the-geeky-farmer:

Astronomy Picture of the Day: May 6 2014
Orange Sun Sparking 
Our Sun has become quite a busy place. Taken only two weeks ago, the Sun was captured sporting numerous tumultuous regions including active sunspot regions AR 2036 near the image top and AR 2036 near the center. Only four years ago the Sun was emerging from an unusually quiet Solar Minimum that had lasted for years. The above image was recorded in a single color of light called Hydrogen Alpha, inverted, and false colored. Spicules cover much of the Sun’s face like a carpet. The gradual brightening towards the Sun’s edges is caused by increased absorption of relatively cool solar gas and called limb darkening. Just over the Sun’s edges, several filamentary prominences protrude, while prominences on the Sun’s face are seen as light streaks. Possibly the most visually interesting of all are the magnetically tangled active regions containing relatively cool sunspots, seen as white dots. Currently at Solar Maximum — the most active phase in its 11-year magnetic cycle, the Sun’s twisted magnetic field is creating numerous solar “sparks” which include eruptive solar prominences, coronal mass ejections, and flares which emit clouds of particles that may impact the Earth and cause auroras. One flare two years ago released such a torrent of charged particles into the Solar System that it might have disrupted satellites and compromised power grids had it struck planet Earth. 
curatedrandommess:

Courtesy of Laughing Squid
An empty spacesuit outfitted with a radio transmitter and filled with old clothes floats free from the International Space Station in this February 2006 photo. The spacesuit, dubbed SuitSat-1, was an old Russian Orlan spacesuit intentionally released by the crew to see if old spacesuits could be turned into useful satellites.
After two 90-minute orbits the suit’s transmitter became unexpectedly weak, and it finally burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere after a few weeks of orbiting the planet.
image via ISS Expedition 12 Crew & NASA
macrocosmsofnebulae:

Southern Annular Eclipse Image Credit & Copyright: Cameron McCarty, Matthew Bartow, Michael Johnson - MWV Observatory, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Columbus State University Eclipse Team
mgkepp:

Pillar in Carina Nebula NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team
alfred-f-jones-world-hero:

A small asteroid about the size of a city bus zipped by Earth at a range closer than the moon early Saturday (May 3), but posed no threat to our planet.
The newly discovered asteroid 2014 HL129 came within 186,000 miles (299,338 kilometers) of Earth when it made its closest approach on Saturday morning, which is close enough to pass between the planet and the orbit of the moon. The average distance between the Earth and moon is about 238,855 miles (384,400 km).
You can watch a video animation of asteroid 2014 HL129’s orbit around the sun on Space.com. The asteroid is about 25 feet (7.6 meters) wide, according to NASA’s Asteroid Watch project based at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. It made its closest approach to Earth at 4:13 a.m. EDT (0813 GMT).


Saturday’s close shave by asteroid 2014 HL129 came just days after its discovery on Wednesday, April 28, by astronomers with the Mt. Lemmon Survey team, according to an alert by the Minor Planet Center, an arm of the International Astronomical Union that chronicles asteroid discoveries. The Mt. Lemmon Survey team scans the night sky with a telescope at the Steward Observatory atop Mt. Lemmon in Arizona’s Catalina Mountains.
NASA scientists and researchers around the world constantly monitor the sky for potentially dangerous asteroids that could pose a risk of impacting the Earth.
the-geeky-farmer:

Astronomy Picture of the Day: April 29 2014
Aurora Dog over Alaska  
Sometimes it is hard to believe what you see in the sky. While leading his annual aurora tour last month near Fairbanks in central Alaska, astrophotographer John Chumack and his company saw a most unusual aurora. This bright aurora appeared to change into the shape of a jumping dog, complete with a curly tail. He was able to capture the fleeting natural apparition in the above image with a 15-second exposure through a wide-angle lens. By coincidence, he also captured a background sky filled with familiar highlights. Planets visible include bright Jupiter through the dog’s front legs and reddish Mars below the dog’s hind legs. Stars visible include the Big Dipper stars above the dog’s midsection and reddish Betelgeuse shining on the far right. This dog would not be following him home, however, and within a few minutes morphed into other shapes before the geomagnetic storm particles that created it shifted to strike the Earth elsewhere.