Milky Way over Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent

To see the feathered serpent descend the Mayan pyramid requires exquisite timing. You must visit El Castillo — in Mexico‘s Yucatán Peninsula — near an equinox. Then, during the late afternoon if the sky is clear, the pyramid‘s own shadows create triangles that merge into the famous illusion of the slithering viper. Also known as the Temple of Kukulkan, the impressive step-pyramid stands 30 meters tall and 55 meters wide … Read More →

Unusual Mountain Ahuna Mons on Asteroid Ceres

What created this unusual mountain? There is a new theory. Ahuna Mons is the largest mountain on the largest known asteroid in our Solar System, Ceres, which orbits our Sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Ahuna Mons, though, is like nothing that humanity has ever seen before. For one thing, its slopes are garnished not with old craters but young vertical streaks. The new hypothesis, based … Read More →

[NASA] Seeing an Aurora From the Space Station

“Years ago at the South Pole, I looked up to the aurora for inspiration through the 6-month winter night.” Aboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Christina Koch snapped this image of an aurora. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2WA3nz7

The Colors and Magnitudes of M13

M13 is modestly recognized as the Great Globular Star Cluster in Hercules. A ball of stars numbering in the hundreds of thousands crowded into a region 150 light years across, it lies some 25,000 light-years away. The sharp, color picture of M13 at upper left is familiar to many telescopic imagers. Still, M13’s Color vs Magnitude Diagram in the panel below and right, made from the same image data, can … Read More →

[NASA] Unveiling Hidden Figures Way

A D.C. Department of Transportation employee removes a paper cover from the “Hidden Figures Way” street sign in front of NASA Headquarters at the corner of 3rd and E Street SW. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2X4t27j

The Cave Nebula in Infrared from Spitzer

What’s happening in and around the Cave Nebula? To help find out, NASA’s orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope looked into this optically-dark star-forming region in four colors of infrared light. The Cave Nebula, cataloged as Sh2-155, is quite bright in infrared, revealing details not only of internal pillars of gas and dust, but of the illuminating star cluster too – all near the top of the image. The red glow around … Read More →