July 24, 2017

Lenticular Cloud over Volcano

Lenticular Cloud over Volcano

Patagonia, Argentina

Image Credit: David H. Collier/Getty Images

Spiral Galaxy NGC 7098

Spiral Galaxy NGC 7098

Approximately 95 million light-years away, in the southern constellation of Octans (The Octant), lies NGC 7098 — an intriguing spiral galaxy with numerous sets of double features. The first of NGC 7098’s double features is a duo of distinct ring-like structures that loop around the galaxy’s hazy heart. These are NGC 7098’s spiral arms, which have wound themselves around the galaxy’s luminous core. This central region hosts a second double feature: a double bar.

NGC 7098 has also developed features known as ansae, visible as small, bright streaks at each end of the central region. Ansae are visible areas of overdensity — they commonly take looping, linear, or circular shapes, and can be found at the extremities of planetary ring systems, in nebulous clouds, and, as is the case with NGC 7098, in parts of galaxies that are packed to the brim with stars.

This image is formed from data gathered by the FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph (FORS) instrument, installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory. An array of distant galaxies are also visible throughout the frame, the most prominent being the small, edge-on, spiral galaxy visible to the left of NGC 7098, known as ESO 048-G007.

Image Credit: ESO
Explanation from: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1730a/

SN 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud

SN 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Glittering stars and wisps of gas create a breathtaking backdrop for the self-destruction of a massive star, called supernova 1987A, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy. Astronomers in the Southern hemisphere witnessed the brilliant explosion of this star on February 23, 1987.

Shown in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, the supernova remnant, surrounded by inner and outer rings of material, is set in a forest of ethereal, diffuse clouds of gas. This three-color image is composed of several pictures of the supernova and its neighboring region taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in September 1994, Feb. 1996 and July 1997.

Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA/ESA)
Explanation from: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo9904a/