Venus is currently the brilliant evening star. Shared around world, in tonight’s sky Venus will begin to wander across the face of the lovely Pleiades star cluster. This digital sky map illustrates the path of the inner planet as the beautiful conjunction evolves, showing its position on the sky over the next few days. The field of view shown is appropriate for binocular equipped skygazers but the star cluster and planet are easily seen with the naked-eye. As viewed from our fair planet, Venus passed in front of the stars of the Seven Sisters 8 years ago, and will again 8 years hence. In fact, orbiting the Sun 13 Venus years are almost equal to 8 years on planet Earth. So we can expect our sister planet to visit nearly the same place in our sky every 8 years.

April 02, 2020
from NASA |

Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:14:30 +0800

View of the Kremlin just before sunset in Pskov, Russia

Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:43:11 +0800

Get creative with how you spend your time, how you do chores, how you reach out to others. This is an opportunity to experiment with the fundamental building blocks of how we live.

Thu, 02 Apr 2020 02:28:28 +0800

"Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever." — Charles Lamb:

“Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.”
— Charles Lamb

Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:21:26 +0800

Is this asteroid Arrokoth or a potato? Perhaps, after all the data was beamed back to Earth from NASA’s robotic New Horizons spacecraft, the featured high resolution image of asteroid Arrokoth was constructed. Perhaps, alternatively, the featured image is of a potato. Let’s consider some facts. Arrokoth is the most distant asteroid ever visited and a surviving remnant of the early years of our Solar System. A potato is a root vegetable that you can eat. Happy April Fool’s Day from the folks at APOD! Although asteroid Arrokoth may look like a potato, in fact very much like the featured potato, Arrokoth (formerly known as Ultima Thule) is about 200,000 times wider and much harder to eat.

April 01, 2020
from NASA |

Wed, 01 Apr 2020 12:14:33 +0800

Medal for the 225th anniversary of the porcelain factory in Meissen, 1935.
The AV depicts the portrait of the inventor of the stoneware which is named after him, Johann Friedrich Böttger. RV: the crossed swords logo for Meissen and the dates of the jubilee. Brown so-called “Böttgersteinzeug”

Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:43:07 +0800

Let go, just a little bit. Let go of your need to go faster or do more. Relieve yourself of some of the pressure.

Wed, 01 Apr 2020 05:12:27 +0800

"Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves." — Abraham Lincoln:

“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”
— Abraham Lincoln

Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:21:26 +0800

In how many ways does the center of our Galaxy glow? This enigmatic region, about 26,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius), glows in every type of light that we can see. In the featured image, high-energy X-ray emission captured by NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-Ray Observatory appears in green and blue, while low-energy radio emission captured by SARAO’s ground-based MeerKAT telescope array is colored red. Just on the right of the colorful central region lies Sagittarius A (Sag A), a strong radio source that coincides with Sag A*, our Galaxy’s central supermassive black hole. Hot gas surrounds Sag A, as well as a series of parallel radio filaments known as the Arc, seen just left of the image center. Numerous unusual single radio filaments are visible around the image. Many stars orbit in and around Sag A, as well as numerous small black holes and dense stellar cores known as neutron stars and white dwarfs. The Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole is currently being imaged by the Event Horizon Telescope.

March 31, 2020
from NASA |

Tue, 31 Mar 2020 12:14:35 +0800

Telescope on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Tue, 31 Mar 2020 08:43:23 +0800

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." — Rudyard Kipling:

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
— Rudyard Kipling

Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:21:27 +0800

What creates Saturn’s colors? The featured picture of Saturn only slightly exaggerates what a human would see if hovering close to the giant ringed world. The image was taken in 2005 by the robot Cassini spacecraft that orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017. Here Saturn’s majestic rings appear directly only as a curved line, appearing brown, in part, from its infrared glow. The rings best show their complex structure in the dark shadows they create across the upper part of the planet. The northern hemisphere of Saturn can appear partly blue for the same reason that Earth’s skies can appear blue – molecules in the cloudless portions of both planet’s atmospheres are better at scattering blue light than red. When looking deep into Saturn’s clouds, however, the natural gold hue of Saturn’s clouds becomes dominant. It is not known why southern Saturn does not show the same blue hue – one hypothesis holds that clouds are higher there. It is also not known why some of Saturn’s clouds are colored gold.

March 30, 2020
from NASA |

Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:15:33 +0800

Large white butterfly (Pieris brassicae) resting late in the afternoon on a daffodil (Narcissus) ‘Pimpernel’, in Oxfordshire

Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:19:11 +0800

Focus on what’s important to you. If that’s difficult, reflect on your true values and priorities.

Mon, 30 Mar 2020 03:12:08 +0800

"The more things change, the more they are the same." — Alphonse Karr:

“The more things change, the more they are the same.”
— Alphonse Karr

Sun, 29 Mar 2020 14:21:25 +0800

The constellation of Orion is much more than three stars in a row. It is a direction in space that is rich with impressive nebulas. To better appreciate this well-known swath of sky, an extremely long exposure was taken over many clear nights in 2013 and 2014. After 212 hours of camera time and an additional year of processing, the featured 1400-exposure collage spanning over 40 times the angular diameter of the Moon emerged. Of the many interesting details that have become visible, one that particularly draws the eye is Barnard’s Loop, the bright red circular filament arcing down from the middle. The Rosette Nebula is not the giant red nebula near the top of the image – that is a larger but lesser known nebula known as Lambda Orionis. The Rosette Nebula is visible, though: it is the red and white nebula on the upper left. The bright orange star just above the frame center is Betelgeuse, while the bright blue star on the lower right is Rigel. Other famous nebulas visible include the Witch Head Nebula, the Flame Nebula, the Fox Fur Nebula, and, if you know just where to look, the comparatively small Horsehead Nebula. About those famous three stars that cross the belt of Orion the Hunter – in this busy frame they can be hard to locate, but a discerning eye will find them just below and to the right of the image center.

March 29, 2020
from NASA |

Sun, 29 Mar 2020 12:14:27 +0800

"Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation." — Charles Baudelaire:

“Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.”
— Charles Baudelaire

Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:21:24 +0800

In trying times, stars still trail in the night. Taken on March 14, this night skyscape was made by combining 230 exposures each 15 seconds long to follow the stars’ circular paths. The camera was fixed to a tripod on an isolated terrace near the center of Ragusa, Italy, on the island of Sicily. But the night sky was shared around the rotating planet. A friend to celestial navigators and astrophotographers alike Polaris, the north star, makes the short bright trail near the center of the concentric celestial arcs.

March 28, 2020
from NASA |

Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:14:37 +0800

Big events are an opportunity to challenge the way you think. Instead of looking for evidence to rationalize your pre-existent beliefs, try to open your mind to the pervasive uncertainty we find ourselves immersed in.

Sat, 28 Mar 2020 01:33:27 +0800

"The best way to keep your friends is not to give them away." — Wilson Mizner:

“The best way to keep your friends is not to give them away.”
— Wilson Mizner

Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:21:26 +0800

Old school Easter eggs.