Laniakea: scientists' name for our cosmic home

Scientists have now mapped superculusters -- dense regions of multiple galaxies -- across space and have named our own supercluster Laniakea, Hawaiian for "immeasurable heaven." (Nature)

High Camp on the Moon (photo from Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

14784330747_bf2751cd52_b

"High Camp on the Moon," a photograph shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Ben Leshchinsky.

Read the rest

How big is the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet?

With a nucleus size of 3.5×4 km, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko seems like a mere speck. But Michel (@quark1972 on Twitter) shows what the comet would look like if it were gently set down in Los Angeles. I wish the city would commission a life-size replica as public art! (via io9)

A starry night sky, from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool

14769472635_d62dfd0249_k

"All in a Row," a lovely night shot by Diablo_119 of Tacoma, WA, shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.

A beautiful photo of the Moon and Mars, close together on July 5

Photo: Jerry Lodriguss


Photo: Jerry Lodriguss

Jerry Lodriguss, digital astrophotographer, captured this stunning image of our Moon passing close to the planet Mars on July 5, 2014.

Read the rest

Diamond the size of Earth

NewImage

Astronomers have found a diamond the size of Earth. The cooled white dwarf star, a huge chunk of crystallized carbon, is orbiting a pulsar about 900 light-years away, according to National Geographic.

'New York to London Milky Way,' a totally sweet astronomy photo

EOS-II-02514erid_merga

New York to London Milky Way, by Alessandro Merga, recently featured as NASA's Astronomy photo of the day.

Read the rest

Violent birth of a star, as seen from NASA Hubble Space Telescope

potw1421a

An image released from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows IRAS 14568-6304, a young star shrouded in golden gas and dust.

Read the rest

Spaceship docks with ISS, astronaut immediately tweets awesome photos

A Russian spacecraft carrying three people docked successfully at the International Space Station today after a flawless launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Our guy in space, NASA's Reid Wiseman, got right to work tweeting totally awesome photographs that masterfully convey the wonder and beauty of being, holy crap, an astronaut in space.

Read the rest

Camelopardalids meteor shower over Joshua Tree Milky Way

Photographer and filmmaker Gavin Heffernan shares some dazzling photographs, GIFs, and videos of a recent meteor shower that revealed itself best in the California desert, where the Milky Way is clearly visible in the night sky.

Read the rest

NASA releases 'Global Selfie'

14-147-global-selfie_0

Here's a larger size, and a zoomable 3.2 gigapixel version, which you really have to see to appreciate the whole thing.

Read the rest

Watch this awesome time-lapse video of the total lunar eclipse

Video: Gorgeous time-lapse of the recent total lunar eclipse (April, 2014) by Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona.

An explanation, from NASA's Astronomy Pic of the Day:

Read the rest

'Blood moon' lunar eclipse may or may not signal end times; watch it online with NASA tonight


Image: mreclipse.com, via NASA.gov

Stay up tonight online to watch an awesome lunar eclipse with our astronomer pals at NASA:

Spring is here and ready to capture the world's attention with a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse will begin early on the morning of April 15 at approximately 2 a.m. EDT. If you have questions about the eclipse, this will be your chance! NASA astronomer Mitzi Adams and astrophysicist Alphonse Sterling will also answer questions in a live web chat, beginning on April 15 at 1 a.m. EDT and continuing through the end of the eclipse (approximately 5 a.m. EDT). The chat module will go live on this page at approximately 12:45 a.m. EDT. Convert to your local time here. A live Ustream view of the lunar eclipse will be streamed on this page on the night of the event, courtesy of Marshall Space Flight Center. The feed will feature a variety of lunar eclipse views from telescopes around the United States.

From the Northern to the Southern Cross (astronomy photo by Nicholas Buer)


Image: Nicholas Buer, via APOD.

A particularly psychedelic Astronomy Picture of the Day:
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.

You can follow APOD on Twitter, too.

John Dobson, telescope designer, former monk and open source astronomy advocate, dies at 98

The Los Angeles Times has a beautiful obituary for amateur astronomer and telescope pioneer John Dobson. He died on January 15, at 98 years of age. My grandfather was an amateur astronomer, too; like my grandpa, Dobson used and repurposed salvaged or inexpensive materials (ship portholes, cardboard tubing) to craft his telescopes. In Dobson's design, "a simple, sturdy and highly effective wooden mount that allows users to easily point the scope at any spot in the sky" was the most notable feature.

Read the rest