"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean... Recently, we've managed to wade a little way out, and the water seems inviting." - Carl Sagan
Comet Jacques, Heart and Soul
On July 13th, a good place to watch Comet Jacques was from Venus. Then, the recently discovered visitor (C/2014 E2) to the inner solar system passed within about 14.5 million kilometers of our sister planet. Still, the outbound comet will pass only 84 million kilometers from our fair planet on August 28 and is already a fine target for telescopes and binoculars. Two days ago, Jacques’ greenish coma and straight and narrow ion tail were captured in this telescopic snapshot, a single 2 minute long exposure with a modified digital camera. The comet is flanked by IC 1805 and IC 1848, also known as Cassiopeia’s Heart and Soul Nebulae. If you’re stuck on planet Earth this weekend you can hunt for Comet Jacques in evening skies, or spot a Venus, Jupiter, crescent Moon triangle before the dawn.
Image credit & copyright: Dominique Dierick
Sunlight and shadow combine in this photo of Saturn and its rings
Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
NGC6871 Widefield In Cygnus (hubble Palette)
NGC 6871 is a small, young open cluster in the constellation of Cygnus. The cluster has less than 50 members, most of which are blue and white stars.
Credit: Pegasus Observatory
Seven Sisters: Pleiades
The Seven Sisters, also called the Pleiades or M45, is an open star cluster located about 400 light years away towards the constellation Taurus. It is about 13 light years across and is one of the brightest and closest star clusters to us.
The cluster contains over 3000 stars, most of which are considered middle aged. Surrounding the brighter stars are reflection nebulae, gas and dust reflecting the light from the stars. Also buried in the cluster are faint, low mass brown dwarf stars.
Venus and Jupiter at dawn
On Monday morning, Venus and Jupiter gathered close in dawn skies, for some separated by about half the width of a full moon. It was their closest conjunction since 2000, captured here above the eastern horizon before sunrise. The serene and colorful view is from Istia beach near the city of Capoliveri on the island of Elba. Distant lights and rolling hills are along Italy’s Tuscan coast. Of course, the celestial pair soon wandered apart. Brighter Venus headed lower, toward the eastern horizon and the glare of the Sun, while Jupiter continues to rise a little higher now in the sky near dawn. The two brightest planets meet again next June 30th, in the evening twilight above the western horizon.
Image credit & copyright: Stefano De Rosa
In the center of the Lagoon Nebula
The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible near the image center, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. The tremendously bright nearby star, Herschel 36, lights the area. Walls of dust hide and redden other hot young stars. As energy from these stars pours into the cool dust and gas, large temperature differences in adjoining regions can be created generating shearing winds which may cause the funnels. This picture, spanning about 5 light years, combines images taken by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. The Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8, lies about 5,000 light years distant toward the constellation of Sagittarius.
Image credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, NASA, ESA - Processing & Licence: Judy Schmidt
A spectacular landscape of star formation
This image, captured by the Wide Field Imager at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows two dramatic star formation regions in the southern Milky Way. The first is of these, on the left, is dominated by the star cluster NGC 3603, located 20 000 light-years away, in the Carina–Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The second object, on the right, is a collection of glowing gas clouds known as NGC 3576 that lies only about half as far from Earth.
NGC 3603 is a very bright star cluster and is famed for having the highest concentration of massive stars that have been discovered in our galaxy so far. At the centre lies a Wolf–Rayet multiple star system, known as HD 97950. Wolf–Rayet stars are at an advanced stage of stellar evolution, and start off with around 20 times the mass of the Sun. But, despite this large mass, Wolf–Rayet stars shed a considerable amount of their matter due to intense stellar winds, which blast the star’s surface material off into space at several million kilometres per hour, a crash diet of cosmic proportions.
NGC 3603 is in an area of very active star formation. Stars are born in dark and dusty regions of space, largely hidden from view. But as the very young stars gradually start to shine and clear away their surrounding cocoons of material they become visible and create glowing clouds in the surrounding material, known as HII regions. HII regions shine because of the interaction of ultraviolet radiation given off by the brilliant hot young stars with the hydrogen gas clouds. HII regions can measure several hundred light-years in diameter, and the one surrounding NGC 3603 has the distinction of being the most massive in our galaxy.
NGC 3576, on the right of the image, also lies in the Carina–Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way. But it is located only about 9000 light-years from Earth — much closer than NGC 3603, but appearing next to it in the sky.
NGC 3576 is notable for two huge curved objects resembling the curled horns of a ram. These odd filaments are the result of stellar winds from the hot, young stars within the central regions of the nebula, which have blown the dust and gas outwards across a hundred light-years. Two dark silhouetted areas known as Bok globules are also visible in this vast complex of nebulae. These black clouds near the top of the nebula also offer potential sites for the future formation of new stars.
Image credit: ESO/G. Beccari
alanis: Clouds and shadows on Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 24th May 2012.
Between 28 and 36°S, 284°E, on the arc of highlands that surround the southeast Solis Planum. The crater split between the 2nd and 3rd images is Voeykov, about 75 km across, named for climatologist and geographer Alexander Ivanovich Voeykov (1842-1916). The small, deep crater toward bottom left of the 4th image is Los, named for a village of about 400 people in Gävleborg County, Sweden.
Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and 5 monochrome images for animation. Colour is not balanced naturalistically, and the slightly psychedelic colours of the clouds are a result of mismatches between the images where the clouds have moved between exposures.
Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.
You’re looking at another world. Let that sink in. We will be livestreaming in real time soon…
After contacting Tumblr support I was given an answer shortly afterwards. It turned out to be indeed a mistake. Here is a short excerpt of the message:
Thank you for your note. We’re really sorry - the email you received was due to an automated DMCA notification processing system that may have gone awry. We’re currently investigating the situation and will get back to you with more details about this as soon as possible.
After that I received another email, that cleared up some confusion. Here’s something that everyone should be aware of:
I realize that this is daunting, and the best advice that I can give you is that you should only post copyrighted content on your blog that you are the copyright holder, or that you have permission from the copyright holder to post. Crediting the author or linking to their blog on the post, without permission to post the content, will still leave you vulnerable to copyright notices.
In conclusion, no my account will not be terminated, yes I am still prone to copyright notices, even if the picture is sourced and credited.
Thanks all for your support!
Hello to everyone!
I don’t know exactly how to word this, but it seems like I’m in a bit of a mess. As you can see in the picture above, I’ve been contested several times of copyright infringement (3 times before this) and it appears that this is my final warning.
I love posting on this blog, but ever since these incidents I’ve been more careful with what I post, but to no avail. You may have seen a decrease in the number of posts I make in a day, and that’s exactly because of this reason. Starting from today, you’ll see even less pictures (only those available to public domain) for the good of the blog.
If my account will ever be terminated (I hope not) you will know why. I would regret this very much because I wish to continue forever, but sometimes not all things we wish for are possible.
This particular e-mail did not mention which images have been infringed, however those before had. Two were posted by myself and one reblogged, and I still took the blame for that.
Oh well, I hope I’ll be around for as long as I can, but sadly I cannot make any promises.
geioelle said: Will you create and alternative account or something?
I do have in mind creating a blog on a DIFFERENT platform, but gathering the audience would be a terribly difficult task. For now, I only wish that my tumblr account stays alive.
Several other users have mentioned that this could be a mistake and contact Tumblr support. I wrote an e-mail just now, and I am awaiting a response to clear this up. Thank you all, I will try to do my best to stay here, hehe.
A silver needle in the sky
This stunning new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows part of the sky in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs).
Although this region of the sky is not home to any stellar heavyweights, being mostly filled with stars of average brightness, it does contain five Messier objects and numerous intriguing galaxies — including NGC 5195, a small barred spiral galaxy considered to be one of the most beautiful galaxies visible, and its nearby interacting partner the Whirlpool Galaxy. The quirky Sunflower Galaxy is another notable galaxy in this constellation, and is one of the largest and brightest edge-on galaxies in our skies.
Joining this host of characters is spiral galaxy NGC 4244, nicknamed the Silver Needle Galaxy, shown here in a new image from Hubble. This galaxy spans some 65 000 light-years and lies around 13.5 million light-years away. It appears as a wafer-thin streak across the sky, with its loosely wound spiral arms hidden from view as we observe the galaxy side on. It is part of a group of galaxies known as the M94 Group.
Numerous bright clumps of gas can be seen scattered across its length, along with dark dust lanes surrounding the galaxy’s core. NGC 4244 also has a bright star cluster at its centre. Although we can make out the galaxy’s bright central region and star-spattered arms, we cannot see any more intricate structure due to the galaxy’s position; from Earth, we see it stretched out as a flattened streak across the sky.
Image credit: NASA & ESA; Acknowledgement: Roelof de Jong
Sculpting La Silla’s skies
A rare patch of wispy white clouds streak across the sky over ESO’s La Silla Observatory in this photograph, taken on 11 June 2012 by astronomer Alan Fitzsimmons.
This dry, desolate environment with occasional strong gusts of wind may not be the best place for people to set up home, but it is the ideal location for telescopes. Dry, arid conditions help astronomers to avoid common observing problems like atmospheric disturbance, light pollution, humidity, and (most of the time!) clouds, allowing them to gain a clearer view of the cosmos above. Even on this rare day of cloud the sky had cleared by nightfall and observations took place as usual.
The telescopes that call La Silla home — including two major ESO-operated telescopes: the ESO 3.6-metre telescope and the New Technology Telescope (NTT) — are equipped with state of the art instruments, enabling them to fully exploit the unique viewing conditions in northern Chile.
The ESO 3.6-metre telescope currently operates with the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), an instrument that is dedicated to the discovery of extrasolar worlds. The NTT was a pioneer in active optics, and was the first telescope in the world to have a computer-controlled main mirror.
Image credit: A.Fitzsimmons/ESO
Spectacular Venus-Jupiter conjunction graces the dawn