A Wide Field View of M4


M4 wide fieldThis wide-field view is centered on the globular star cluster Messier 4 in the constellation Scorpius. It is a color composite made from imagesfrom the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2). The smaller globular cluster at the upper left is NGC 6144. The red glow of clouds of hydrogen and associated star formation can also be seen in the upper left corner. The bright star Sigma Scorpii is in the upper right.

Image Credit: ESO / Digitized Sky Survey 2
Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin.

Visible and Invisible


Cat's PawThis comparison of infrared and visible views of the Cat’s Paw Nebula uses images taken by two of the telescopes belonging to the European Southern Observatory. The visible light image (right) was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile. The new infrared image (left) was taken with the VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. In the infrared, the dust that hides many stars is almost transparent, allowing many more stars to be seen.

Image Credit: ESO / J. Emerson / VISTA
Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

Dawn Approaches Ceres


Dawn20150219This image of Ceres was taken by the Dawn spacecraft on 19 February from a distance of around(46,000 km). As the probe has drawn closer to the dwarf planet, we’ve been seeing bright spots on the surface. This picture shows that the brightest spot on Ceres has a dimmer companion which seems lies in the same basin. More will be revealed soon. Dawn will enter orbit around Ceres in a few days.

Image Credit: NASA

Titan—the Hard Way


Six Nightly Views of Titan's SurfaceWe’re used to seeing pictures of Saturn’s moon Titan taken by the Cassini spacecraft. These views of Titan were taken by a ground-base telescope, the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The image on the right has been enlarged for clarity, and the coordinate grid used Titan overlaid. The images are false-colour renderings coded with red (1.575 μm; surface), green (1.600 μm; surface), and blue (1.625 μm; atmosphere), respectively.

Image Credit: ESO

NGC 1097


NGC 1097NGC 1097 is a barred spiral galaxy. It’s also a Seyfert galaxy. These galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers which are surrounded by accretion discs of in-falling material. Seen in visible light, most Seyfert galaxies look like normal spiral galaxies, but when studied in other wavelengths, the luminosity of their cores is of comparable intensity to that of entire galaxies the size of the Milky Way.

Dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 1097A is a peculiar elliptical galaxy that orbits 42,000 light-years from the center of NGC 1097

Image Credit: ESO