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April 27 2018

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Explanation: You couldn't really be caught in this blizzard while standing by a cliff on Churyumov-Gerasimenko, also known as comet 67P. Orbiting the comet in June of 2016 the Rosetta spacecraft's narrow angle camera did record streaks of dust and ice particles though, as they drifted across the field of view near the camera and above the comet's surface. Still, some of the bright specks in the scene are likely due to a rain of energetic charged particles or cosmic rays hitting the camera, and the dense background of stars in the direction of the constellation Canis Major. Click on this single frame to play and the background stars are easy to spot as they trail from top to bottom in an animated gif (7.7MB). The 33 frames of the time compressed animation span about 25 minutes of real time. The stunning gif was constructed from consecutive images taken while Rosetta cruised some 13 kilometers from the comet's nucleus.

Astronomy Picture of the Day - 2018 April 26

Reposted byGabreiilaschaafravenpikolokolo

April 17 2014


March 31 2014


March 30 2014


March 14 2014


January 29 2014



Go ahead and think we’re the only intelligent life out there. You go right ahead.

January 08 2014

Reposted fromsamuso samuso viagifluv gifluv

January 06 2014

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Abu Bakr Ben Yusuf (Astrolab), assembled in year 613 of the Hegira, c.1217.

Reposted bywtfpanterazoraxdieselmower

November 11 2013

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Mercury, Venus, and Saturn align with the Pyramids of Giza for the first time in 2,737 years on December 3, 2012

i’ve never reblogged anything so fast

what the actual


25 Nov 2013 Edited to add, thanks to RAGEcrow's originally hipping me to its hoaxiness:

"Like many hoaxes distributed via the Internet, these images are likely based on a nugget of truth which is being misinterpreted and the image altered to put the planets in more aesthetically pleasing yet impossible position. The arrangement of planets does occur this week but in Antarctica, not Egypt. Other explanations for the image require an Earth-centered solar system, something the Copernican Revolution left behind back in the 16th century.

"Accompanying claims that this close grouping of planets is a once in a multi-generation event are also false. As recently as last year, these planets appeared even more closely together."

Reposted bysashthesplashlukenszTodeswalzaShingomuraperturePoxergetstonedjulannflubblaudijulannluke1lefuSeizetheNightaspazjaconsensualnonconsentpartyhardorgtfololufoSartaniweirdscenesinsidethegoldminepesymistamischgaFreXxXskizzoepheepralinanenyawithmyheadinspaceSzavislavohsunbeamsrslyMissDeWordehessicajughesfoxylineFlypnmishastafarimisseccentricAnnabelleHectormanxxihuntyoursoultawKobajashidrseilzugavgpauthmillenonmstrzohwowlovelyAluAluLykoupsychotropowaRat-Incdessinemoilapaixschaaafiamarylisrandoomapo14nibotstormsschaafmissvenallyamarusfrittatensuppeStageKeksverpackungjbeanReeshTHE6PawelSglupiasukamalsainebanshe

August 26 2013

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10 Years of Incredible Photos from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope

For 10 years, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has been helping scientists on Earth learn more about the mysterious objects hiding in our star-studded skies. On August 25, 2003, the telescope, carrying a relatively small, 0.85-meter beryllium mirror, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Since then, it’s been trailing the Earth on its orbit around the sun, like NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.

Spitzer stares at the heavens in infrared wavelengths, revealing the cold, distant, and dusty realms of the universe, normally invisible to eyes on Earth. In this gallery, ribbons of dust wind around massive stars, the cavities carved by hot, young stars open up like bottomless caverns, and the spiraling tendrils of a distant galaxy glisten behind a foreground nebula.

  • Helix Nebula - About 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, the white dwarf star (visible in the very center), is the dead remnant of what was once a star like the sun. The bright red glow immediately around it is probably the dust kicked up by colliding comets that survived the death of their stellar host.
  • The Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud - This is a region known as the “Wing” of the Small Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way’s satellite dwarf galaxies. Here, Chandra X-Ray Observatory data are in purple, optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope are shown in red, green and blue, and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope are shown in red.
  • Zeta Ophiuchi - A giant star zooming through space at 54,000 miles per hour creates a bowshock — ripples that are the result of billowing stellar winds colliding with the dust ahead of it. About 370 light-years away, it is 80,000 times brighter than the sun. It would be one of the brightest stars in the sky, but it’s invisible from Earth obscured by dust and clouds.
  • M81 - Messier 81, a relatively nearby galaxy that’s just 12 million light-years distant, is a gorgeous spiral located the northern sky in Ursa Major.
  • Bright Superbubble - Massive stars grow quickly and die young, exploding in radiant supernovae. A large cluster of these hot, young stars will generate stellar winds and shock waves that carve superbubbles into the fabric of their nurseries, like the ones seen here, about 160,000 light-years away in NGC 1929.
  • Galactic Merger - The cores of two merging galaxies form what appear to be giant blue eyes, peering out from behind a swirling red mask. Galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163, located about 140 million light-years from Earth, began merging relatively recently — about 40 million years ago. Eventually, the pair will form a giant cycloptic eye.

May Spitzer have great and fortunate rebirths, if telescopes have rebirths.

Reposted bymolotovcupcake molotovcupcake

August 07 2013


May 14 2013

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FANTASTIC SUNRISE: The sunrise over Australia on Friday, May 10th, was a little … unusual. Tony O’Brien photographed what happened from a spot south of the town of Newman.

It was an annular solar eclipse. At the moment of O’Brien’s snapshot, more than 95% of the sun’s diameter was covered by the Moon.

“I traveled a full day to see the eclipse, and it was worth the trip,” he says. “What a fantastic event!”

In an annular eclipse the Moon is not quite big enough to cover the entire solar disk. A blinding ring of solar fire juts out around the Moon, overwhelming the sun’s delicate corona. It may not be the same as totality, but annularity has a charm and beauty all its own. Browse the gallery for more images from the eclipse zone. …

  Via Time Machine

Reposted bywonkofrittatensuppeBlackRaven13fitokokolokoPTS
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SOLAR ACTIVITY SURGES: A sunspot on the sun’s eastern limb is crackling with powerful X-class solar flares. It announced itself with an X1.7-class eruption on May 13th at 0217 UT, quickly followed by an X2.8-class flare at 1609 UT. These are the strongest flares of 2013, and they signal a significant uptick in solar activity. More eruptions are in the offing.

Both of today’s flares have produced strong flashes of extreme ultraviolet radiation. Above is the view of the X1.7-flare from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The explosions also hurled coronal mass ejections (CMEs) into space. Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory are tracking the clouds: movie. The planet in the CME movie is Mercury. Although the CMEs appear to hit Mercury, they do not. In fact, no planets were in the line of fire. However, the CMEs appear to be on course to hit NASA’s Epoxi and Spitzer spacecraft on May 15-16. …

  Via Time Machine

Reposted bymolotovcupcakeschaaf

April 22 2013

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Careful observations of the heavens appear to have been important for nomadic pastoralists who moved across the Western Sahara Desert during the Late Neolithic. Evidence for their interest in astronomy is found in the ceremonial complex they built on the western shores of Nabta Playa some 2000 years before construction of similar megalithic structures at Stonehenge and elsewhere in northern Europe. These nomads moved across trackless oceans of sand, and they must have found the stars to be as useful for navigation as did those who attempted to find their ways across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Ultimately they were drawn to Nabta playa because of the promise of water, which began to accumulate in Nabta Playa around the time of summer solstice. It should come as no surprise that in the astronomy displayed by the ancient stones of Nabta are contained the two most powerful celestial phenomena in the lives of these people: the rising of the sun at summer solstice, associated with the onset of summer rains, and the organization of the stars at night into patterns that could guide them across the desert.

Located 100 km west of Abu Simbel in southern Egypt, Nabta Playa is a large internally drained basin, which during the period 11,000 to 5000 years before the present was an important ceremonial center for prehistoric people (Malville et al 1998; Wendorf et al 1992-3). During the season when it was filled by summer monsoon rains the western shore of the lake was visited by nomadic pastoralists who came to water and feed their animals as well as record astronomical events, erect lines of megaliths in the sediments of the lake, and construct impressive stone structures.

From about 65,000 years ago until about 12,000 years ago the Western Desert was hyper-arid, at least as dry as today and perhaps even drier. Changes began when the summer rains of tropical Africa began to move northward, bringing sufficient moisture for a variety of sahelian grasses, tress, and bushes to grow and for a few small animals to exit, mostly hares and small gazelle, but also small carnivores. Even with the summer rains, it was still very dry with an annual rainfall of no more than 10-15 cm. There were times of serious droughts, some of which resulted in the abandonment of the desert for extended periods.

The earliest (11,000-9300) settlements were composed of seasonal camps of cattle-herding and ceramic-using people. These cattle must have been domestic, as they could not have existed in the arid landscape without human assistance. In a manner similar to that of central Africa today, cattle may have functioned as walking larders, which provided milk and blood. Meat may have been reserved for ceremonial occasions. Cattle also provided prestige and may have been major agents in the stratification of nomad society, as they are today in Central Africa. These early people probably came into the desert after the summer rains from farther south or from the Nile Valley in search of pasture; in the autumn when the surface water in the playa dried up they had to return to the Nile or to better watered areas in the south.

Part of the record they left in the sand are countless stones scattered across the dunes at the western edge of the lake; these stones are fire reddened due to oxidization of iron and were initially carried into the area to line fire pits and hearths. As the winds pulled sand away from the pits, the stones became scattered across the dunes, some of which have been stabilized by their “skin” of old hearths.

By 9000 years ago, the settlements around Nabta were larger and some of the inhabitants were able to live in the desert year around by digging walk-in wells, providing water for them and their domesticated animals. Around 7500 years ago a major change occurred in the character of the Neolithic society at Nabta. In their periodic movement, synchronized with the summer rains, they established a pattern of movement across the landscape that paralleled the heavenly cycle of the sun in the sky, and these nomads may have become some of the world’s first pilgrims. Their repetitive movement over the millennia into Nabta may have eventually acquired a deeper meaning and significance than simply a search for food and water.

The groups who returned to the desert at summer solstice had a complex social structure associated with a degree of organization and control not previously seen in Egypt. These people sacrificed young cows and buried them in clay-lined and roofed chambers. They placed lines of large (2x2x4 meters) roughly shaped sandstone slabs in the sediments of the lake.

One of the megalithic alignments is parallel to the rising point of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. For people standing on the shore of the lake in the early morning hours around summer solstice, the brilliant and flickering Sirius rising along the megalithic alignments, its light reflected in the surface of the lake, must have been a stunning sight. In the calendar circle, they built Egypt’s earliest astronomical measuring device, which marks the rising position of the sun at summer solstice. Also at the western edge of the playa, they constructed some 30 megalithic structures, consisting of both surface and subterranean megalithic structures, with both surface and subterranean features. A shaped stone, which bears some resemblance to a cow, was unearthed from one of these megalithic structures, and it may be the oldest known sculpture in Egypt.

We understand a regional ceremonial center to be a place where related but widely separated groups gather periodically to conduct ritual and to reaffirm their social and political cohesion. Today in Africa ceremonial centers foster social integration though their religious, political, and social activities. The presence of ceremonial structures at Nabta may indicate that the desert people were more highly organized and more astronomically knowledgeable than their contemporaries in the Nile Valley.

The possibility of connections between the cattle pastoralists in the Sahara and the Neolithic groups in the Nile Valley raises the intriguing, though highly speculative, possibility that social and symbolic complexity of the Saharan pastoralist societies may have contributed to the development of high culture along the Nile.

The roles of cattle in these two cultures may offer a clue. Among the ancient Egyptians cattle were deified and regarded as earthly representative of the gods. The cow goddess Hathor was the mother of the sun as well as the mother of Horus, of whom pharaohs were understood to be the embodiment. In spite of this symbolic significance of cattle in the Old Kingdom, they did not play a significant role in the economy. Cattle worship may have been part of the heritage passed on by Saharan pastoralists to the great kingdoms of the Nile Valley.

There are six megalithic alignments extending across the sediments of the Playa, containing a total of 24 megaliths or megalithic scatters. Like the spokes on a wheel each alignment radiates outward from the complex structure A (Figure 1). According to our analysis, these lines coincide with the rising positions of three prominent stars during the period 4800-3700 B. C.: Sirius (the brightest star of the night sky), Dubhe, (the brightest star in Ursa Major), and stars in the belt of Orion. …

  Via Megalithic Astronomy at the Ceremonial Center of Nabta Playa -

March 18 2013

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I have now processed a second image from yesterday evening that seems to show a fragment splitting from the nucleus of PanStarr. It is visible also in 2-3 other stacks and seems to follow the comet. The stars are seen as trails and the one to the right of the coma is TYC603-342-1, mag 11.4.
The colorfull image is a frequency modulation that increases the contrast and clearly shows the fragment, but as a dark dot bellow the nucleus.
There is also a normal and a contrast enhanced / sharpened image.

There was also an airplane passing in the tiny field of 13 x 18 of my CCD-camera. It showed on 2 frames from the 79 frames stack of 4 sec each, for a total of more than 5 min exposure.
I used a DBK41AF02 CCD-camera on my OrionOptics CT-10 f/4.8 Newton.

I hope this possible splitting of the nucleus can be confirmed by others soon.

/*Peter R

Via PanStarr Splitting Fragment

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Taken by Jorma Hevonkoski on March 17, 2013 @ Savonlinna, Eastern Finland

Via Northern Lights

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Taken by Gunnar Sigmundsson on March 17, 2013 @ Iceland 64° 6,648N, 21° 32,795W

  Via Auroras, Northern Lights

February 16 2013

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So there was a meteor who hit Russia today. A few people were injured. The videos are crazy… All the windows broke on buildings and so much chaos ensued.

guys there are already gifs the internet works quick.

I find this incredible; never before in human history has there been such a heavily seen and recorded meteor strike. Additionally, this one landed in an area with some decent population, and even caused damage and injuries, making it incredibly influential on society. It will be very interesting to see how the world reacts in the next few days.

Not at all because of the cries of OHHH SPACE RESURCH IS 2EXPENSIVE

calling it now


who’s been playing sburb

because i want a copy


Reposted byhappykokeshisiriusminervamonimichkasiulaKryptonite

December 08 2012

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Landing the Curiosity Rover on Mars.

   The Curiosity Rover will land on Mars at 10:31 PDT.

Reposted fromfoxbanana foxbanana
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