Great astrophotographies – April 2008

I haven’t posted anything on astrophotography since my article on the avalanches on Mars. And these pictures weren’t that beautiful or anything else but scientific material.

So, as the NASA’s Astronomy Picture Of the Day comprised last weeks some very beautiful pictures, I propose you here my favorites of the past few weeks.

I hope you will enjoy this article. If so – please let me know by comments – I will propose you each month my selection of the best APOD photos. I already had written about the Orion nebula, as it is perhaps the best known by the public.

It is also “one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features.” (source). This is explained by the fact that it is a really bright, beautiful and easy to watch celestial object.

APOD dedicated this month no less than three articles to it :

South of Orion, Wisps Surrounding the Horsehead Nebula (part of this nebula, detail pictured right), and lastly Southern Orion: From Belt to Witch.

A single object can be that magnificent and holds so many details. So imagine if all the other ones… This is why I like astronomy.

An event that should have been a short article on this blog was the docking of the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Jules Verne to the International Space Station. It was the subject of a very nice picture : Jules Verne in Orbit.

If you have been reading this blog for some time, you perhaps remember my article on the photos of Earth seen from space, which was done first for my friend Sherlock’s blog [Fr].

APOD proposed another great one, which was taken by Yuri Gagarin – world famous as he was the first human in space – on April 12th, 1961.

Pictures of galaxies seem to resemble each other a lot as to the untrained eye, they look like each other. But sometimes, a truly beautiful picture come across. That was the case with Spiral Galaxies in Collision.

Nebulae’s photographs are my favourites as they are truly spectacular and The Fox Fur Nebula from CFHT, Cygnus Without Stars and finally the Tarantula Zone will explain you easily why. It is fantastic how interstellar clouds of dust, hydrogen gas and plasma can look from million miles away.

Please note that I already had written about the Tarantula Nebula there.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Once again let me know by leaving a comment. If so, the last Sunday of each month might become here the astronomy day.

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