Southern Sky at 38,000 Feet

Celestial sights of the southern sky shine above a cloudy planet Earth in this gorgeous night sky view. The scene was captured from an airliner’s flight deck at 38,000 feet on a steady westbound ride to Lima, Peru. To produce the sharp airborne astrophotograph, the best of a series of short exposures were selected and digitally stacked. The broad band of the southern Milky Way begins at top left with the dark Coalsack Nebula and Southern Cross. Its expanse of diffuse starlight encompasses the the Carina Nebula and large Gum Nebula toward the right. Canopus, alpha star of Carina and second brightest star in Earth’s night is easy to spot below the Milky Way, as is the dwarf galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Small Magellanic cloud just peeks above the cloudy horizon. Of course, the South Celestial Pole also lies within the starry southern frame. via NASA https://ift.tt/36m6ceI

Wikipedia article of the day for January 30, 2021

Wikipedia article of the day is Hitler’s prophecy. Check it out: https://ift.tt/2ApLIod Summary: Hitler’s prophecy was a statement first made by Adolf Hitler in a speech (pictured) at the Reichstag on 30 January 1939: “If international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, the result will be not the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe”. Hitler continued to invoke the prophecy throughout the war and referenced it in his last will and testament, such that the prophecy became a leitmotif of the Final Solution and is the best-known phrase from Hitler’s speeches. The historical significance of the prophecy is debated: intentionalists view it as proof of Hitler’s previously developed master plan to systematically murder the European Jews, while functionalists argue that “annihilation” was not meant or understood to mean mass murder, at least initially. It is also cited as evidence that Germans were aware that Jews were being exterminated.

North American Nightscape

On January 21, light from the Moon near first quarter illuminated the foreground in this snowy mountain and night scene. Known as The Lions, the striking pair of mountain peaks are north of Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, North America, planet Earth. Poised above the twin summits, left of Deneb alpha star of the constellation Cygnus, are emission regions NGC 7000 and IC 5070. Part of a large star forming complex about 1,500 light-years from Vancouver, they shine with the characteristic red glow of atomic hydrogen gas. Outlines of the bright emission regions suggest their popular names, The North America Nebula and The Pelican Nebula. The well-planned, deep nightscape is a composite of consecutive exposures made with a modified digital camera and telephoto lens. Foreground exposures were made with camera fixed to a tripod, background exposures were made tracking the sky. The result preserves sharp natural detail and reveals a range of brightness and color that your eye can’t quite see on its own. via NASA https://ift.tt/39tNgN7

Wikipedia article of the day for January 29, 2021

Wikipedia article of the day is Pyramid of Nyuserre. Check it out: https://ift.tt/2mt9dSJ Summary: The Pyramid of Nyuserre is a pyramid complex built in the 25th century BC for the Egyptian pharaoh Nyuserre Ini of the Fifth Dynasty. It is in the Abusir necropolis south of modern-day Cairo between the complexes of Neferirkare and of Sahure. Nyuserre was the last king to be entombed in the necropolis. The main pyramid, nearly 52 m (171 ft) tall, had a stepped core built from roughly cut limestone encased in fine Tura limestone. The casing was stripped by stone thieves, leaving the core exposed to the elements and further human activity, reducing the pyramid to a ruined mound. Adjoining the pyramid’s east face is the mortuary temple built in an L-shape rather than the usual T-shape plan. It introduced the antichambre carrée, an innovative type of room that became a standard feature of later monuments. The site has two structures which appear to have been pylon prototypes. These, too, became staple features of temples and palaces in a later period.

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