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March 27th, 2015

The Carina Nebula: Star Birth in the Extreme

This image, released for Hubble’s 17th anniversary, shows a region of star birth and death in the Carina Nebula. The nebula contains at least a dozen brilliant stars that are 50 to 100 times the mass of our Sun.

Credit for Hubble Image: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Credit for CTIO Image: N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley) and NOAO/AURA/NSF

March 23rd, 2015

Out of This Whirl: the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy

The large Whirlpool Galaxy (left) is known for its sharply defined spiral arms. Their prominence could be the result of the Whirlpool’s gravitational tug-of-war with its smaller companion galaxy (right).

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

March 20th, 2015

Hubble’s Sharpest View of the Orion Nebula

Thousands of stars are forming in the cloud of gas and dust known as the Orion nebula. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. Some of them have never been seen in visible light.

Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

March 19th, 2015

Total Solar Eclipse on March 20th

End of this week holds in store a nice and a rare spectacle – a total eclipse of the Sun. On this day, the Moon swings in front of the Sun casting a shadow onto the surface of the Earth. Those of us in the path of this shadow will be lucky to see the Sun partially or fully covered: the solar eclipse.

What’s going to happen?

Read the rest of this entry »

March 18th, 2015

St. Patrick’s Day Green Aurora

Photo by Sebastian Saarloos

Last night Earth experienced a geomagnetic storm and aurora were visible in the Northern U.S. states. These images of aurora were captured on March 17, 2015, around 5:30 a.m. EDT in Donnelly Creek, Alaska by Sebastian Saarloos. These aurora might have been caused by the fast solar wind streaming from two solar coronal holes. Image Courtesy of Sebastian Saarloos.

Credit: NASA