Telescopes

 Cosmic Tribune

The magnificent Horsehead Nebula with a hat tip to the 23-year-old Hubble Space Telescope

The magnificent Horsehead Nebula with a hat tip to the 23-year-old Hubble Space Telescope

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) While drifting through the cosmos, a magnificent interstellar dust cloud became sculpted by stellar winds and radiation to assume a recognizable shape. Fittingly named the Horsehead Nebula, it is embedded in the vast and complex Orion Nebula (M42). A potentially rewarding […]

 Cosmic Tribune

The view from beyond Pluto

The view from beyond Pluto

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Institute] The night side of Pluto spans this shadowy scene. The space-based view with the Sun behind the distant world was captured by New Horizons last July. The spacecraft was at a range of over 21,000 kilometers, about 19 minutes after its closest […]

 Cosmic Tribune

A look beyond stars in our Milky Way to galaxies beyond

A look beyond stars in our Milky Way to galaxies beyond

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Dietmar Hager, Eric Benson] This sharp telescopic field of view holds two bright galaxies. Barred spiral NGC 5101 (top right) and nearly edge-on system NGC 5078 are separated on the sky by about 0.5 degrees or about the apparent width of a full moon. Found within the boundaries of […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Mercury takes 7.5 hours to transit the sun

Mercury takes 7.5 hours to transit the sun

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Howard Brown-Greaves] On May 9, the diminutive disk of Mercury spent about seven and a half hours crossing in front of the Sun as viewed from the general vicinity of Earth. It was the second of 14 transits of the Solar System’s innermost planet in the 21st century. Captured […]

 Cosmic Tribune

View from and of a robotic observatory in the Canary Islands

View from and of a robotic observatory in the Canary Islands

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Mads Fredslund Andersen, Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Aarhus Univ., Denmark] Near first quarter, the Moon in March lights this snowy, rugged landscape, a view across the top of Tenerife toward La Palma in the Canary Islands Spanish archipelago. The large Teide volcano, the highest point in Spain, looms over the […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Meanwhile, on Mars it’s just another day, but where does Curiosity go for a tire change?

Meanwhile, on Mars it’s just another day, but where does Curiosity go for a tire change?

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS] Where is NASA’s rover Curiosity going on Mars? Its geographical goals are on the slopes of Mount Sharp, whose peak is seen in the background on the right. A key scientific goal, however, remains to better assess when and where conditions on Mars were once suitable […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Omega Centauri is the largest globular star cluster and also nearby … and ancient

Omega Centauri is the largest globular star cluster and also nearby … and ancient

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Roberto Colombari] This huge ball of stars predates our Sun. Long before humankind evolved, before dinosaurs roamed, and even before our Earth existed, ancient globs of stars condensed and orbited a young Milky Way Galaxy. Of the 200 or so globular clusters that survive today, Omega Centauri is the […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Light reaching us from these colliding galaxies emitted when dinosaurs lived

Light reaching us from these colliding galaxies emitted when dinosaurs lived

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO; Processing & License: Judy Schmidt What makes this spiral galaxy so long? Measuring over 700,000 light years across from top to bottom, NGC 6872, also known as the Condor galaxy, is one of the most elongated barred spiral galaxies known. The galaxy’s protracted […]

 Cosmic Tribune

After 14-year dance with Saturn, Cassini prepares for grand finale

After 14-year dance with Saturn, Cassini prepares for  grand finale

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Cassini Imaging Team, SWRI, JPL, ESA, NASA] Cassini, a robot spacecraft launched in 1997 by NASA, became close enough in 2002 to resolve many rings and moons of its destination planet: Saturn. At that time, Cassini snapped several images during an engineering test. Several of those images were combined […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Nearby spiral galaxy captured in all its glory by Hubble telescope

Nearby spiral galaxy captured in all its glory by Hubble telescope

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, ESA/Hubble & NASA and S. Smartt (Queen’s University Belfast), Robert Gendler] This huge swirling mass of stars, gas, and dust occurs near the center of a nearby spiral galaxy. Gorgeous spiral NGC 3521 is a mere 35 million light-years distant, toward the constellation Leo. Spanning some 50,000 light-years, its […]