AR 2192: Giant on the Sun

As you (safely!) watched the progress of yesterday’s partial solar eclipse, you probably also spotted a giant sunspot group. Captured in this sharp telescopic image from October 22nd the complex AR 2192 is beautiful to see, a sprawling solar active region comparable in size to the diameter of Jupiter. Like other smaller sunspot groups, AR 2192 is now crossing the Earth-facing side of the Sun and appears dark in visible … Read More →

[NASA] Hinode Captures Images of Partial Solar Eclipse

A partial solar eclipse was visible from much of North America before sundown on Thursday, Oct.23. A partial eclipse occurs when the moon blocks a portion of the Sun from view. The Hinode spacecraft captured images of yesterday’s eclipse as it passed over North America using its X-ray Telescope.  During the eclipse, the new moon eased across the Sun from right to left with the Sun shining brilliantly in the … Read More →

Galaxies in Pegasus

This wide, sharp telescopic view reveals galaxies scattered beyond the stars and faint dust nebulae of the Milky Way at the northern boundary of the high-flying constellation Pegasus. Prominent at the upper right is NGC 7331. A mere 50 million light-years away, the large spiral is one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier’s famous 18th century catalog. The disturbed looking group of galaxies at the lower left … Read More →

[NASA] Illusions in the Cosmic Clouds

Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data. There are many examples of this phenomenon on Earth and in space. When an image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory of PSR B1509-58 — a spinning neutron star surrounded by a cloud of energetic particles –was released in 2009, it quickly gained attention because many saw a hand-like structure in … Read More →

[NASA] James Webb Space Telescope’s Heart Survives Deep Freeze Test

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, emerged unscathed from the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Webb telescope’s images will reveal the first galaxies forming 13.5 billion years ago. The telescope will also pierce through interstellar dust … Read More →