After a cloudy night, the sky cleared as dawn arrived on a late summer morning as seen from Bruneau Dunes State Park in southern Idaho on September 8, 2018. Here you see a very slender waning crescent Moon to the upper left of the star Regulus. Mercury is at the lower middle of this image, just above the clouds. Just minutes earlier, the constellation Orion tried to peak through the early-morning clouds (see below) [Read more…] about Dawn Sky – Crescent Moon, Mercury, Regulus, and OrionShare This:
When it comes to observing the stars and other sights beyond our solar system, there’s always something new to see. But once you see it, chances are it’s not going to chance much in the coming years. That’s because things move slowly in the cosmos, at least compared to a human lifetime.
There are, however, a few exceptions. One of the most important for astronomers is the nearby binary star called 70 Ophiuchi, a little gem in the asterism known as Taurus Poniatowski in the constellation Ophiuchus. It’s a beautiful star for casual stargazers armed with a small telescope. Serious stargazers can watch over the course of a year or two to detect the motion of the two components as they slowly revolve around each other during their 88-year period. It’s one of the few double stars that make a complete revolution within the course of a human lifetime [Read more…] about A Speedy Little Double StarShare This:
Astronomers have a reasonably good handle on what happens during a supernova, an immense stellar detonation that occurs when a massive star that’s run out of fuel collapses and explodes with the brightness of 10 billion suns . These events are relatively rare, with just one or two each year, on average, in a galaxy the size of our Milky Way. While the math and physics of a supernova explosion are reasonably well understood, it’s up to visual artists and computer-generated imagery (CGI) experts to help us visualize a supernova explosion in all its glorious violence and complexity [Read more…] about Simulating a Supernova in an AquariumShare This:
The folks at NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, MD, have put together a glorious video of an accelerated sunrise and sunset on the Moon that will reward you with some of the finest images ever taken of our nearest neighbor, and perhaps inspire you to see some of these features with your own telescope. NASA set this visualization of sunrises and sunsets on the Moon to the strains of Claude Debussy’s most famous work, Clair de Lune. Watch the whole thing. It’s a great way to spend a few minutes.
From NASA’s notes [Read more…] about Lunar Sunrise, Lunar SunsetShare This:
The outer rim of the Milky Way as seen in late summer towards the constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus.
“Peer at things up close and you may learn their true form
but guessed at from afar, they seem like something else.
Vastness such as this is beyond comprehension:
all I can do is sigh in endless wonder”. – Su Tung-P’o (1060 A.D.)