So Juan Carlos Casado took this totally amazing and real photo of an aurora in Greenland in August. Astronomy Picture of the Day posted it (go there and you can mouse over the photo to see constellations highlighted), but that is insufficient. This picture needs to be everywhere. On all the things. Forever.
You’re going to keep track of the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars as it happens tonight, right? OF COURSE YOU ARE, THIS WAS THE RHETORICALEST OF RHETORICAL QUESTIONS
If for some silly reason you want to pretend you weren’t, though, you should probably watch this video of how the landing is planned to go.
The Big Picture’s collection of photos from the eclipse on Sunday/Monday was probably my favorite set in recent memory. It has my new Twitter profile pic (#4), a supreme badass (#17), two photos that can’t possibly be photos (#26 and #27), and this shot by Bullit Marquez for the AP:
An annular solar eclipse is partially seen at sunrise, May 21, 2012, from the coastal township of Gumaca, Quezon province, 187 kilometers (116 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines.
Well would you look at that, it’s APOD time again.
In 185 AD, Chinese astronomers recorded the appearance of a new star in the Nanmen asterism – a part of the sky identified with Alpha and Beta Centauri on modern star charts. The new star was visible for months and is thought to be the earliest recorded supernova. This multiwavelength composite image from orbiting telescopes of the 21st century, XMM-Newton and Chandra in X-rays, and Spitzer and WISE in infrared, shows RCW 86, understood to be the remnant of that stellar explosion. The false-color view traces interstellar gas heated by the expanding supernova shock wave at X-ray energies (blue and green) and interstellar dust radiating at cooler temperatures in infrared light (yellow and red).