Holiday Snow Angel (video)

star-forming region- Sharpless 2-106

The bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106, looks like a soaring, celestial snow angel. The outstretched “wings” of the nebula record the contrasting imprint of heat and motion against the backdrop of a colder medium.

By |December 17, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Spectacular Martian Sunrises

Martian Sunrises

Good morning, Red planet!  We are lucky to observe a sunrise over Mars from the vantage point of high orbit.

By |December 16, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Mercury on the Horizon

Planet Mercury

Have you ever seen the planet Mercury? Because Mercury orbits so close to the Sun, it never wanders far from the Sun in Earth’s sky. If trailing the Sun, Mercury will be visible low on the horizon for only a short while after sunsetPhotographer Juan Carlos Casado

By |December 15, 2011|Categories: Astronomy, Natural phenomena

The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog is now online

Habitable Exoplanets Catalog

This image shows a composition of all the current potential habitable exoplanets candidates in the catalog. The exoplanets are ranked by similarity to Earth from best to worst, #1 being the best candidate.

By |December 14, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Sunspot comparisons


Some predictions indicate future sunspot cycles may show declining activity. However, the current cycle seems to be gearing up with more sunspots, flares and coronal mass ejections than have been observed in several years. Even a good, small telescope (equipped with a safe solar filter) easily shows the sunspot increase.

By |December 13, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Blue vampire Star caught sucking Red Giant’s gas

Blue vampire Star caught sucking Red Giant s gas

Astronomers have captured the best-ever image of a star sucking the gas away from its bloated, dying companion.  (click the image for animation)

By |December 12, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Images of the Lunar Eclipse Dec. 10

Lunar Eclipse at Phoenix, Ariz

Total lunar eclipse Dec. 10 from Phoenix, Ariz.  Photographer Charles R. Jones

By |December 12, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

First Supernova companion Star found

double star system with an exploded supernova

In 2004, an international team of astronomers had, for the first time, observed a stellar “survivor” emerge from a double star system involving an exploded supernova.

By |December 10, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Total Lunar Eclipse on December 10th

Total Lunar Eclipse

Waking up before sunrise can be tough to do, especially on a weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 10th, you might be glad you did. A total eclipse of the Moon will be visible in the early morning skies of western Northern America.

By |December 9, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Black Holes 10 billion times bigger than the Sun discovered

Giant Black Hole

Astronomers report that they have discovered the most gigantic black holes ever found in the universe, an abyss 10 times the size of our solar system, encompassing regions or “event horizons” about five times the distance from the sun to Pluto or about 2,500 times as massive as the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

By |December 7, 2011|Categories: Astronomy
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