Spiral galaxy Messier 101 is almost twice the size of the Milky Way.
These long crevasses called “tiger stripes” on Saturn’s moon Enceladus emit ice particles and water vapor, which flow into orbit around Saturn and create its largest ring, the E-ring.
Long features dubbed tiger stripes are known to be spewing ice from the moon’s icy interior into space, creating a cloud of fine ice particles over the moon’s South Pole and creating Saturn’s mysterious E-ring. (via APOD: 2014 April 6 - Fresh Tiger Stripes on Saturns Enceladus)
Stars, like bees, swarm around the center of bright globular cluster M15. This ball of over 100,000 stars is a relic from the early years of our Galaxy, and continues to orbit the Milky Way’s center. M15, one of about 170 globular clusters remaining, is noted for being easily visible with only binoculars, having at its center one of the densest concentrations of stars known, and containing a high abundance of variable stars and pulsars. Released only recently, this sharp image taken by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope spans about 120 light years. It shows the dramatic increase in density of stars toward the cluster’s center. M15 lies about 35,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Winged Horse (Pegasus). (via Astronomy Picture of the Day)
Native American Sweat Lodge from the ThunderBird Nation. After a long day of thunderstorms, a little bit of gold. Buenos Aires Province Argentina.
the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy close to the Milky Way
“Swirls of red and green represent highly charged iron streaming from the sun’s upper atmosphere, captured by a NASA Goddard Space Flight Center astronomer during a total solar eclipse in 2008.”
Enceladus shows off its beautiful plume to the Cassini spacecraft’s cameras. Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) is seen here illuminated by light reflected off Saturn.
"Springtime in the Bay of Biscay, off the coast of France, as in most places, is a season of abundant growth. On April 20, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the dynamic growth of a springtime phytoplankton bloom. The swirling colors indicate the presence of vast numbers of phytoplankton – tiny plant-like microorganisms that live in both fresh and salt water. Although these organisms live year-round in the Bay of Biscay, it is only when conditions are right that explosive blooms occur. In spring, the lengthening sunlight, the increased nutrient load swept into the Bay from ocean currents and from snowmelt carried by freshwater rivers, combined with warming waters create the perfect conditions to spur phytoplankton in to tremendous growth. The result is a swirling, multi-hued discoloration that can be easily seen from space."
The sun is about to come up over the South Pacific Ocean in this colorful scene photographed by one of the Expedition 35 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station between 4 and 5 a.m. local time, May 5, 2013.
"Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) photographed this striking view of Pavlof Volcano on May 18, 2013. The oblique perspective from the ISS reveals the three dimensional structure of the ash plume, which is often obscured by the top-down view of most remote sensing satellites."
"With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of [the Butterfly Nebula] has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust."
"Two or three times a year, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observes the moon traveling across the sun, blocking its view. While this obscures solar observations for a short while, it offers the chance for an interesting view of the shadow of the moon. The moon’s crisp horizon can be seen up against the sun, because the moon does not have an atmosphere. (At other times of the year, when Earth blocks SDO’s view, the Earth’s horizon looks fuzzy due to its atmosphere.)" (via NASA - The Moon and Sun)
"All 786 known planets (as of June 2012) to scale (some planet sizes estimated based on mass). This [small box] is our solar system. The rest of these orbit other stars and were only discovered recently. Most of them are huge because those are the kind we learned to detect first, but now we’re finding that small ones are actually more common. We know nothing about what’s on any of them. With better telescopes, that would change. This is an exciting time.”