Astronomers classify M100 as a “grand design” spiral — one with prominent, well-defined spiral arms. And indeed, it ranks as one of the sky’s brightest such objects, glowing at magnitude 9.4 in the constellation Coma Berenices.
Comet C/2012 V2 (LINEAR) passed the bright spiral galaxy NGC 2997 in the southern constellation Antlia the Air Pump on September 29. At the time, the comet was 17 light-minutes away while NGC 2997 was 38 million light-years from Earth.
This photo shows the Big Dipper centered, surrounded by an active aurora. To the left and above the Dipper, the camera captured two streaks. These are satellites, apparently in a polar orbit. Note that they, like the Pointer Stars of the Dipper, both point approximately toward Polaris (Alpha Ursae Minoris) at the top center of the image.
'Gateway To The Milky Way' Seen In Unaltered Photo In Dorset
The 'Gateway to the Milky Way' was snapped by Dorset-based photographer Stephen Banks in this stunning unaltered image in Durdle Door.
Taken at midnight just as the clouds parted, keen sky-watcher Banks managed to capture the centre of our galaxy as it passed through a natural rock archway.
By setting his camera to a 30-second exposure time, and using a bright LED torch to illuminate the arch, the 24-year-old snatched the perfect moment.
The unaltered picture by Banks, known as DorsetScouser to fellow photography hobbyists, reveals a striking cross between the star-filled sky and a sunrise on the horizon.
Banks, who works in PR, said: "I've never captured Durdle Door like this before and never seen a picture quite like it.
"I walked along the beach and carefully lined up the light in the distance with the 'door' of the arch.
"I drove through a lot of fog to get to this location, so I was adamant that the evening would be a complete right off. But luckily the fog began to clear as I made the descent down to the beach. Some mist was still present and, in the distance, the lights from a boat lit up the horizon.
"With a 30 second exposure, this had the effect of making the lights look like the moon or sun rising, but you can still see the stars in the sky.
"I could quite easily have given up and turned back to Bridport that evening, but I stuck with it and was very pleased that I did."
Banks, of Bridport, Dorset, has taken the astronomy photography world by storm and has been asked to enter his pictures for Astronomy Photographer of the Year award.
This striking and unusual panoramic shot is the result of meticulous planning, an artist’s eye for dramatic lighting and sheer chance. The photograph shows the Milky Way arching over Yosemite Valley in California’s famous national park. A lens-shaped (lenticular) cloud hovers over the distinct granite dome of Liberty Cap, which rises to an elevation of over 2000m, near the centre of the photograph.
This portrait looking down on Saturn and its rings was created from images obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Oct. 10, 2013. It was made by amateur image processor and Cassini fan Gordan Ugarkovic. This image has not been geometrically corrected for shifts in the spacecraft perspective and still has some camera artifacts.The mosaic was created from 12 image footprints with red, blue and green filters from Cassini's imaging science subsystem. Ugarkovic used full color sets for 11 of the footprints and red and blue images for one footprint.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Northern Lights Viewed From the International Space Station
Astronaut Mike Hopkins, aboard the International Space Station, shared this picture of the northern lights on Oct. 9, 2013, saying "The pic doesn't do the northern lights justice. Covered the whole sky. Truly amazing!" The northern lights are caused by collisions between fast-moving particles (electrons) from space and the oxygen and nitrogen gas in our atmosphere. These electrons originate in the magnetosphere, the region of space controlled by Earth’s magnetic field. As they rain into the atmosphere, the electrons impart energy to oxygen and nitrogen molecules, making them excited. When the molecules return to their normal state, they release photons, small bursts of energy in the form of light.
Astronauts have used hand-held cameras to photograph the Earth for more than 40 years. Beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960s, astronauts have taken more than 700,000 photographs of the Earth. Today, the space station continues the NASA tradition of Earth observation from human-tended spacecraft.
Earth -- as seen by the Juno spacecraft flying by our home planet on October 9, 2013: In this image of Earth taken by JunoCam, you can see observations made during Juno’s Earth flyby gravity assist that was completed earlier this month. Several Juno science instruments made planned observations during the approach to Earth, including the Advanced Stellar Compass, JunoCam and Waves. These observations provided a useful opportunity to test the instruments during a close planetary encounter and ensure that they work as designed. The main goal of the flyby – to give the spacecraft the boost it needed in order to reach Jupiter – was accomplished successfully. The Juno spacecraft was launched from Kennedy Space Center on August 5, 2011 toward Jupiter. Juno’s rocket, the Atlas 551, was only capable of giving Juno enough energy or speed to reach the asteroid belt, at which point the Sun’s gravity pulled Juno back toward the inner solar system. The Earth flyby gravity assist was planned as part of Juno’s trajectory to increase the spacecraft’s speed relative to the Sun so that it is sufficient to reach Jupiter. (The spacecraft’s speed relative to Earth remains constant.) Because of the flyby, Juno’s velocity relative to the Sun increases from 78,000 miles (126,000 kilometers) per hour to 87,000 miles (140,000 kilometers) per hour. Juno is moving much faster than satellites that orbit the Earth because Juno is orbiting the Sun, not Earth. As of Oct. 17, Juno was approximately 4.4 million miles (7.1 million kilometers) from Earth. The one-way radio signal travel time between Earth and Juno is currently about 24 seconds. Juno has now traveled 1.01 billion miles (1.63 billion kilometers, or 10.9 AU) since launch. With the Earth flyby completed, Juno is now on course for arrival at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.