Your Astronomical Halloween Treat


Witch's BroomThe Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus. It constitutes the visible portions of the Cygnus Loop, a large but relatively faint supernova remnant. NGC 6960 (the “Witch’s Broom”), near the foreground star 52 Cygni, is one of the main parts of the larger nebula.

Image Credit: Hewholooks (CC License 3.0)

An Active Sunspot Group


This time lapse video shows the activity around sunspot group AR2912 earlier this month. The view is a composite of visible and UV images.

Video Credit: NASA

The Eye of Jupiter


jupitereye_0Not really. The trick is that the planet seems to be looking back at us because Hubble happened to catch the shadow of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, as it moved across the Giant Red Spot. Hubble was monitoring changes in that huge storm last April when the moon’s shadow moved across the center of the storm. For a moment, Jupiter became Cyclops.

Image Credit: NASA

Another Look at the Helix


Helix_VISTAESO’s Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) captured this unusual view of the Helix Nebula ( aka NGC 7293). The planetary nebula is labout 700 light-years away. This false color picture was created from images taken through three different infrared filters. The telescope’s infrared vision reveals cold nebular gas that is mostly obscured in visible images of the Helix.

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