Brittanie Cruse

6 Flips | 1 Magazine | @brittaniecruse | Keep up with Brittanie Cruse on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Brittanie Cruse”

Best photos: Snowflakes

A lot of us have been cold and “snow-verwhelmed” recently, but – although we might be getting tired of snow – we’re never tired of snowflake pics …

APOD: From the Northern to the Southern Cross (2014 Jan 27) Image Credit & Copyright: Nicholas Buer Explanation: There is a road that connects the Northern to the Southern Cross but you have to be at the right place and time to see it. The road, as pictured above, is actually the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy; the right place, in this case, is dark Laguna Cejar in Salar de Atacama of Northern Chile; and the right time was in early October, just after sunset. Many sky wonders were captured then, including the bright Moon, inside the Milky Way arch; Venus, just above the Moon; Saturn and Mercury, just below the Moon; the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds satellite galaxies, on the far left; red airglow near the horizon on the image left; and the lights of small towns at several locations across the horizon. One might guess that composing this 30-image panorama would have been a serene experience, but for that one would have required earplugs to ignore the continued brays of wild donkeys. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

APOD: Rocket Streak and Star Trails (2014 Jan 30) Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace Explanation: Fixed to a tripod and looking east across the Kennedy Space Center's Turn Basin, a camera captured these star trails as a series of short exposures over a three hour period on the evening of January 23rd. Positioned just a few miles from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, it also captured a spectacular night launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite TDRS-L. Creating the trails, the apparent motion of the stars through the sky is just a reflection of the daily rotation of planet Earth on its axis. But that rotation is also the reason the rocket streak follows a path arcing east across the Atlantic. Launching toward the east, in the direction of Earth's rotation, adds the rotation velocity to the rocket and reduces the fuel needed to reach orbit. A little ironically, TDRS-L is destined for a geostationary orbit. From there, 36,000 kilometers or so above the equator, it's orbital period will match Earth's rotation and the satellite will hang motionless in planet Earth's sky. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

APOD: Light Pillars from a Little Planet (2014 Jan 31) Image Credit & Copyright: Janne Voutilainen Explanation: Eerie pillars of light ring the edges of this snowy little planet. Of course the little planet is planet Earth, shown in a nadir-to-zenith, around-the-horizon, little planet projection. The spherical panoramic image mosaic maps a view from Siilinjärvi in eastern Finland. Flat ice crystals, like those more often found in high, thin clouds, are gently fluttering in very cold air near the surface. The pillars of light appear as their briefly horizontal facets reflect upward directed light from ground sources downward, toward the observer. In fact, the fluttering crystals produce an effect analogous to the shimmering columns of moonlight or sunlight reflected by surface waves across water. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

APOD: NGC 6188 and NGC 6164 (2014 Feb 01) Image Credit & Copyright: Harel Boren and Tal Faibish Explanation: Fantastic shapes lurk in clouds of glowing gas in NGC 6188, about 4,000 light-years away. The emission nebula is found near the edge of a large molecular cloud unseen at visible wavelengths, in the southern constellation Ara. Massive, young stars of the embedded Ara OB1 association were formed in that region only a few million years ago, sculpting the dark shapes and powering the nebular glow with stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation. The recent star formation itself was likely triggered by winds and supernova explosions, from previous generations of massive stars, that swept up and compressed the molecular gas. Joining NGC 6188 on this cosmic canvas is rare emission nebula NGC 6164, also created by one of the region's massive O-type stars. Similar in appearance to many planetary nebulae, NGC 6164's striking, symmetric gaseous shroud and faint halo surround its bright central star near the bottom edge. The impressively wide field of view spans over 3 degrees (six full Moons), corresponding to over 200 light years at the estimated distance of NGC 6188. Narrowband image data has been included in the natural looking color composite, adding to deep red emission from hydrogen and sulfur atoms and the blue-green light of oxygen atoms. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

APOD: A Particle Beam Jet forms HH 24 (2014 Feb 04) Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, NASA, ESA - Processing: Judy Schmidt Explanation: If you visit HH 24, don't go near the particle beam jet. This potential future travel advisory might be issued because the powerful jet likely contains electrons and protons moving hundreds of kilometers per second. The above image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in infrared light in order to better understand turbulent star forming regions known as Young Stellar Objects (YSOs). Frequently when a star forms, a disk of dust and gas circles the YSO causing a powerful central jets to appear. In this case, the energetic jets are creating, at each end, Herbig-Haro object 24 (HH 24), as they slam into the surrounding interstellar gas. The entire star forming region lies about 1,500 light years distant in the Orion B molecular cloud complex. Due to their rarity, jets like that forming HH 24 are estimated to last only a few thousand years. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD