Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
08-26-2019, 11:43 AM,
RE: Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
NGC 2170: Angel Nebula Still Life

[Image: AngelNebula_Lonazo_960.jpg]

"Explanation: Is this a painting or a photograph? In this classic celestial still life composed with a cosmic brush, dusty nebula NGC 2170, also known as the Angel Nebula, shines near the image center. Reflecting the light of nearby hot stars, NGC 2170 is joined by other bluish reflection nebulae, a red emission region, many dark absorption nebulae, and a backdrop of colorful stars. Like the common household items that still life painters often choose for their subjects, the clouds of gas, dust, and hot stars featured here are also commonly found in this setting -- a massive, star-forming molecular cloud in the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros). The giant molecular cloud, Mon R2, is impressively close, estimated to be only 2,400 light-years or so away. At that distance, this canvas would be over 60 light-years across."

Source: APOD 2019 August 26
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09-09-2019, 09:00 AM,
RE: Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
M31: The Andromeda Galaxy

[Image: M31_Abolfath_960.jpg]

"Explanation: How far can you see? The most distant object easily visible to the unaided eye is M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy, over two million light-years away. Without a telescope, even this immense spiral galaxy appears as an unremarkable, faint, nebulous cloud in the constellation Andromeda. But a bright yellow nucleus, dark winding dust lanes, luminous blue spiral arms, and bright red emission nebulas are recorded in this stunning six-hour telescopic digital mosaic of our closest major galactic neighbor. While even casual skygazers are now inspired by the knowledge that there are many distant galaxies like M31, astronomers seriously debated this fundamental concept only 100 years ago. Were these "spiral nebulae" simply outlying gas clouds in our own Milky Way Galaxy or were they "island universes" -- distant galaxies of stars comparable to the Milky Way itself? This question was central to the famous Shapley-Curtis debate of 1920, which was later resolved by observations favoring Andromeda being just like our Milky Way Galaxy -- a conclusion making the rest of the universe much more vast than many had ever imagined."

Source: APOD 2019 September 9
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09-11-2019, 07:36 PM,
RE: Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
IC 1805: The Heart Nebula

[Image: HeartNebula_Falls_960.jpg]

"Explanation: What energizes the Heart Nebula? First, the large emission nebula dubbed IC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart. The nebula glows brightly in red light emitted by its most prominent element: hydrogen. The red glow and the larger shape are all powered by a small group of stars near the nebula's center. In the center of the Heart Nebula are young stars from the open star cluster Melotte 15 that are eroding away several picturesque dust pillars with their energetic light and winds. The open cluster of stars contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, many dim stars only a fraction of the mass of our Sun, and an absent microquasar that was expelled millions of years ago. The Heart Nebula is located about 7,500 light years away toward the constellation of Cassiopeia. Coincidentally, a small meteor was captured in the foreground during imaging and is visible above the dust pillars. At the top right is the companion Fishhead Nebula."

Source: APOD 2019 September 11
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