The always magnificent Pleiades

The always magnificent Pleiades

Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and closest open clusters. The Pleiades contains over 3000 stars, is about 400 light years away, […]

The red supergiant Antares and its spectacular field of view

The red supergiant Antares and its spectacular field of view

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION] Why is the sky near Antares and Rho Ophiuchi so colorful? … Fine dust illuminated from the front by starlight produces blue reflection nebulae. Gaseous clouds whose atoms are excited by ultraviolet starlight produce reddish emission nebulae. Backlit dust clouds block starlight and so appear dark. Antares, a red […]

Spectacular morning lineup

Spectacular morning lineup

[CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM] Early morning dog walkers got a visual treat last week as bright stars and planets appeared to line up. Pictured above, easily visible from left to right, were the Pleiades open star cluster, Jupiter, Venus, and the “Follower” star Aldebaran, all seen before a starry background. The image was taken […]