Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)APOD: 2023 February 15 Б Airglow Sky over France
This unusual sky was both familiar and unfamiliar. The photographer's mission was to capture the arch of the familiar central band of our Milky Way Galaxy over a picturesque medieval manor. The surprise was that on this January evening, the foreground sky was found glowing in a beautiful but unfamiliar manner.
APOD: 2023 February 14 Б The Heart and Soul Nebulas
Is the heart and soul of our Galaxy located in Cassiopeia? Possibly not, but that is where two bright emission nebulas nicknamed Heart and Soul can be found. The Heart Nebula, officially dubbed IC 1805 and visible in the featured image on the upper right, has a shape reminiscent of a classical heart symbol.
APOD: 2023 February 13 Б Comet ZTF and Mars
No, Comet ZTF is not going to hit Mars. Nicknamed the Green Comet for its bright green coma, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) did, however, pass almost in front of the much-more distant planet a few days ago, very near in time to when the featured picture was taken.
APOD: 2023 February 12 Б Mammatus Clouds over Nebraska
When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles? Normally, cloud bottoms are flat. This is because moist warm air that rises and cools will condense into water droplets at a specific temperature, which usually corresponds to a very specific height. As water droplets grow, an opaque cloud forms.
Magellanic Clouds over Chile
The two prominent clouds in this Chilean Atacama Desert skyscape captured on January 21 actually lie beyond our Milky Way galaxy. Known as the Large and the Small Magellanic Clouds they are so named for the 16th century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, leader of the first circumnavigation of planet Earth.
ZTF meets ATLAS
Fading as it races across planet Earth's northern skies comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) shares this telescopic frame with comet C/2022 U2 (ATLAS). Captured on the night of February 6 from a garden observatory in Germany's Bavarian Forest, the starry field of view toward the constellation Auriga spans about 2.5 degrees.
Nacreous Clouds over Lapland
Vivid and lustrous, wafting iridescent waves of color wash across this skyscape from Kilpisjцrvi, Finland. Known as nacreous clouds or mother-of-pearl clouds, they are rare. But their unforgettable appearance was captured looking south at 69 degrees north latitude at sunset on January 24.
APOD: 2023 February 8 Б Stellar Wind Shaped Nebula RCW 58
Imagine traveling to a star about 100 times as massive as our Sun, a million times more luminous, and with 30 times the surface temperature. Such stars exist, and some are known as Wolf Rayet (WR) stars, named after French astronomers Charles Wolf and Georges Rayet.
APOD: 2023 February 7 Б A Comet and Two Dippers
Can you still see the comet? Yes. Even as C/2022 E3 (ZTF) fades, there is still time to see it if you know where and when to look. Geometrically, Comet ZTF has passed its closest to both the Sun and the Earth and is now headed back to the outer Solar System.
APOD: 2023 February 6 Б In the Heart of the Rosette Nebula
In the heart of the Rosette Nebula lies a bright cluster of stars that lights up the nebula. The stars of NGC 2244 formed from the surrounding gas only a few million years ago.