The Dark Energy Camera Plane Survey 2 (DECaPS2) is out. This is the second data release from DECaPS, and the survey contains over 3 billion objects in the Milky Way. As the leading image shows, there are so many stars it appears as if there’s no space between them.Continue reading “A New Survey of the Milky Way Reveals Billions of Objects, Helping to Map Our Surroundings in Three Dimensions”
The Venerable Hubble Space Telescope has cemented its place in history. Some call it the most successful science experiment ever. And while the James Webb Space Telescope might vie for that title, the Hubble does things that even the powerful JWST can’t do.
Exhibit A: this stunning image of NGC 6355.Continue reading “The JWST is the Shiny New Space Telescope, but the Dependable Hubble is Still Going Strong”
The powerful James Webb Space Telescope is a mighty technological tool. Astrophysicists first conceived it over 20 years ago, and after many twists and turns, it was launched on December 2st, 2021. Now it’s in a halo orbit at the Sun-Earth L2 point, where it will hopefully continue operating for 20 years.
It’s only been a few months since its first images were released, and it’s already making progress in answering some of the Universe’s most compelling questions. In a newly-released image, the JWST peered deep inside massive clouds of gas and dust to watch young stars come to life in their stellar cocoons.Continue reading “JWST Sees Furious Star Formation in a Stellar Nursery”
You’d have to be in some kind of sense-of-wonder-repressed coma not to appreciate satellite images of Earth. If you are, then images from the NOAA’s newest satellite might pull you out of it.
And they’re only a taste of the fascinating images that it will provide.Continue reading “NOAA’s New Weather Satellite is Operational, and its Pictures of Earth are Gorgeous”
As far as we know, nobody lives in our neighbour, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC.) So it’s okay to point our telescope there and gaze at it.Continue reading “Hubble Sees a Glittering Jewel in the Small Magellanic Cloud. But the Jewel is Disappearing”
Open star clusters are groups of stars in loosely-bound gravitational associations. The stars are further apart than the stars in their cousins, the globular clusters. The weak gravity from the loose clusters means open clusters take on irregular shapes. They usually contain only a few thousand stars.
The Hubble Space Telescope captured images of two clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud.Continue reading “Hubble Spots Two Open Clusters. One is Also an Emission Nebula”
The James Webb Space Telescope is living up to expectations. When it was launched, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said it would “… open up secrets of the universe that will be just stupendous, if not almost overwhelming.” Nelson’s statement rings true a few months into the telescope’s multi-year mission.Continue reading “Here’s Webb’s View of the Pillars of Creation”
Astrophotographer Judy Schmidt (aka. Geckzilla, SpaceGeck) is at it again! Earlier this month, she released a processed image of the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy (NGC 1365). The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) recently observed this iconic double-barred spiral galaxy, which resulted in the most-detailed look at this galaxy to date. This time, Schmidt shared a series of images via Twitter that provide a closer look at NGC 1365’s core region, a widefield view that shows the galaxy’s long arms, and lovely animation that shows the galaxy in near- and mid-infrared wavelengths.Continue reading “Gaze Into the Heart of NGC 1365, Captured by Webb”
The JWST is grabbing headlines and eyeballs as its mission gains momentum. The telescope recently imaged M74 (NGC 628) with its Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI.) Judy Schmidt, a well-known amateur astronomy image processor, has worked on the image to bring out more detail.Continue reading “Here’s M74 Like You’ve Never Seen it Before, Thanks to Judy Schmidt and JWST”
When NASA sent the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to the red planet in 2006, the spacecraft took an instrument with it called CRISM—Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars. CRISM’s job is to produce maps of Mars’ surface mineralogy. It’s been an enormous success, but unfortunately, the loss of its last cryocooler in 2017 means the spectrometer can only undertake limited observations.
But CRISM is going out with a bang, creating one final image of the surface of Mars that NASA will release in batches over the next six months.Continue reading “A New Map of Mars, Made From 51,000 Orbital Images”