Psalm 19:1-4: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
Jan 20-21, 2019 Total Lunar Eclipse
The skies in middle GA (where this photo was taken) were perfect for the Lunar eclipse.
New Horizons completes Successful flyby of KBO Ultima THule
The New Horizons spacecraft has completed a successful flyby of Kuiper Belt Object Ultima Thule early on January 1, 2019. This is the first time an object of this type has ever been visited by a spacecraft. The Kuiper belt consists of asteroids in the outer solar system. Ultima Thule was discovered June 26, 2014 when NASA searched for a new target to visit after the New Horizons spacecraft completed its flyby of Pluto. That flyby returned the first ever closeup images of Pluto's surface. New Horizons had enough fuel remaining onboard to redirect its course and fly by Ultima Thule.
The most detailed images of Ultima Thule -- obtained just minutes before the spacecraft's closest approach at 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1 -- have a resolution of about 110 feet (33 meters) per pixel. Their combination of higher spatial resolution and a favorable viewing geometry offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the surface of Ultima Thule, believed to be the most primitive object ever encountered by a spacecraft.
This processed, composite picture combines nine individual images taken with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), each with an exposure time of 0.025 seconds, just 6 ½ minutes before the spacecraft's closest approach to Ultima Thule (officially named 2014 MU69). The image was taken at 5:26 UT (12:26 a.m. EST) on Jan. 1, 2019, when the spacecraft was 4,109 miles (6,628 kilometers) from Ultima Thule and 4.1 billion miles (6.6 billion kilometers) from Earth. The angle between the spacecraft, Ultima Thule and the Sun – known as the "phase angle" – was 33 degrees.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute, National Optical Astronomy Observatory
In this animated GIF of Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule made from two images taken 38 minutes apart, the "Thule" lobe is closest to the New Horizons spacecraft. As Ultima Thule is seen to rotate, hints of the topography can be perceived. The images were taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) at 4:23 and 5:01 Universal Time on January 1, 2019 from respective ranges of 38,000 miles (61,000 kilometers) and 17,000 miles (28,000 kilometers), with respective original scales of 1017 feet (310 meters) and 459 feet (140 meters) per pixel.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
PERSPECTIVES OF PURPOSE
What is the purpose of those flickering points of light shining out of the inky blackness in the night sky?
For some they may only be a distraction as they rush inside to crouch before a glowing screen. The attention span they hold is too short to reach the stars. To them they’re only unchanging white dots on a motionless black veil. After all, the stars are there every night, right? And when something is repeatedly and endlessly presented before us we tend to become uninterested and unmoved by it.
Others see more because their sense of wonder is never satisfied. They have the intrinsic ability to soak in the reality of what they are observing. Things in nature are always more alive and realistic to them because they hold an acute awareness of what’s before them. All this culminates into a crescendo when they gaze upward into the expansive dome of the heavens. They are lost in wonder and awe, and are left feeling like a speck of dust that is swallowed up by everything, yet lost in nothingness in the middle of nowhere.
An astronomer with a fertile, imaginative mind will not see just white dots, nor will he simply see stars, but will be acutely aware of all the mysterious celestial objects that fill the glistening night like the superstar quasars, bizarre magnetars, pulsating pulsars, magnificent meteors, and boisterous black holes that seize unsuspecting stars. These all scattered through gargantuan galaxies that spout spontaneous supernovas and host hoards of parading planets which orbit the shimmering stars. This entire cosmic realm is inundated with intense radiation in the form of gamma rays, x-rays, and ultraviolet rays that erode dust veils, light up gas clouds, and shape nebulae. Although, at times this astronomer sees so many components that he misses the whole. So absorbed is he in the deeper specifics of the cosmos that he looks beyond and misses the allure of the simple beauty at the surface of this stellar dome.
Some miss the very point of the heavenly host reflecting the glory of their Creator, someone much greater than the shining lights, but consider the stars to be an end in themselves and imagine that they reach all the way across the empty void of space to touch them with a stealthy influence that controls their own lives. As the signs of the zodiac pinwheel overhead, these astrologers pore over their futile horoscopes in hopes of finding their fortune or fate locked up in the secrets of the stars.
There are still others that fearfully and suspiciously look for non-biblical prophetic signs in the heavens such as a “galactic alignment.” Such an event was supposed to coincide with December 21, 2012 end date of the Mayan calendar. It’s unfortunate that misinformed people had been hoodwinked by the doomsday prophets into believing that an apocalypse was coming to change the earth as we know it on that date. But this type of an alignment would have no effect on earth. What happened as a result of the alignment? Nothing. Like the Bible says, seedtime and harvest, day and night continue on as this planet awaits the return of its Maker.
So what are the flickering lights there for? It depends on who you ask. However, the one who made them gives the correct answer; He revealed to us they were made for His pleasure and to show His glory. What He takes pleasure in, He wants us to delight in as well! They were also made for our profit to show times and seasons. The earth was not made for the universe, but the universe for the Earth.
The Bubble Nebula
Cause the nebula to appear in 3D by crossing your eyes until you see three images of the Bubble Nebula instead of the two you see above.The easiest way to do this is to:
1. Hold a finger in front of the image.
2. focus on the finger and move it back and forth until the image in the background forms three images, this usually happens when your finger is about 1/4th the distance to the screen.
3. Keep your eyes crossed and slowly pull the finger away, allowing you to focus on the center image.
The Bubble Nebula is 7 light-years across — about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri — and resides 7,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.
The seething star forming this nebula is 45 times more massive than our sun. Gas on the star gets so hot that it escapes away into space as a "stellar wind" moving at over 4 million miles per hour. This outflow sweeps up the cold, interstellar gas in front of it, forming the outer edge of the bubble much like a snowplow piles up snow in front of it as it moves forward.
As the surface of the bubble's shell expands outward, it slams into dense regions of cold gas on one side of the bubble. This asymmetry makes the star appear dramatically off-center from the bubble, with its location in the 10 o'clock position in the Hubble view.