Photo of the day

Fully Myelinated

Absolutely amazing set of images in Phil Plait’s Best Astronomy images of the year.  I’m going to go with my two favorites:

mortensen_aurora_ice

Icy Aurora

On March 28, 2012, photographer Helge Mortensen was in Tromso, Norway on a mission to capture the aurora borealis, the northern lights. He succeeded magnificently, taking this beautiful shot of the eerily-glowing green lights over the icy landscape. You can see the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and the Pleaides cluster in the picture as the particles from the solar wind slam into Earth’s atmosphere, lighting up atoms of oxygen and nitrogen. I also like the water flowing in the bottom part of the shot; in the 10-second exposure it forms a soft, smooth surface. By coincidence, one part of it forms a pattern remarkably like a face, an aquatic Shroud of Turin. Can you spot it?

Rotating Gas Cloud

IC1396 is a huge cloud of gas and…

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