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The Hyades Star Cluster

Posted by Specola • Posted on 01/22/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

It is the closest cluster of stars to the Sun. The Hyades open cluster is bright enough to have been remarked on even thousands of years ago, yet is not as bright or compact as the nearby Pleiades (M45) star cluster. Pictured here is a particularly deep image of the Hyades which has brings out vivid star colors and faint coincidental nebulas. The brightest star in the field is yellow Aldebaran, the eye of the bull toward the constellation of Taurus. Aldebaran, at 65 light-years away, is now known to be unrelated to the Hyades cluster, which lies about 150 light-years away. The central Hyades stars are spread out over about 15 light-years. Formed about 625 million years ago, the Hyades likely shares a common origin with the Beehive cluster (M44), a naked-eye open star cluster toward the constellation of Cancer, based on M44's motion through space and remarkably similar age.

Photo by Jose Mtanous

Sometimes I sleep "The Sleep of the Dead"
with no thoughts or dreams in my head.
An absence of words, so deep inside
stay within my head; are trying to hide.
When I awake from this stupor so deep,
I then know what it is like to sleep.
Unlike the times I get up at three
as the words in my head will remind me,
scribe down to paper, in my notebook,
the words that appear haven't been forsook.
Later that morning, I'll re-read the words,
striking out those are simply absurd.

I wish I could see,
what she does,
through her brown eyes.
I can't, so therefor
I now must surmise.
She see's something else,
that she cannot describe,
which frustrates her, every way.
This disease is so cruel,
for her to live every day.
It is why she tells me
"I will soon be going away."

Laying in bed, words all a jumble;
I'm not writing them down,
for I will not tumble,
into this pit of worry
or feeling sorry for me.
Oh dear God, help me out of this mess
of seeing my beloved, slipping away.
What can I do, on this miserable day?
My love for her is still there;
She knows me not, I'll not despair,
for I know her and always will.
My love for her gives me a thrill.
I know these words, corny they are,
but they're my words, they surely are.

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Parker: Sounds of the Solar Wind

Posted by Specola • Posted on 01/21/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What does the solar wind sound like? A wind of fast moving particles blows out from our Sun, and although space transmits sound poorly, particle impact and variable-field data from NASA's near-Sun Parker Solar Probe is being translated into sound. The disarming audio track of the featured video recounts several of these reverberations, including spooky-sounding Langmuir Waves (heard first), hurricane-sounding Whistler Mode Waves (heard next), and hard-to-describe Dispersive Chirping Waves (heard last). Also impressive is the video's time-lapse visual track which shows Parker's view to the side of its sun shield, and where the planets Earth, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus appear in succession, interspersed with bursts of powerful cosmic rays impacting the imager. The nature of the solar wind near Mercury is surprisingly different from near the Earth, and much study is underway to better understand the differences. Discovery + Outreach: Graduate student research position open for APOD

Into the night with
darkest of sky,
he waited patiently for
the Moon to pass by.
The brightness, came slow
and gradually.
He could see where to
step, walking gingerly.
Trying to be quiet so he
wouldn't be heard.
Creeping so closely to
that elusive bird.
One that is a beauty,
known all around.
This was the place where
it could be found.
The colorful feathers reminded
him of you,
when in pursuit of the elusive,
beautiful, Cockatoo.

Shades of Shale,
a flat type
of volcanic rock,
that would slide
down the hill
where ever you walked.
Yards of rock,
on a side hill,
careful to be
on Nature's spill.
Take one step,
balance a must,
shale will slide,
gliding on dust.
Down the hill,
so carefully,
learning to walk
or how to ski.
Noisy it was,
a rattling sound,
frightening the animals
who were still around.

Some days it seems, I have been
married my entire life
to a beautiful woman
who is now my wife.
Of all the things that I could be,
only happened because of she.
The support she gave so readily,
was done with elegance and dignity.
What will happen, when she goes away?
I suppose I will know on that fateful day.

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Quadrantid Meteors through Orion

Posted by Specola • Posted on 01/20/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Why are these meteor trails nearly parallel? Because they were all shed by the same space rock and so can be traced back to the same direction on the sky: the radiant of the Quadrantid Meteor Shower. This direction used to be toward the old constellation of Quadrans Muralis, hence the name Quadrantids, but when the International Astronomical Union formulated its list of modern constellations in 1922, this constellation did not make the list. Even though the meteors are now considered to originate from the recognized constellation of Bootes, the old name stuck. Regardless of the designation, every January the Earth moves through a dust stream and bits of this dust glow as meteors as they heat up in Earth's atmosphere. The featured image composite was taken on January 4 with a picturesque snowy Slovakian landscape in the foreground, and a deep-exposure sky prominently featuring the constellation Orion in the background. The red star Betelgeuse appears unusually dim -- its fading over the past few months is being tracked by astronomers. Teachers: APOD in the Classroom

Photo by Petr Horálek

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