cosmicvastness

cosmicvastness:

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 2014 September 16

Milky Way above Atacama Salt Lagoon 

Galaxies, stars, and a serene reflecting pool combine to create this memorable land and skyscape. The featured panorama is a 12-image mosaic taken last month from the Salar de Atacama salt flat in northern Chile. The calm water is Laguna Cejar, a salty lagoon featuring a large central sinkhole. On the image left, the astrophotographer’s fiancee is seen capturing the same photogenic scene. The night sky is lit up with countless stars, the Large and Small Magellanic Cloud galaxies on the left, and the band of our Milky Way galaxy running diagonally up the right. The Milky Way may appear to be causing havoc at the horizon, but those are just the normal lights of a nearby town.

theatlantic
theatlantic:

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First-Cousin

Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home. 
NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered. 
It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute. 
But if there is indeed life on Kepler-186f, it may not look like what we have here. Given the redder wavelengths of light on the planet, vegetation there would sprout in hues of yellow and orange instead of green.
Read more. [Image: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech]

theatlantic:

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First-Cousin

Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home. 

NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered. 

It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute. 

But if there is indeed life on Kepler-186f, it may not look like what we have here. Given the redder wavelengths of light on the planet, vegetation there would sprout in hues of yellow and orange instead of green.

Read more. [Image: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech]

beneviolent

space-facts:

  1. Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) (source)
  2. Comet Schwassman-Wachmann 3 breakup (source)
  3. Comet Lovejoy (source)
  4. Comet ISON (source)
  5. Comet Tempel 1 Deep Impact (source
  6. Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from Rosetta Probe (source)
  7. Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Surface (source)
  8. Comet Hale Bopp (source)
  9. Comet McNaught over the Pacific Ocean (source)
  10. Comet Holmes (source)
sci-universe

sci-universe:

Last week, my friend, astrophotographer Raivo Hein, skyped me and gave me the chance to see the process of capturing an image with his new telescope and software. I saw a tiny part of this because the final photograph takes many days to complete but I still learned a lot about his techniques. So you can see the outcome above — the Triangulum galaxy (M33) which is the third largest member in the Local Group of galaxies after Andromeda and our own Milky Way. (more from Raivo here)