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Decorating the Sky

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/12/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Bright stars, clouds of dust and glowing nebulae decorate this cosmic scene, a skyscape just north of Orion's belt. Close to the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the wide field view spans about 5.5 degrees. Striking bluish M78, a reflection nebula, is on the right. M78's tint is due to dust preferentially reflecting the blue light of hot, young stars. In colorful contrast, the red sash of glowing hydrogen gas sweeping through the center is part of the region's faint but extensive emission nebula known as Barnard's Loop. At lower left, a dark dust cloud forms a prominent silhouette cataloged as LDN 1622. While M78 and the complex Barnard's Loop are some 1,500 light-years away, LDN 1622 is likely to be much closer, only about 500 light-years distant from our fair planet Earth.

Photo by Leonardo Julio

Away all boats, that was the call.
Away all boats to the far Atoll.
This wasn't a war but that command,
was in my mind when approaching glistening sand.
Our ship was anchored in a Tropical Lagoon
and Liberty Call would be announced soon.
Liberty for us, on this Tropical Isle,
would be to walk about, for a long while;
to observe and to help where we could
and to make sure that we understood,
that those we met were simple but good.
A brief glimpse, from my aged mind,
of an adventure, that will often remind
the differences, we can now see,
between the Races, more different than we.

The Parklane Gallery is hosting its National Juried Show of all media ranging in size from 5x7 to 11x14.

130 Park Lane Kirkland, WA 98033  425-847-1462  www.parklanegallery.org/

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N63A: Supernova Remnant in Visible and X-ray

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/11/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What has this supernova left behind? As little as 2,000 years ago, light from a massive stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) first reached planet Earth. The LMC is a close galactic neighbor of our Milky Way Galaxy and the rampaging explosion front is now seen moving out - destroying or displacing ambient gas clouds while leaving behind relatively dense knots of gas and dust. What remains is one of the largest supernova remnants in the LMC: N63A. Many of the surviving dense knots have been themselves compressed and may further contract to form new stars. Some of the resulting stars may then explode in a supernova, continuing the cycle. Featured here is a combined image of N63A in the X-ray from the Chandra Space Telescope and in visible light by Hubble. The prominent knot of gas and dust on the upper right -- informally dubbed the Firefox -- is very bright in visible light, while the larger supernova remnant shines most brightly in X-rays. N63A spans over 25 light years and lies about 150,000 light years away toward the southern constellation of Dorado.

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Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/10/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What are those streaks over the horizon? New Starlink satellites reflecting sunlight. SpaceX launched 60 Starlink communication satellites in May and 60 more in November. These satellites and thousands more are planned by communications companies in the next few years that may make streaks like these relatively common. Concern has been voiced by many in the astronomical community about how reflections from these satellites may affect future observations into space. In the pictured composite of 33 exposures, parallel streaks from Starlink satellites are visible over southern Brazil. Sunflowers dot the foreground, while a bright meteor was caught by chance on the upper right. Satellite reflections are not new -- the constellation of 66 first-generation Iridium satellites launched starting 20 years ago produced some flares so bright that they could be seen during the day. Most of these old Iridium satellites, however, have been de-orbited over the past few years. Infinite Loop: Create an APOD Station in your classroom or Science Center.

Photo by Egon Filter

No more cries, ere the
morning light.
No more whys of this
present plight.
No more random talks
without a notion.
No more discussion
with no emotions.
No more ringing
of the bell.
No more consideration,
gone to hell.
No more talks,
about anything.
No more happiness,
will it bring.
No more of life,
we know today.
No more my wife,
who will go away.

When I wrote verse, many years ago,
our young Son's would tease me so.
It influenced the shyness in me,
as I quit writing incessantly.
The writing I did, some forty years
long past, were put away.
Then a good friend told me about
Kudos365.com. and I began to
write again, for you all to see.
I had many folders, that had been
stored, but the pencil I used
then, had started fading away.
Now, here I sit, with pen in hand,
trying to write about the past
so you would now understand.
Perhaps I need to write more
with out any kind of a whine
and do it after a glass of wine.

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Loy • 12/09/2019 at 09:36PM • Like 1

And I’m happy you did!

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Looking Sideways from the Parker Solar Probe

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/09/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Everybody sees the Sun. Nobody's been there. Starting in 2018 though, NASA launched the robotic Parker Solar Probe (PSP) to investigate regions near to the Sun for the first time. The PSP's looping orbit brings it yet closer to the Sun each time around -- every few months. The featured time-lapse video shows the view looking sideways from behind PSP's Sun shield during its first approach to the Sun a year ago -- to about half the orbit of Mercury. The PSP's Wide Field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR) cameras took the images over nine days, but they are digitally compressed here into about 14 seconds. The waving solar corona is visible on the far left, with stars, planets, and even the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy streaming by in the background as the PSP orbits the Sun. PSP has found the solar neighborhood to be surprisingly complex and to include switchbacks -- times when the Sun's magnetic field briefly reverses itself. The Sun is not only Earth's dominant energy source, its variable solar wind compresses Earth's atmosphere, triggers auroras, affects power grids, and can even damage orbiting communication satellites.

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