Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 7331 and Beyond
Image Credit & Copyright: Tony Hallas

Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier’s famous 18th century catalog. Since the galaxy’s disk is inclined to our line-of-sight, long telescopic exposures often result in an image that evokes a strong sense of depth. The effect is further enhanced in this sharp image from a small telescope by galaxies that lie beyond the gorgeous island universe. The most prominent background galaxies are about one tenth the apparent size of NGC 7331 and so lie roughly ten times farther away. Their close alignment on the sky with NGC 7331 occurs just by chance. Seen through faint foreground dust clouds lingering above the plane of Milky Way, this visual grouping of galaxies is known as the Deer Lick Group.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space

10 Things To Know Today

ten

1. WHAT DROVE OBAMA’S DECISION ON NORMALIZING WITH CUBA

The president was driven in part by realizing that the policy toward Cuba was isolating the U.S. from the rest of the world.

2. JUBILATION IN HAVANA, MUTED REACTION IN MIAMI

Bells tolled and school children applauded on the island when they heard Raul Castro deliver the news. Outrage among Cuban-Americans in their Florida hub was understated, showing vast change in recent years.

3. HACKING COULD UNDERSCORE NORTH KOREA’S CAPABILITIES

In a country where most people have never used the internet, Pyongyang has amassed a small army of computer coders who may have unleashed an attack against Sony.

4. AP INVESTIGATION: HUNDREDS OF CHILD DEATHS COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED

Nearly 800 kids died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. even though protection agencies knew they were in danger.

5. WHO HAS FAITH IN THE RUBLE

Putin says Moscow has enough foreign reserves and expresses confidence that his country’s embattled currency will recover.

6. BOSTON MARATHON SUSPECT TO APPEAR IN COURT

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will make his first public appearance in a year and a half as he faces 30 federal charges.

7. MITCH MCCONNELL TAKES AIM AT OBAMA’S GREEN `CRUSADE’

The incoming Senate majority leader tells the AP that he’ll do everything he can to stop stricter limits on emissions from coal-burning power plants.

8. WHERE FRACKING WILL BE BANNED

The decision by New York state is cheered by environmentalists, while the industry and its supporters express outrage.

9. STUDY: ALCATRAZ INMATES COULD HAVE SURVIVED FAMED ESCAPE IN 1962

Dutch scientists, studying the tides and currents, conclude the three men might have made it to land.

10. WHICH `SMART’ PRODUCTS TO GIFT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

A toothbrush with Bluetooth connectivity, a Mr. Coffee machine you can start remotely with your phone, and a scale that tracks your weight loss (or gain) are among this year’s best offerings.

HISTORIES, HOROSCOPES, AND AJC VENTS–REVENTED

                         THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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   http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history

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TODAY IN GEORGIA HISTORY

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 http://www.todayingeorgiahistory.org/
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 TODAY IN NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY
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 http://nchistorytoday.wordpress.com/

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YOUR HOROSCOPE FOR TODAY

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 http://shine.yahoo.com/horoscope/aries/
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Your Chinese Horoscope

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http://shine.yahoo.com/horoscope/
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AJC VENTS–REVENTED

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 http://projects.ajc.com/vent/metr

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THE SPHINX——CHRISTMAS CAUTION

Sphinx Main
The Editor:  Is Christmas a time to be cautious, Lois ?

Merry Cat:  It sure is, the only place/time more dangerous is Chicago, Illinois, USA.  Here are some tips that may safe a life.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/14/would-be-robbers-chicago_n_3756887.html?utm_hp_ref=stupid-criminals

http://www.rd.com/home/christmas-safety-checklist/

Don’t leave anything in your car, that may cause some thief to knock out a window and steal it.

The best charities are someone in your own circle of friends or family.  Give a child or grand child Vicodin, or any Heroin or Cocaine based pain pill.  They will come to see you every day.  If you want a good all purpose-don’t come to see me charity check these out.

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-charities-to-donate-to-this-holiday-season-1668416606?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lifehacker%2Ffull+%28Lifehacker%29

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeERWYz6n9A

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Geminid Fireball over Mount Balang
Image Credit: Alvin Wu

Explanation: This was a sky to remember. While viewing the Geminids meteor shower a few days ago, a bright fireball was captured over Mt. Balang, China with particularly picturesque surroundings. In the foreground, a sea of light clouds slowly floated between dark mountain peaks. In the background, the constellation of Orion shone brightly, with the familiar three stars of Orion’s belt visible near the image top right. Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is visible near the image center. The bright fireball flashed for only a fraction of second on the lower right. The source of the fireball was a pebble that intersected the protective atmosphere of Earth, originally expelled by the Sun-orbiting asteroid-like object 3200 Phaethon.

Tomorrow’s picture: beyond