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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What does the Andromeda galaxy really look like? The featured image shows how our Milky Way Galaxy's closest major galactic neighbor really appears in a long exposure through Earth's busy skies and with a digital camera that introduces normal imperfections. The picture is a stack of 223 images, each a 300 second exposure, taken from a garden observatory in Portugal over the past year. Obvious image deficiencies include bright parallel airplane trails, long and continuous satellite trails, short cosmic ray streaks, and bad pixels. These imperfections were actually not removed with Photoshop specifically, but rather greatly reduced with a series of computer software packages that included Astro Pixel Processor, DeepSkyStacker, and PixInsight. All of this work was done not to deceive you with a digital fantasy that has little to do with the real likeness of the Andromeda galaxy (M31), but to minimize Earthly artifacts that have nothing to do with the distant galaxy and so better recreate what M31 really does look like.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

From home this Full Moon looked bright. Around our fair planet it rose as the Sun set on April 7/8, the first Full Moon after the vernal equinox and the start of northern hemisphere spring. April's full lunar phase was also near perigee, the closest point in the Moon's elliptical orbit. In fact, it was nearer perigee than any other Full Moon of 2020 making it the brightest Full Moon of the year. To create the visual experience a range of exposures was blended to capture the emerging foreground foliage and bright lunar disk. The hopefull image of spring was recorded from a home garden in skies over Chongqing, China. April Full Moon Gallery: Notable images submitted to APOD

Photo by Jeff Dai

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

This surreal timelapse, landscape, panorama spans predawn, blue hour, and sunrise skies. Close to the start of planet Earth's northern hemisphere spring, the flow of time was captured between 4:30 and 7:00 am from a location overlooking northern New Mexico's Rio Grande Valley. In tracked images of the night sky just before twilight begins, the Milky Way is cast across the southern (right) edge of the panoramic frame. Toward the east, a range of short and long exposures resolves the changing brightness as the Sun rises over the distant peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In between, exposures made during the spring morning's tantalizing blue hour are used to blend the night sky and sunrise over the high desert landscape.

Photo by Paul Schmit

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Dark skies are disappearing from the world. With modernization comes artificial lighting that brightens the night. While these lights allow modern humans to see, much light is wasted up into the sky. This light pollution not only wastes energy, but, when reflected by the Earth's atmosphere back down, creates a nighttime brightness that disrupts wildlife and harms human health, while doing very little to prevent crime. Light pollution is also making a dark night sky a scarcity for new generations. While there is little that can be done in large cities, rural country areas could benefit from lighting that is fully shielded from exposing the night sky where it is not needed. The featured panorama contains 6 adjacent vertical segments taken from different locations across Slovakia -- but with the same equipment and at the same time of night, and then subjected to the same digital post-processing. Although no stars are visible on the left-most city sky, the right-most country sky is magnificently dark. You can help protect the wonders of your night sky by favoring, when possible, dark sky friendly lighting.

Photo by Tomas Slovinsky Text: Matipon TangmatithamNARIT

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