• Feature Image

    The Tulip in the Swan

    This image from the BYU 0.9-m telescope looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Called the Tulip Nebula, the glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also listed in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. This nebula is about 8,000 light-years away from the solar system. The nebula shown here is a composite image that maps emission from sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms into red, green, and blue colors. Energy from the hot O-type star HDE 227018 ionizes atoms in this region so that we see a faint glow from the Tulip Nebula. HDE 227018 is seen near the blue arc at center of the image. This appeared as the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day on July 26, 2012. Image Credit & Copyright: Michael Joner, David Laney (West Mountain Observatory, BYU); Processing - Robert Gendler

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    The BYU 0.9-meter Reflector

    This photograph from university photographer, Mark Philbrick shows the BYU 0.9-meter Reflector at the West Mountain Observatory focused on a field near the galactic center during the summer of 2016. The stars of the constellation Scorpius are visible through the lower center portion of the dome slit with the planets Mars (on the right side) and Saturn (just off the left edge) visible. The computer controlled telescope was funded through an NSF grant; AST 0618209.

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    Super Blood Wolf Moon

    When a full moon occurs as the moon moves near its closest point to the earth, it appears slightly larger in the sky. In recent times, some people have referred to these full moons as Super Full Moons. Likewise, due to the deep red color of the moon that is often visible during the total phase of a lunar eclipse, it has become popular to refer to these events as Blood Moons. The January full moon is known as the Wolf Moon. Thus, it is not surprising that many stories written about the January 20/21, 2019 lunar eclipse refer to it as the Super Blood Wolf Moon. Even though there was a winter storm watch in effect, observers were surprised when the skies in Provo cleared during the early part of the night so that viewers were able to clearly see most phases of the eclipse up until the partial phases during the last hour. The picture above shows the totally eclipsed full moon among the stars of the constellation Aquarius as seen from Provo. The next total lunar eclipse visible from the western US will be May 26, 2021. Photo courtesy of Professor Michael Joner.

  • Feature Image

    Sunrise Over Plato

    This image of the northern lunar region along the terminator was secured in the early morning hours of 20 August 2018 using the 0.9-meter telescope at the BYU West Mountain Observatory. The dark floored crater catching the sunrise rays is named Plato. This crater is 101 km in diameter and sits on the edge of Mare Imbrium. The mountains running from Plato toward the lower right part of the image are known as the Lunar Alps. The straight feature running about 160 km through the mountains linking Mare Imbrium and Mare Frigoris is known as Vallis Alpes or the Alpine Valley. Image by Dr. Michael Joner.

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    Southern Utah Ring of Fire

    This is a mosaic of solar eclipse images secured on May 20, 2012 by Dr. Michael D. Joner. The individual observations were made between 6:59 and 8:06pm MDT a couple of miles northwest of Kanarraville, Utah on the center line of this annular solar eclipse. The entire solar photosphere was not blocked by the passage of the Moon for this eclipse. The result was an annular eclipse due to the fact that the Moon was close to apogee and thus not large enough in the sky to cover the entire Sun. Many areas of southern Utah enjoyed perfect weather in addition to being ideally located to view the eclipse well before sunset.


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Recently Published Research

Guohai Chen, Berg Dodson, David Hedges, Scott Steffensen, John Harb, Richard Vanfleet, and Robert Davis et al. recently published an article titled "Fabrication of High Aspect Ratio Millimeter-Tall Free-Standing Carbon Nanotube Based Microelectrode Arrays" in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. Click on the image above to read it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Zooming in on Star Cluster Terzan 5 : Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are less than 200 left....

This photograph and Description come from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site.

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