Month: February 2020

Carina Nebula Close Up

A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy’s largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily...

/ February 15, 2020

The Pale Blue Dot

On Valentine’s Day in 1990, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back one last time to make the first ever Solar System family portrait. The portrait consists of the Sun and six planets in...

/ February 14, 2020

Spitzer s Trifid

The Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is easy to find with a small telescope. About 30 light-years across and 5,500 light-years distant it’s a popular stop for cosmic tourists in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. As its name...

/ February 13, 2020

Star Trails of the North and South

What divides the north from the south? It all has to do with the spin of the Earth. On Earth’s surface, the equator is the dividing line, but on Earth’s sky, the dividing line is the Celestial Equator — the...

/ February 12, 2020

Solar Eclipse over the UAE

What’s happening behind that camel? A partial eclipse of the Sun. About six and a half weeks ago, the Moon passed completely in front of the Sun as seen from a narrow band on the Earth. Despite (surely) many camels...

/ February 10, 2020

To Fly Free in Space

What would it be like to fly free in space? At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was living the dream — floating farther out than anyone had ever been before....

/ February 9, 2020

Cosmic Clouds in the Unicorn

Interstellar clouds of hydrogen gas and dust abound in this gorgeous skyscape. The 3 degree wide field of view stretches through the faint but fanciful constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. A star forming region cataloged as NGC 2264 is centered, a...

/ February 8, 2020

NGC 7331 Close Up

Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually...

/ February 7, 2020

Southern Moonscape

The Moon’s south pole is near the top of this detailed telescopic view. Looking across the rugged southern lunar highlands it was captured from southern California, planet Earth. At the Moon’s third quarter phase the lunar terminator, the sunset shadow...

/ February 6, 2020

Lunar Eclipse Perspectives

Do we all see the same Moon? Yes, but we all see it differently. One difference is the apparent location of the Moon against background stars — an effect known as parallax. We humans use the parallax between our eyes...

/ February 5, 2020