Astronomy Picture of the Day

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abuali
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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 12:19

Salaam Alaykum

I am dedicating this forum to presenting to you the wonders of Allah's (SWT) creation in the heavens.

If you see a picture and are awed by its magnificence or beauty, take that time to ponder on the Greatness and Magnificence of its creator, the Lord of all worlds.

The Holy Quran 37:6
We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars,-


The photos I post are going to be taken from online sources including NASA's APOD project.

Feel free to post any photos you come across.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 12:33

2009 December 7
Image

The International Space Station Over the Horizon
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Credit: STS-129 Crew, Expedition 21 Crew, NASA

Explanation: This was home. Just over a week ago, the STS-129 crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) and returned to Earth. As the shuttle departed the space station, they took the above image. Visible on the ISS are numerous modules, trusses, and long wing-like solar panels. The space shuttle crew spent almost 12 days calling the space station home. The shuttle crew resupplied the space station and delivered valuable spare parts. The ISS continues to be home for five astronauts of Expedition 21. The ISS's crew now includes astronauts representing NASA, the European Space Agency, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 13:01

2009 December 06
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The Magnificent Tail of Comet McNaught
Credit & Copyright: Robert H. McNaught

Explanation: Comet McNaught, the Great Comet of 2007, was the brightest comet of the last 40 years. Its spectacular tail spread across the sky and was breathtaking to behold from dark locations for many Southern Hemisphere observers. The head of the comet remained quite bright and was easily visible to even city observers without any optical aide. Part of the spectacular tail was visible just above the horizon after sunset for many northern observers as well. Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught), which reached an estimated peak brightness of magnitude -6 (minus six), was caught by the comet's discoverer in the above image soon after sunset in 2007 January from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. The robotic Ulysses spacecraft fortuitously flew through Comet McNaught's tail and found, unexpectedly, that the speed of the solar wind dropped significantly.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 13:04

2009 December 8
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Ice Moon Tethys from Saturn-Orbiting Cassini
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation: What processes formed the unusual surface of Saturn's moon Tethys? To help find out, NASA sent the robotic Cassini spacecraft right past the enigmatic ice moon in 2005. Pictured above is one of the highest resolution images of an entire face of Tethys yet created. The pervasive white color of Tethys is thought to be created by fresh ice particles continually falling onto the moon from Saturn's diffuse E-ring -- particles expelled by Saturn's moon Enceladus. Some of the the unusual cratering patterns on Tethys remain less well understood, however. Close inspection of the above image of Tethys' south pole will reveal a great rift running diagonally down from the middle: Ithaca Chasma. A leading theory for the creation of this great canyon is anchored in the tremendous moon-wide surface cracking that likely occurred when Tethys' internal oceans froze. If so, Tethys may once have harbored internal oceans, possibly similar to the underground oceans some hypothesize to exist under the surface of Enceladus today. Might ancient life be frozen down there?
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 22:43

2009 December 3
Image
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Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660
Credit & Copyright: Immo Gerber and Dietmar Hager (TAO)

Explanation: NGC 660 lies near the center of this intriguing field of galaxies swimming within the boundaries of the constellation Pisces. Over 20 million light-years away, its peculiar appearance marks it as a polar ring galaxy. A rare galaxy type, polar ring galaxies have a substantial population of stars, gas, and dust orbiting in rings nearly perpendicular to the plane of a flat galactic disk. The bizarre configuration could have been caused by the chance capture of material from a passing galaxy by the disk galaxy, with the captured debris strung out in a rotating ring. Polar Ring galaxies can be used to explore the shape of the galaxy's otherwise unseen dark matter halo by calculating the dark matter's gravitational influence on the rotation of the ring and disk. Broader than the disk, NGC 660's ring spans about 40,000 light-years.

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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 22:46

2009 December 2
Image
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Dust Sculptures in the Rosette Nebula
Credit & Copyright: John Ebersole

Explanation: What creates the cosmic dust sculptures in the Rosette Nebula? Noted for the common beauty of its overall shape, parts of the Rosette Nebula, also known as NGC 2237, show beauty even when viewed up close. Visible above are globules of dark dust and gas that are slowly being eroded away by the energetic light and winds by nearby massive stars. Left alone long enough, the molecular-cloud globules would likely form stars and planets. The above image was taken in very specific colors of Sulfur (shaded red), Hydrogen (green), and Oxygen (blue). The Rosette Nebula spans about 50 light-years across, lies about 4,500 light-years away, and can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros).
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 22:52

2009 December 1
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NGC 6992: Filaments of the Veil Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Daniel Lopez (Observatorio del Teide)

Explanation: Wisps like this are all that remain visible of a Milky Way star. About 7,500 years ago that star exploded in a supernova leaving the Veil Nebula, also known as the Cygnus Loop. At the time, the expanding cloud was likely as bright as a crescent Moon, remaining visible for weeks to people living at the dawn of recorded history. Today, the resulting supernova remnant has faded and is now visible only through a small telescope directed toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). The remaining Veil Nebula is physically huge, however, and even though it lies about 1,400 light-years distant, it covers over five times the size of the full Moon. In images of the complete Veil Nebula, studious readers should be able to identify the above filaments on the lower left. The above image is a mosaic from the 2.5-meter Isaac Newton Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 22:54

2009 November 30
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Bright Sun and Crescent Earth from the Space Station
Credit: STS-129 Crew, NASA

Explanation: This was just one more breathtaking view from the International Space Station. The Sun, a crescent Earth, and the long arm of a solar panel were all visible outside a window when the Space Shuttle Atlantis visited the orbiting outpost last week. Reflections from the window and hexagonal lens flares from the camera are superposed. The space shuttle landed Friday after a successful 10 day mission to expand and resupply the ISS. Numbered STS-129, the space shuttle mission returned astronaut Nicole Stott to Earth from her stay on the ISS as a Flight Engineer in the Expedition 20 and 21 crews.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 22:58

2009 November 29
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Ancient Layered Hills on Mars
Credit: Malin Space Science Systems, MOC, MGS, JPL, NASA

Explanation: Is this a picture of Mars or Earth? Oddly enough, it is a picture of Mars. What may appear to some as a terrestrial coastline is in fact a formation of ancient layered hills and wind-blown sand on Mars. The above-pictured region spans about three kilometers in Schiaparelli Crater. What created the layers of sediment is still a topic of research. Viable hypotheses include ancient epochs of deposit either from running water or wind-blown sand. Winds and sandstorms have smoothed and eroded the structures more recently. The "water" that appears near the bottom is actually dark colored sand. The image was taken with the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft that operated around Mars from 1996-2006 and returned over 200,000 images.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 08 Dec 2009, 23:13

2009 November 28
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Annapurna Star Trails
Credit & Copyright: Wang Jinglei, Jia Hao

Explanation: In myth, Atlas holds up the heavens. But in this moonlit mountainscape, peaks of the Himalayan Annapurna Range appear to prop up the sky as seen from Ghandruk, Nepal. From left to right the three main peaks are Annapurna South (7,219 meters), Hiunchuli (6,441 metes), and Machapuchare (6,995 meters). Of course the mountains are moving not the stars, the Earth's rotation about its axis causing the concentric star trails recorded in the time exposure. Positioned above Annapurna South, the North Celestial Pole is easily identified as the point at the center of all the star trail arcs. The star Polaris, also known as the North Star, made the very short and bright arc closest to the North Celestial Pole.


Reminds me of:

[Shakir 27:87] And on the day when the trumpet shall be blown, then those who are in the heavens and those who are in the earth shall be terrified except such as Allah please, and all shall come to him abased.
[Shakir 27:88] And you see the mountains, you think them to be solid, and they shall pass away as the passing away of the cloud-- the handiwork of Allah Who has made every thing thoroughly; surely He is Aware of what you do.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 10 Dec 2009, 12:03

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The educated man has the right to manipulate the ignorant, if the ignorance of the of the ignorant is due to his own ignorance.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby Reyhana » 10 Dec 2009, 22:08

SUBHANALLAH,breathtaking photos indeed.
As Almighty says in Holy Quran:
(bismillah)
[Shakir 3:190] Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men who understand.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:190]

The Holy Prophet said:

"Woe to him who reads this verse and does not ponder thereon".


The men of understanding, who study the working of the universe and the laws governing the operation of creation, know the significance of drawing the attention of mankind to the factors mentioned in this verse.

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said:

Observe and examine the creation of Allah.


( 191)

The Holy Prophet said:

"There is no form of devotion like meditation."


Those who know that Allah has not created the universe in vain and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth (to gain guidance and admonition), remember Allah in thought and in words constantly, and in all attitudes and actions. The glory of Allah occupies an "abiding place" in the minds of such devout high ranking servants of Allah. They know that the whole universe, created by Allah, is not an illusion. The phenomena, we perceive by senses, are real (creation of Allah), not a phantasm of imagination because far is He from creating anything aimlessly. (Refer to Ali's sayings on page 20 and 33 of this book, and his sermons in the Nahj al Balagha dealing with the creation of the heavens and the earth).


[Shakir 3:191] Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire:
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 25 Feb 2010, 09:38

Jazakallah sister for the amazing insight!

2010 February 25
Image
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Edge-on Spiral Galaxy NGC 891
Credit & Copyright: Bob Franke
This beautiful cosmic portrait features NGC 891. The spiral galaxy spans about 100 thousand light-years and is seen almost exactly edge-on from our perspective. In fact, about 30 million light-years distant in the constellation Andromeda, NGC 891 looks a lot like our Milky Way. At first glance, it has a flat, thin, galactic disk and a central bulge cut along the middle by regions of dark obscuring dust. Also apparent in NGC 891's ege-on presentation are filaments of dust that extend hundreds of light-years above and below the center line. The dust has likely been blown out of the disk by supernova explosions or intense star formation activity. Faint neighboring galaxies can also been seen near this galaxy's disk.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 25 Feb 2010, 09:48

2010 February 24
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Astronaut Installs Panoramic Space Window
Credit: ISS Expedition 22 Crew, Shuttle Endeavour STS-130 Crew, NASA

Explanation: This space job was almost complete. Floating just below the International Space Station, astronaut Nicholas Patrick put some finishing touches on the newly installed cupola space windows last week. Patrick was a mission specialist onboard the recently completed space shuttle Endeavor's STS-130 mission to the ISS. Pictured, Patrick floats near the outermost of seven windows on the new cupola of the just-installed Tranquility module. Patrick hovers about 340 kilometers over the Earth's surface, well in front of the blue sky, blue water, and white clouds pictured far in the background. In the above image, covers on windows three and four were in place and clearly labelled. Images from inside the ISS's new panoramic cupola are now available.
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Re: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Postby abuali » 25 Feb 2010, 09:51

2010 February 22
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Galaxy Group Hickson 31
Credit: NASA, ESA, J. English (U. Manitoba), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA);
Acknowledgement: S. Gallagher (U. Western Ontario)

Explanation: Will the result of these galactic collisions be one big elliptical galaxy? Quite possibly, but not for another billion years. Pictured above, several of the dwarf galaxies of in the Hickson Compact Group 31 are seen slowly merging. Two of the brighter galaxies are colliding on the far left, while an elongated galaxy above is connected to them by an unusual bridge of stars. Inspection of the above image further indicates that the bright duo trail a rope of stars pointing to the spiral galaxy on the far right. Most assuredly, the pictured galaxies of Hickson Compact Group 31 will pass through and destroy each other, millions of stars will form and explode, and thousands of nebula will form and dissipate before the dust settles and the final galaxy emerges about one billion years from now. The above image is a composite of images taken in infrared light by the Spitzer Space Telescope, ultraviolet light by the GALEX space telescope, and visible light by the Hubble Space Telescope. Hickson Compact Group 31 spans about 150 thousand light years and lies about 150 million light years away toward the constellation of Eridanus.

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