Friday, January 6, 2012


Helping us put things in perspective is NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, online since 1995. "Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer." Below, today's photo: "A Wide Field Image of the Galactic Center." I kind of wish they'd use arrows!

Image Credit & Copyright: Ivan Eder
Explanation: From Sagittarius to Scorpius, the central Milky Way is a truly beautiful part of planet Earth's night sky. The gorgeous region is captured in this wide field image spanning about 30 degrees. The impressive cosmic vista, taken in 2010, shows off intricate dust lanes, bright nebulae, and star clusters scattered through our galaxy's rich central starfields. Starting on the left, look for the Lagoon and Trifid nebulae, the Cat's Paw, while on the right lies the Pipe dark nebula, and the colorful clouds of Rho Ophiuchi and Antares (right). The actual center of our Galaxy lies about 26,000 light years away.

In our Top 10 science books right now are Earth from Space, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, and The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing.
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  1. The APOD is one of my favorite sites! Some of the patterns would make lovely murals, or scarf designs. Watch for the Magellanic Clouds, the cradle where new stars are born. The universe is a fascinating, evolving drama.