Swirls and Colors on Jupiter from Juno

What creates the colors in Jupiter’s clouds? No one is sure. The thick atmosphere of Jupiter is mostly hydrogen and helium, elements which are colorless at the low temperatures of the Jovian cloud tops. Which trace elements provide the colors remains a topic of research, although small amounts of ammonium hydrosulfide are one leading candidate. What is clear from the featured color-enhanced image — and many similar images — is that lighter clouds are typically higher up than darker ones. Pictured, light clouds swirl around reddish regions toward the lower right, while they appear to cover over some darker domains Read more »

Unexpected Trajectory Interstellar Asteroid Oumuamua

Why is ‚Oumuamua differing from its expected trajectory? Last year, 1I/2017 U1 ‚Oumuamua became the first known asteroid from interstellar space to pass through our Solar System. Just over a year ago, this tumbling interstellar rock even passed rather close to the Earth. The asteroid’s future path should have been easy to predict given standard gravity — but ‚Oumuamua’s path has proven to be slightly different. In the featured animation, ‚Oumuamua is shown approaching and exiting the vicinity of our Sun, with the expected gravitational and observed trajectories labelled. The leading natural hypothesis for this unexpected deviation is internal gas Read more »

SS John Young Cargo Craft Docks to Space Station

„Captured Cygnus today with @Astro_Alex…Proud to have The SS John Young on-board!“ said astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor today, as the International Space Station crew brought aboard the latest Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft, loaded with almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies. via NASA https://ift.tt/2PDOBsd

NASA Announces Landing Site for Mars 2020 Rover

NASA has chosen Jezero Crater as the landing site for its upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission after a five year search, during which every available detail of more than 60 candidate locations on the Red Planet was scrutinized and debated by the mission team and the planetary science community. from NASA https://ift.tt/2qTgUnJ via IFTTT

Gibbous Moon beyond Swedish Mountain

This is a gibbous Moon. More Earthlings are familiar with a full moon, when the entire face of Luna is lit by the Sun, and a crescent moon, when only a sliver of the Moon’s face is lit. When more than half of the Moon is illuminated, though, but still short of full illumination, the phase is called gibbous. Rarely seen in television and movies, gibbous moons are quite common in the actual night sky. The featured image was taken in Jämtland, Sweden near the end of last month. That gibbous moon turned, in a few days, into a crescent Read more »

Creature Aurora Over Norway

It was Halloween and the sky looked like a creature. Exactly which creature, the astrophotographer was unsure but (possibly you can suggest one). Exactly what caused this eerie apparition in 2013 was sure: one of the best auroral displays in recent years. This spectacular aurora had an unusually high degree of detail. Pictured here, the vivid green and purple auroral colors are caused by high atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen reacting to a burst of incoming electrons. Birch trees in Tromsø, Norway formed an also eerie foreground. Recently, new photogenic auroras have accompanied new geomagnetic storms. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Dt1FJQ