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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

A camera on board the uncrewed Orion spacecraft captured this view on December 5 as Orion approached its return powered flyby of the Moon. Below one of Orion's extended solar arrays lies dark, smooth, terrain along the western edge of the Oceanus Procellarum. Prominent on the lunar nearside Oceanus Procellarum, the Ocean of Storms, is the largest of the Moon's lava-flooded maria. The lunar terminator, shadow line between lunar night and day, runs along the left of the frame. The 41 kilometer diameter crater Marius is top center, with ray crater Kepler peeking in at the edge, just right of the solar array wing. Kepler's bright rays extend to the north and west, reaching the dark-floored Marius. Of course the Orion spacecraft is now headed toward a December 11 splashdown in planet Earth's water-flooded Pacific Ocean.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, toward the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. The dying star's last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. Combining narrow band image data from emission lines of hydrogen atoms in red and oxygen atoms in blue-green hues, it shows tantalizing details of the Helix, including its bright inner region about 3 light-years across. The white dot at the Helix's center is this Planetary Nebula's hot, central star. A simple looking nebula at first glance, the Helix is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry.

Photo by Tommaso Stella

Lights twinkling,
reflection on glass,
a beautiful sight,
for a Christmas Mass.

I hear music,
a melodious sound,
a chorale of voices,
musical notes abound.

Sounds of the voices,
all in the choir,
are the sounds I love,
for me they inspire.

To do better now,
not stuck in the race
and for this year,
put on my Happy Face.

A Comment by Loy

Your avatar
Loy • 12/06/2022 at 11:13PM • Like 1 Profile

Nice uplifting poem for the season.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What’s happening inside this interstellar mountain? Stars are forming. The mountain is actually a column of gas and dust in the picturesque Eagle Nebula (M16). A pillar like this is so low in density that you could easily fly though it -- it only appears solid because of its high dust content and great depth. The glowing areas are lit internally by newly formed stars. These areas shine in red and infrared light because blue light is scattered away by intervening interstellar dust. The featured image was captured recently in near-infrared light in unprecedented detail by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), launched late last year. Energetic light, abrasive winds, and final supernovas from these young stars will slowly destroy this stellar birth column over the next 100,000 years. Astrophysicists: Browse 2,900+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library

“Left to ourselves, mechanistic and autonomic, we hanker for friends… Maybe altruism is our most primitive attribute, out of reach, beyond our control.”

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