Celestial Tic-Tac-Toe: Mercury, Venus and the Moon align.
Photo by @YuriBeletsky
One morning, in March 2008, a rare and beautiful sight greeted Yuri Beletsky, astronomer at ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) observatory at Paranal in northern Chile. In the sky above the observing deck, the planets Mercury and Venus were in alignment above the Moon, in a celestial event known as a conjunction.
Mercury, the smallest of the planets and shining highest in the sky in this image, orbits closest to the Sun of all the eight planets in our Solar System. Venus comes next, followed by Earth and its Moon. So this image captures the full stock of major astronomical bodies that pass between Earth and its host star.
To the bottom left, seen as an impressive silhouette, and accompanying this cosmic chance encounter, is one of the four 1.8-metre Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) deployed at Paranal. These mobile telescopes are used for interferometry, an astronomical technique that essentially combines the observing power of all the telescopes involved into one giant telescope, allowing astronomers to probe the mysteries of the Universe in even greater detail.
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@SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch over Los Angeles, CA. Captured by @CurtisMorgan
Falcon 9, along with the Dragon spacecraft, was designed from the outset to deliver humans into space and under an agreement with NASA, SpaceX is actively working toward this goal.
Zoom into the Orion Nebula 🔮
This visualization explores the Orion Nebula using both visible and infrared light. The sequence begins with a wide-field view of the sky showing the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, then zooms down to the scale of the Orion Nebula.
Via NASA Hubble/ESA
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