Wikipedia picture of the day on April 1, 2018: View of the arches in the interior of the Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, also known as the Pink Mosque, which is a traditional mosque located in Shiraz district of Gowad-e-Arabān, Iran. The mosque was built from 1876 to 1888, by the order of Mirzā Hasan Ali (Nasir ol Molk), a Qajar ruler. Wikipedia"
Saturday, March 31, 2018
A slender crescent Moon and inner planets Venus and Mercury never wander far from the Sun in planet Earth's skies. In the fading evening twilight of March 18, they line up near the western horizon in this atmospheric skyscape. While the celestial scene was enjoyed around the world, this photo captures the trio, with fainter Mercury at the far right, above the crags of Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas. Tonight the Moon will be full though, and rise opposite the Sun. Look for it high in the sky at midnight, near bright star Spica. via NASA
Friday, March 30, 2018
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Wikipedia picture of the day on March 30, 2018: Winged altar at the parish- and pilgrimage church Maria Laach am Jauerling, Lower Austria. View with closed inner wings, showing the passion and resurrection of Christ. Anonymous master, 1480. Wikipedia"
Carved by a bright young star in Orion's dusty molecular clouds, NGC 2023 is often overlooked in favor of the nearby dramatic silhouette of the Horsehead Nebula. In its own right it is seen as a beautiful star forming emission and reflection nebula though, a mere 1500 light-years distant. Surprisingly colorful and complex filaments are detailed in this rare NGC 2023 portrait. Scattered points of emission are also from the region's Herbig-Haro objects, associated with the energetic jets from newborn stars. The sharp telescopic view spans about 10 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 2023. Off the right edge of the frame lies the more familiar cosmic Horsehead. via NASA
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Wikipedia picture of the day on March 29, 2018: Et selskab af danske kunstnere i Rom painted by Constantin Hansen in 1837. A group of Danish artists in Rome. Lying on the floor is the architect Gottlieb Bindesbøll. From left to right: Constantin Hansen, Martinus Rørbye, Wilhelm Marstrand, Albert Küchler, Ditlev Blunck and Jørgen V. Sonne. Wikipedia"
Does an alignment like this occur only once in a blue moon? No, although it was during a blue moon that this single-shot image was taken. During a full moon that happened to be the second of the month -- the situation that defines a blue moon -- the photographer created the juxtaposition in late January by quickly moving around to find just the right spot to get the background Moon superposed behind the arc of a foreground tree. Unfortunately, in this case, there seemed no other way than getting bogged down in mud and resting the camera on a barbed-wire fence. The arc in the oak tree was previously created by hungry cows in Knight's Ferry, California, USA. Quirky Moon-tree juxtapositions like this can be created during any full moon though, given enough planning and time. Another opportunity will arise this weekend, coincidently during another blue moon. Then, the second blue moon in 2018 will occur, meaning that for the second month this year, two full moons will appear during a single month (moon-th). Double blue-moon years are relatively rare, with the last occurring in 1999, and the next in 2037. via NASA
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
What that bright red spot between the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas? Mars. This gorgeous color deep-sky photograph captured the red planet passing between the two notable nebulas -- cataloged by the 18th century cosmic registrar Charles Messier as M8 and M20. M20 (upper right of center), the Trifid Nebula, presents a striking contrast in red/blue colors and dark dust lanes. Across the bottom right is the expansive, alluring red glow of M8, the Lagoon Nebula. Both nebulae are a few thousand light-years distant. By comparison, temporarily situated between them both, is the dominant "local" celestial beacon Mars. Taken last week, the red planet was only about 10 light-minutes away. via NASA
Monday, March 26, 2018
Wikipedia picture of the day on March 27, 2018: Illustration of the relative sizes of the one-man Mercury spacecraft, the two-man Gemini spacecraft, and the three-man Apollo spacecraft. Also shows line drawing of launch vehicles (Saturn V, Titan II and Atlas-D) to show their relative size to each other and the position of the spacecraft at launch (highlighted at top). Wikipedia"
Sunday, March 25, 2018
How bright will Nova Carinae 2018 become? The new nova was discovered only last week. Although novas occur frequently throughout the universe, this nova, cataloged as ASASSN-18fv, is so unusually bright in the skies of Earth that it is now easily visible through binoculars in the southern hemisphere. Identified by the arrow, the nova occurs near the direction of the picturesque Carina Nebula. A nova is typically caused by a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star that is accreting matter from a binary companion, although details of this outburst are currently unknown. Both professional and amateur astronomers will be monitoring this unusual stellar outburst in the coming weeks, looking to see how Nova Carinae 2018 evolves, including whether it becomes bright enough to be visible to the unaided eye. via NASA
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Friday, March 23, 2018
Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602. Surrounded by natal gas and dust, NGC 602 is featured in this stunning Hubble image of the region, augmented by images in the X-ray by Chandra, and in the infrared by Spitzer. Fantastic ridges and swept back shapes strongly suggest that energetic radiation and shock waves from NGC 602's massive young stars have eroded the dusty material and triggered a progression of star formation moving away from the cluster's center. At the estimated distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud, the Picture spans about 200 light-years, but a tantalizing assortment of background galaxies are also visible in this sharp multi-colored view. The background galaxies are hundreds of millions of light-years or more beyond NGC 602. via NASA
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Wikipedia picture of the day on March 22, 2018: World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on March 22. The day focuses attention on the importance of fresh water and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. In 1993, the first World Water Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly and since, each year focuses on a different issue. This image shows light reflections on the water surface of Lake Stappitz, High Tauern National Park, Carinthia. Wikipedia"
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Monday, March 19, 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Monday, March 12, 2018
Wikipedia picture of the day on March 13, 2018: RhB Ge 4/4 III with a Regio Express train from St. Moritz to Chur on the Landwasser Viaduct. The locomotive carries advertisement for the UNESCO world heritage Albula and Bernina lines. The stylized viaduct pictured on the locomotive is the very same that it is currently passing over. Also note the two first coaches of a train have panoramic windows. This type of panoramic coach is normally used on the Bernina line, but because there's less traffic on that line during winter the coaches are used on other parts of the network. Wikipedia"
Sunday, March 11, 2018
What would it be like to orbit the Earth? The International Space Station (ISS) does this every 90 minutes, and sometimes the astronauts on board take image sequences that are made into videos. The featured time-lapse video shows many visual spectacles of the dark Earth below. First, as the video begins, green and red auroras are visible on the upper left above white clouds. Soon city lights come into view, and it becomes clear you are flying over North America, eventually passing over Florida. In the second sequence you fly over Europe and Africa, eventually passing over the Nile River. Brief flashes of light are lightning in storms. Stars far in the distance can be seen rising through the greenish-gold glow of the Earth's atmosphere. via NASA
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Wikipedia picture of the day on March 11, 2018: Ruined armenian church inside Lori Berd (Lori Fortress), a 11th-century fortress located in the Lori Province, Armenia. The fortress was built by David Anhoghin to become the capital of Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget in 1065. Wikipedia"
Friday, March 9, 2018
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Wikipedia picture of the day on March 9, 2018: A U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III T-1 flies over Owens Valley to Edwards Air Force Base, California, after 208 days of life-extension modifications in San Antonio, Texas. The T-1 is the first Air Force C-17 built to perform developmental testing. Wikipedia"
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Monday, March 5, 2018
Wikipedia picture of the day on March 6, 2018: Steel monument of a biking couple on a Harley-Davidson Fat Bob at a roundabout on Rosental Strasse in Faak am See, market town Finkenstein on the Lake Faak, district Villach Land, Carinthia, Austria, EU Wikipedia"