Many stargazers are familiar with the giant Orion Molecular Cloud, a vast star-making complex some 1,300 light years away that harbours, among many other celestial objects, the Great Orion Nebula. But there’s a closer, lesser known molecular cloud quietly churning out new stars just 430 light years away towards the constellation Taurus. The Taurus Molecular Cloud, or TMC-1, is smaller and less dense than Orion but it still intrigues professional astronomers. The complex contains hundreds of solar masses of dust and gas and all sorts of complex organic molecules formed out of the soot of long-dead stars [Read more…] about The Taurus Molecular CloudShare This:
Astronomy Images and Video
Beautiful and interesting images and video of the night sky including stars, planets, the Milky Way, and deep-sky objects taken through a camera lens or through a telescope.
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck
On December 21, 2018 at 22:23 Universal Time, the Sun reaches the December solstice, its most southern point on the ecliptic. This marks the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere and the first day of summer in the southern hemisphere [Read more…] about The Golden Light of a Winter SolsticeShare This:
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:
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.)