This sharp cosmic portrait features NGC 891. The spiral galaxy spans about 100 thousand light-years and is seen almost exactly edge-on from our perspective. In fact, about 30 million light-years distant in the constellation Andromeda, NGC 891 looks a lot like our Milky Way. At first glance, it has a flat, thin, galactic disk and a central bulge cut along the middle by regions of dark obscuring dust. The combined image data also reveal the galaxy's young blue star clusters and telltale pinkish star forming regions. And remarkably apparent in NGC 891's edge-on presentation are filaments of dust that extend hundreds of light-years above and below the center line. The dust has likely been blown out of the disk by supernova explosions or intense star formation activity. Faint neighboring galaxies can also be seen near this galaxy's disk. This is the first BYU image to be selected as the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. This image and description were featured as the May 26, 2012 APOD. Credit: Composite Image Data - Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Legacy Archive, Michael Joner, David Laney (West Mountain Observatory, BYU); Processing - Robert Gendler
The galaxy CTA 102 is famous for having an energetic jet blasting ionized hydrogen into space. The jet originates from material accreting around a supermassive black hole. Being very distant, this jet appears as a point in the sky. It has never been imaged by any telescope and probably never will be. To understand its structure, astronomers world-wide monitor the brightness of this point to see if it changes in accordance with models. At the end of 2016, CTA 102 became 100 times brighter, furnishing copious data to use in testing these models. In a paper accepted for publication in the journal Nature, it is asserted that this jet snakes outward in a twisting motion that causes it to brighten and dim in a semi-regular manner. The picture above shows the jet model with the brightness data from 2015 to 2017. J. Moody contributed to this research.
Seven students, one postdoc, and four faculty attended the 174th Meeting of the ASA in New Orleans, LA from Dec. 4-8, 2017, including chairing 4 sessions and presenting 12 talks.
This image was secured just after the end of evening twilight on a clear April night from the West Mountain Observatory. The view is looking west past the domes housing the two smaller research telescopes at the observatory. The thin crescent Moon is also illuminated by reflected light from the Earth that is known as earthshine. Higher in the sky, the bright 'star' is actually the planet Venus. In between the two, the 'V' shaped group of stars in the constellation of Taurus is in reality the nearby open cluster known as the Hyades. Photo credit: Dr. Michael D. Joner
If you missed your chance to see the transit of Mercury on May 9, 2016, you only need to wait a few years to get another chance. While Venus transits are rare and occur about twice in a century, Mercury will transit the Sun 14 times in this century. The next such event will occur on November 11, 2019. Mercury is the tiny black dot seen just below the center of the picture. The larger sunspot group seen just above the center of the picture was designated AR 2542. This picture was taken in Provo by Professor Michael Joner.
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Kyle Miller and Kent Gee recently published an article titled "Model-scale jet noise analysis with a single-point, frequency-domain nonlinearity indicator" in Journal of The Acoustical Society of America. Click on the image above to read it.
Cocoon Nebula Deep Field : Inside the Cocoon Nebula is a newly developing cluster of stars. The cosmic Cocoon on the upper right also punctuates a long trail of obscuring interstellar dust clouds to its left....
This photograph and Description come from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site.