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HST image of NGC 3603 Sher 25 is the bright star at the 1 o39clock

HST image of NGC 3603 Sher 25 is the bright star at the 1 o39clock

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HST image of NGC 3603. Sher 25 is the bright star at the 1 o'clock position relative to the center of the cluster, between two patches of nebula and with a ...

Extreme star cluster bursts into life in new Hubble image

NGC3603-VLT-FORS.jpg. NGC 3603 ...

NGC3603 core.jpg. B is the brightest star ...

WIRED Space Photo of the Day 2013

See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available. NGC 3603: ...

A mini star factory lost in the sky

Infrared image showing Betelgeuse's bow shock

Hubble imge of NGC 2082; click to engalactinate.

The Triangulum Galaxy, writ large

Arachnophilia

That's close enough to resolve individual stars in the galaxy, as you can see in this really pretty Hubble image of it:

You really want to click that to get the very beefy 4000 x 4000 pixel (11 Mb) version. It'll knock your socks off! This Hubble image shows NGC ...

A vast, cosmic cloudy brain looms in a nearby galaxy

Andromeda's majestic spray of billions of hot stars

Which is why I present to you NGC 4183, a very nearly edge-on spiral in the constellation of Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs:

hst_pgc39058

In the dark abyss, a slightly warped mirror on the Milky Way

hst_ugc12158

The deepest image ever taken, using STIS on Hubble

To grasp a billion stars

So I'll start by showing it to you. Behold, Sharpless 2-106:

It's so small and faint it wasn't even discovered until 1977 even though it's one of the closest galaxies in the sky! How did it avoid detection so long?

Which brings us to the weird little galaxy I Zwicky 18, which is so odd-looking I thought at first this Hubble image of it was a drawing!

This picture is brought to you by the good folks of Hubble Space Telescope. Click it to get the galactinated 4000 x 2200 pixel version.

WR 31a is surrounded by a blue bubble nebula created by a powerful stellar wind impacting material expelled during earlier stages of the star's life.

Eta Carinae is the brightest star, on the left side.

The R136 cluster. WR 25

... carrying HST into orbit and into history. In honor of this anniversary, astronomers have released a new image of the interacting galaxies Arp 273, ...

Followup on the star torn apart by a black hole: Hubble picture

Hubble image of Arp 147

hst_20th_carina

You can see dozens of smaller galaxies crowding the frame. Those are background galaxies much, much farther away than NGC 1345.

With that in mind, I present to you LAB-1: a glowing glob of gas as seen by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope:

Chandra image of a pulsar nebula

GRBs are monumental explosions, the exploding of a massive star where most of the energy of the catastrophe is channeled into twin beams ...

Biggest stellar mass black hole found

The Helix has pink eye

This one (called WISE 1828+2650 if you're playing brown dwarf bingo), spotted by WISE, has a surface temperature of 25° Celsius — that's 80° Fahrenheit!

A lot of these new stars are hot and massive (and blue, right?), blasting out tremendous winds of particles, like a solar wind on cosmic steroids.

Stunning Jupiter and Io picture: here's the scoop

exoplanet_2m1207b

Tag: Dragonfish nebula

GOODS_deepfield

[Click to embiggen, or get ...

A taste of WISE galaxies

The Angry Red Galaxy

barnards_star_split

You might want to look at ...

They used Hubble to look at stars in Andromeda's halo, the extended fuzzy region outside the main body of the galaxy. By very carefully measuring the ...

Part of that is because I spent years researching other types of gaseous clouds, but also because they're just so darn pretty, like this shot of NGC 371:

A new paper just published by a team of planet-hunters shows that theoretically speaking, not only can Alpha Centauri have planets, it should have them.

In this case, though, there's another star in close orbit: a swollen red giant, another star nearing the end of its life. The actual physics is quite ...

chandra_vla_m87

Any amateur astronomer on this planet can identify the picture at the left in a heartbeat. That's an optical picture of the Orion nebula, one taken using ...

Cepheids in NGC 3021

If you look to the left and a bit below the cluster's center, though, a blue glow sticks out among all the red. If you do grab the seriously super high-res ...

You may have already seen this image; it's all over the blogosphere, as cool Hubble images tend to propagate quickly. Truly, it is amazing (it's actually a ...

The dying star T Leporis, compared to the orbit of the Earth.

Astronomers announced today the discovery of at least four — and as many as six — planets orbiting two nearby stars. These planets are relatively low mass, ...

Desktop Project Part 2: Unicorn, rainbow… soot?

Fermi at 2: still rocking the high-energy sky

In fact, there may be nearly twice as many of these free floating planets as there are stars themselves in our galaxy, and they may even outnumber planets ...

BAFact Math: The Sun is 400,000 times brighter than the full Moon

This image of Uranus and its rings was taken using the monster 10 meter Keck telescope in Hawaii. It's a near-infrared image. The bright ring is the epsilon ...

These are typically compact, fantastically-shaped baubles caused the winds blown from stars as they die.

The inset image here is from my friend Travis Rector. It covers roughly the top 2/3 of the picture above, but shows only the light that we can see with our ...

sgr1806_magfieldart

Ring around the Moon

Keck image of a gravitational lens that looks like an eye

Reflecting on the ISS

WISE finds the very first Earth Trojan asteroid

Venus is shrouded in clouds, making it relatively featureless when you look at it through a telescope. However, if you use a filter that lets in ultraviolet ...

examiner_ufo_dec20102

Not being a point-like source of light like stars, it has a dreamier, fuzzier quality. Again, from the video, here's a single exposure from that series:

Ah, but appearances can be deceiving: I had to lower the resolution way down to fit my blog. Way down.

Chandra X-ray image of NGC 4649

Huge lakes of water may exist under Europa's ice

newhorizons_galileanmoons

spitzer_planet_smash

The King and Queen of the Planets

Ha! That's the name of a spiral galaxy I've written about once or twice before. Even thrice. And it's appropriate, given how prominently our own galaxy ...

See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available. Sher 25: ...

AAS #5: Galaxies grow from black hole seeds

You can see it there, the red twisty worm at the upper left, across the glow of the Milky Way [click to enbolidenate.]

That image above is from even earlier, and shows a Hubble observation of Betelgeuse taken in 2005. Note here that the star doesn't look round, but that's an ...

Southern lights greet ISS and Atlantis

Illustration of a pulsar

Star Light, People Bright

of the star and planet. Click to embiggen.

Mercury in color, by MESSENGER

And now the king of the planets can join that list: via Fark comes the news that residents of Washington state have been calling the police to report a UFO ...

Here's the thing: it's not. It's actually a lovely piece of artwork done in 2009 by a Japanese artist who goes by the name A4size-ska on DeviantArt.

Just how old are Saturn's rings?

As time goes on and our instruments get better, we'll find 'em. Guaranteed. We could have millions of planets in the solar system in less than a century as ...

cassini_mimas

... here) you can see they were taken a few seconds apart; the motion of the stars, the Earth, and the plasma plume change a little bit (click between them ...

Humans have a miserable sense of scale. Space is huge – that's why we call it "space" – but how huge? Here's a fun trick my friend Dan Durda pointed out to ...

HST image of NGC 3603. Sher 25 is the bright star at the 1 o'clock position relative to the center of the cluster, between two patches of nebula and with a ...

Extreme star cluster bursts into life in new Hubble image

NGC3603-VLT-FORS.jpg. NGC 3603 ...

WIRED Space Photo of the Day 2013

See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available. NGC 3603: ...

NGC3603 core.jpg

Infrared image showing Betelgeuse's bow shock

Arachnophilia

Hubble imge of NGC 2082; click to engalactinate.

The Triangulum Galaxy, writ large

That's close enough to resolve individual stars in the galaxy, as you can see in this really pretty Hubble image of it:

Andromeda's majestic spray of billions of hot stars

hst_pgc39058

Which is why I present to you NGC 4183, a very nearly edge-on spiral in the constellation of Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs:

The Helix screams in infrared

In the dark abyss, a slightly warped mirror on the Milky Way

When beauty and science collide

To grasp a billion stars

It's so small and faint it wasn't even discovered until 1977 even though it's one of the closest galaxies in the sky! How did it avoid detection so long?

So I'll start by showing it to you. Behold, Sharpless 2-106:

Eta Carinae is the brightest star, on the left side.

The R136 cluster. WR 25

WR 31a is surrounded by a blue bubble nebula created by a powerful stellar wind impacting material expelled during earlier stages of the star's life.

... carrying HST into orbit and into history. In honor of this anniversary, astronomers have released a new image of the interacting galaxies Arp 273, ...

Part of that is because I spent years researching other types of gaseous clouds, but also because they're just so darn pretty, like this shot of NGC 371:

The Helix's dusty heart

Hubble image of Arp 147

hst_20th_carina

Biggest stellar mass black hole found

With that in mind, I present to you LAB-1: a glowing glob of gas as seen by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope:

[Click to embiggen, or get ...

You can see dozens of smaller galaxies crowding the frame. Those are background galaxies much, much farther away than NGC 1345.

Tag: Dragonfish nebula

exoplanet_2m1207b

GOODS_deepfield

Astronomers see ANOTHER star ripped apart by a black hole!

A taste of WISE galaxies

You might want to look at ...

barnards_star_split

The Angry Red Galaxy

Followup on the star torn apart by a black hole: Hubble picture

The deepest image ever taken, using STIS on Hubble

In this case, though, there's another star in close orbit: a swollen red giant, another star nearing the end of its life. The actual physics is quite ...

chandra_vla_m87

If you look to the left and a bit below the cluster's center, though, a blue glow sticks out among all the red. If you do grab the seriously super high-res ...

Any amateur astronomer on this planet can identify the picture at the left in a heartbeat. That's an optical picture of the Orion nebula, one taken using ...

Cepheids in NGC 3021

The dying star T Leporis, compared to the orbit of the Earth.

Astronomers announced today the discovery of at least four — and as many as six — planets orbiting two nearby stars. These planets are relatively low mass, ...

Desktop Project Part 2: Unicorn, rainbow… soot?

In fact, there may be nearly twice as many of these free floating planets as there are stars themselves in our galaxy, and they may even outnumber planets ...

These are typically compact, fantastically-shaped baubles caused the winds blown from stars as they die.

Ring around the Moon

The inset image here is from my friend Travis Rector. It covers roughly the top 2/3 of the picture above, but shows only the light that we can see with our ...

Chandra image of a pulsar nebula

Reflecting on the ISS

Venus is shrouded in clouds, making it relatively featureless when you look at it through a telescope. However, if you use a filter that lets in ultraviolet ...

examiner_ufo_dec20102

Keck image of a gravitational lens that looks like an eye

Jupiter_nobelt

Not being a point-like source of light like stars, it has a dreamier, fuzzier quality. Again, from the video, here's a single exposure from that series:

This image of Uranus and its rings was taken using the monster 10 meter Keck telescope in Hawaii. It's a near-infrared image. The bright ring is the epsilon ...

One thing that's a bit puzzling: what are the lights seen in the Gulf of Mexico at the beginning of the video? My first guess would be oil rigs — there are ...

Chandra X-ray image of NGC 4649

Huge lakes of water may exist under Europa's ice

newhorizons_galileanmoons

spitzer_planet_smash

Ha! That's the name of a spiral galaxy I've written about once or twice before. Even thrice. And it's appropriate, given how prominently our own galaxy ...

AAS #5: Galaxies grow from black hole seeds

How cool would it be to look down to see a falling star?

That image above is from even earlier, and shows a Hubble observation of Betelgeuse taken in 2005. Note here that the star doesn't look round, but that's an ...

Illustration of a pulsar

Just how old are Saturn's rings?

As time goes on and our instruments get better, we'll find 'em. Guaranteed. We could have millions of planets in the solar system in less than a century as ...

... here) you can see they were taken a few seconds apart; the motion of the stars, the Earth, and the plasma plume change a little bit (click between them ...

Here's a table I created to compare the planets. The first number column is the planet's equatorial radius in kilometers (the biggest planets aren't perfect ...

Hubble's Carineidolia contest

I got a surprise when I zoomed in on the central star in HH 502. I've shown the detailed image here. I expected to see the jet go all the way down ...

It's a breath-taking shot, isn't it? And it's a testament to Halverson's talent, which you can see more of at his website DakotaLapse.

Cassini_alpcentauri

Namibian quiver trees and the glow of a galaxy

East of the Blue Marble

HUGE EXOPLANET NEWS ITEMS: PICTURES!!!

EPOXI_glint

Hubble sees a quadruple transit of moons across Saturn

M81 and M82 are bright nearby galaxies; you can spot them with binoculars easily in the northern sky, and they are a mere 12 million light years from us ...

And the monkey in the wrench belongs to a handful of newly discovered planets that go around their stars the wrong way.

The Cassini spacecraft took this lovely image in December 2011, during a close pass of Saturn's moon Dione. Ignoring Saturn's rings slashing through the ...

I still love that opening theme, and the last sting is so great! I'd love to see someone rescore it for orchestra, like the new Doctor Who music.

iss_sunset

See that little dot next to the bright one? Here's an interesting puzzle: is it a planet, or a star? If you're thinking "Here we go again!

... because from there, he could see the Hubble Space Telescope transiting the Sun at the same time! On June 6th, at 01:42:25 UTC, he got this amazing shot:

Fomalhaut is one of the brightest stars in the sky, and is only about 25 light years away — that's close, on a cosmic scale. It's young, not more than a few ...

That's the creepily good HiRISE camera from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, of course, that took the image. Click it to embiggen and get much higher-res ...

Zoom in on the lander in one of the Apollo 17 pans

findvenus

But today he posted the best shot I've seen from him: this jaw-dropping composite photo of a cumulonimbus cloud spawning lightning below and with star ...

But M54 is special, for more than one reason… but mostly because in this Hubble image it's jaw-droppingly gorgeous: