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August 23, 2010 - Distant Spiral Splendor

Distant Spiral Splendor A glance at the night sky rewards you with a view of enormous suns so incredibly distant they appear as mere points of light. If you know where to look, you can spy a few galaxies with your naked eye, some far enough away that their light took two million years to reach your eyes. With the proper equipment you can view even more distant objects, like NGC 891, an edge-on spiral galaxy in Andromeda some 30 million light-years away. This dramatic image of NGC 891 was taken by California amateur astronomer Jay GaBany using a 20-inch remotely-operated telescope located in New Mexico. He used an 11-megapixel astronomical CCD imager to collect over twenty hours of starlight on multiple evenings between November 2006 and April 2007.

Image credit:R. Jay GaBany / www.cosmotography.com

Weekly Calendar

August 23-29, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 23

Venus 2° south of Mars

Moon phase Tuesday 24

Full Moon 1:05 PM ET
Neptune 5° south of Moon

Moon phase Wednesday 25

Moon at apogee

1965: President Johnson approves full-scale development of Manned Orbital Laboratory
1966: Apollo-Saturn 202 launched
1981: Voyager 2 flies past Saturn
1989: Voyager 2 flies past Neptune
2003: Spitzer Space Telescope launched

Moon phase Thursday 26

Moon phase Friday 27

Uranus 6° south of Moon
Jupiter 7° south of Moon


1962: Mariner 2 launched
1984: Teacher In Space program announced
1985: STS-51I Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 28

1789: William Herschel discovers Enceladus, moon of Saturn
1993: Galileo spacecraft flies by asteroid Ida
2009: STS-128 Discovery launched

Moon phase Sunday 29

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.