Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 4302 and NGC 4298
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Mutchler (STScI)

Explanation: Seen edge-on, spiral galaxy NGC 4302 (left) lies about 55 million light-years away in the well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. A member of the large Virgo Galaxy Cluster, it spans some 87,000 light-years, a little smaller than our own Milky Way. Like the Milky Way, NGC 4302’s prominent dust lanes cut along the center of the galactic plane, obscuring and reddening the starlight from our perspective. Smaller companion galaxy NGC 4298 is also a dusty spiral. But tilted more nearly face-on to our view, NGC 4298 can show off dust lanes along spiral arms traced by the bluish light of young stars, as well as its bright yellowish core. In celebration of the 27th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990, astronomers used the legendary telescope to take this gorgeous visible light portrait of the contrasting galaxy pair.

Tomorrow’s picture: light-weekend

THE SPHINX—–STUFF

The Editor:  Do you have a cockroach story, LL ?

Paul Revere Cat:  I sure do, here is a scummy cockroach from NBC  ( nobody but cockroaches ).

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/jay-maxson/2017/04/16/nbc-sports-us-flag-baseball-games-too-political

Ants help their wounded.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/ants-rescues-soldiers-injured-africa/

Florida never learns about exotic creatures with no natural enemies.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/article144994384.html

Here is news about the Shroud of Turin.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446763/easter-shroud-turin-jesus-christ-carbon-14-dating-medieval-forgery-debunked-crucifixion-resurrection

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Asteroid 2014 JO25
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Goldstone Solar System Radar

Explanation: A day before its closest approach, asteroid 2014 JO25 was imaged by radar with the 70-meter antenna of NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California. This grid of 30 radar images, top left to lower right, reveals the two-lobed shape of the asteroid that rotates about once every five hours. Its largest lobe is about 610 meters across. On the list of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids, this space rock made its close approach to our fair planet on April 19, flying safely past at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers. That’s over four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. The asteroid was a faint and fast moving speck visible in backyard telescopes. Asteroid 2014 JO25 was discovered in May 2014 by the Catalina Sky Survey, a project of NASA’s Near-Earth Objects Observations Program in collaboration with the University of Arizona.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space

THE SPHINX—NEWS

The Editor:   Did you hear about the Potato Chip shortage in Japan, LL ?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-14/the-great-japan-potato-chip-crisis-panic-buying-12-bags

Ahh Sou Cat:   I sure did.   With the strange writing on the bags they probably can’t find the ones they want.  Regardless,   haven’t they heard of Idaho ?   America has so many potatoes that people make potato-guns to get rid of them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato_cannon

Rather than using a potato-gun to protect your property one police force advises this, ( I would add, don’t leave anything in sight ).

http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2017/04/12/Police-combat-burglaries-with-satirical-door-locks-infomercial/9741492024248/?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=7

Chicago needs a new government.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-shootings-violence-20170415-story.html

DUI’s  are still bad news.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/04/17/DHS-chief-Kelly-Policy-shift-means-DUIs-could-lead-to-deportation/3941492423969/?utm_source=fp&utm_campaign=ls&utm_medium=2

Here is a small victory for US Citizens.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/04/17/Supreme-Court-rejects-appeal-for-Latin-American-refugees-seeking-US-asylum/9161492448577/?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=12

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Red Spider Planetary Nebula
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Reprocessing & Copyright: Jesús M.Vargas & Maritxu Poyal

Explanation: Oh what a tangled web a planetary nebula can weave. The Red Spider Planetary Nebula shows the complex structure that can result when a normal star ejects its outer gases and becomes a white dwarf star. Officially tagged NGC 6537, this two-lobed symmetric planetary nebula houses one of the hottest white dwarfs ever observed, probably as part of a binary star system. Internal winds emanating from the central stars, visible in the center, have been measured in excess of 1000 kilometers per second. These winds expand the nebula, flow along the nebula’s walls, and cause waves of hot gas and dust to collide. Atoms caught in these colliding shocks radiate light shown in the above representative-color picture by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Red Spider Nebula lies toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). Its distance is not well known but has been estimated by some to be about 4,000 light-years.

Tomorrow’s picture: open space

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Night Glows
Image Credit & Copyright: Taha Ghouchkanlu

Explanation: What glows in the night? This night, several unusual glows were evident — some near, but some far. The foreground surf glimmers blue with the light of bioluminescent plankton. Next out, Earth’s atmosphere dims the horizon and provides a few opaque clouds. Further out, the planet Venus glows bright near the image center. If you slightly avert your eyes, a diagonal beam of light will stand out crossing behind Venus. This band is zodiacal light, sunlight scattered by dust in our Solar System. Much further away are numerous single bright stars, most closer than 100 light years away. Furthest away, also rising diagonally and making a “V” with the zodiacal light, is the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Most of the billions of Milky Way stars and dark clouds are thousands of light years away. The featured image was taken last November on the Iranian coast of Gulf of Oman.

Tomorrow’s picture: open space