Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Fomalhaut’s Debris Disc


(ESO PoTW) –

Fomalhaut is one of the brightest stars in the sky. At roughly 25 light-years away the star lies especially close to us, and can be seen shining brightly in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus (The Southern Fish). This image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows Fomalhaut (centre) encircled by a ring of dusty debris — this is the first time this scene has been captured at such high resolution and sensitivity at millimetre wavelengths. …

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ESO potw1721a: Fomalhaut debris disc

True Shape of the Boomerang


(ESO PoTW) – This picture shows the Boomerang Nebula, a protoplanetary nebula,  as seen by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The background purple structure, as seen in visible light with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a classic double-lobe shape with a very narrow central region. ALMA’s ability to see the cold molecular gas reveals the nebula’s more elongated shape, in orange. …

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ESO PoTW 1724a: Boomerang Nebula, by ALMA

Saturn, From Earth


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

That shot is not from the Cassini spacecraft. It was taken on June 11, 2017, using a 106 cm (42”) telescope located at the renowned Pic du Midi Observatory, located in the French Pyrénées. It’s at an elevation of nearly 3000 meters, and has an unusually steady air flow past it. That’s important: A steady atmosphere means less twinkling, less distortion of the light from astronomical objects. That means images taken there have very high resolution, and I’ve always been very impressed with what I’ve seen coming from that location. …

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Damian Peach, Emil Kraaikamp e.a.:Saturn on 2017-06-11, from Pic du Midi

The Best of Cassini


(Atlantic Photos) – Alan Taylor:

This September, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will take its final measurements and images as it plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere at 77,000 miles per hour, burning up high above the cloud tops. Launched in 1997, Cassini traveled 2.2 billion miles in seven years to reach Saturn and enter orbit. Over the past 13 years, Cassini’s instruments have returned countless priceless scientific observations and hundreds of thousands of images of the Saturnian system – its atmosphere, its 60+ moons, its vast rings, and much more. Gathered here are 40 of the most amazing images sent to us from Cassini, as we prepare for this epic mission to come to an end in just a few months. …

theatlantic 2017/06 best-of-cassini

Cassini at Saturn

Summer Comes to Saturn


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, summer arrived for Saturn. Well, its northern hemisphere, at least. …

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Saturn's North Pole, by Cassini

Cassini’s ‘Grand Finale’ Saturn portrait


(Planetary) – In the early hours of April 13, 2017, Cassini captured this breathtaking and unique visage of the Saturnian system as it coasted through space in the shadow of the gas giant.

All components of the main ring system are visible, seen here illuminated from behind: a vantage point technically known as a ‘high-phase angle’. In this geometry, a peculiar reversal happens: the thinner and more translucent rings shine out brightly, while the more opaque and thicker regions are relatively dark.

Only two moons — Janus and Mimas — can be picked out in this uncalibrated and compressed data, in addition to a red-giant star in the constellation of Gemini: Tejat (μ Gem). …

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Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Saturn portrait (April 13, 2017)

March of the Milky Way


(National Geographic::No Place Like Home) – Nadia Drake:

Photographer Christian Sasse captures rare views of the galaxy as it spirals over southern Australia. …

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Christian Sasse: Milky Way march over Australia

Saturn’s Propellers


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

Having orbited Saturn now for nearly 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft has sent some pretty amazing images back to Earth. Of course, the planet, itself, the moons, and the rings have provided us with stunning portraits, but there’s been a lot of truly weird stuff as well. Like propellers. …

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Saturn's propellers, by Cassini

The Big Dipper over Chile


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

The Big Dipper is more than just a celestial boreal icon. Except for Dubhe and the last star in the tail, called Alkaid, the other stars are all at about the same distance from us, and physically associated with each other. They’re called the Ursa Major Association (or cluster), after the constellation the Big Dipper is part of. Those stars are all about 80 light years from us (Alkaid is about 100, and Dubhe 120). …

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Yuri Beletsky: Big Dipper over Chile

March For Science


(BuzzFeed) – Tamerra Griffin:

These March For Science signs are so wonderfully nerdy. …

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March for Science