James Lattimore

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APOD: Warped Sky: Star Trails over Arches National Park (2014 Mar 17) Image Credit & Copyright: Vincent Brady http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140317.html Explanation: What's happened to the sky? A time warp, of sorts, and a digital space warp too. The time warp occurs because this image captured in a single frame a two and a half hour exposure of the night sky. As a result, prominent star trails are visible. The space warp occurs because the picture is actually a full 360 degree panorama, horizontally compressed to fit your browser. As the Earth rotated, stars appeared to circle both the North Celestial Pole, on the left, and the South Celestial Pole, just below the horizon on the right. The above panorama over Arches National Park in Utah, USA, was captured two weeks ago during early morning hours. While the eye-catching texture of ancient layered sandstone covers the image foreground, twenty-meter tall Delicate Arch is visible on the far right, and the distant arch of our Milky Way Galaxy is visible near the image center. http://www.vincentbrady.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140317 #APOD

APOD: Comet Lovejoy over the Great Wall (2014 Feb 20) Image Credit & Copyright: Jiajie Zhang http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140220.html Explanation: Fading now as it returns to the outer solar system Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still graces planet Earth's sky, a delicate apparition in binoculars or small telescopes. The comet, a relic of the solar system's formative years, is seen here rising in the morning twilight on January 12 among the stars of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. Posing near the comet is bright star Alpha Ophiuchi, also known as Rasalhague, from Arabic "the head of the serpent collector". Of course, the serpentine shape below is the ancient Great Wall of China, along the Panlongshan section northeast of Beijing. Panlongshan is translated as "a coiled dragon". A moving and fortuitous scene, it was captured with a digital camera and telephoto lens in two consecutive exposures. The exposures were merged to show a natural looking foreground and twilight sky. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140220 #APOD

APOD: A Rainbow Pileus Cloud over Zimbabwe (2014 Feb 19) Image Credit & Copyright: Peter Lowenstein http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140219.html Explanation: Yes, but how many dark clouds have a multicolored lining? Pictured, behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. The above image was taken just before sunset when it was noticed by chance by a photographer in Murambi East, near Odzi Valley and the Mtanda Range of Zimbabwe. Also captured were unusual cloud ripples above the pileus cloud. The formation of a rare pileus cloud capping a common cumulus cloud is an indication that the lower cloud is expanding upward and might well develop into a storm. In this case, however, only a few minutes after the colorful cloud was noticed, it disappeared. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140219 #APOD

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#SXSW #regram photo by @waynelawrence for @msnbcphoto "March 12, 2014 - IndyJammer Jones, Rasta Fury and Attila The Nun of Austin's Banked Track Roller Derby, promote their brand during SXSW , Austin, Texas.

Photo by @jimmy_chin Highlining over huge exposure requires a serious capacity to maintain a zen state of mind. Highliners use the surrounding space for reference to find equilibrium on the line. Add the motion of a raging waterfall above the abyss and things get interesting. @deanpotter getting zen over Yosemite Falls. Shot on assignment for @natgeo. #yosemite @thephotosociety

Photo by @stephenwilkes - Lady Liberty at Sunset. #NewYork #iphoneonly #aerial #statueofliberty #sunset #sky #color

#SXSW #SXSW2014 #tapiocaandtheflea #austinsalrightifyoulikesynthesizers

Photo @ladzinski - Ice climber @calstrin moving methodically through beautiful frozen terrain in Ouray, CO

Morning wander #compobeach #signsofspring @filmspeedinc

Photo by @jimmy_chin @brady_robinson, drenched, hungry and not so happy to be descending K7 after a beat down 5 day storm and 13 days on the wall. Sharing #goodtimes w @conradclimber. Charakusa Valley, Karakoram, Pakistan. @thephotosociety

APOD: NGC 2683: Edge-On Spiral Galaxy (2014 Feb 05) Image Credit: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope; Image Assembly, Processing, & Copyright: Robert Gendler http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140205.html Explanation: Does spiral galaxy NGC 2683 have a bar across its center? Being so nearly like our own barred Milky Way Galaxy, one might guess it has. Being so nearly edge-on, however, it is hard to tell. Either way, this gorgeous island universe, cataloged as NGC 2683, lies a mere 20 million light-years distant in the northern constellation of the Cat (Lynx). NGC 2683 is seen nearly edge-on in this cosmic vista combining data and images from the ground-based Subaru telescope and the space-based Hubble Space Telescope. More distant galaxies are seen scattered in the background. Blended light from a large population of old yellowish stars forms the remarkably bright galactic core. Starlight silhouettes the dust lanes along winding spiral arms, dotted with the telltale blue glow of young star clusters in this galaxy's star forming regions. http://www.naoj.org/ http://hla.stsci.edu/ http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140205 #APOD

APOD: The Terraced Night (2014 Feb 06) Image Credit & Copyright: Cui Yongjiang http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140206.html Explanation: Long after sunset on January 25 an unusually intense red airglow floods this south-looking skyscape. The scene was recorded with a long exposure using a digital camera over Yunnan Province in southwest China. At best faintly visible to the eye, the lingering airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light through chemical excitation. Originating at an altitude similar to aurora, it can found around the globe. The chemical energy is initially provided by the Sun's extreme ultraviolet radiation On this night, despite the luminous atmosphere, the band of the Milky Way clearly stretches above the horizon with bright star Sirius near the top of the frame. Both airglow and starry sky are beautifully reflected in region's watery Yuanyang rice terraces below. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140206 #APOD

APOD: Night Hides the World (2014 Feb 07) Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140207.html Explanation: Stars come out as evening twilight fades in this serene skyscape following the Persian proverb "Night hides the world, but reveals a universe." In the scene from last November, the Sun is setting over northern Kenya and the night will soon hide the shores of Lake Turkana, home to many Nile crocodiles. That region is also known as the cradle of humankind for its abundance of hominid fossils. A brilliant Venus, then the world's evening star, dominates the starry night above. But also revealed are faint stars, cosmic dust clouds, and glowing nebulae along the graceful arc of our own Milky Way galaxy. http://twanight.org/tafreshi http://twanight.org/?id=3004418 Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140207 #APOD #TWAN

APOD: Falling to Earth (2014 Feb 10) Video Credit & Copyright: Red Bull Stratos, GoPro; Music: Wilderness is Their Home Now & Satellites (East of the River), ExtremeMusic http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140210.html http://youtube.com/watch?v=dYw4meRWGd4 Explanation: What would it be like to fall to Earth from really high up? A new record for the highest jump was accomplished in 2012 by Felix Baumgartner. Surpassing the previous record of 31.3 kilometer plummet, Baumgartner, in a commercial venture, jumped off a floating balloon platform 39.0 kilometers above New Mexico, USA and had his entire fall recorded on video. Baumgartner wore a pressurized suit able to provide breathable air and warmth while up in the balloon and during his fall. Free falling 36.4 km before deploying his parachute, Baumgartner surpassed 1,000 km per hour and the sound barrier during the descent. The above video records his four minutes and 19 seconds of free fall in real time. The stunt included a somewhat unexpected but potentially dangerous spin that occurred during the second minute which could have knocked out or disoriented Baumgartner. After an enthralling plummet, Baumgartner's parachutes deployed and he landed safely. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Bull_Stratos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoPro http://eastoftheriveruk.bandcamp.com/ https://www.extrememusic.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140210 #APOD

APOD: Rocket, Meteor, and Milky Way over Thailand (2014 Feb 12) Image Credit & Copyright: Matipon Tangmatitham http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140212.html Explanation: Can the night sky appear both serene and surreal? Perhaps classifiable as serene in the above panoramic image taken last Friday are the faint lights of small towns glowing across a dark foreground landscape of Doi Inthanon National Park in Thailand, as well as the numerous stars glowing across a dark background starscape. Also visible are the planet Venus and a band of zodiacal light on the image left. Unusual events are also captured, however. First, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, while usually a common site, appears here to hover surreally above the ground. Next, a fortuitous streak of a meteor was captured on the image right. Perhaps the most unusual component is the bright spot just to the left of the meteor. That spot is the plume of a rising Ariane 5 rocket, launched a few minutes before from Kourou, French Guiana. How lucky was the astrophotographer to capture the rocket launch in his image? Pretty lucky -- the image was not timed to capture the rocket. What was lucky was how photogenic -- and perhaps surreal -- the rest of the sky turned out to be. http://facebook.com/matipon.tangmatitham Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140212 #APOD

APOD: IC 1805: Light from the Heart (2014 Feb 14) Image Credit & Copyright: César Blanco González http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140214.html Explanation: Sprawling across almost 200 light-years, emission nebula IC 1805 is a mix of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds about 7,500 light-years away in the Perseus spiral arm of our galaxy. Stars were born in this region whose nickname, the Heart Nebula, derives from its Valentine's-Day-appropriate shape. The clouds themselves are shaped by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster Melotte 15 about 1.5 million years young. This deep telescopic image maps the pervasive light of narrow emission lines from atoms in the nebula to a color palette made popular in Hubble images of star forming regions. The field of view spans about two degrees on the sky or four times the diameter of a full moon. The cosmic heart is found in the constellation of Cassiopeia, the boastful mythical Queen of Aethiopia. http://www.cieloprofundo.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140214 #APOD

APOD: NGC 2359: Thor's Helmet (2014 Feb 15) Image Credit & Copyright: Bob and Janice Fera (Fera Photography) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140215.html Explanation: This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor's Helmet. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across. In fact, the helmet is more like an interstellar bubble, blown as a fast wind from the bright, massive star near the bubble's center sweeps through a surrounding molecular cloud. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. Cataloged as NGC 2359, the nebula is located about 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major. The sharp image, made using broadband and narrowband filters, captures striking details of the nebula's filamentary structures. It shows off a blue-green color from strong emission due to oxygen atoms in the glowing gas. http://www.feraphotography.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140215 #APOD

APOD: Inside the Eagle Nebula (2014 Feb 16) Credit & Copyright: T. A. Rector & B. A. Wolpa, NOAO, AURA http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140216.html Explanation: From afar, the whole thing looks like an Eagle. A closer look at the Eagle Nebula, however, shows the bright region is actually a window into the center of a larger dark shell of dust. Through this window, a brightly-lit workshop appears where a whole open cluster of stars is being formed. In this cavity tall pillars and round globules of dark dust and cold molecular gas remain where stars are still forming. Already visible are several young bright blue stars whose light and winds are burning away and pushing back the remaining filaments and walls of gas and dust. The Eagle emission nebula, tagged M16, lies about 6500 light years away, spans about 20 light-years, and is visible with binoculars toward the constellation of the Serpent (Serpens). This picture combines three specific emitted colors and was taken with the 0.9-meter telescope on Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA. http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0725.html Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140216 #APOD

APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturn's Ring Plane (2014 Feb 23) Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140223.html Explanation: If this is Saturn, where are the rings? When Saturn's "appendages" disappeared in 1612, Galileo did not understand why. Later that century, it became understood that Saturn's unusual protrusions were rings and that when the Earth crosses the ring plane, the edge-on rings will appear to disappear. This is because Saturn's rings are confined to a plane many times thinner, in proportion, than a razor blade. In modern times, the robot Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn now also crosses Saturn's ring plane. A series of plane crossing images from 2005 February was dug out of the vast online Cassini raw image archive by interested Spanish amateur Fernando Garcia Navarro. Pictured above, digitally cropped and set in representative colors, is the striking result. Saturn's thin ring plane appears in blue, bands and clouds in Saturn's upper atmosphere appear in gold. Details of Saturn's rings can be seen in the high dark shadows across the top of this image, taken back in 2005. Moons appear as bumps in the rings. http://ciclops.org/ http://spacescience.org/ http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ http://www.esa.int/ http://www.nasa.gov/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140223 #APOD

APOD: Möbius Arch Moonrise (2014 Feb 28) Image Credit & Copyright: Laurie Hatch http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140228.html Explanation: Only two days past full, February's moon shines through thin clouds, rising on the left in this fisheye night skyscape. The moonlight illuminates a weathered, rounded foreground in the Alabama Hills, conveniently located east of Mt. Whitney along the Sierra Nevada range in California, USA, planet Earth. Orion the Hunter stands at the right, a familiar northern winter constellation. Bright Jupiter, the solar system's ruling gas giant, is near center at the top of the frame. Below Jupiter, Sirius, alpha star of the Big Dog, poses above a bowed and twisted landform known as Möbius Arch, its curve reminiscent of the mathematically famous surface with only one side. Of course, instead of using rock, wind, and weather, a Möbius strip is easier to make with paper, scissors, and tape. http://www.lauriehatch.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140228 #APOD

APOD: Habitable Worlds (2014 Mar 03) Image Credit & Licence: Planetary Habitability Laboratory (UPR Arecibo) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140303.html Explanation: Is Earth the only known world that can support life? In an effort to find life-habitable worlds outside our Solar System, stars similar to our Sun are being monitored for slight light decreases that indicate eclipsing planets. Many previously-unknown planets are being found, including over 700 worlds recently uncovered by NASA's Kepler satellite. Depicted above in artist's illustrations are twelve extrasolar planets that orbit in the habitable zones of their parent stars. These exoplanets have the right temperature for water to be a liquid on their surfaces, and so water-based life on Earth might be able to survive on them. Although technology cannot yet detect resident life, finding habitable exoplanets is a step that helps humanity to better understand its place in the cosmos. http://phl.upr.edu/ http://www.upra.edu/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140303 #APOD