Mike Myers

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APOD: Galaxy Cove Vista (2013 May 07) Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130507.html Explanation: To see a vista like this takes patience, hiking, and a camera. Patience was needed in searching out just the right place and waiting for just the right time. A short hike was needed to reach this rugged perch above a secluded cove in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in California, USA. And a camera was needed for the long exposure required to bring out the faint light from stars and nebula in the background Milky Way galaxy. Moonlight and a brief artificial flash illuminated the hidden beach and inlet behind nearby trees in the above composite image taken about two weeks ago. Usually obscured McWay Falls is visible just below the image center, while the Pacific Ocean is in view to its right. http://www.deepskycolors.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130507 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0507

APOD: Partial Solar Eclipse with Airplane (2013 May 13) Image Credit & Copyright: Phillip C. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130513.html Explanation: It was just eight minutes after sunrise, last week, and already there were four things in front of the Sun. The largest and most notable was Earth's Moon, obscuring a big chunk of the Sun's lower limb as it moved across the solar disk, as viewed from Fremantle, Australia. This was expected as the image was taken during a partial solar eclipse -- an eclipse that left sunlight streaming around all sides of the Moon from some locations. Next, a band of clouds divided the Sun horizontally while showing interesting internal structure vertically. The third intervening body might be considered to be the Earth's atmosphere, as it dimmed the Sun from its higher altitude brightness while density fluctuations caused the Sun's edges to appear to shimmer. Although closest to the photographer, the least expected solar occulter was an airplane. Quite possibly, passengers on both sides of that airplane were contemplating the unusual view only visible out the eastern-facing windows. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130513 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0513

APOD: Clouds, Birds, Moon, Venus (2013 May 12) Image Credit & Copyright: Isaac Gutiérrez Pascual (Spain) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130512.html Explanation: Sometimes the sky above can become quite a show. In early September of 2010, for example, the Moon and Venus converged, creating quite a sight by itself for sky enthusiasts around the globe. From some locations, though, the sky was even more picturesque. In the above image taken in Spain, a crescent Moon and the planet Venus, on the far right, were captured during sunset posing against a deep blue sky. In the foreground, dark storm clouds loom across the image bottom, while a white anvil cloud shape appears above. Black specks dot the frame, caused by a flock of birds taking flight. Very soon after this picture was taken, however, the birds passed by, the storm ended, and Venus and the Moon set. Bright Venus again becomes visible just after sunset this 2013 May and will appear near Jupiter toward the end of the month. http://www.isaacgp.es/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130512 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0512

APOD: Four X-class Flares (2013 May 16) Image Credit: NASA, Solar Dynamics Observatory, GSFC http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130516.html Explanation: Swinging around the Sun's eastern limb on Monday, a group of sunspots labeled active region AR1748 has produced the first four X-class solar flares of 2013 in less than 48 hours. In time sequence clockwise from the top left, flashes from the four were captured in extreme ultraviolet images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Ranked according to their peak brightness in X-rays, X-class flares are the most powerful class and are frequently accompanied by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), massive clouds of high energy plasma launched into space. But CMEs from the first three flares were not Earth-directed, while one associated with the fourth flare may deliver a glancing blow to the Earth's magnetic field on May 18. Also causing temporary radio blackouts, AR1748 is likely not finished. Still forecast to have a significant chance of producing strong flares, the active region is rotating into more direct view across the Sun's nearside. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News051513-ar1748.html Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130516 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0516

APOD: Comet PanSTARRS Anti-Tail (2013 May 18) Image Credit & Copyright: Marco Fulle (INAF) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130518.html Explanation: Once the famous sunset comet, PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) is now visible all night from much of the northern hemisphere, bound for the outer solar system as it climbs high above the ecliptic plane. Dimmer and fading, the comet's broad dust tail is still growing, though. This widefield telescopic image was taken against the starry background of the constellation Cepheus on May 15. It shows the comet has developed an extensive anti-tail, dust trailing along the comet's orbit (to the left of the coma), stretching more than 3 degrees across the frame. Since the comet is just over 1.6 astronomical units from planet Earth, that corresponds to a distance of over 12 million kilometers. In late May Comet PanSTARRS will pass within a few degrees of the north celestial pole. http://www.swisseduc.ch/stromboli/about/index-en.html Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130518 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0518

APOD: Earth's Richat Structure (2013 May 19) Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130519.html Explanation: What on Earth is that? The Richat Structure in the Sahara Desert of Mauritania is easily visible from space because it is nearly 50 kilometers across. Once thought to be an impact crater, the Richat Structure's flat middle and lack of shock-altered rock indicates otherwise. The possibility that the Richat Structure was formed by a volcanic eruption also seems improbable because of the lack of a dome of igneous or volcanic rock. Rather, the layered sedimentary rock of the Richat structure is now thought by many to have been caused by uplifted rock sculpted by erosion. The above image was captured by the ASTER instruments onboard the orbiting orbiting Terra satellite. Why the Richat Structure is nearly circular remains a mystery. http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery-detail.asp?name=Richat Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130519 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0519

APOD: Red Sprite Lightning with Aurora (2013 May 22) Image Credit & Copyright: Walter Lyons (FMA Research), WeatherVideoHD.TV http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130522.html Explanation: What's that in the sky? It is a rarely seen form of lightning confirmed only about 25 years ago: a red sprite. Recent research has shown that following a powerful positive cloud-to-ground lightning strike, red sprites may start as 100-meter balls of ionized air that shoot down from about 80-km high at 10 percent the speed of light and are quickly followed by a group of upward streaking ionized balls. The above image, taken a few days ago above central South Dakota, USA, captured a bright red sprite, and is a candidate for the first color image ever recorded of a sprite and aurora together. Distant storm clouds cross the bottom of the image, while streaks of colorful aurora are visible in the background. Red sprites take only a fraction of a second to occur and are best seen when powerful thunderstorms are visible from the side. http://www.fma-research.com/ http://www.weathervideohd.tv/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130522 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0522