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Last Updated: added graphics for the 88 constellations under Observation/The Night Sky.
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APOD:Crescent Neptune and Triton
Image Credit: NASA, Voyager 2
Explanation: Gliding silently through the outer Solar System, the Voyager 2 spacecraft camera captured Neptune and Triton together in crescent phase. The elegant picture of the ice-giant planet and its cloudy moon was taken from behind just after closest approach in 1989. It could not have been taken from Earth because Neptune never shows a crescent phase to sunward Earth. The unusual vantage point also robs Neptune of its familiar blue hue, as sunlight seen from here is scattered forward, and so is reddened like the setting Sun. Neptune is smaller but more massive than Uranus, has several dark rings, and emits more light than it receives from the Sun.
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APOD:Fleming's Triangular Wisp
Image Credit & Copyright: Anthony Saab
Explanation: Chaotic in appearance, these tangled filaments of shocked, glowing gas are spread across planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus as part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova explosion likely reached Earth over 5,000 years ago. The glowing filaments are really more like long ripples in a sheet seen almost edge on, remarkably well separated into the glow of ionized hydrogen atoms shown in blue and oxygen in red hues. Also known as the Cygnus Loop and cataloged as NGC 6979, the Veil Nebula now spans about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon. The length of the wisp corresponds to about 30 light years, given its estimated distance of 2,400 light years. Often identified as Pickering's Triangle for a director of Harvard College Observatory, it is also named for its discoverer, astronomer Williamina Fleming, as Fleming's Triangular Wisp.
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APOD:Ring Galaxy AM 0644-741
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Processing: Jonathan Lodge
Explanation: The rim of the large blue galaxy at the right is an immense ring-like structure 150,000 light years in diameter composed of newly formed, extremely bright, massive stars. AM 0644-741 is known as a ring galaxy and was caused by an immense galaxy collision. When galaxies collide, they pass through each other and their individual stars rarely come into contact. The large galaxy's ring-like shape is the result of the gravitational disruption caused by a small intruder galaxy passing through it. When this happens, interstellar gas and dust become compressed, causing a wave of star formation to move out from the impact point like a ripple across the surface of a pond. Other galaxies in the field of view are background galaxies, not interacting with AM 0644-741. Foreground spiky stars are within our own Milky Way. But the smaller intruder galaxy is caught above and right, near the top of the frame taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Ring galaxy AM 0644-741 lies about 300 million light years away toward the southern constellation Volans.
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Observation - This section includes information on
coordinate systems, constellations, objects visible in the
night sky, and some images of the night sky of the
northern and southern hemispheres.
Science - This section includes information on some
of the basic science used in astronomy. There is information
on the variety of tools used (like telescopes) as well as
methods of using them. There is a mathematics primer,
introduction to some physical processes, formulas used in
astronomy, and information on computer use in Astronomy.
- As indicated, this section covers our Solar System (See Solar System App, Solar System Scope App) and everything in it. It covers the Sun, planets, their moons, asteroids, comets and exotic objects like TNO's and Kuiper Belt Objects.
Stars - This section covers stars in our own galaxy.
It covers the variety of stellar evolution paths. It also
covers supernova, black holes, and some of the radiative
processes in the interstellar medium.
- This section covers our galaxy as well as some of the
nearby galaxies in our own Local Group. It also covers
- This section covers other galaxies and galaxies clusters.
It also covers the big bang, relativity and dark matter.
- This section covers the relatively new field in astronomy
- the possibility of life in our Solar System and the
Universe. There is also information on some of the projects
dealing with this - like SETI.
- This section covers the study of planets known to exist
around other stars. It covers both amateur and professional
involvement and shows you how you can get involved with the
search as well.
This section covers the fastest growing hobby of
astrophotography. This section offers information and tips
on photography and also features and Image Gallery.
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