Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

See new, spectacular, or mysterious sky images.

Please vote (once) for the TWO best APODs (image and text) of January 2013

Poll ended at Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:58 pm

AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula
136
9%
The Orion Bullets
296
21%
The Fornax Cluster of Galaxies
158
11%
Alaskan Moondogs
280
20%
In the Center of the Trifid Nebula
215
15%
Full Moon Silhouettes
347
24%
 
Total votes : 1432

Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby owlice » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:58 pm

_____________________________________________________________________

Please vote for the two best APODs (image and text) for January. All titles are clickable and link to the original APOD page.

We ask for your help in choosing an APOM, as this helps Jerry and Robert create "year in APOD images" review lectures and a free PDF calendar at year's end, and provides feedback on which images and APODs were relatively well received.

We are very interested to know why you selected the APODs for which you voted; if you would like to tell us, please reply to this thread. Thank you!

Thank you!
_____________________________________________________________________





AE Aurigae is called the flaming star. The surrounding nebula IC 405 is named the Flaming Star Nebula and the region seems to harbor smoke, but there is no fire. Fire, typically defined as the rapid molecular acquisition of oxygen, happens only when sufficient oxygen is present and is not important in such high-energy, low-oxygen environments. The material that appears as smoke is mostly interstellar hydrogen, but does contain smoke-like dark filaments of carbon-rich dust grains. The bright star AE Aurigae, visible near the nebula center, is so hot it is blue, emitting light so energetic it knocks electrons away from atoms in the surrounding gas. When an atom recaptures an electron, light is emitted creating the surrounding emission nebula. In this cosmic portrait, the Flaming Star nebula lies about 1,500 light years distant, spans about 5 light years, and is visible with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Charioteer (Auriga).




Cosmic bullets pierce the outskirts of the Orion Nebula some 1500 light-years distant in this sharp infrared close-up. Blasted out by energetic massive star formation the bullets, relatively dense, hot gas clouds about ten times the size of Pluto's orbit, are blue in the false color image. Glowing with the light of ionized iron atoms they travel at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second, their passage traced by yellowish trails of the nebula's shock-heated hydrogen gas. The cone-shaped wakes are up to a fifth of a light-year long. The detailed image was created using the 8.1 meter Gemini South telescope in Chile with a newly commisioned adaptive optics system (GeMS). Achieving a larger field of view than previous generation adaptive optics, GeMS uses five laser generated guide stars to help compensate for the blurring effects of planet Earth's atmosphere.




How do clusters of galaxies form and evolve? To help find out, astronomers continue to study the second closest cluster of galaxies to Earth: the Fornax cluster, named for the southern constellation toward which most of its galaxies can be found. Although almost 20 times more distant than our neighboring Andromeda galaxy, Fornax is only about 10 percent further that the better known and more populated Virgo cluster of galaxies. Fornax has a well-defined central region that contains many galaxies, but is still evolving. It has other galaxy groupings that appear distinct and have yet to merge. Seen here, almost every yellowish splotch on the image is an elliptical galaxy in the Fornax cluster. The picturesque barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 visible on the lower right is also a prominent Fornax cluster member.




Moonlight illuminates a snowy scene in this night land and skyscape made on January 17 from Lower Miller Creek, Alaska, USA. Overexposed near the mountainous western horizon is the first quarter Moon itself, surrounded by an icy halo and flanked left and right by moondogs. Sometimes called mock moons, a more scientific name for the luminous apparitions is paraselenae (plural). Analogous to a sundog or parhelion, a paraselene is produced by moonlight refracted through thin, hexagonal, plate-shaped ice crystals in high cirrus clouds. As determined by the crystal geometry, paraselenae are seen at an angle of 22 degrees or more from the Moon. Compared to the bright lunar disk, paraselenae are faint and easier to spot when the Moon is low.




Clouds of glowing gas mingle with dust lanes in the Trifid Nebula, a star forming region toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). In the center, the three prominent dust lanes that give the Trifid its name all come together. Mountains of opaque dust appear on the right, while other dark filaments of dust are visible threaded throughout the nebula. A single massive star visible near the center causes much of the Trifid's glow. The Trifid, also known as M20, is only about 300,000 years old, making it among the youngest emission nebulae known. The nebula lies about 9,000 light years away and the part pictured here spans about 10 light years. The above image is a composite with luminance taken from an image by the 8.2-m ground-based Subaru Telescope, detail provided by the 2.4-m orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, color data provided by Martin Pugh and image assembly and processing provided by Robert Gendler.




Video Credit & Copyright: Mark Gee; Music: Tenderness (Dan Phillipson)

Have you ever watched the Moon rise? The slow rise of a nearly full moon over a clear horizon can be an impressive sight. One impressive moonrise was imaged two nights ago over Mount Victoria Lookout in Wellington, New Zealand. With detailed planning, an industrious astrophotographer placed a camera about two kilometers away and pointed it across the lookout to where the Moon would surely soon be making its nightly debut. The above single shot sequence is unedited and shown in real time -- it is not a time lapse. People on Mount Victoria Lookout can be seen in silhouette themselves admiring the dawn of Earth's largest satellite. Seeing a moonrise yourself is not difficult: it happens every day, although only half the time at night. Each day the Moon rises about fifty minutes later than the previous day, with a full moon always rising at sunset.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby motsilloc » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:02 am

I choose Full Moon rising. This is an event that happens regulary and most people love to watch a full moon rising. Watching this video almost brought tears to my eyes, especially, near the end where the moon left the onlookers and headed off for the rest of its journey in space. Having people silhouetted against the rising moon was brilliant. The backpacker watching with his (or her) backpack still on and the child running over to their parent. I know this sounds a bit cosmic (no pun intended) but the video brings a real sense of connection between us and space. I have sent the url for this to several friends and they loved it and might well become fans of APOD. Well done Mark Gee.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby Dave G » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:58 am

The Orion Bullets are by far my favourite. The image captures the raw power within our universe showing the birthplace of stars and possible new solar systems. The Alaskan Moon Dogs are my second place choice for they show the wonders of our own planet and how wonderous and awe inspiring a chance encounter with our nearest neighbour and some ice crystals can be.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby owlice » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:46 pm

The people in Full Moon Rising just happened to be there; they did not know they were being filmed. I have a secret wish that one or more of them would see the video, realize they were there at that time, and would contact APOD or the photographer or someone! It would be interesting to get their perspective and learn what they were thinking as they watched the moon rise from that scenic outlook.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby Carlos Designer » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:28 pm

motsilloc wrote:I choose Full Moon rising. This is an event that happens regulary and most people love to watch a full moon rising. Watching this video almost brought tears to my eyes, especially, near the end where the moon left the onlookers and headed off for the rest of its journey in space. Having people silhouetted against the rising moon was brilliant. The backpacker watching with his (or her) backpack still on and the child running over to their parent. I know this sounds a bit cosmic (no pun intended) but the video brings a real sense of connection between us and space. I have sent the url for this to several friends and they loved it and might well become fans of APOD. Well done Mark Gee.


Tenho a mesma opinião. Belos eventos nos são brindados pela Natureza diariamente, porém, não nos damos conta de quão belos são. O Voar de um pássaro, o cair de uma folha, a onda se quebrando na praia, as gotas da chuva. Esse vídeo eu o assisto sempre. Foi um belíssimo trabalho. Tenho um Amigo, que sempre posta imagens de Nome Miguel Claro, ele tem a mesma sensibilidade.
Carlos Barreto - Rio de Janeiro - Brasil.

Translation by Google:
    I have the same opinion. Beautiful events in nature are toasted by daily, but we do not realize how beautiful they are. The Fly of a bird, the fall of a leaf, the wave crashing on the beach, the rain drops. I watch that video ever. It was a beautiful job. I have a friend who always put pictures Name Miguel Sure, he has the same sensitivity.
Last edited by owlice on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added translation
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby omama » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:58 pm

APOD has been my home website as long as I've been online. I love to see strange and wonderful things to start my online day. But after a few months, I tend to get jaded. "Ho, hum -- just another beautiful spiral galaxy!" My favorites tend to have a unique piece of our planet in them. I can't imagine that you'll soon top today's Namibia Nights sequence with its spectacular skies AND Dr. Seussian trees! And although the a'Full Moon Silhouettesa' is delightful, my vote for the centerfold this month goes to "The Orion Bullets", because it is so unusual (and
informataive). My second choice is "Alaska Moondogs", for the same reason.

By the way, what does "Please vote (once) for the TWO best APODs (image and text) for January 2013" mean? I think it means: vote for your 2 favorites (but only do it once), but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
omama
 

Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby owlice » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:05 pm

omama wrote:I think it means: vote for your 2 favorites (but only do it once), but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Bet the farm on it; that's exactly what it means, and thanks! That's a better way to put it and I'll use that wording from now on.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:32 pm

Full Moon silhouettes and Trifid nebula.

The full Moon because it's so beautifully composed and emotionally moving, and such a technical accomplishment.

The Trifid because it's a beautiful image of a well-known and frequently observed deep sky object with a tremendous depth of detail. As a composite image using data from different telescopes, this picture reveals more about this nebula than could be seen through any one instrument.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby shpostal@cox.net » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:42 pm

Anything involving our universe or universes is fascinating, even to us non-astronomy folks. I for one am the world's worst mathematician and therefore could never be in this field professionally, but I love the mystery, beauty and possibilities for endless life forms and stuff we cannot imagine. I choose the Orion bullets for the sinister yet beautiful colors. Orion never fails to disappoint, there's so much stuff in and around that constellation. The Fornax galaxy cluster, like other cluster photographs, reminds us of the vastness of our known universe and should teach all with open inquisitive minds that there is so much to learn that our pitiful religions and mythology fall pathetically short of doing. The great mythologist Joseph Campbell once opined that in his view, you couldn't get closer to God or the Divine than you could looking at pictures of our solar system and the universe beyond. I absolutely concur.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby marty » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:19 pm

The Fornax cluster was my favorite. It shows just how incomprehensible the size of the universe really is. And it shows a certain beauty in the structure and distribution of the galaxies. There's something about seeing things so very far away. Deep field photographs continue to amaze me.
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby Dave Swartz » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:06 am

The day before the Moonrise silhouette was posted, I had introduced Aristarchus and his small angle equation to my students in my Astronomy class. We view APOD at the beginning of every class, and were treated to the wonderful real-time imagery and wonderful music with the video from Marc Gee. While watching, I suddenly realized we could use the projected video image of the Moon relative to the smaller silhouettes of the people as a known angular size and linear diameter and should be able to calculate the distance the photographer was away from the hillside. The moon is 1800 arc seconds angular diameter, and the ~6ft human in the foreground was almost exactly 1/10 the diameter of the Moon (we measured with a meter stick on the screen), and so 180 arc seconds. Plugging (180 arc seconds/206265)=(6ft/ X ) and solving for X, the distance we calculated was 6875.5 ft, or 2095m. If the person were actually only 5' 9", the distance shortens to 2007m. We then read the APOD description, and sure enough, Marc Gee was 2km from the summit. Thanks for a great video and a wonderful lesson on the small angle equation!
Dave Swartz
 

Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby starsurfer » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:35 am

My favourite is the Fornax Galaxy Cluster as this in my opinion is one of the best and most detailed images of the whole cluster, the detail revealed with a small telescope is amazing! My second favourite surprisingly is the Flaming Star Nebula due to the unusual presentation with narrowband data as opposed to the pink and purple RGB look, it looks like a twisted strange underwater creature from the imagination of neufer!! :D
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Re: Poll: Astronomy Picture of the Month for 2013 January

Postby MargaritaMc » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:06 pm

I chose the Fornax Cluster and the Full Moon silhouette. I am very new to astronomy and the Fornax cluster made me gasp at its beauty - and I fell in love with the subject that day.

The Full Moon taught me about angular size, as well being visually stunning.

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