Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20-26

See new, spectacular, or mysterious sky images.

Please vote for the TWO best APODs (image and text) of November 20-26

Poll ended at Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:27 am

W5: Pillars of Star Formation
376
17%
Around the World in 90 Minutes
789
36%
Leonid Fireball over Tenerife
95
4%
The View from Chajnantor
255
12%
Caught in the Afterglow
145
7%
A Glimpse of CLIMSO
162
7%
Pelican Nebula Close-up
343
16%
 
Total votes : 2165

Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20-26

Postby owlice » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:27 am

_______________________________________________________________

Please vote for the TWO best Astronomy Pictures of the Day (image and text) of November 20-26, 2011.
(Repeated APODs are not included in the poll.)

All titles are clickable and link to the original APOD page.

We ask for your help in choosing an APOW as this helps Jerry and Robert create "year in APOD images" review lectures, create APOM and APOY polls that can be used to create a free PDF calendar at year's end, and provides feedback on which images and APODs were relatively well received. You can select two top images for the week.

We are very interested in why you selected the APODs you voted for, and enthusiastically welcome your telling us why by responding to this thread.

Thank you!
_______________________________________________________________

<- Previous week's poll




How do stars form? A study of star forming region W5 by the sun-orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope provides clear clues by recording that massive stars near the center of empty cavities are older than stars near the edges. A likely reason for this is that the older stars in the center are actually triggering the formation of the younger edge stars. The triggered star formation occurs when hot outflowing gas compresses cooler gas into knots dense enough to gravitationally contract into stars. Spectacular pillars, left slowly evaporating from the hot outflowing gas, provide further visual clues. In the above scientifically-colored infrared image, red indicates heated dust, while white and green indicate particularly dense gas clouds. W5 is also known as IC 1848, and together with IC 1805 form a complex region of star formation popularly dubbed the Heart and Soul Nebulas. The above image highlights a part of W5 spanning about 2,000 light years that is rich in star forming pillars. W5 lies about 6,500 light years away toward the constellation of Cassiopeia.





Video Credit: Expedition 28 & 29 Crews, ISAL, NASA's JSC;
Compilation and Editing: Michael König; Music: Do Dekor (Jan Jelinek), faitiche
What is it like to circle the Earth? Every 90 minutes, astronauts aboard the International Space Station experience just that. Recently, crew members took a series of light-sensitive videos looking down at night that have been digitally fused to produce the above time-lapse video. Many wonders of the land and sky are visible in the eighteen sequences, including red aurora above green aurora, lights from many major cities, and stars in the background. Looming at the top of the frame is usually part of the space station itself, sometimes seen re-orienting solar panels. Please help create a useful companion guide for this moving video by identifying landmarks, cities, countries, weather phenomena, and even background constellations that appear.




Historically active, this year's Leonid meteor shower was diminished by bright moonlight. Still, faithful night sky watchers did see the shower peak on November 18 and even the glare of moonlight didn't come close to masking this brilliant fireball meteor. The colorful meteor trail and final flare was captured early that morning in western skies over the Canary Island Observatorio del Teide on Tenerife. Particles of dust swept up when planet Earth passes near the orbit of periodic comet Tempel-Tuttle, Leonid meteors typically enter the atmosphere at nearly 70 kilometers per second. Looking away from the Moon, the wide angle camera lens also recorded bright stars in the familiar constellations Orion and Taurus near picture center. Inset are two exposures of this fireball's persistent train. The consecutive train images follow the meteor's flash by several minutes as high altitude winds disperse the faint, smokey trail. The two large telescope buildings are the GREGOR telescope with reddish dome and the Vacuum Tower Telescope along the right edge of the frame, both sun watching telescopes.




From an altitude of over 5,000 meters, the night sky view from Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes is breathtaking in more ways than one. The dark site's rarefied atmosphere, at about 50 percent sea level pressure, is also extremely dry. That makes it ideal for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) designed to explore the universe at wavelengths over 1,000 times longer than visible light. Near the center of the the panoramic scene, ALMA's 7 and 12 meter wide dish antennas are illuminated by a young Moon nestled in the arc of the Milky Way. ALMA's antenna configurations are intended to achieve a resolution comparable to space telescopes by operating as an interferometer. At left, a meteor's streak and the Milky Way's satellite galaxies, the Large (bottom) and Small Magellanic Clouds grace the night.




In this artist's illustration, two distant galaxies formed about 2 billion years after the big bang are caught in the afterglow of GRB090323, a gamma-ray burst seen across the Universe. Shining through its own host galaxy and another nearby galaxy, the alignment of gamma-ray burst and galaxies was inferred from the afterglow spectrum following the burst's initial detection by the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope in March of 2009. As seen by one of the European Southern Observatory's very large telescope units, the spectrum of the burst's fading afterglow also offered a surprising result - the distant galaxies are richer in heavy elements than the Sun, with the highest abundances ever seen in the early Universe. Heavy elements that enrich mature galaxies in the local Universe were made in past generations of stars. So these young galaxies have experienced a prodigious rate of star formation and chemical evolution compared to our own Milky Way. In the illustration, the light from the burst site at the left passes successively through the galaxies to the right. Spectra illustrating dark absorption lines of the galaxies' elements imprinted on the afterglow light are shown as insets. Of course, astronomers on planet Earth would be about 12 billion light-years off the right edge of the frame.




A tantalizing glimpse inside this dome was captured after sunset at the mountain top Pic Du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees. But while most are just beginning their work at sunset, this observatory's day was done. The instrument looming within is CLIMSO (for Christian Latouche IMageur Solaire), dedicated to exploring dynamic phenomena across the surface and atmosphere of the Sun. To image the solar atmosphere or corona, CLIMSO uses coronographs. Developed by French astronomer Bernard Lyot in the 1930s, coronographs block light from the center of the telescope beam to create an artificial solar eclipse and allow a continuous view of the solar corona. In this surreal twilight scene above a sea of clouds, the dome's interior was revealed by the single, long exposure as the open slit rotated across the field of view.




The prominent ridge of emission featured in this vivid skyscape is designated IC 5067. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive shape, popularly called The Pelican Nebula, the ridge spans about 10 light-years and follows the curve of the cosmic pelican's head and neck. The Pelican Nebula close-up was constructed from narrowband data mapping emission from sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms to red, green, and blue colors. Fantastic, dark shapes inhabiting the view are clouds of cool gas and dust sculpted by energetic radiation from young, hot, massive stars. But stars are also forming within the dark shapes. In fact, twin jets emerging from the tip of the long, dark tendril below center are the telltale signs of an embedded protostar cataloged as Herbig-Haro 555. The Pelican Nebula itself, also known as IC 5070, is about 2,000 light-years away. To find it, look northeast of bright star Deneb in the high flying constellation Cygnus.




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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby ruprecht147 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:59 pm

I just wanted to share my extreme enthusiasm and delight over this new genre of time-lapse photography of the Earth by astronauts in the Space Station. (Is there a shorter way to say that?) "Around the World in 90 Minutes" is an excellent example. Over the past holiday weekend I scoured the Internets for more of these videos and watched them with wonder and joy. When I look down on the clouds and city lights, the seas and shorelines, the lightning flashes and green curtains of the auroras, it's hard to imagine that this Earth of ours is anything but a paradise, inhabited by the most fortunate and enlightened creatures in our local arm of the Milky Way. If only we could build a civilization that looks as good from the inside as it does from the outside! As always, APOD remains a crucial source of wonder & dreams for all of us hominids toiling down below.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby Liza » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:45 am

I also loved watching "Around the world in 90 minutes". Watching something like this gives a bigger perspective right away to all the big or little things we may struggle with as humans. Seeing the big picture and how beautiful the Earth and the universe is, really helps to recapture a sense of wonder that we are even here! Makes me stand in awe of the Creator of it all.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby telecosmo » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:57 am

I download the APOD every day to show as my desktop. I too, enjoy the videos,but find that on trying to download these, my desktop ends up with a still picture (usually humorous) which bears no relation to the topic. Any suggestions what I can do about this
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby owlice » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:57 am

The automatic backgrounder program cannot handle video. You can't really do anything about it except wait for a (possible) new release of the program, which the (volunteer) developer might develop, or find another program that ignores the video and doesn't download anything on days a video appears on APOD.

Or laugh at the humorous image (which one finds within the links of that particular APOD), go look at APOD online, and wait a day, which is probably what I'd do.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby geckzilla » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:22 pm

Or, you could wait for when someone programs an AI capable of discerning whether the day's APOD image is aesthetic enough to be worthy of such a position as your desktop background. That would work for the goofy ones that end up on video days, too.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby eyesoar » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:58 pm

Thank you for your continuing support for APOD. It's a gem.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby Donnageddon » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:33 pm

I too voted for "around the world..." but also "Glimpse of CLIMSO" because it is just an awesome photograph!
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby jcravens » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:20 am

Lately, many APOD pictures (including 3 of the candidates here) are failing to show up
in my current browser, Mozilla Firefox. Anyone else having similar problems? Anyone
have any suggestions to offer (other than switching to MSIE or another browser)?

J. Cravens
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby bystander » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:37 am

jcravens wrote:Lately, many APOD pictures (including 3 of the candidates here) are failing to show up
in my current browser, Mozilla Firefox. Anyone else having similar problems? Anyone
have any suggestions to offer (other than switching to MSIE or another browser)?

J. Cravens

I use Firefox 8.0 on Win 7 and have no problems.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby owlice » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:44 am

jcravens wrote:Lately, many APOD pictures (including 3 of the candidates here) are failing to show up
in my current browser, Mozilla Firefox. Anyone else having similar problems? Anyone
have any suggestions to offer (other than switching to MSIE or another browser)?

J. Cravens

Which images, operating system, and version of Firefox are you using, and do you have another browser available to you that will allow you comparison testing? Also, have you tried clicking on the boxes where the missing images should be, and do you have Flash installed (one of the candidates in this poll is a video)? I'm running a Mac with OS X 10.6.4 and Firefox 3.6.13; all images appear for me.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby geckzilla » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:35 pm

Also make sure you have adblock disabled for apod.com. There's never any ads there anyway. It sometimes blocks innocuous images based on keywords in the filename.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Week for 2011 November 20

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:35 pm

The video of Earth as seen from the ISS is truly beautiful. It was tough to choose among the others. Ultimately I voted for the W5 nebula because the caption explained so clearly what all the pretty colors and shapes mean.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.
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