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    West Mountain, Moon, Venus, and Stars

    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

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    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 Hottest Spot on Campus

    The laser intensity at the center of this laser focus is an astounding billion gigawatts (a billion billion watts) per square centimeter. This easily makes it most intense spot on campus. The laser pulse which creates the spot lasts only 30 femtoseconds, and is used to rip electrons from helium and study the radiation they emit in this intense field.

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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.

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21 Aug, Today

Sunset
8:17 PM

22 Aug, Thursday

Sunrise
6:44 AM

23 Aug, Friday

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Recently Published Research

Karine Chesnel, Dalton Griner, Dallin Smith, Yanping Cai, Matea Trevino, and Brittni Pratt et al. recently published an article titled "Unraveling Nanoscale Magnetic Ordering in Fe3O4 Nanoparticle Assemblies via X-rays" in Magnetochemistry. Click on the image above to read it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Orion You Can Almost See : Do you recognize this constellation? Although it is one of the most recognizable star groupings on the sky, this is a more full Orion than you can see -- an Orion only revealed with long exposure digital camera imaging and post-processing....

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

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