Jupiter Rotates as Moons Orbit

Jupiter and its moons move like our Sun and its planets. Similarly, Jupiter spins while its moons circle around. Jupiter’s rotation can be observed by tracking circulating dark belts and light zones. The Great Red Spot, the largest storm known, rotates to become visible after about 15 seconds in the 48-second time lapse video. The video is a compilation of shorts taken over several nights last month and combined into a digital recreation of how 24-continuous hours would appear. Jupiter’s brightest moons always orbit in the plane of the planet’s rotation, even as Earth’s spin makes the whole system appear to tilt. The moons Europa, Ganymede, and Io are all visible, with Europa’s shadow appearing as the icy Galilean moon crosses Jupiter’s disk. Jupiter remains near opposition this month, meaning that it is unusually bright, near to its closest to the Earth, and visible nearly all night long. via NASA https://ift.tt/hZGTmKX

Clouds Around Galaxy Andromeda

What are those red clouds surrounding the Andromeda galaxy? This galaxy, M31, is often imaged by planet Earth-based astronomers. As the nearest large spiral galaxy, it is a familiar sight with dark dust lanes, bright yellowish core, and spiral arms traced by clouds of bright blue stars. A mosaic of well-exposed broad and narrow-band image data, this deep portrait of our neighboring island universe offers strikingly unfamiliar features though, faint reddish clouds of glowing ionized hydrogen gas in the same wide field of view. Most of the ionized hydrogen clouds surely lie in the foreground of the scene, well within our Milky Way Galaxy. They are likely associated with the pervasive, dusty interstellar cirrus clouds scattered hundreds of light-years above our own galactic plane. Some of the clouds, however, occur right in the Andromeda galaxy itself, and some in M110, the small galaxy just below. via NASA https://ift.tt/jFOVJPB

Milky Way and Zodiacal Light over Australian Pinnacles

What strange world is this? Earth. In the foreground of the featured image are the Pinnacles, unusual rock spires in Nambung National Park in Western Australia. Made of ancient sea shells (limestone), how these human-sized picturesque spires formed remains a topic of research. The picturesque panorama was taken in 2017 September. A ray of zodiacal light, sunlight reflected by dust grains orbiting between the planets in the Solar System, rises from the horizon near the image center. Arching across the top is the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. The planets Jupiter and Saturn, as well as several famous stars are also visible in the background night sky. via NASA https://ift.tt/mjAFyp5

NGC 1499: The California Nebula

Drifting through the Orion Arm of the spiral Milky Way Galaxy, this cosmic cloud by chance echoes the outline of California on the west coast of the United States. Our own Sun also lies within the Milky Way’s Orion Arm, only about 1,500 light-years from the California Nebula. Also known as NGC 1499, the classic emission nebula is around 100 light-years long. The California Nebula shines with the telltale reddish glow characteristic of hydrogen atoms recombining with long lost electrons. The electrons have been stripped away, ionized by energetic starlight. Most likely providing the energetic starlight that ionizes much of the nebular gas is the bright, hot star Xi Persei just to the right of the nebula. A popular target for astrophotographers, this deep image reveals the glowing nebula, obscuring dust, and stars across a 3 degree wide field of view. The California nebula lies toward the constellation Perseus, not far from the Pleiades. via NASA https://ift.tt/RrMXBep