A Spectre in the Eastern Veil

Frightening forms and scary faces are a mark of the Halloween season. They also haunt this cosmic close-up of the eastern Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. While the Veil is roughly circular in shape and covers nearly 3 degrees on the sky in the constellation Cygnus, this portion of the eastern Veil … Read More →

[NASA] Fifteen Years of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory

This Chandra X-ray Observatory image of the Hydra A galaxy cluster was taken on Oct. 30, 1999, with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) in an observation that lasted about six hours. Hydra A is a galaxy cluster that is 840 million light years from Earth. The cluster gets its name from the strong radio source, Hydra A, that originates in a galaxy near the center of the cluster. Optical … Read More →

Iridescent Cloud Edge Over Colorado

Sometimes your eclipse viewing goes bad in an interesting way. While watching and photographing last Thursday‘s partial solar eclipse, a popular astronomy blogger suffered through long periods of clouds blocking the Sun. Unexpectedly, however, a nearby cloud began to show a rare effect: iridescence. Frequently part of a more familiar solar corona effect, iridescence is the diffraction of sunlight around a thin screen of nearly uniformly-sized water droplets. Different colors … Read More →

[NASA] Sunrise From the International Space Station

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman posted this image of a sunrise, captured from the International Space Station, to social media on Oct. 29, 2014. Wiseman wrote, “Not every day is easy. Today was a tough one.” Wiseman was referring to the loss on Oct. 28 of the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft, moments after launch at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Cygnus spacecraft was filled with … Read More →