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Web's Best Photo and Art Links
From Magic Mike

My collection of links to photos of the best Hubble Space Telescope photos and other NASA photos,
incredible landscapes, scenic wonders and wildlife animals,
AND Art Masters of the 10th through 20th Centuries from World Museums.


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In the Shade of a Historic Planet Drawing Credit & Copyright: Lynette Cook Explanation: For the first time, astronomers have recovered independent evidence that distant planetary systems exist. Last Friday, a team led by G. W. Henry (Tenn. State) and G. Marcy (UC Berkeley) announced the discovery of a shadow of a planet crossing a distant star. Little known HD 209458, a Sun-like star 150 light-years away, had been suspected of harboring planets from a slight wobble found in its motion. Henry et al. now find that this wobble exactly corresponds to a planet crossing the face of the star, creating the slight dimming effect of a partial eclipse. The astronomers were then able to make a groundbreaking estimate of the mass and radius of the extra-solar planet, which they find to have about two-thirds the mass of Jupiter but about 60 percent larger radius. The drawing above is an artist's depiction of a planetary eclipse in the HD 209458 system. Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
M31: The Andromeda Galaxy Credit & Copyright: Jason Ware Explanation: Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about two million years for light to reach us from there. Much about M31 remains unknown, including why the center contains two nuclei. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
1998 Leonid Fireball Credit & Copyright: Lorenzo Lovato Explanation: Will this be the year? Last year's Leonid meteor shower did not produce the meteor storm many had hoped for. Still, it put on a dazzling show with many bright fireball meteors. For example, this Leonid fireball, photographed through light clouds, eerily flashed across the skies of Monteromano, Italy on November 17, 1998. This year, the chances for a storm with thousands of meteors per hour are considered good ... but experts are quick to acknowledge that such predictions are tricky. Want to see for yourself? The predicted peak should occur on early Thursday, November 18 (UTC) but meteor activity will certainly be observable days before and after. If the night is clear, just grab a lawn chair and a warm jacket, go outside and look up! Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
The Belt of Venus Credit: Doug Miller (U. Delaware) Explanation: Although you've surely seen it, you might not have noticed it. During a cloudless twilight, just before sunrise or after sunset, part of the atmosphere above the horizon appears slightly off-color, slightly pink. Visible in the above photograph, this off-color band between the dark eclipsed sky and the blue sky can best be seen in the direction opposite the Sun and is called the Belt of Venus. Straight above, blue sky is normal sunlight reflecting off the atmosphere. In the Belt of Venus, however, the atmosphere reflects light from the setting (or rising) Sun which appears more red. The Belt of Venus can be seen from any location with a clear horizon. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
Spiral Galaxies in Collision (Small Version) Credit: Debra Meloy Elmegreen (Vassar College) et al., & the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/ STScI/ NASA) Explanation: Billions of years from now, only one of these two galaxies will remain. Until then, spiral galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163 will slowly pull each other apart, creating tides of matter, sheets of shocked gas, lanes of dark dust, bursts of star formation, and streams of cast-away stars. Astronomers predict that NGC 2207, the larger galaxy on the left, will eventually incorporate IC 2163, the smaller galaxy on the right. In the most recent encounter that peaked 40 million years ago, the smaller galaxy is swinging around counter-clockwise, and is now slightly behind the larger galaxy. The space between stars is so vast that when galaxies collide, the stars in them usually do not collide. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
Lunation - Credit: António Cidadão - Explanation: Our Moon's appearance changes nightly. This slow-loading time-lapse sequence shows what our Moon looks like during a lunation, a complete lunar cycle. As the Moon orbits the Earth, the half illuminated by the Sun first becomes increasingly visible, then decreasingly visible. The Moon always keeps the same face toward the Earth. The Moon's apparent size changes slightly, though, and a slight wobble called a libration is discernable as it progresses along its elliptical orbit. During the cycle, sunlight reflects from the Moon at different angles, and so illuminates different features differently. A full lunation takes about 29.5 days, just under a month (moon-th). Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Central Oregon Coast - One of the most photographed, and photogenic, lighthouses in the country, if not the world. This view taken in early morning, just after the sun topped the Coast Range mountains. Oregon Wonders - by Greg Vaughn, PhotoTripUSA
The Heart Of NGC 4261 - Credit: H. Ford & L. Ferrarese (Johns Hopkins), W. Jaffe (Leiden), NASA - Explanation: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of galaxies? The Hubble knows. This Hubble Space Telescope picture of the center of the nearby elliptical galaxy NGC 4261 tells one dramatic tale. The gas and dust in this disk are swirling into what is almost certainly a massive black hole. The disk is probably what remains of a smaller galaxy that fell in hundreds of millions of years ago. Collisions like this may be a common way of creating such active galactic nuclei as quasars. Strangely, the center of this fiery whirlpool is offset from the exact center of the galaxy - for a reason that for now remains an astronomical mystery. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.
Crater Lake at sunrise -
There are many breathtaking scenes at Crater Lake, and a variety of viewpoints for photographing Wizard Island. I scouted this one during the day on a previous trip, hoping to find a vantage point where I could capture all of Wizard Island surrounded by water, and to get the sunrise sky reflected in the lake. - Oregon Wonders, by Greg Vaughn, PhotoTripUSA.
X-Ray Jet From Centaurus A Credit: X-Ray image: NASA/ CXC/ SAO Optical image: AURA/ NOAO/ NSF Explanation: Spanning over 25,000 light-years, comparable to the distance from the Sun to the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, a cosmic jet seen in X-rays blasts from the center of Centaurus A. Only 10 million light-years away, Centaurus A is a giant elliptical galaxy - the closest active galaxy to Earth. This composite image illustrates the jumble of gas, dust, and stars visible in an optical picture of Cen A superposed on a new image recorded by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory. The X-ray data is shown in red. Present theories hold that the X-ray bright jet is caused by electrons driven to extremely high energies over enormous distances. The jet's power source is likely to be a black hole with about 10 million times the mass of the Sun coincident with the X-ray bright spot at the galaxy's center. Amazingly, while some material in the vicinity of the black hole falls in, some material is blasted outward in energetic jets. Details of this cosmic power generator can be explored with the Chandra X-ray data. Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA) NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply. A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC & Michigan Tech. U..