Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2017 May 31
Approaching the Bubble Nebula
Visualization Credit: NASA, ESA, and F. Summers, G. Bacon, Z. Levay, and L. Frattare (Viz 3D Team, STScI);
Acknowledgment: T. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF, NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Explanation: What would it look like to approach the Bubble Nebula? Blown by the wind and radiation from a massive star, this bubble now spans seven light-years in diameter. The hot star inside is thousands of times more luminous than our Sun, and is now offset from the nebula’s center. The visualization starts with a direct approach toward the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) and then moves around the nebula while continuing the approach. The featured time-lapse visualization is extrapolated from images with the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and the WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona, USA. The 3D-computer model on which this visualization is based includes artistic interpretations, and distances aresignificantly compressed.
Where’s the moon? 1st quarter
It officially comes on June 1, but, if you live in the Americas, watch for a nearly 1st quarter moon on the night of May 31. It’ll appear almost half-illuminated from Earth.
A first quarter moon shows half of its lighted hemisphere – half of its day side – to Earth.
The moon reaches its first quarter phase on June 1, 2017 at 12:42 UTC; translate UTC to your time zone.
We call this moon a quarter and not a half because it is one quarter of the way around in its orbit of Earth, as measured from one new moon to the next. Also, although a first quarter moon appears half-lit to us, the illuminated portion we see of a first quarter moon truly is just a quarter. We’re now seeing half the moon’s day side, that is. Another lighted quarter of the moon shines just as brightly in the direction opposite Earth!
And what about the term half moon? That’s a beloved term, but not an official one.
A first quarter moon rises at noon and is highest in the sky at sunset. It sets around midnight. First quarter moon comes a week after new moon. Now, as seen from above, the moon in its orbit around Earth is at right angles to a line between the Earth and sun.
On June 1, 2017, as evening falls in the western hemisphere, the moon will be slightly past the first quarter phase, but it’ll be near some bright planets and stars. The charts below explain more:
As the moon orbits Earth, it changes phase in an orderly way. Follow these links to understand the various phases of the moon.
Where’s the moon? Waxing crescent
Where’s the moon? First quarter
Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous
What’s special about a full moon?
Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous
Where’s the moon? Last quarter
Where’s the moon? Waning crescent
Where’s the moon? New phase
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. “Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers,” she says.
Article originally published on EarthSky
The Wisdom of Buddha
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today
A very very few of us are fortunate to be born wise. For most of us our Wisdom evolves, grows as we move through life gathering experience and knowledge. Wisdom denotes your thoughts and feelings derived from the melding of your life experiences with all that you have learned. Our Wisdom can get us through the difficult moments in our lives as well as provide the mental and spiritual tools we need to succeed.
As a daily card, Wisdom indicates a time when you should rely heavily on past experiences and knowledge attained to make important decisions in your life. This is a time where reflection and planning should guide your actions. To act rashly, on impulse at this time may well cost you in the future. Go slow, think things out, weigh all of your options carefully and then proceed.
Your Daily Influences for Today
The Six of Wands Reversed
Success may be delayed. Be wary of accomplished enemies
Pisces brings intelligence and perception to the forefront. This may be a time to rely more on serendipity than cold, hard facts.
Fire reversed denotes calamity that may be on a catastrophic level. Prepare to deal with changes you do not want.