Blog Posts - Astronomy Galaxies Stars Universe



"A Look to the Heavens"

“Blown by fast winds from a hot, massive star, this cosmic bubble is huge. Cataloged as Sharpless 2-308 it lies some 5,200 light-years away toward the constellation of the Big Dog (Canis Major) and covers slightly more of the sky than a full moon.
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 20, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"To some, it looks like the wheel of a cart. In fact, because of its outward oval appearance, the presence of a central galaxy, and their connection with what looks like the spokes of a wheel, the galaxy on the right is known as the Cartwheel Galaxy.
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 18, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majestic island universe some 200,000 light-years across. Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the chemical constellation Fornax, NGC 1365 is a dominant member of the well-studied Fornax galaxy...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 17, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"A gorgeous spiral galaxy some 100 million light-years distant, NGC 1309 lies on the banks of the constellation of the River (Eridanus). NGC 1309 spans about 30,000 light-years, making it about one third the size of our larger Milky Way galaxy. Bluis...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 15, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Have you ever watched a lightning storm in awe? Join the crowd. Oddly, nobody knows exactly how lightning is produced. What is known is that charges slowly separate in some clouds causing rapid electrical discharges (lightning), but how electrical c...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 14, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“What will become of these galaxies? Spiral galaxies NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 are passing dangerously close to each other, but each is likely to survive this collision. Typically when galaxies collide, a large galaxy eats a much smaller galaxy. In thi...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 13, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Sometimes galaxies form groups. For example, our own Milky Way Galaxy is part of the Local Group of Galaxies. Small, compact groups, like Hickson Compact Group 87 (HCG 87) shown above, are interesting partly because they slowly self-destruct. Inde...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 13, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“South of Antares, in the tail of the nebula-rich constellation Scorpius, lies emission nebula IC 4628. Nearby hot, massive stars, millions of years young, irradiate the nebula with invisible ultraviolet light, stripping electrons from atoms. The e...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 11, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Grand spiral galaxies often seem to get all the glory, flaunting their young, bright, blue star clusters in beautiful, symmetric spiral arms. But small, irregular galaxies form stars too. In fact dwarf galaxy IC 2574 shows clear evidence of intens...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 10, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Not a comet, bright spiral galaxy Messier 51 is popularly known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. Just off the handle of the Big Dipper in northern skies, you can spot it at the upper left in this image from December 1st. Click image for larger size.The...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 8, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"What's happening at the center of elliptical galaxy NGC 4696? There, long tendrils of gas and dust have been imaged in great detail as shown by this recently released image from the Hubble Space Telescope. These filaments appear to connect to the ce...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 7, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“To some, the outline of the open cluster of stars M6 resembles a butterfly. M6, also known as NGC 6405, spans about 20 light-years and lies about 2,000 light years distant. M6 can best be seen in a dark sky with binoculars towards the constellatio...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 6, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Have you ever seen the Pleiades star cluster? Even if you have, you probably have never seen it like this: all dusty. Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the bright stars of the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the de...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 5, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“This wide, sharp telescopic view reveals galaxies scattered beyond the stars of the Milky Way at the northern boundary of the high-flying constellation Pegasus. Prominent at the upper right is NGC 7331. A mere 50 million light-years away, the larg...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 4, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"M78 isn't really hiding in planet Earth's night sky. About 1,600 light-years away and nestled in the nebula rich constellation Orion, the large, bright, reflection nebula is well-known to telescopic skygazers. But this gorgeous image of M78 was sele...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 3, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"These are galaxies of the Hercules Cluster, an archipelago of island universes a mere 500 million light-years away. Also known as Abell 2151, this cluster is loaded with gas and dust rich, star-forming spiral galaxies but has relatively few elliptic...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 2, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are less than 200 left. Many globular clusters were destroyed over the eons b...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Dec 2, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“What is this meteor doing? Dynamically, the unusually short and asymmetric train may indicate that the sand-sized grain at the center of the glow is momentarily spinning as it ablates, causing its path to be slightly spiral. Geographically, the me...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Sep 5, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Moving left to right near the center of this beautifully detailed color composite, the thin, bright, braided filaments are actually long ripples in a sheet of glowing gas seen almost edge on. The interstellar shock wave plows through space at over...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Sep 2, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"The bright light at the end of this country road is actually a remarkably close conjunction of two planets. After sunset on August 27 brilliant Venus and Jupiter almost appear as a single celestial beacon in the night skyscape taken near Lake Wivenh...
by Running 'Cause I Can't Fly on Sep 1, 2016


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