Star Charts of Hollywood
A delightful piece of astronomy crossed with film history, this star chart maps the constellations of Hollywood’s Golden Age, connecting its brightest stars just like we do with cosmic burning balls of gas. They’ve also got one for modern Hollywood.
Available for sale via UK design studio Dorothy, who have some really great periodic table, light and color, and map-related art on their site.
Peer into the center of the Milky Way with this stunning time-lapse video from Chile’s Paranal Observatory, by photographer Stéphane Guisard. Pretty perfect for a Friday, eh?
The bright streak that traverses our sky is the actual disk of our galaxy, the “milk” in our “way” is from the density of stars along the disk-like plane of our spiral home. You can also see a couple of our neighboring galaxies in there, dusty splotches against the inky dome.
Rebecca Rosen has more, with a nice reminder that any picture of a galaxy showing an arrow that says “you are here” is lying to you :) A Whole-Sky Time-Lapse of the Galactic Center - The Atlantic
Bonus: Take a look at this mind-bogglingly big snapshot of the Milky Way, a nine-gigapixel image containing more than 84 million stars. Think that’s a lot? It’s just 1% of the sky, and just this galaxy. It’s also my desktop background image!
Source: The Atlantic
This gorgeous four-planet sunset was captured on May 25, 2013 by Greek photographer Chris Kotsiopoulos. The composite photo shows three planets streaking through the center of the frame: Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury (L-R)
The streak to the far right is actually the star Elnath. So my question to you is this: Where’s the fourth planet?
Exoplanets orbiting stars near the Sun.
Hopefully no one takes this to mean that other stars, and their attendant planets, revolve around us, right? I mean, we’re cool, but we’re not THAT cool.
Although the number of confirmed exoplanets is only in the hundreds, the number of estimated exoplanets could be as high as 100 billion (or more?), or one for every star in the Milky Way.
And that doesn’t count the cold, presumably dead, rogue planets wandering interstellar space, forever alone.
Tonight, I stepped beyond the city lights. We’re on a trip through western Texas, having replaced the dim glow that we call “urban night” with perhaps the darkest skies in the United States. Amid a cold, red glow at the top of a mountain bathed in moonlight as bright as day through my usual sunglasses, night watchmen of the skies lent us a look through their portals to the cosmos, a half dozen telescopes.
I saw a stellar nursery beneath Orion’s belt, its clouds blown outward by far-off charged winds of just-born stars (thousands of years ago, that is). I saw the haze of a galaxy larger than our Moon in the sky, Andromeda, normally invisible in its dimness. I saw the rust-striped white disk of Jupiter, like a tiger’s belly viewed through a drinking straw, its light even a half hour old. And a crater of our own Moon, its central peak catching the light of the monthly sunrise like our own mountains grasp the end of twilight.
It was a change of perspective, for sure. It was also a reminder that there is a night beyond the night that most of us know, if we only go looking for it.
The Night Sky Recorded Using a Fisheye Lens
I’m a certified time-lapse freak. I love ‘em. Beautiful as they are, the only problem with most of them is that you can only see a tiny portion of the sky at any one time. Come to think of it, that’s kind of a problem with sky-watching in general, eh? Pesky focused binocular vision!
Stephane Vetter solved this problem by filming this time-lapse with an 8 mm fisheye lens. The result? The entire sky in one shot, including some informative labels and beautiful star trails. Set it to HD, sit back, and enjoy.
Best thing since this beautiful panoramic auroral mini-planet.
Stars, Stars, Everywhere Stars!
A stunning and beautiful in-browser visualization of over 100,000 stars nearby Earth, from Google Chrome labs. It uses actual star location data to draw a 3D map of our Milky Way ‘hood.
The video above is a demo, which is amazing on its own. The full visualization can be found here for those with enough computing horsepower to run it. We may not have warp drive, but we can travel the cosmos from right here in our own browser windows!
Billions and billions!!! Whooooooaaa!!!