Sombrero Galaxy’s bulge packed with clusters of star clusters

Sombrero Galaxy’s bulge packed with clusters of star clusters

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION]  Caltech / Palomar Observatory / Paul Gardner, Salvatore Grasso, and Ryan Hannahoe Named the Sombrero Galaxy for its hat-like resemblance, M104 features a prominent dust lane and a bright halo of stars and globular clusters. Reasons for the Sombrero’s hat-like appearance include an unusually large and extended central bulge […]

Galaxies interacting gravitationally

Galaxies interacting gravitationally

[Click on image for high resolution.] Credit: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona Bright spiral galaxy NGC 3169 appears to be unraveling in this cosmic scene, played out some 70 million light-years away just below bright star Regulus toward the faint constellation Sextans. Its beautiful spiral arms are distorted into sweeping tidal tails […]

Merry Yosemite Christmas!

Merry Yosemite Christmas!

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION / Wally Pacholka / AstroPics.com, TWAN A starry band of the Milky Way climbs over Yosemite Valley, Sierra Nevada Range, planet Earth. Jupiter is the brightest celestial beacon on the wintry scene, though. Standing nearly opposite the Sun in the constellation Taurus, the wandering planet joins yellowish Aldebaran and […]

Stardust memories

Stardust memories

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION] Cosmic dust clouds sprawl across a rich field of stars in this sweeping telescopic vista near the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. Probably less than 500 light-years away and effectively blocking light from more distant, background stars in the Milky Way, the densest part of the […]

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 […]

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