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Galileo's Europa Remastered

Posted by Specola • Posted on 11/29/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Looping through the Jovian system in the late 1990s, the Galileo spacecraft recorded stunning views of Europa and uncovered evidence that the moon's icy surface likely hides a deep, global ocean. Galileo's Europa image data has been remastered here, using improved new calibrations to produce a color image approximating what the human eye might see. Europa's long curving fractures hint at the subsurface liquid water. The tidal flexing the large moon experiences in its elliptical orbit around Jupiter supplies the energy to keep the ocean liquid. But more tantalizing is the possibility that even in the absence of sunlight that process could also supply the energy to support life, making Europa one of the best places to look for life beyond Earth. What kind of life could thrive in a deep, dark, subsurface ocean? Consider planet Earth's own extreme shrimp.

Our family has propagated this beautiful plant starting with one cultivated by an ancestor a few generations ago. It is now present in our family homes in three different continents where it is admired for its beauty and serves to remind us to be thankful for the family connection it represents.

A perennial plant in the Amaryllis family native to Peru. It can be grown indoors in colder climates. The large white, beautiful and delicate flowers grow in a cluster of three to six on a stem about 15 inches long. Learn more.

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Moon and Planets at Twilight

Posted by Specola • Posted on 11/28/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

This week's ongoing conjunction of Venus and Jupiter may have whetted your appetite for skygazing. Tonight is the main course though. On November 28, a young crescent Moon will join them posing next to the two bright planets above the western horizon at twilight. Much like tonight's visual feast, this night skyscape shows a young lunar crescent and brilliant Venus in the western evening twilight on October 29. The celestial beacons are setting over distant mountains and the Minya monastery, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China, planet Earth. Then Mercury, not Jupiter, was a celestial companion to Venus and the Moon. The fleeting innermost planet is just visible here in the bright twilight, below and left of Venus and near the center of the frame. Tomorrow, November 29, the crescent Moon will also help you spot planet Saturn for desert.

Photo by Petr Horálek

A hanging element,
passage to the Stars,
on our adventure,
a trip to Mars.
A lifetime's journey,
for a trip so long.
A lonely memory
enshrined in song.
A golden history
for all to see.
Your sacrifices,
will always be,
one so heroic,
in our modern time,
a historic honor,
so very divine.
What is this?
The rambling text
is life's happening
and what is next.
Time travel will be
that moment in time
when I return to thee.

No more will I hear
that cry in the night.
No more the pain,
no more the plight,
for time has passed,
as it usually will do.
I long, once more to hear
the sound of your voice,
when you talk to me,
of our dreams on this road to eternity.
Don't go from me.
Don't leave me alone.
Please my dear love,
please stay at home.

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Hoag's Object: A Nearly Perfect Ring Galaxy

Posted by Specola • Posted on 11/27/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Is this one galaxy or two? This question came to light in 1950 when astronomer Arthur Hoag chanced upon this unusual extragalactic object. On the outside is a ring dominated by bright blue stars, while near the center lies a ball of much redder stars that are likely much older. Between the two is a gap that appears almost completely dark. How Hoag's Object formed, including its nearly perfectly round ring of stars and gas, remains unknown. Genesis hypotheses include a galaxy collision billions of years ago and the gravitational effect of a central bar that has since vanished. The featured photo was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and recently reprocessed using an artificially intelligent de-noising algorithm. Observations in radio waves indicate that Hoag's Object has not accreted a smaller galaxy in the past billion years. Hoag's Object spans about 100,000 light years and lies about 600 million light years away toward the constellation of the Snake (Serpens). Many galaxies far in the distance are visible toward the right, while coincidentally, visible in the gap at about seven o'clock, is another but more distant ring galaxy.

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Venus and Jupiter on the Horizon

Posted by Specola • Posted on 11/26/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What are those two bright objects on the horizon? Venus and Jupiter. The two brightest planets in the night sky passed very close together -- angularly -- just two days ago. In real space, they were just about as far apart as usual, since Jupiter (on the right) orbits the Sun around seven times farther out than Venus. The planetary duo were captured together two days ago in a picturesque sunset sky from Llers, Catalonia, Spain between a tree and the astrophotographer's daughter. These two planets will continue to stand out in the evening sky, toward the west, for the next few days, with a sliver of a crescent Moon and a fainter Saturn also visible nearby. As November ends, Jupiter will sink lower into the sunset horizon with each subsequent night, while Venus will rise higher. The next Jupiter-Venus conjunction will occur in early 2021.

Photo by Juan Carlos CasadoTWAN

I remember back to the olden days,
laying on the floor, behind the kitchen stove.
On linoleum, metal, no asbestos
to protect the floor from the
excess heat.
Smells of apple pies, in the wood fired oven.
Those days of so long ago, are gone.
So here we are now, along
with all the good thoughts that
we recall.
Fortunately, for me, it's the good
thoughts that I remember, not the bad,
not the memories that make me sad.
Knowing that we won't
come this way again.

I knew lonely times,
when evening came
and daylight, washed away.
Sadness was a friend of mine,
when cities, dark and grey,
turned their backs, on my loneliness.

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Amy • 02/10/2018 at 10:16AM • Like

Very nice. I enjoy reading your poetry, thanks for sharing it.

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NGC 6995: The Bat Nebula

Posted by Specola • Posted on 11/25/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Do you see the bat? It haunts this cosmic close-up of the eastern Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. While the Veil is roughly circular in shape and covers nearly 3 degrees on the sky toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus), the Bat Nebula, NGC 6995, spans only 1/2 degree, about the apparent size of the Moon. That translates to 12 light-years at the Veil's estimated distance, a reassuring 1,400 light-years from planet Earth. In the composite of image data recorded through broad and narrow band filters, emission from hydrogen atoms in the remnant is shown in red with strong emission from oxygen and nitrogen atoms shown in hues of blue. Of course, in the western part of the Veil lies another seasonal apparition: the Witch's Broom Nebula.

Photo by Josep Drudis

Under the water, beneath the Sea
the blackness is calling; it's calling me.
Return to the place where we came from.
Return to life's creative outcome.
The smell of the Sea, the splash of the waves,
is where I belong, not here in a cave,
for of all the wonders, in this great life,
there's no none as loved as my sweet wife.
My thoughts are a shamble of uncertainty,
for I must go now and return to the Sea.

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Apollo 12: Self-Portrait

Posted by Specola • Posted on 11/24/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Is this image art? 50 years ago, Apollo 12 astronaut-photographer Charles "Pete" Conrad recorded this masterpiece while documenting colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on Oceanus Procellarum. The featured image is dramatic and stark. The harsh environment of the Moon's Ocean of Storms is echoed in Bean's helmet, a perfectly composed reflection of Conrad and the lunar horizon. Works of photojournalists originally intent on recording the human condition on planet Earth, such as Lewis W. Hine's images from New York City in the early 20th century, or Margaret Bourke-White's magazine photography are widely regarded as art. Similarly many documentary astronomy and space images might also be appreciated for their artistic and esthetic appeal.

Good morning Sunday, a good morning
to greet all the Seahawk fans,
up early this day to watch,
the Seahawks play in Philly.
An early morning game for me,
is what I like to watch
and root on the Seattle team,
for to win they must
get all the parts of the machine
running. Both the offense and defense
must purr like a new kitten.
Go get them Hawks the beautiful team
win nice but please stay mean.

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