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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is one of the last entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog, but definitely not one of the least. About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way. M101 was also one of the original spiral nebulae observed by Lord Rosse's large 19th century telescope, the Leviathan of Parsontown. Assembled from 51 exposures recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope in the 20th and 21st centuries, with additional data from ground based telescopes, this mosaic spans about 40,000 light-years across the central region of M101 in one of the highest definition spiral galaxy portraits ever released from Hubble. The sharp image shows stunning features of the galaxy's face-on disk of stars and dust along with background galaxies, some visible right through M101 itself. Also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101 lies within the boundaries of the northern constellation Ursa Major, about 25 million light-years away.

My Mind

Posted by MFish Profile 11/27/21 at 08:58AM Life Stories See more by MFish

My mind is spinning,
like a blade
in a wind storm.
Full of questions
about the upcoming days,
when my wife will move,
into a memory place.
I intend to go with her,
at least for awhile,
to make sure she's happy
and see her sweet smile.

Your avatar
Loy • 11/28/2021 at 12:03AM • Like Profile

You are such a sweet and devoted husband…

I was at the opening of new works by one of our local oil painters at
the South End Fine Art Gallery and Expresso Shoppe. As always it’s a
guaranteed large crowd, mostly us artists and a few of our friends and
occasionally a patron or two. Regina, the gallery owner and latte
barista, always provides liberal winepours and enough hors d’oeuvres to
hold back rickets among the starving artists another week or so.

I was admiring a fine piece titled, tantalizingly enough, “Sailboat at
Sunset #56”, one of a series I’m guessing of at least 56 or more, when a
couple jostled me out of the way for a better view. I didn’t really
mind moving on, after all, there were plenty more similar offerings, but
the gentleman of the pair had caused me to spill my merlot onto the
sleeve of my last presentable Goodwill shirt, then gave me a cursory
‘scuse me,’ that sounded vaguely like ‘sue me’ before steering his
companion and her jangling earrings into the appropriate viewing angle. A
moment later they were discussing perspective and complimentary
colorations, the expressively bold brushstrokes of the sails, the
minimalist way the artist had captured the shimmer of the sea, and of
course, the price, anything BUT minimalist.

“I may not know art, ”my jostler said, sipping daintily on a white wine from his plastic
glass, “but I know what I like.” He was quite pleased at this knowledge,
no doubt gained with considerable effort. His companion wagged an
earlobe with a windchime banging to life, evidently in total agreement
with both of us on this aesthetic declaration.

I guess I was still miffed about the impromptu dye job on my best shirt, or maybe it’s just
a character flaw deeper than any fabric stain, but I smiled winningly
and said out of the cerulean blue, “I don’t know much about
biochemistry, but I sure know a good clone when I see one.” This caused
some raised eyebrows, a rolling of the eyes and the beginning of distant
alarm bells that would soon drown out the jangling jewelry. For good
measure I added, “I don’t know much about history either, but hey, I
love a good war. I know what I like.”

So okay, I cost Regina a commission and I should feel bad about that. Probably cost the artist a
sale and I should feel worse about that, but I don’t. I do happen to
know something about art, and I know what I don’t like. I guess it’s
okay to buy what you do; I just don’t think we should be proud of our
ignorance. Then again, what the hell do I know?

Visit the Skeeter Daddle Site

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Rain clouds passed and the dome of the Lick Observatory's 36 inch Great Refractor opened on November 19. The historic telescope was pointed toward a partially eclipsed Moon. Illuminated by dim red lighting to preserve an astronomer's night vision, telescope controls, coordinate dials, and the refractor's 57 foot long barrel were captured in this high dynamic range image. Visible beyond the foreshortened barrel and dome slit, growing brighter after its almost total eclipse phase, the lunar disk created a colorful corona through lingering clouds. From the open dome, the view of the clearing sky above includes the Pleiades star cluster about 5 degrees from Moon and Earth's shadow. Notable APOD Submissions: Lunar Eclipse of 2021 November 19

Photo by Laurie Hatch

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Shaped like a cone tapering into space, the Earth's dark central shadow or umbra has a circular cross-section. It's wider than the Moon at the distance of the Moon's orbit though. But during the lunar eclipse of November 18/19, part of the Moon remained just outside the umbral shadow. The successive pictures in this composite of 5 images from that almost total lunar eclipse were taken over a period of about 1.5 hours. The series is aligned to trace part of the cross-section's circular arc, with the central image at maximum eclipse. It shows a bright, thin sliver of the lunar disk still beyond the shadow's curved edge. Of course, even within the shadow the Moon's surface is not completely dark, reflecting the reddish hues of filtered sunlight scattered into the shadow by Earth's atmosphere. Notable APOD Submissions: Lunar Eclipse of 2021 November 19

Photo by Jean-Francois Gout

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