50 Cent in Malefiftycent [x]

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Animations of Saturn’s aurorae

Earth isn’t the only planet in the solar system with spectacular light shows. Both Jupiter and Saturn have magnetic fields much stronger than Earth’s. Auroras also have been observed on the surfaces of Venus, Mars and even on moons (e.g. Io, Europa, and Ganymede). The auroras on Saturn are created when solar wind particles are channeled into the planet’s magnetic field toward its poles, where they interact with electrically charged gas (plasma) in the upper atmosphere and emit light. Aurora features on Saturn can also be caused by electromagnetic waves generated when its moons move through the plasma that fills the planet’s magnetosphere.  The main source is the small moon Enceladus, which ejects water vapor from the geysers on its south pole, a portion of which is ionized. The interaction between Saturn’s magnetosphere and the solar wind generates bright oval aurorae around the planet’s poles observed in visible, infrared and ultraviolet light. The aurorae of Saturn are highly variable. Their location and brightness strongly depends on the Solar wind pressure: the aurorae become brighter and move closer to the poles when the Solar wind pressure increases.

Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. Calçada)

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This diagram shows our cosmic address at a glance. We see our planetary system around the Sun, our stellar neighborhood in our galaxy, our galaxy in the local group of galaxies, and our group in the entire universe. 

Learn more in the Cullman Hall of the Universe

(via aimlessinspace)


1: M13. The Great globular cluster in Hercules. Around 300,000 stars exist within this cluster.
2: M11. The wild duck cluster. You can see the different variations of stars through their colours.
3: M57. The ring nebula.The planetary nebula seen here is the remenants of a dying Red giant.
4: Saturn.
5: The battered Lunar surface.

The first 3 images of deep sky objects were all 30 seconds exposures through a 10” Newtonian. My polar alignment was way off, hence the trailing.
The last 2 images of Planetary objects were both taken with my ASI120MC at 1 minute recordings.

(via astronemma)


Happy World Turtle Day!

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Galactic Center of Our Milky Way

The Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory — collaborated to produce an unprecedented image of the central region of our Milky Way galaxy.

Observations using infrared light and X-ray light see through the obscuring dust and reveal the intense activity near the galactic core. The center of the galaxy is located within the bright white region in the upper portion of the image. The entire image covers about one-half a degree, about the same angular width as the full moon.

Each telescope’s contribution is presented in a different color:

  • Yellow represents the near-infrared observations of Hubble. They outline the energetic regions where stars are being born as well as reveal hundreds of thousands of stars.
  • Red represents the infrared observations of Spitzer. The radiation and winds from stars create glowing dust clouds that exhibit complex structures from compact, spherical globules to long, stringy filaments.
  • Blue and violet represents the X-ray observations of Chandra. X-rays are emitted by gas heated to millions of degrees by stellar explosions and by outflows from the supermassive black hole in the galaxy’s center. The bright blue blob toward the bottom of the full field image is emission from a double star system containing either a neutron star or a black hole.

(Source: chandra.harvard.edu, via sagansense)