The Great Red Spot Plunge


Here is NASA’s description of this video: This animation takes the viewer on a simulated flight into, and then out of, Jupiter’s upper atmosphere at the location of the Great Red Spot. It was created by combining an image from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft with a computer-generated animation. The perspective begins about 2,000 miles (3,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops of the planet’s southern hemisphere. The bar at far left indicates altitude during the quick descent; a second gauge next to that depicts the dramatic increase in temperature that occurs as the perspective dives deeper down. The clouds turn crimson as the perspective passes through the Great Red Spot. Finally, the view ascends out of the spot.

Video Credit: NASA

The Cat’s Paw Nebula


cat's pawThe Cat’s Paw Nebula (aka NGC 6334) lies in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). It is relatively near to Earth, at a distance of about 5500 light-years on line with the center of the galaxy. It is about 50 light-years across and is one of the most active star formation regions in the Milky Way, containing young, massive blue stars which are only a few million years old. It is made up of tens of thousands of stars, some of them visible and some hidden in clouds of gas and dust.

Image Credit: ESO / R. Gendler & R.M. Hannahoe

The Butterfly Nebula


butterfly_hstThis is NGC 6302 (aka The Butterfly Nebula). It is approximately 4,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius (the Scorpion). With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 °C, the dying central star of this planetary nebula shining brightly in ultraviolet light, but it’s hidden from direct view by a dense doughnut-shaped cloud of dust. This close-up of the nebula was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope‘s Wide Field Camera 3 which was installed during the final shuttle servicing mission. The dust torus (the doughnut) surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Click on the image to embiggen it.

Image Credit: NASA

NGC 1569


The NGC 1569 is a relatively nearby dwarf irregular galaxy in Camelopardalis. It’s characterized by a large starburst that has formed stars at a rate 100 times greater than that of the Milky Way during the last 100 million years.

The spectrum of NGC 1569 is blueshifted. This means that the galaxy is moving towards the Earth. In contrast, the spectra of most other galaxies are redshifted because of the expansion of the universe.

Image Credit: NASA