’s a new dawn.
Super Moon? How About a Super Sun!
“On May 5, 2012, while everyone else was waiting for the “Super Moon” astrophotographer Alan Friedman was out capturing this super image of a super Sun from his back yard in Buffalo, NY!
Taken with a specialized telescope that can image the Sun in hydrogen alpha light, Alan’s photo shows the intricate detail of our home star’s chromosphere — the layer just above its “surface”, or photosphere.
Prominences can be seen rising up from the Sun’s limb in several places, and long filaments — magnetically-suspended lines of plasma — arch across its face. The “fuzzy” texture is caused by smaller features called spicules and fibrils, which are short-lived spikes of magnetic fields that rapidly rise up from the surface of the Sun.
On the left side it appears that a prominence may have had just detached from the Sun’s limb, as there’s a faint cloud of material suspended there.”
6 Martian sunrises, as seen by the HiRISE orbiter. Once again, not artist’s renditions.
Morning on another world.
A fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds, and imposing dark dust lanes surrounds the central region of the active galaxy Centaurus A.
This mosaic of Hubble Space Telescope images taken in blue, green, and red light has been processed to present a natural color picture of this cosmic maelstrom. Infrared images from the Hubble have also shown that hidden at the center of this activity are what seem to be disks of matter spiraling into a black hole with a billion times the mass of the Sun.
The Final Flight of Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery is setting sail one final time today to its final resting place at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. Headed out from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center while riding piggyback on a repurposed Boeing 747 jet airliner, creatively titled “Shuttle Carrier Aircraft”, it’s a great opportunity for a photo-op before the good ol’ girl is retired for good. Fortunately for shuttle fetishists, NASA is constantly uploading new pictures of the journey in real time over here:over at this link. Godspeed, Discovery!
“Just an FYI: Stars in the Universe far outnumber all sounds & words ever uttered by all humans who ever lived.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson
A very important thing to remember.